Many people’s disaster preparation plans include a generator as a key component.
(Perhaps you have a fun charcoal or multi-fuel generator.) Many people, on the other hand, neglect to consider how they will power the devices they wish to operate when the power goes out.
My family was without electricity for ten days in June of 2012.
It was an eye-opener.
The temperature reached 100 degrees throughout the day, amid heavy rain showers.
To keep my basement dry, I had to operate a sump pump, a refrigerator, and a freezer for food preservation, as well as a portable AC unit in the living room to protect my newborn, charge phones, and turn on the wifi connection.
I had electricity wires all over the place.
It was a hassle.
I resolved to discover a better method right then and there.
A generator transfer switch is the legal and authorized technique to use an emergency generator to power your house.
Automatic, manual transfer sub panels, and breaker interlocks are the three basic kinds.
Each one differs in terms of complexity, advantages, and cost.
When a power outage occurs, automated transfer switches will activate your backup generator and automatically shift your load to the generator.
These are fantastic, but they are highly costly and need the use of a full-time dedicated backup generator.
Subpanel switches for manual transmission are an excellent alternative.
They are less costly (starting about $300) than automatic transfer switches and may be utilized with a portable generator.
They usually only cover a few breakers, which I found to be inconvenient.
I went with the Breaker Interlock option.
It complies with the National Electric Code and is, in my view, the most cost-effective and versatile alternative.
The total cost of my setup was little around $150.
You utilize a breaker to activate your existing breaker box in this design.
It’s simple and safe to turn it on.
My wife completed an independent dry run in less than 5 minutes, which included removing the generator from the structure.
We’ve found the breaker interlock mechanism to be really useful.
We can switch on overhead lights, wash clothes, keep food cold, charge our phones, access the internet, and much more while keeping our doors and windows shut and avoiding extension cable tripping hazards!
I’m not a licensed electrician.
I feel these instructions are valid and appropriate for my area after significant consultation and oversight from a certified 25-year Master Electrician.
Electrical codes differ from one location to the next.
Homeowners in my neighborhood are permitted to handle their own electrical work as long as it is up to code.
You are liable for any code violations, permits, or other fantastic good things that arises as a result of working on this project.
Table of Contents
- Step 1: Do Not Do This.
- Step 2: Determine the Type and Amperage of Your Generator Plug
- Step 3: Gathering Materials
- Step 4: Drill (or Find) an Access Hole
- Step 5: Attach The Power Inlet Box To The Wall.
- Step 6: Glue Conduit and Check Fit
- Step 7: Connect the Generator Inlet Plug to the Power Source
- Step 8: Insert The Wires.
- Step 9: Wire Breaker Box Preparation
- Step 10: Make Breaker Space Available
- Step 11: Install the Generator Breaker and Wires
- Step 12: Install the Breaker Retainer
- Step 13: Install the Inter Lock on the Panel Cover
- Step 14: Operation
- How To Wire A Generator To A Breaker Box Videos Suggestions From Youtube
Step 1: Do Not Do This.
During a power outage, I’ve heard and even witnessed folks utilize a double male plug to recharge their home.
This is quite risky.
- It’s a breach of the electrical code.
- In most areas, it is prohibited.
- It’s a potential fire threat. The power generated by your generator is usually larger than the receptacle, wire, and breaker’s ratings.
- If you don’t disconnect your main breaker, the electricity company lineman may get shocked, and you may be sued.
- Because the male plug prongs are visible, you might easily get shocked.
Step 2: Determine the Type and Amperage of Your Generator Plug
You must first determine the sort of amperage and plug type we are using.
This should only be done on a generator with a large circular plug.
This will give 220V and power both sides of your breaker box in the United States.
The amperage will be posted near the plug.
Mine is an L-14-30, which is rated at 30 amps.
The most popular sizes are listed below for your convenience:
- 20 amp Nema L14-20
- 30 amp Nema L14-30
- 50 amp Nema CS6365
Step 3: Gathering Materials
Assemble your materials.
For the sake of this project, we’ll assume your generator has a 30 amp socket, similar to the one depicted. Please change your supplies if you have a different one.
Interlocking breaker kit Purchase a UL-listed gadget that fits your breaker box.
These have all been tried and shown to work.
The UL rating is required by many insurance firms and states.
Breaker with two poles and a capacity of 30 amps.
You’ll have to purchase one that suits your breaker box once again.
Breakers aren’t all the same.
I got 10 feet of black, red, green, and white 10 gauge wire.
Inlet box with 30 amps of electricity.
Electrical conduit and fittings (Schedule 40)
Body of the conduit
Glue for conduits
Non-Metallic Flexible Conduit and Fittings (optional)
Extension cable for a 30 amp generator. (Find an extension cable for (your plug type) on Amazon.)
Take note of how the amperage levels are all the same.
You’ll need a 50 amp breaker, a 50 amp power input box, a 50 amp extension cable, and 8 gauge wire if your generator has a 50 amp output.
