Connecting generators with a transfer switch make it possible to run electricity through your home while utility power is unavailable or simply unwanted. Not only will using a generator's power save you money (especially if you are generating free solar electricity), but a generator can also provide electricity during blackouts and emergencies.
Unfortunately, full home generators can be expensive, so many people try to cut costs wherever possible. When evaluating whether to add a transfer switch, materials and labor are likely to cost somewhere around $500. Knowing this, many people wonder how to connect a generator to a house without a transfer switch.
At Shop Solar Kits, we know our way around a generator and remain dedicated to educating our customers with the best information possible. In this quick guide, we explain how to connect a generator to a house without a transfer switch if there's an emergency.
WARNING: It is unsafe to connect a generator to a house without a transfer switch.
Before we get started, it is critical to understand that there is no safe way to connect a generator to a house without a transfer switch. Although it is technically possible (as we get into below), a transfer switch is necessary for the safety of yourself, your generator, your home, and your community.
Transfer switches may be expensive to purchase and install, but they are essential to run a home’s power with a solar generator for an extended period. Without the breakers and controls, generators connected to a home without a transfer switch can cause damage to the power lines and repairmen working outside, and they pose an indoor fire hazard.
Connecting a Generator to a House with an Interlocking Kit
Today, interlocking kits make it possible to connect a generator to a house without a transfer switch. Now, before you order an interlocking kit, there are a few important things to know:
- Permanent, non-permitted, interlocking systems connected to home generators violate most electric and building codes.
- Generators without a transfer switch are extremely limited in the appliances that they can power.
- You should only use interlocking kits in case of an emergency.
So, although it is possible to connect a generator to a home with an interlocking kit, this setup does not offer the same conveniences and capabilities as a professionally installed transfer switch. Plus, an unexpected visit from a code inspector could leave you with a hefty fine if they discover your make-shift generator power kit.
With all of this in mind, prolonged blackouts may still cause an emergency demand for electricity in the home. If medical devices turn off or food is spoiling in the fridge, you can use a temporary interlocking kit to transfer power from your generator to the wiring in your home.
What exactly is an interlocking kit?
An interlocking kit, also known as an interlock kit, is an affordable alternative to a transfer switch or electrical sub-panels. Interlocking kits make it possible to feed generator electricity to your home without back-feeding into the power grid.
Interlocking kits are legal in the United States if a licensed electrician approves the installation. Interlocking kits are available in a few shapes and sizes and must be purchased to fit specific panels. Some home electrical systems are not able to easily incorporate them.
How does an interlocking kit work?
Interlocking kits work by disconnecting the control panel and keeping the main power supply turned off while they are in use. You can then wire the kit to a generator, which acts as your home’s electrical supply instead of utility-fed energy. An interlocking kit mounts directly on your control panel, mechanically locking the breakers into a set position.
How to Connect Generator to Home without Transfer Switch
Without a transfer switch, you can connect a generator to a home using an interlocking device and the following steps:
Which is Better: a Transfer Switch or an Interlock?
Although they are cheaper and easier to install, we can confidently say that a transfer switch is a better long-term solution for connecting your generator to your home. Transfer switches are much safer and provide multiple breakers to optimize your home’s energy management.
No matter which method you choose, it is always best to consult an electrician before purchasing or installing any components for legal and safety reasons. Knowledgeable personnel can also help you correctly identify the right capacity devices for your electric demand.
Our Top 5 Solar Generators for Home Use
No matter how you connect it, an emergency backup power source is only as good as the generator behind it. For a massive amount of safe, indoor electricity, we recommend the following generators for home use.
With a ton of power and storage, the Titan Solar Power Generator is the most powerful fully electric generator on the market today. If you want to supplement your home’s power with a generator, the Titan can do everything a gas generator does without the noise, fumes, or ongoing fuel expenses.
Titan Solar Generator Specs:
- Battery: 2000wH Lithium-Ion
- Inverter: 3000W / 7700W Surge
- 2 MPPT Charge Controllers
- Charging Options: Solar panels, AC, & DC
- Outputs: 6 AC wall outlets, 4 DC (12V) ports, 1 RV Plug (30amp), and 8 total USB ports
- Shelf Life: 3-6 Months
- 2-Year Warranty
- Weight: ~35 lbs (plus batteries)
Titan Solar Generator Pros:
The Titan comes with enough inverter and battery capacity to run all of the devices in a home for a long period. By supplying electricity to your control panel through the Titan, you can power fridges, AC units, CPAP machines, and more for hours on end without a problem.
That's not all. You can charge the Titan’s modular battery packs and swap fresh ones in for an endless supply of power. With two MPPT charge controllers built-in (yes, two!), a few solar panels can ensure that you are never without power in your home again.
