A Homeowner’s Guide to the Generator Interlock Kit
A generator interlock device gives homeowners greater control during frustrating power outages.
With a few simple steps, you can easily power essential appliances and electronic devices, including your internet router, hot water heater, refrigerator, and stove. An interlock device can also help save lives by preventing electrical backfeeding on power lines connected to your home.
Keep reading for answers to questions our team frequently receives about generator interlock kits.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a generator interlock kit?
The generator interlock kit contains several parts, the most important being the interlock switch.
This device is installed in your electrical panel. When switched on, it prevents your portable generator and the main electrical grid from powering your electrical panel simultaneously.
This switch solves two potential problems:
- Your expensive appliances and electronics are protected from an electrical surge when your main power is restored.
- Electrical workers are better protected because electricity from your home is unable to back-feed on the powerlines.
Using an interlock kit also makes it easier for you to power what you want during an outage, including ceiling fans and other appliances that are hard-wired into your home.
What are the benefits of a generator interlock kit?
The generator interlock kit gives homeowners greater security and peace of mind during a power outage.
Forget digging out heavy extension cords and plugging in individual devices. An interlock switch gives you easy access to almost every electrically powered device in your home with a few simple steps.
Also, the cost of an interlock kit installation is a fraction of the cost of having a permanent transfer switch installed.
Where does a generator interlock kit get installed?
The generator interlock switch is installed in the main electrical box. This could be near the utility meter or your main breaker box.
The receptacle to plug your generator into is installed next to the meter or at an outdoor location of your choosing.
Who installs the generator interlock kit?
All work is handled in-house with no sub-contractors. Taddeo Electrical Contractors, Inc. will be there from start to finish and then some.
How soon can I get a generator interlock kit installed?
Each county determines the timeline. Typical appointment times take roughly one month, depending on how soon an electrical county permit can be obtained.
The installation itself may take up to a few hours.
Once your generator interlock kit has been installed, take some time to review how to use it so you are prepared in case of a power outage.
How do I safely use my generator interlock kit?
To begin using your interlock, there are a few things you need to know:
- Key parts of your electric panel
- How to use your interlock switch
- Tips to avoid overloading your generator
Get to know the main parts of your generator interlock kit and electrical service panel.
To use your interlock switch, you need to identify three essential parts of your electrical panel.
- The interlock device
- The breaker for your generator
- The main circuit breaker
Also, be sure that you know where the outdoor outlet is for your generator.
Follow these steps to use your interlock device during a power outage:
To connect your generator and power your home, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Plug your portable generator into the outdoor receptacle.
Step 2: Turn off all the breakers in your main electrical panel, including the main breaker.
Step 3: Slide the interlock plate into the generator position.
Step 4: Turn on the generator breaker.
Step 5: Turn on your portable generator.
Step 6: Wait one or two minutes for the generator to fully power up, then slowly turn on each circuit breaker you wish to use.
Transfer your home back to the main power by completing these steps in reverse.
Begin with turning off the circuits that have been switched on. End with unplugging and storing your generator.
Avoid overloading your generator by keeping track of which appliances you are using.
Now that your generator is connected directly to your electrical panel, you can easily power almost anything in your home.
However, you will likely be unable to power everything simultaneously without overloading your generator. Carefully choose which items need to receive power, and turn off any you are not using.
The capacity of your generator will determine how many appliances and electronics you can power at one time.
For example, if your generator’s capacity is 6,000 watts, you could potentially power your fridge, sump pump, microwave, and stove. However, to use your toaster oven, you would need to ensure no one uses the microwave at the same time.
Most appliances list their wattage. If you’re unsure, there are many charts available online that list the average wattage of common home appliances and electronics.
Generator Interlock Installation
Powering your home during a power outage doesn’t have to be complicated.
Give the Taddeo Electric team a call to schedule your free estimate for a generator interlock installation.