DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Manual transfer switch vs interlock kit?

10390 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sparky90
I'm planning on hooking up a manual start 5000 watt 240v propane generator to my panel for outages.

Is there any advantage to using a generator transfer switch with only a few circuits switchable (say one of those Reliance 10 circuit switches) versus doing a power inlet (Reliance PB30) and a main breaker lock out to prevent back-feeding to the grid ? (http://www.interlockkit.com/)

The home is mostly gas fired, EnergyStar everything where possible, LED lighting everywhere, etc. So I am not very concerned about overdrawing against the generator.

My thoughts are the 10 panel Reliance gen transfer switch is $400 plus requires a lot more wiring. A lock out kit and a power inlet , about $150.

With the 10 circuit switch, I'm positive I'll want to use some circuit which isn't hooked up to the transfer switch and will get frustrated by that, and I do not want to end up running extension cords around the house. So whole house for me is a must but of course I'm on a budget. Is the interlockkit a viable, whole house solution for manual transfer of power?
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Electrician (Retired)
Joined
·
111 Posts
The interlock kit would probably be the most economical and easiest way to go and you have the entire panel to work with. Just mark the breakers controlling the most important circuits for your situation and you should be good to go. You can always turn on a breaker that is not marked any time you like if the need be.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
I'm planning on hooking up a manual start 5000 watt 240v propane generator to my panel for outages.

Is there any advantage to using a generator transfer switch with only a few circuits switchable (say one of those Reliance 10 circuit switches) versus doing a power inlet (Reliance PB30) and a main breaker lock out to prevent back-feeding to the grid ? (http://www.interlockkit.com/)

The home is mostly gas fired, EnergyStar everything where possible, LED lighting everywhere, etc. So I am not very concerned about overdrawing against the generator.

My thoughts are the 10 panel Reliance gen transfer switch is $400 plus requires a lot more wiring. A lock out kit and a power inlet , about $150.

With the 10 circuit switch, I'm positive I'll want to use some circuit which isn't hooked up to the transfer switch and will get frustrated by that, and I do not want to end up running extension cords around the house. So whole house for me is a must but of course I'm on a budget. Is the interlockkit a viable, whole house solution for manual transfer of power?

*I have been installing interlock kits for customers for several years now. It is the most cost effective generator hook-up and gives you the most choices as to what circuits you can power. Not all circuit breaker panels can take interlock kits, so if you haven't already, see if one is available for your panel. Also check with your electrical inspector to see if he will approve it.

I am in New Jersey and the state is currently not accepting the laboratory testing done by Wiley Labs on interlock kits by one manufacturer. I contacted the factory and found that NJ is the only state not accepting the Wiley Lab results. They are in the process of getting all of their products retested at another lab, but it is a slow and expensive process.

I have posted photos and text on my web site of two interlock kit installations that I did.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I appreciate the response. I wasn't sure if there was some "gotcha" I was overlooking. We are no longer in NJ so I don't think it will be an issue for inspection as long as they make a suitable kit.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
854 Posts
If your panel manufacturer makes an interlock use it. It is often much cheaper than a generic version. I have one in my panel, it was $40.

I've had both the transfer switch panels and the interlock. I won't use a transfer panel again. They are too "limiting" and most won't support AFCI/GFCI breaker functionality.

I have a 3000 watt propane powered generator and can run just about everything in the house (gas) too. Just watch your loads.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
I've moved away from transfer switches so long as I can get a lockout for the panel. Any circuit that draws a lot of power automatically should be turned off. Loads that you can control by not turning them on can stay.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top