Titan Solar Generator Cons:
Despite its life-saving potential, the Titan solar generator does have a few downsides. For one, it is very expensive. Although solar energy is free (with solar panels), the Titan’s upfront costs make it difficult for many emergency power-seekers to obtain.
Aside from the expense, the Titan is also hindered by its weight. However, for those simply using the Titan as a full home backup source of power (with or without a transfer switch), this is rarely an issue.
What Can the Titan Solar Generator Actually Power? (per battery pack)
|Smartphones (5-7 watts)||330+ hours|
|Tablets (25-40 watts)||66+ hours|
|Laptops (50 watts)||40+ hours|
|Electric Blanket (Queen Size, 75 watts)||26+ hours|
|50" LED LCD TV* (65 watts)||30 hours|
|Refrigerator (55 watts)||36+ hours|
|Chainable USB LED Lights (6 watts)||330+ hours|
|CPAP Machine (30 watts)||66+ hours|
The EcoFlow Delta is a strong runner-up and a great generator to use with an emergency interlocking kit. The Delta is one of the best-selling solar generators on the market, best known for its revolutionary two-hour AC charge time.
EcoFlow Delta 1800W / 1300wH Solar Generator Specs:
- [Newest Model]: DELTA 1800
- [100% More Battery Capacity]: 1260Wh (350Ah,3.7V)
- [Compact Design] Dimensions: 15.7 x 8.3 x 10.6in (40 x 21 x 27cm)
- [Light Weight]: 30.9lbs (14kg)
- [Works in all Weather] Charge Temperature: 32-113℉ (0-45℃)
- [Discharge In Freezing Temperatures]: -4 -113℉ (-20-45℃)
- [Testing and Certifications]: UL, CE, FCC, RoHS, PSE
- [Cell Chemistry]: Lithium-ion
- [Shelf Life]: 1 Year (after fully charged)
What Can the EcoFlow Delta 1800 Actually Power?
|Large Fridge||15-18+ Hours|
|Lights (10W)||36+ Hours|
|Coffee Maker||50+ Cups|
|Circular Saw||1+ Hours|
|Electric Vehicle||3-5 miles (5-8 km)|
|CPAP Machine||20+ Hours|
|Air Conditioning||0.8+ Hours|
|Electric Blanket||25+ Hours|
EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator Pros:
With the EcoFlow Delta, users can almost instantly charge the battery with traditional AC power. Once at capacity, the 1260Wh of electricity can be safely stowed away for up to a year, three to six months longer than most other portable battery packs.
Aside from its capabilities as a backup source of power, the Delta is also lightweight, reliable, and affordable compared to other options, making it incredibly easy to bring power wherever needed.
EcoFlow Delta Solar Generator Cons:
Unfortunately, the EcoFlow Delta has a continuous output capacity of 1800W, which is a bit limiting when considering large home appliances. Although this should not factor in when using a quick interlock fix, those who plan to invest in a safe transfer switch may want some extra capacity to run heating and cooling systems alongside high-demand electronics.
Next, the Bluetti AC200P solar generator is a sleek, high-capacity option for partial-home power. Although the device is actually black, the AC200P still comes with all of the premium Blueetti features for which the brand is known.
Bluetti AC200P Solar Generator Specs:
- 2,000wh High Capacity Lithium Battery (LiFePO4)
- 2000W Inverter for Continuous AC Power
- 6 x AC (Wall) Outlets
- 1 x 60W PD 2.0 USB-C
- 4 x 5V/3A USB-A
- 1 x PV 35-150V/12A
- 1 x 12V/25A Output
- LG premium electric-vehicle battery cell
- 3500+ Charge Cycles
- MPPT Charge Controller
- 2*15W Wireless charging pads
- Intelligent temperature-controlled cooling fan
- Smart touchable LCD control panel
- 24-Month Warranty
Bluetti AC200P Solar Generator Pros:
More than anything, the Bluetti AC200P’s 3500 charge cycles make it one of the longest-lasting generators on the market today, which is especially true when considering how long it takes to drain the massive 2,000Wh battery with each use.
With the 2000W inverter included standard, the Bluetti AC200P can provide more than enough power to run refrigerators, lights, and medical devices in the event of a blackout.
Bluetti AC200P Solar Generator Cons:
As a full home backup system, the Bluetti AC200P is only limited by its weight and expense. With a transfer switch or interlocking kit, you won't need to move this 55-lbs device much, but consumers should be prepared if that is necessary.
