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Old 12-20-2012, 08:14 PM   #1
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DIY interlock for generator


I got inspired by this fellow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8AxSkzgCTY
He avoided paying $150 for a $10 device from
http://www.interlockkit.com/typicalinstall1.htm

Though my panel is not the same, I'd like to design something like that. It seems to capture the spirit of DIY. I wonder if anyone here has made their own interlock / lockout mechanism and has some advice on it.

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Old 12-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #2
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DIY interlock for generator


An interlock needs to be listed.

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
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DIY interlock for generator


Anyone got some ideas? Thanks!
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by puttster View Post
Anyone got some ideas? Thanks!
Yes. You can't do it. The kit has to be UL listed. If you make your own, it is not listed and is a code violation.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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DIY interlock for generator


It's a great diy scheme however I am sure somewhere, somehow, some date long ago someone already did this and probably isn't among the living anymore. Naturally or by accident.
As long as man has been alive people have tried to save a buck and lost their lives.
Don't mess with electric install an approved interlock or have one installed by a real electrician.
The codes are written for a reason so people don't die.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:20 PM   #6
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DIY interlock for generator


If it was just his life, maybe the objection wouldn't object be as great.

But, if his jury rig device fails to work properly and he back feeds the grid, he could kill one or more linemen. (Usually, the 120V becomes 12,000V when you back feed the first transformer)

Trying to save a few bucks for the approved and tested device is not worth the risk you are putting onto others.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:50 PM   #7
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DIY interlock for generator


The scary thing about that instalation is tha someone randomly drilled and put screws into that dead front. Part of the UL listing that approved devices get include the install instructions for the particular panel it is to be installed on. A homeowner engineered device like that could come in contact with the bus bars inside the box with less than favorable results.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:03 PM   #8
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DIY interlock for generator


Okay, watch the screws vs the bus bars? Now we're getting somewhere. Unbelievable the level of brain-deadedness here.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:17 PM   #9
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Okay, watch the screws vs the bus bars? Now we're getting somewhere. Unbelievable the level of brain-deadedness here.
What is unbelieveable is that you appear to have ignored numerous people that have told you that making your own interlock is in no way correct code-wise or liability-wise. I guess you are just one of those that keeps going until they get the answer they want.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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DIY interlock for generator


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Originally Posted by puttster View Post
Okay, watch the screws vs the bus bars? Now we're getting somewhere. Unbelievable the level of brain-deadedness here.
The code is there to protect human life. If you think saving lives is "brain-deadedness", there is nothing we can do to help you.

Just FYI. If you get the interlock kit made by your panel manufacturer, the cost is far lower than the interlockkit ones. The Square D QO2DTI, for example, retails for $28.39. So by the time you add up the labor and materials making an illegal interlock, it would be faster, cheaper, and easier to just buy the legal one.

Not to mention safer.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #11
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DIY interlock for generator


I have a new Siemens panel, 150amp, series A, type 3R.



I wouldn't mind buying a lockout kit but can't find the one for my panel, though maybe it's just bacause I don't see one that suits my budget and eye.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:44 PM   #12
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DIY interlock for generator


Could you please advise me where in the NEC that says the interlock has to be "listed" ? There is a lot of discussion going on in the "Electrician Talk" forum and everyone has a difference of opinion. If you know where it is "SO" stated, could you please share that article section? Thanks
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:02 PM   #13
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DIY interlock for generator


I'm over at that site quite a bit, and I don't remember a discussion about generator interlocks not being listed.

Quote:
90.7 Examination of Equipment for Safety. For specific
items of equipment and materials referred to in this Code,
examinations for safety made under standard conditions
provide a basis for approval where the record is made generally
available through promulgation by organizations
properly equipped and qualified for experimental testing,
inspections of the run of goods at factories, and servicevalue
determination through field inspections. This avoids
the necessity for repetition of examinations by different
examiners, frequently with inadequate facilities for such
work, and the confusion that would result from conflicting
reports on the suitability of devices and materials examined
for a given purpose.
It is the intent of this Code that factory-installed internal
wiring or the construction of equipment need not be
inspected at the time of installation of the equipment, except
to detect alterations or damage, if the equipment has
been listed by a qualified electrical testing laboratory that is
recognized as having the facilities described in the preceding
paragraph and that requires suitability for installation in
accordance with this Code
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:18 PM   #14
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DIY interlock for generator


Puttster,

What is the complete model number of your panel. Siemens makes a variety of interocks for most of their lines.

I just put one on my Murray panel. It's VERY easy. Almost the same as installing any other 30 amp breaker.

For the curious, it also has a nice little UL sticker right on the interlock.

Last edited by AandPDan; 12-22-2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:47 AM   #15
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DIY interlock for generator


Quote:
Originally Posted by puttster View Post

I wouldn't mind buying a lockout kit but can't find the one for my panel, though maybe it's just bacause I don't see one that suits my budget and eye.
For a Siemens panel that new just look on the cover sticker. It will list the part number of the factory interlock.
You do not always have to spend $150 at interlockkit.com for one of these things.

Sorry if you think you cannot find "one that suits your budget or eye", but that is just how it goes. DO NOT diy hack something together.
I already get the impression that you are the type to do whatever you want regardless of the consequences so I'll just leave it at that.

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