What is a Backup Generator Interlock Kit?

 

Are you prepared if the power goes out during a storm this hurricane season? While a portable backup generator is a great solution to power your must-have appliances like the refrigerator or HVAC system, there is a pressing question that needs answering: How do you get power to these important appliances? 

 

With a generator interlock kit of course! This device allows you to use power from your generator to power the branch circuit breakers in your home when the power goes out.  

 

Our team at Integrity Home Solutions explains what exactly a generator interlock kit is and how it works during a power outage. Ready? Let’s go!  

Powering Your Home with Backup Power  

 

A generator is a crucial device to have during hurricane season, especially if the electricity is out for more than a few hours. While there are whole-house backup generators available on the market, today we are going to focus on portable generators.  

 

These smaller gasoline-powered generators are useful to provide electricity to certain areas of your home when the power is out. There are three ways to connect a portable generator to your home’s electrical circuits including: 

 

  • Extension cords: If you only need to power a couple of appliances like your refrigerator or a window HVAC unit, you can plug them into the portable generator’s power outlets with an extension cord.  
  • Transfer switches: Essentially, a transfer switch allows you to connect to backup power by connecting your generator directly to your house’s electrical circuits. With a transfer switch, a separate electrical panel prevents electrical back feeding once the main power is restored.  
  • Generator interlock kit: A generator interlock kit allows you to use power from your portable generator while keeping the main power off. By interlocking your home’s breakers, you will ensure that your generator does not send power to the utility grid while it is running.  

Why Choose an Interlock Kit?  

 

When a generator interlock kit is properly installed by a licensed electrician, it prevents the generator circuit breaker and the main circuit breaker from being used at the same time. It is a safe and cost-effective way to ensure that your family is safe during a power outage.  

 

An interlock kit allows for all of the panel’s circuits to be used,  

up to the capacity of your portable generator.  

 

Different from a transfer switch, which only allows a few circuits to be operated at a time, an interlock kit allows for greater flexibility when the power goes out. Plus, they can be directly installed into your home’s breaker panel, making them easier to find and operate during an emergency.  

 

Backup power is crucial, especially during hurricane season. Keep your family safe and comfortable and call our electricians at Integrity Home Solutions at 813-473-6007! to install a generator interlock kit ASAP!  

 

Are Generator Interlock Kits Safe?  

 

When you have a generator interlock kit installed by our team at Integrity Home Solutions, you eliminate the danger of back-feeding power into the main grid from your generator as it prevents them from being used at the same time.  

 

This can also be accomplished with a transfer switch, but a generator interlock kit is more cost-effective and easier to install.  

 

Power’s Out: Using a Generator Interlock Kit 

 

Once your generator interlock kit is installed, its operation is simple and foolproof.  

 

  • #1. When the power goes out, simply go to the circuit breaker and make sure that the main breaker is in the “OFF” position 
  • #2. Turn all circuits to the “OFF” position 
  • #3. Slide the Interlock plate up (may be down in some kits) 
  • #4. Connect and start your portable generator  
  • #5. Turn the generator breaker to the “ON” position 
  • #6. Turn on each circuit one at a time. Allow your appliances to start before turning on the next circuit 

 

Note: Large electrical loads like water heaters, dryers, and microwaves may not be able to be used at the same time. Plan accordingly.  

 

Related Reading > How to Protect Your HVAC System from Hurricane Damage  

Reliable Backup Power  

 

This hurricane season, don’t leave your backup power to chance. Call on our team at Integrity Home Solutions to install a generator interlock kit so you can safely power your home with your portable generator if the power goes out. 

 

Trust the experts at Integrity Home Solutions for reliable backup power solutions. Don’t wait for a forecasted storm, call us TODAY for a quote; 813-473-6007!       

 

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