Below is a video on How To Install A Generator Interlock Kit
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Today we will be showing you how to install a generator interlock kit or a manual lockout kit on an Eaton electrical panel. What this allows you to do is back feed the entire main panel from a generator and use it kind of like a transfer switch. You can backfeed the entire panel as this bracket makes it legal do as it makes you shut the main breaker off before you turn on the backfeeding breaker and then shut the generator breaker off to turn the main power breaker back on. So it manually locks you out from having both breakers on at the same time and potential putting generator power back out onto the utility company lines and electrocuting a utility worker or linesman working to restore your power.
Normally a Generator Interlock Kit is cheaper and easier to install the a manual transfer switch. The benefit of using a generator interlock kit versus the manual transfer switch is that with a manual transfer switch you are limited to the number of circuits that you buy. If you buy a 16 circuit manual transfer switch you can only use 16 circuits. If you get a 10 circuit manual transfer switch then you can only use 10 circuits. With a generator interlock kit you can use any circuit within your panel. Your only limitation would be the amount of circuits you can use at one time which would be determined by the size and wattage of the generator.
Something to note is your double pole breaker used to backfeed your main panel needs to be in the upper right two spots as the bracket touches the main breaker and the top two right breakers to work properly. So you may need to rearrange your panel to be able to install that breaker there. It also needs to be sized correctly for your backfeeding wattage of your generator.
Alright to start we can grab a phillips screwdriver or a number two square bit and remove the panel cover off the panel. Once we remove the panel cover we can take it over to our bench.
Once we have the panel on the bench we can grab a drill and a 5/32 drill bit. We will also need a impact driver with a flat bit or a 5/16 nut driver bit. This is a newer panel so ours has dimples where we need to drill. Some panels with require that you use the middle mounting holes but for this panel we are using the outside mounting holes. There are to different size screws used to mount the bracket to the panel. The longer ones are for mounting it using the inner screw holes and the shorter screws are for the outside mounting holes as the bracket is curved.
Next we can grab a junk block of wood we are using a piece of ½” plywood and place it under where we are going to drill just to ensure we don’t hit the front of the panel door. Once we have the block in position and well grab the drill and the 5/32 drill bit and drill out our four mounting dimples.
Once we have all four holes drilled you might need a file to knock off the burrs from drilling to ensure the bracket mounts nice and tight to the panel cover. Next we can stand the panel on edge and open the door. Next we can grab the interlock kit bracket and hold it inside the panel and align it with our mounting holes. Once aligned we can grab the impact driver with the 5/16 nut driver bit and install our four shorter 5/16 screws one at a time. Ensure that its nice and tight and the bracket is tight to the panel cover.
Once we have all four screws in and tight and the bracket is secured to our panel cover we can take the panel cover over to our panel and reinstall it to the panel using our 6 panel screws. Once we have it secured to the panel we can open the door. Next we can grab our two decals or stickers that came with our interlock kit. The yellow one is the operating instructions and the white sticker or decal is to identify that the top right breaker is a manually interlocked breaker.
It’s best to put the instructions on the panel cover door that way they are easily readable and easy to locate. The white one should be placed somewhere need to the interlocked breaker. I find it best to trim the bottom part off a bit and stick it right to the breaker itself.
So that concludes the install for the Generator Interlock Kit. Your install should look very close to this. We have our instructions stuck to the inside of our panel where they can be found easily and easily readable and also won’t get damaged. The white sticker somewhere close to the top right breaker that we are using to back feed the panel. The Interlock bracket secured to the panel cover from the backside.
So That’s it we have just shown you how to install a Generator Interlock Kit or manual lockout kit on an Eaton Electrical panel.
Some other items you will need to make this work or to properly use it are a
1) Generator with the correct wattage for your needs.
2) A generator cord To connect your generator to your outside power inlet box. Also sized to the wattage you need.
3) A generator power inlet box. Also sized to the wattage you need
4) Electrical Wire run from the inlet box to your main panel and to the top right two spots where your double pole back feeding breaker will be located. The wire needs to be sized for the length of the run (voltage drop) and for the wattage that will be going though it.
5) The double pole breaker used for back feeding the panel. Also sized to the wattage you need.