What Can the Bluetti AC200P Actually Power?
|A cell phone (6 W)||250+ Hours|
|Light (10 W)||150+ Hours|
|GoPro (18 W)||90+ Hours|
|Camera (25 W)||60+ Hours|
|Laptop (50 W)||30+ Hours|
|CPAP Machine (60 W)||25+ Hours|
|Flat Screen TV (110 W)||13+ Hours|
|Large Fridge (150 W)||10+ Hours|
|Coffee Maker (600 W)||2+ Hours|
|Electric Grill (1650 W)||About 1 Hour|
Next, you can use the Lion Safari ME Solar Generator to power a home or a campsite, all on the same day. This modular, versatile device can shed its battery for lightweight performance while still being able to supply massive amounts of electricity.
Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Specs:
- Input: AC [Standard Wall Plugs]: 2 (Easily split these with a surge protector or solar panel extension cable)
- Output: USB: 2 USB-A & 2 USB-C
- Rated Battery Capacity: 922wH + 2,048wH = 2,970 watt hours
- Battery Type: Lithium
- Inverter: 2000 Watt Continuous / 4000 Watt Surge - Pure Sine
- Fastest Solar Recharge Time: Under 2 hours
- Lifecycles: 2,000
Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Pros:
Despite its compact design, the Lion Safari ME packs in a 2000W continuous inverter powerful enough to run all of your home’s essentials. When you attach one battery pack, the ME system soars to nearly 3,000 Wh of capacity, enough to last most blackouts without a recharge. Plus, the fast solar charging only makes the ME more capable of meeting ongoing electrical demand.
Lion Safari ME Cons:
Like other high-powered generators, its weight limits the Safari ME (80 lbs with a battery pack). While connected with a transfer switch, keep a few batteries on hand, which may get annoying to replace. But, you can detach the main unit itself and take it wherever you need power.
What Can The Lion Safari ME Solar Generator Gold Kit Actually Power?
|Full Size Fridge (120W)||25+ Hours|
|Phone Charging (5W)||Charge up to 200+ times|
|Laptop Charging (56W)||Charge up to 50+ times|
|55" LCD T.V (75W)||38+ Hours|
|LED Reading Lamp (4W)||720+ Hours|
|Hot Plate (500W)||5.8+ Hours|
|Air Conditioner (500W)||5.8+ Hours|
|House Fan - (50W)||60+ Hours|
|Microwave - (1k)||3+ Hours|
|Electric Blanket (50W)||60+ Hours|
|CPAP Machine (90W)||28+ Hours|
Lastly, we’d like to feature the Bluetti EB240 as a great, affordable, and reliable generator, perfect for house connections without a transfer switch. The EB240 has been tried and tested as one of the most popular solar generators in the last few years.
Bluetti EB240 Solar Generator Specs:
- Battery Capacity: 2400Wh (Watt Hours)
- Battery Chemistry: LG Li-ion battery cells (Lithium)
- AC Input: 7.9 x 0.9mm DC, 42V/160W (Wall Charger)
- Open Circuit Voltage: 16V~60V /Max. 10A (For Solar Panel Charging)
- AC Output: 110V, Max. 1000 Watts (Pure Sine Inverter)
- CarPort (Cigarette Lighter): DC 12V/9A
- USB Ports: 1 x 45W USB-C (5-20V) & 4 x 5V, 3A USB-A
- Solar Charge Input/Mode: MPPT Charge Controller
- Efficiency: 99.5%
- Exact Size of Generator (Dimensions): 19.4 x 6.5 x 14.4 inches
- Weight: 48.5lb
- Warranty: 2 years
Bluetti EB240 Solar Generator Pros:
There are many great things about the EB240, including its price, weight, efficiency, and massive battery capacity. With tons of storage in a compact design, the Bluetti is usually best carried around the house rather than hooked up to the main control panel.
Bluetti EB240 Solar Generator Cons:
Painfully, the EB240 is limited by its 1000W continuous inverter. While 1000W is plenty of power to run lights and small medical devices, an investment in this generator may mean sacrificing running air conditioning or heating systems during a blackout.
What Can the Bluetti EB240 Solar Generator Actually Power?
|Fridge/Freezer (100 watts)||24+ hours|
|50" TV (65 watts)||37 hours|
|LED Lights (6 watts)||400 hours|
|House Fan (50 watts)||48 hours|
|Smartphones (5-7 watts)||400+ hours|
|Tablets (25-40 watts)||80+ hours|
|Laptops (50 watts)||48+ hours|
|Electric Blanket (Queen Size, 75 watts)||32 hours|
|CPAP Machine (30 watts)||80+ hours|
Again, we do not recommend connecting any type of generator to your home without a transfer switch. Consult a licensed electrician for installation and setup.
If you still have questions, don't hesitate to reach out or give us a call at 877-242-2792