How to Connect Generator to House without Transfer Switch

In this guide, you’ll learn how to connect generator to house without transfer switch. In the event of stormy weather, hurricanes, or natural disasters, most neighborhoods experience power blackouts. Such disasters could last a few hours or even worse weeks.

But in the effort to keep our major appliances running and, most importantly, keep the lights on, we’re forced to take some “shortcuts.”

My household experienced blackouts for almost two weeks in a row during the Texas floods. We weren’t prepared for this as we’d just moved in for just a couple of weeks. Without a transfer switch, I thought we were doomed, but after watching on YouTube and reading expert’s recommendation, I was able to figure out a way to connect my Firman generator to house without transfer switch.

How to Connect Generator to House without Transfer Switch

How to Connect Portable Generator to House without Transfer Switch

Connecting your portable generator to a house without a transfer switch can be complicated especially if you don’t have a transfer switch. Before going any further, keep in mind that for your genset to function safely and effectively, you will need a transfer switch. This will allow for safe operation.

Things You’ll Need

  • Breaker- you should go for a breaker that can meet the power requirement of your home/RV/worksite as well as your generator.
  • Interlocking kit- the kit will help you connect the generator to the service panel. For the best results, it’s recommended to pick a transfer switch that matches the model of your generator. These kits are cheap and you can get them quickly.
  • Electrical wires- you’ll need some cables for this connection to work. Choose wires of different colors for a more natural connection.
  • Safety tools- for your safety, you will need a pair of work gloves. You should also have protective eyewear.
  • Other tools you’ll require in this case include wrenches, drills, screwdrivers, and pliers.

Step1# Observe Safety

The first most important step in connecting a generator without a transfer switch understands that in some states, this activity may be illegal.

You should also have protective gear to help protect you in case anything goes haywire or not.

Also, make sure that you don’t use a male to male plug or connect your genset directly to the circuit breaker. It could be dangerous and, in the worst case, can cause fire breakout.

Step2# Figure out Amperage

Now that you’re aware of the safe measures to undertake, the second step would be to inspect your generator plug type and its amperage.

The plug will help deliver power on both sides of the generator breaker.

Alternatively, there are amperage codes on the plug. The amperage will help you adjust the materials accordingly.

Step3# Drill a Hole

Now grab a driller and get some drilling job done. Drill a home into your house. The hole will serve as an entrance of the cables from the genset to your house.

The hole should be big enough to accommodate all the wires. Additionally, make sure that you drill the hole in a location that will keep the generator far from you.

Drilling the hole next to your bedroom might be the worst idea because noises from the generator may deny you a good night’s sleep.

Step4# Assemble the Materials

The last step is assembling the materials, first, start by mounting the power inlet on the exterior wall.

Make sure that the power inlet is several feet away from the hole you drilled on the wall. After you’ve mounted the power inlet, you’ll need to assemble the conduit and glue them for maximum safety.

Then wire your generator inlet plug. At this point, simply pull a single wire from the conduit body and then push all the remaining wires.

The last step is to prepare the breaker box to receive the wires from the conduit body. Once you’ve successfully installed the wires and the breaker retainer, it’s time to cover the breaker box.

How to Connect Generator to House without Transfer Switch

Is A Transfer Switch for Generator A Must?

While it is technically not needed, there are several reasons why we highly recommend having one installed in your home when connecting your generator to any appliance in your house.

It’s a requirement by the National Electric Code

When using a heavy-duty portable generator to electrical power appliances in your home, the National Electric Code requires you to have a well-installed transfer switch. (Source)

This is especially crucial if you’re planning to sell your home in the future. It can cause code violations when not installed correctly.

It’s the safest way to connect generator to your house

The use of extension wires can cause back feed. This increases the risks of electrocution or fire which can lead to serious injury/death or damage to property.

It’s the easiest way to power your home during an emergency

Since most of our electrical appliances like water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces are hard-wired, they can’t be connected to the generator using an extension cord.

Additionally, struggling to connect your generator using extension cords should be the last thing to worry about in the event of a blackout.

A transfer switch will help you power your home immediately during power outage easily and safely.

On How To Connect Portable Generator To House Without Transfer Switch

While its power your home appliances without a transfer switch, it’s not recommended as the risks associated are higher. In addition, because most of our home appliances are hardwired to the main power supply. Using this technique will limit the appliances you can power.

Again, if you’re planning on selling your property in the near future, the National Electric Code requires you to have a switch installed or else risk code violation.

I would only recommend this method in the event of an emergency or as a onetime hack before you get a professional to install a transfer switch for you.

Additionally, if you lack basic technical skills in wiring, it’d be better to have a professional do it for you and long term it’d be cheaper having a transfer switch installed. Also read this guide on why your generator won’t start.