My panel is in my garage just outside the kitchen door. The ideal place for the new transfer switch. I want to put the plug for the generator outdoors where the generator will be running. Can the plug be located that far from the transfer switch itself if properly wired? That way I don't need to run a really long cable from the generator through the garage, up the stairs and into the switch itself. Is this possible and okay to do?

  • 2
    Please don’t buy one of those 6, 8 or 10 switch transfer switches. They are very expensive for what they are, cheaply built, badly designed and obsolete. We’ll recommend you into a true subpanel for generator loads, that will cost half as much, be top notch,and work MUCH better, including supporting any AFCI/GFCI you need now or in the future. It would help to have a photo of your existing panel and immediate area. Jul 9, 2020 at 2:44
  • What are you planning to use for a transfer switch and inlet box? Jul 9, 2020 at 2:48
  • 1
    I started using the interlock kits much cheaper less wiring, the major thing you have to turn off loads ie I don’t need my hot tub running when on generator power so I turn that breaker off they work great and are code compliant you still have the inlet and appropriately sized wire to your breaker that needs to be rated for back feeding , 3 small holes attach the lockout and it’s done. Cheapest way I know for a manual setup. Most panel manufacturers now have them and they are better in my opinion than those double throw switch for each circuit setups. The generator ground may need to be change
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 9, 2020 at 13:43
  • @EdBeal Wow, glad you like them too. I thought maybe some "purists" like you or Harp, or 3ph might object due to potential overloading and a bit more manual operation and expertise than a sub-panel with essential, but lower power circuits. I also hate the silly double throw switches. The only thing some of those panels have worthwhile is a watt meter showing power consumption. If desired, that could be accomplished easily with other equipment. Jul 10, 2020 at 0:59

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can run just about any length needed between the generator power inlet mounted on the side of your home to the transfer switch. Of course the wire / cable will need to be sized right for the generator and distance. Always a good idea to upsize the wiring in case you decided to go with a larger generator later.

Like @Harper-ReinstateMonica said, don't get one of those 6,8,10 xfer switches with the built in power inlet. Get a proper sub-panel with a interlock between the "power from utility" and the "power from generator" breakers. Then move the desired circuits to the new sub-panel. This type of panel is called a MTS (Manual Transfer Switch).

There is an other potential option that others here might disagree, depending upon the configuration and brand of your current panel. There are parts you can install on the main panel that created a mechanical interlock between utility power and gen power. There are pros and cons to going that route. Pro is it's a very inexpensive way to provide gen power to the entire home that is code compliant. Down side is you might not be able to free up the breaker space needed and 2) loading issues. You may have to turn off several heavier loads so as not to overload the generator.

Safest and best practice would be to install the MTS sub-panel and move the desired circuits to it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.