Getting a backup generator interlock kit installed in your home can save you a lot of trouble in the event of a natural disaster. However, many homeowners are unaware that they need a backup generator interlock installed. In fact, there are two different types of backup generator interlocks: mechanical and automatic. Regardless of the type of backup generator interlock you choose, here are a few key things to keep in mind.
Back-to-back generator interlock kits
Several jurisdictions in the United States require generator interlock kits to be installed. They prevent the power generated by the generator from feeding back into the main power grid. This can be very dangerous for the people working on the power lines.
There are two main types of generator interlock kits: the mechanical and the manual. The mechanical type is easier to install and requires less wiring. However, it does not prevent overloading.
The manual type works just like the mechanical type, but requires you to manually turn each individual circuit on. You can do this by using a double-stick pad. The kit also comes with labels and a drill bit.
These kits work by preventing the main breaker from being turned on at the same time as the generator breaker. The interlock will also alert you if the utility power returns.
Some interlock kits are even more efficient than a transfer switch. They are designed to work with larger generators. The interlock will also make sure that you are not overloading the generator.
If you are unsure about which type of generator interlock kit is best for you, consult a local electrician. This will ensure that you are installing the correct one for your home.
During a power outage, a mechanical backup generator interlock is an electrical device that prevents backfeeding of power into the power lines. It can be installed on the front of a home’s breaker panel, and is designed to safely power a home with a portable generator. It is a cost-effective alternative to a transfer switch.
Installing a generator interlock is a do-it-yourself project that involves making modifications to the electrical panel. These modifications may include removing or adding spaces for circuit breakers, installing new hardware, or changing the existing breaker panel.
Some models come with a switch that will alert you when utility power returns. The switch can also be used to help control the load. An automatic transfer switch can also monitor the line for surges and switch power source automatically.
Some jurisdictions require a professional electrician to install an interlock kit. If you’re installing one yourself, read the manual thoroughly before attempting the task.
The standard interlock kit costs around $50. You’ll need to remove the cover from your existing breaker panel, drill holes, and then install the kit. The cover is typically held on with bolt-head screws. Avoid touching bare wires, as this may cause unsafe electrical connections.
Automatic transfer switch
Using an automatic transfer switch for your backup generator can keep your system safe and secure. These devices automatically switch to the backup generator when the mains fail. They are a necessity in buildings that have backup generators installed.
There are two main types of transfer switches available. These include manual and automatic. Both types have advantages and disadvantages. Manual transfer panels require a person to switch them on and off every time the mains fail.
An automatic transfer switch uses a microprocessor to constantly monitor electrical signals. It then measures the voltage and frequency, and determines whether the incoming power supply is stable. When the power is restored, the transfer switch reverses to turn on the generator.
Automatic transfer switches are a good investment, and can save time and money. However, they are not for everyone. In certain applications, manual transfer panels are a better choice. You can save up to $500 by installing a manual transfer switch.
An automatic transfer switch for your backup generator will save you time and money, but there are other factors to consider. Some of these include the duration of outages and the electrical load. You should also consult your building code enforcement office.