With a generator, you can prepare for emergencies and have electricity. You can deal with power outages when you have a generator. However, there can be cables piling everywhere in your home when you don’t know which items you need to power. It can be inconvenient for you when you have a lot of devices to power. Hooking up a generator to your home is simple when you have cables and a transfer switch. You will need a transfer switch for attaching the generator.
Without proper equipment, there can be a massive danger when you try to hook up the generator. A transfer switch lets you wire the items together. You will have to attach the cables to the house outlets. Similarly, the transfer switch outlet is for plugging the generator. Once done, you can connect the appliances with a single cord for each appliance. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, the generator must operate outside. Keeping the generator out of close quarters, will not interfere with the power or cause fire hazards.
How To Install a Generator Transfer Switch?
Installing a generator transfer switch can be simple when you are handy. However, you should do it with a clear vision and have the right equipment. Only a licensed electrician must install a generator transfer switch. It can be worth risking your life if you don’t have any technical knowledge. To understand it better, you must get the right tools.
What you will be needing is a dedicated circuit breaker or a fuse box for the generator. This helps to operate it independently. Also, the main breaker must be connected to the largest generator. You can connect the other generators to separate fuses or breakers. Run the heavy cables from the generator to the load center. It must be long enough to stretch conveniently between the two ends. There must not be any error while making the connections. Even while starting the generator, there must be ample room. The generator must be a minimum of 2 feet from all sides. While for other sources of heat like fireplaces or water heaters, the spacing must be 10 feet.
Should I Buy Manual or Universal Transfer Switches?
There is a difference between manual and universal transfer switches. Manual switch transfers are similar to traditional breaker boxes. In a manual switch, the most important thing is that you will have to keep the cord plugged. Everything must be attached properly before you turn on the generator.
On the contrary, universal switches will process it automatically within the millisecond. The transfer switch will turn the break-up and out and it will draw more loading than the maximum rating of the power system. One of the greatest advantages of universal switches is that they can automatically detect the power failure of the utility grid. There are models that come with battery backup that help switch when the appliance is running as long as the power is turned on. Another advantage of universal switches is that they will turn on the power automatically when the power goes.
However, when you don’t have the transfer switch you will have to look for the alternative which is the manual switch. You can easily find universal transfer switches in most hardware stores. However, manual transfer switches only come through rental companies. Also, the setup is more in a universal transfer switch compared to a manual transfer switch.
How To Connect Generator to Your Home Without a Transfer Switch
Hooking up a generator to your house without a transfer switch has to be done by trained electricians. It is illegal in many areas and you should not do it if you don’t have any knowledge. You can perform it in case of an emergency. It is advisable to hire a qualified electrician and perform everything with safety precautions. Here are the equipment you need.
- Safety Gear:Safety gear serves very important while dealing with electrical appliances. You need to put on steel-capped work boots, protective eyewear, sturdy working gloves, and a voltage stick.
- Electric Wires:Make sure that you employ a minimum of 3 sets of wires of 10 feet and 10 gauge. If you happen to be a beginner, you can use wires of different colors for preventing confusion.
- An Interlock Kit:Get an interlocking kit that matches the model and specifications of your generator. Even though it is more affordable than a transfer switch, it tends to be less effective.
- A Breaker:Another important item that you require will be a breaker. This is especially required when the existing breaker box has empty spaces. You must select it carefully and it must match the generator’s output. The most common breaker is a 30 double amp that has two poles. However, you need to consider compatibility carefully.
- An Inlet Plug:Finally, what you will need will be an inlet plug. This completely depends upon the generator’s size and it must be a large round plug. Make sure that the generator indicates the amperage. Also, compatibility is very important when choosing the inlet plug.
How To Setup the Generator For Power Outage?
You will have to take these steps.
Step 1: Find the access point.
Step 2: Start by drilling a hole in the wall. Make sure that the hole is far from the generator and it must be large to accommodate the wires.
Step 3: On the exterior of the house, mount the power inlet. You will have to do it far from the drilled access hole.
Step 4: Turn off the main power before you intend to proceed.
Step 5: Pass the wires one by one tightly and securely and assemble the conduit in the power inlet.
Step 6: Install the breaker or the breaker retainer in the box.
Step 7: Take the inlet wires to the new breaker and connect them.
When you happen to face a power outage, you will only use the cable for connecting your generator to the new inlet plug. Even though this option is affordable, it can be extremely dangerous. When you have got an interlock kit rather than a transfer box, hire a professional electrician for the installation. You can try completing the installation on your own if you have the knowledge and skills. Although it will save some money, it is dangerous and illegal.
When you need a small electrical generator, the above method of installing a transfer switch is very easy. You can do it conveniently by utilizing any safety box. The above step can be very convenient. However, it is advised to get a professional electrician. Even though it helps to reduce the cost and is more affordable, there can be risky installations. Whatever you tend to do, it must be safe, professional, and legal.