There are many reasons for getting generators. First, they are reliable secondary sources of energy in the unfortunate case of a power outage, and second of all, they can supplement heavy-usage electrical needs. Perhaps you even have one as a standby source to help survive during rainstorms and harsh weather conditions. Whatever the reason, generators save us a great deal.
With numerous companies and homes relying on electricity for performance; appliances, machinery, lighting, and the use of devices that have come to be part of our natural system like mobile phones, losing power can be terrible, cause innumerable company losses or plain psychological distress. This is why changeless whole house generators are so popular, with the overreliance of electronic gadgets at its peak.
To further optimize these generators for proper utilization are Transfer Switches. When purchasing a generator, it is of dire importance to get a transfer switch for a myriad of reasons, which will be discussed here. This, however, does not mean that you should stay powerless in the event of a blackout! This article will show you how to connect a generator to your house even without the transfer switch.
Firsts things First, What is a Transfer Switch?
It is a device that can either be automated or manual, meant to transfer electrical load between two sources, and gets triggered when one of the sources gains or loses electrical power. Consider this scenario:
Power is required for the operation of all home appliances. Without this, your organization and home shut down. When the power goes out, therefore, we turn to generators for energy. Instead of getting power from the main electrical cable for the supplier, we draw it from the generator. When the power is back on again, you will need to then switch back to the main cable from your supplier in order to save energy from the generator which is exhaustible. When changing the two sources, one has to be careful to avoid power from the generator from traveling out into the primary line as it poses an extreme risk. This is the purpose of a generator switch. It basically comes with an off and on position to allow users to switch between the two sources of power, the generator, and the main power supply organization. It ensures total switching out of current before changes are made to prevent incorrect electrical flow which could be fatal.
If you're looking for a less complex and safe process, get a generator that comes with a transfer switch. One of these is the Ai Power SUA12000EC Gas Powered Generator as well as the SIMPSON SPG7593E Portable Gas Generator, both of which are affordable, reliable, function efficiently, and can be gotten on Amazon!
Reasons to get a Transfer Switch:
Transfer switches offer many advantages as previously mentioned. Some of these include:
• They ensure safe and proper generator utilization, hence preventing its damage. In fact, in many places where generators are popular, they are required in conjunction with the generator package.
• They are nowadays automated therefore do not cut off electrical flow to your office, home, or organization. If you were, for example, typing on a desktop, even when the power from the mainline comes back, you still continue with the urgent documents without any disruption, making them reliable and convenient.
• Offer extreme comfort to the user. No need to stop whatever you're doing to address the issue, you probably won't even notice the power outage until the generator roars or stops roaring.
Now that we mentioned the manual and automated Transfer Switches, here are their differences:
A manual transfer switch requires an operator to switch on when there is a power outage and off when the power resumes back. In the automatic transfer switch which is commonly known as ATS, however, the switch is usually programmed to detect when the power goes out after which it automatically draws power from the generator as a temporary source of electrical energy.
While manual switches are cheaper, the Automatic Transfer Switches tend to be more comfortable, reliable, and save time, which is definitely precious, to say the least.
The manual ones come in smaller sizes, are easy to install, and have a minimal cost of design and fabrication. The ATS on the other hand normally requires an expert to install.
When choosing between the two, these factors will help you make the appropriate decision based on your budget. In an organization, however, when a constant power supply is critical for the business's profitability, it is imperative that you choose the Automated Transfer Switches which are actually popular in hospitals, universities, research centers, and large corporate organizations.
Whether manual or automatic, one thing is certain, transfer switches can be quite expensive, exceeding most people's budgets. With this said, here's' how to safely connect your generator without the transfer switch:
How to Use a Generator without a Transfer Switch:
It involves getting all the necessary materials and tools to hasten the process of connection. The right equipment also protects you from shock. With everything at arms stretch, you are already halfway through this complex process.
