Purchasing a generator does come with some drawbacks, and the biggest of them is that it could potentially be a risk if not used correctly. It is where Interlock kits come into play, as they ensure that the circuits don’t mess things up and make you feel safer. However, a lot of people wonder whether these kits are legal or not.
Interlock kits are legal in the US as they don’t let the circuit and main breaker stay on at the same time. It not just saves a lot of energy but prevents potential accidents and helps you use the generator safely. Keep reading to find out more about interlock kits.
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Are Generator Interlock Kits Actually Legal in Residential Areas?
Generator interlock kits are allowed in most residential areas in the US. However, certain conditions apply, and you would have to get licensed to get an interlock kit installed at your place. You can get the license from UL.
Once you get the license from UL under 67, you can easily get the interlock kits. If you don’t get licensed, you won’t be able to get your kits inspected by electrical inspectors, and it could end up risking your generator and even your own safety.
So, it is important to get your kits checked by an electrical inspector, and for that, you’ll have to get your interlock kits licensed, and UL listed. Also, the installation of your interlock kits must be according to the electrical code.
You need to keep in mind the fire protection code before installing the interlock kit to know that, are generator interlock kits are legal. Just ensure you don’t end up breaking any of the code. For that, you’ll need an experienced and professional electrician who can install these kits according to the law.
If you don’t follow these electrical and fire codes, you can not only risk your own life but the life of others. So, yes, interlock kits are legal, but you can’t install them without following proper guidelines, or else you’ll get a penalty that could even turn into a severe punishment.
Why are Interlock Kits Illegal in Some Places?
If you’ve already installed a generator interlock kit without realizing whether it is legal in your area or not, then you’re in for a surprise. The electrical inspectors can make you disconnect the interlock kits from your main circuit and even give you a penalty.
But, there are a few reasons why interlock kits are illegal in some places. It usually depends upon the area you’re living in, which is why it is better to get licensed from UL first. However, at places, the UL doesn’t allow the usage of interlock kits at all. Let’s find out why.
Harm to Wiring System
Interlock kits are often not allowed in residential areas mainly because they could harm the wiring system of the whole area. It could happen because of a sudden back-feeding, and the whole electrical system would pretty much be wrecked in case of one such event.
Electric back-feeding is a real issue, and it can not just harm the wiring system but even the workers that are on the line. So, in order to avoid this risk, authorities in certain areas don’t allow their residents to use interlock kits.
It’s not just dangerous to use the interlock kit but also to remove it. You can get harmed while trying to remove it, and even trained electricians often meet accidents because of interlock kits. So, manually removing these interlock kits is also the reason why authorities often ban them.
Most people don’t consider precautions and try to remove the interlock kits all by themselves, which should be the last thing to do. Accidents happen despite the warnings of always using interlock kits under professional supervision. So, a lot of areas just put a ban on it altogether to not face such problems again.
Switching to the mainline could also be very dangerous when your generator is connected to an interlock kit. It could shut your generator down automatically. As a result, it would cause severe back-feeding.
Also, the generator could get overloaded, and it’ll be damaged quite a lot. Also, the mainline could be damaged while switching, so interlock kits aren’t allowed for the right reasons. They could be a risk to have and could potentially damage the mainline in residential areas.
How to Make Interlock Kit Installation Legal?
If you want to install the interlock kit legally, then it is important to follow all the rules by UL. You might have to let an electric inspector get in your house for a proper inspection, but that’s just the price you pay for convenience and ease.
But the first thing to do is check whether generator interlock kits are legal in your area. And if it is legal, then what are the conditions for installing an interlock kit in the residential area.
You might have to shield your interlock kit with a specialized device that can prevent any type of over currents. If not, these overcurrents could turn out to be very dangerous and could completely wreck not just your generator but your main line too.
Also, you need to ensure that all the wires are installed properly and that you’re following the building and fire codes. In addition, getting a professional electrician for the installation would be another very important thing to do if you want to make your interlock installation legal.
You need to get a proper backup system because interlock kits aren’t a permanent solution, and you might have to get a transfer switch someday. But, for the time being, interlock kits with a backup system would work perfectly.
Just ensure that you’re not risking your safety and installing the interlock kit according to the guidance of your electrician and the codes. Then, you won’t have to worry about it being legal.
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Why Should You Use Generator Interlock Kits?
Having an interlock kit could be a little risky but not when you follow all the precautions. There are different codes that you need to fulfill and make sure to get a license. If you follow all these things, then there is no reason why you can’t have an interlock kit.
So, if these kits are legal in your area, you need to get your hands on them for so many reasons. Let’s get into it and find out why you need an interlock kit for your generator.
You don’t need to spend extra money on purchasing a breaker panel because you don’t need it once you get an interlock kit. You can simply use the breaker panel that you already have in your home circuit.
It can help you save lots of time and money and make things a lot more convenient for you.
An interlock kit is highly convenient because you don’t have to connect all your appliances separately to a system. So, you can get rid of extending cords and connect the appliances directly to your generator without any hassle.
It could help your house look neater if you don’t have extension cords all around it. Also, you often need to move your appliances by using an extension cord. It could particularly be difficult in the case of a fridge or washing machine.
So, a fully-fledged interlock system could help you get rid of all this hassle and make your life and work a lot easier.
Interlock kits can save a lot of power, and you can get more use out of your generator. This kit makes sure that your generator works at its fullest capacity. Normally, you can’t use the full power of your generator no matter how many appliances you’re using.
But with an interlock kit, you can not only save power but can use the complete capacity of your generator for home usage.
Interlock kits can save you a whole lot of money. They’re available at a pocket-friendly price, and you can also get them installed without spending a lot of money. Usually, everything you get for your generator has a sky-high price.
But, interlock kits usually are loved because of how inexpensive they are and because of how less they cost in comparison to transfer switches. Though you need to get the license and stuff that again doesn’t cost that much, and you don’t have to worry about the cost when buying an interlock kit at all.
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Installing an interlock kit might sound like a big hassle, but it usually doesn’t take up a lot of your time and money. Though you need to keep a lot of things in check because it could potentially become a risk and a health hazard. So, the decision of installing an interlock kit is completely up to you.
It is legal in some areas, and some authorities don’t allow people to use interlock kits to keep them safe. In either case, only use the kits if it’s extremely necessary because they aren’t a permanent solution to your problem.