Step 4: Drill (or Find) an Access Hole
Drill once after measuring five times.
In the foundation of my home, there was an old conduit hole.
The majority of folks will have to drill one.
A hammer drill comes in in while making one.
As much as possible, get the conduit hole as near to the panel as possible.
Step 5: Attach The Power Inlet Box To The Wall.
Remove the power inlet box’s front cover.
Attach the PVC fitting after removing a knock out.
As you can see, I chose the watertight connection.
Glue works just as well.
Mount the power inlet box to the wall using tapcons.
Step 6: Glue Conduit and Check Fit
Cut the conduit to length using a hacksaw.
Don’t glue anything down until you’re sure it’ll fit.
Once you’re happy with it, glue it down.
Step 7: Connect the Generator Inlet Plug to the Power Source
We may begin working on the wiring after the adhesive has dried.
Remove the conduit body’s cover.
Pull the wires through one by one, securing them to the socket along the way.
About 3/4 of an inch of insulation should be removed.
Tighten the terminals with a broad flat screwdriver or a nut driver.
Green – Connects the power input box to the ground.
White is the most common color, and the W terminal is the most common.
Load – either X or Y terminal in black and red.
Step 8: Insert The Wires.
Push the wires inside the home one by one via the conduit.
Replace the conduit body cover and inspect the gasket for good fit.
Silicone or expanding foam should be used to fill any gaps between your conduit and the home.
Step 9: Wire Breaker Box Preparation
Turn off the main power breaker and any branch breakers.
Remove the four screws from the front panel of the breaker box.
Remove one knockout and replace it with a conduit adapter, or in my case, a blue nonmetallic conduit adapter.
Pull cables into the box via conduit.
Step 10: Make Breaker Space Available
The breaker interlock approach necessitates the availability of the top and rightmost breaker spaces.
In most cases, a breaker or two will need to be moved down.
In most cases, there will be enough extra wire to shift things about a little.
You may use a small length of insulated wire and a wire nut if you don’t have enough area and your breaker is 30 amps or less.
DO NOT use copper and aluminum wire in the same nut.
Over time, they will deteriorate.
A wire splice may be found at your local home improvement shop.
Step 11: Install the Generator Breaker and Wires
Install your new breaker in the empty spot in the breaker box’s top right corner.
The red wire connects to one of the breaker’s terminals, while the black connects to the other.
The white wire connects to the box’s common bond rail.
The ground rail is served by the green wire.
Note: In a two-wire house, such as mine, there is no third ground wire in the outlet box or the outlets.
In my jurisdiction, connecting the green ground wire to an open common terminal is permissible.
The ground wire at the output should not be used for the common.
Step 12: Install the Breaker Retainer
It’s now time to stop that breaker from moving.
Place the retaining bracket in place.
Between the main breakers and the 30 amp breaker, I found my retaining bolt.
Step 13: Install the Inter Lock on the Panel Cover
Use the template supplied on the back of the cover.
Drill the holes first, then complete with the bit size specified in the instructions.
Install the sliding interlock bolts after flipping the panel back over.
Replace the panel with all of the breakers turned off.
Turn the generator breaker to the on position with the main breaker off.
Make sure the interlock can be turned on.
It’s possible that the panel cover will need to be moved.
Drop the slide so it can’t be switched on and turn the generator breaker to the off position.
Check to see whether the Main can be switched on.
If it doesn’t fit, adjust the panel cover.
If it does, switch on the breakers one at a time, with a 5 second interval between them.
The startup burden will be distributed as a result of this.
Decal your breaker box and the exterior service box using the decals that came with your kit.
Step 14: Operation
It’s time to do a load test! These instructions should be written down and stored in your breaker box.
- Check for a power outage.
- Place the generator 15 feet away from your house, with the exhaust directed away from open windows and doors.
- Start the generator and make sure it’s running at a typical pace.
- With an inside push and a gentle clockwise rotation, connect the generator extension cable to the generator.
- With an inside push and a gentle clockwise rotation, connect the extension cable to the house power input box.
- Turn off all the breakers in the breaker box.
- Turn off the main breaker.
- Slide the interlock up to reveal the generator breaker’s on position – turn the generator breaker on.
- Turn on chosen breakers one at a time, with a 5 second wait between them, to ensure the generator can handle the load.
If your generator isn’t up to the task, don’t use the air conditioning, hot water heater, or stove.
You can operate a lot off of 30 amps after you get beyond the first startup load.
Sequence for powering down:
- All branch breakers should be turned off.
- Disconnect the generator’s breaker.
- Slide the generator interlock down to reveal the main breaker’s on position; turn the main breaker on.
- Turn on branch breakers one at a time, waiting 5 seconds between each one, until they’re all turned back on.
- Turn off the generator and let it cool.
- Remove the extension cable from the generator.
Take pleasure in your setup.
It has shown to be really beneficial to us.
We’ll be able to turn on the lights, wash our clothes, and keep our foo.