The four terminal plug in the transfer switch I have has neutral, ground and two hot wires, labeled "X" and "Y" for the black and red wires in a four wire set up. This is for a very low amp cabin set up. I have a generator but it does not provide 220/240 volts. It seems in theory that I should be able to run 1/2 of my breaker panel by modifying a cord and running just one hot wire to one of the hot terminals in the 240 V. plug at the transfer switch. But I am mystified as to how this would actually be wired.

Any suggestions as to how this may be done or why it won't work? Other than get a 120V transfer switch or a 240 generator?

  • 1
    What is the model or type of transfer switch? I would only hook up 1 side or hot the neutral and ground move the 120v breakers to this leg this will prevent an unsafe condition if a 240v load is turned on.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


In principle Yes, but all your 220V loads won't work (as they are phase-phase and with this configuration will get 0V). You can connect the phase to both phase contacts and the neutral to it's place.

So I suggest you to turn off all the 220 switches in your fuse-box.

  • Translation: "phase" (European) = "hot" (North American).
    – Stanwood
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 13:09

Modification of the switch or connector wiring sets up a potential hazard for a future user or someone that uses the modified cord for another purpose. You are better off making it foolproof by purchasing a new generator or a new 120 Volt transfer switch. 120 volt switches are hard to find but ezgeneratorswitch.com makes them. Since each of these serves a single circuit, I have 2, one feeds the furnace and the other the refirgerator.

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