The first one is an interlock kit/ hook up box. You have to ensure this matches your generator's model for compatibility. Its purpose is to connect the generator to the wiring without the presence of a transfer switch. These kits, unlike the transfer switches, are affordable and readily available. Second, you'll need a breaker, our recommendation being the 30amp two-pole double breaker, available on Amazon, which will suit most generators. Finally, you'll need wires, which goes without saying. The wires are used as interlinks when building up the connection. Get multi-colored ones to prevent confusion, and ensure to get at least 3 different sets, those that are 10ft long and are 10 gauge wires. Additional working tools include pliers, wrenches, chisels, huge-bit drills, electric gears, and screwdrivers.
Safety Tip: You'll do well with a pair of gloves to protect you from any shock which could be fatal. Protective eyewear and boots will also be pluses, to ensure you're safe from electrocution.
Step 2: Wiring the System
We'll discuss two major steps, the first being the Wiring the generator system method, and as such, here are the bulleted steps:
• You need to identify the appliances that you need to use in the event of a blackout. In a domestic home, these may be the lighting system, fridge, fans, and TV. In an organization, they may be production machines, computers, and lighting. Generators will indicate the amount of power they can provide in a period of 12 hrs, so identify the necessary appliances with this in mind.
• Assses the energy required for all the uses you have listed down as essential in the event of a blackout. A TV, for example, will typically use about 900 watts, freezers use approximately 1500 watts, lighting system uses about 150 watts, and microwaves about 1500 watts. After knowing all of them, add them to identify the total amount of electrical energy required for your home.
• Look up the appropriate wiring system to use for your home. This is done by contacting legal frameworks to understand which type of wiring is required for your area or simply contacting an electrician with the knowledge of wattage in mind. The power supply power company could also assist in giving accurate advice. Note that different countries, states, and cities may require different wires.
• Installation of the Inlet Hook Up Box as an interconnection. These are usually installed outside the building and will recess male connectors since they usually stick out. From here, they are then interlinked with the panel system installed inside the building. Remember to hire an expert for this to ensure that it is properly done, to be safe and up to code. It is also good to be familiar with instructions in case of electrocution or injury, to offer first aid services. You also need to comply with state specialists to prevent being on the wrong side of the law. Though the system seems tedious, it is rightfully so, since electricity poses a huge risk, the worst being fire hazards and fatalities. This explains why the law is heavily involved. Do not connect the generator to the washing machine, dryer, or breaker box without a switch transfer.
• Finally, have an expert to inspect the set up especially if you conducted a DIY installation process to avoid faulty wiring and other errors.
Step 3: Plugging the generator in:
• First, ensure that the generator and its cables are placed in a location far from the building. This is a safety precaution that revets carbon monoxide poisoning in the case of incomplete burning by the generator as well as the prevention of a fire hazard when the generator starts acting up. In most buildings, in fact, you'll identify a generator house located a few meters from the main buildings, and in it, a comprehensive fire extinguishing system.
• After ensuring that the generator model matches the generator's hookup box, maneuver the generator's end codes to match the hookup prongs then plug the generator in. Sometimes you may be forced to turn all the plug connections to about 15 degrees for the connection to be complete.
• The generator normally comes with a cable that you will now use to connect to your house or organization's building. Simply plug it in then check the voltage as per your specifications in step 1.
• Check to ensure that there is enough oil in the engine then make sure it is at a throttle position. Depending on the place you live in, note that you may be required to preheat the engine oil to thaw it.
• With this now, ignite the engine as per the generator's manufacturer's instructions.
• Go to the circuit breakers which we originally mentioned and flip the breaker to cut off the utility main, just like in the event of a blackout, after which you should then switch on your generator's main. This is manual switching of the system which is what transfer switches do.
• Flip the two systems; main supply and generator using the system breakers slowly to test their efficiency.
• Finally, reset the system by return your main utility power.
This process might seem complex, but in actual sense, it is just a simple process with intricate details. With the right concentration, keenness, and equipment, following these steps could be a walk in the park. Remember to only use the process when using generators without transfer kits. Also, be on the right side of the law to avoid legal problems later, and last but definitely not least, electricity is dangerous, observe safety precautions!