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Photos and text describing the installation of a portable generator interlock kit on an older GE main circuit breaker panel.  Click for The Home Page

Generator Interlock Kit on a GE Main Breaker Panel with a Reliance PB30 Inlet

Dear Mr. Electrician: How can I install an Interlock Kit on my existing GE main circuit breaker panel so that I can connect a portable generator to it safely?
Answer: You first must determine if you have the needed spaces for a generator circuit breaker.  Then you need to order the correct interlock kit that is approved for your circuit breaker panel.  The photos below depict an interlock kit installation onto a GE main circuit breaker panel that was originally installed in the 1980's.  There is a short video at the bottom by the manufacturer.
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The GE main circuit breaker panel with the interlock kit installed
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This is the "Before" picture of an existing GE main circuit breaker panel (Also known as a "Load center")

The photo above depicts the completed interlock kit installation.

Three spaces are required for an  interlock kit for this particular circuit breaker panel.

Click for the completed interlock kit installation on this GE circuit breaker panel.

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"Before" picture of the GE main electrical panel
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The red arrow indicates on the label for this GE circuit breaker panel that it is approved for a maximum capacity of 30 circuits.  It reads "30 Poles Maximum".

Therefore in order to comply with the National Electrical Code, some of the existing circuits need to be removed from this panel. 

By removing circuits, room is made for the three spaces needed for the interlock kit and also brings the circuit breaker panel back into code compliance in order to pass inspection.

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The label on the electrical panel will tell you the maximum number of circuits allowed.  Click for next photo.
A Rotary Hammer Was Used On This Job
This is what the circuit breaker panel looked like before any changes were made.  The orange10/3 Romex cable hanging down on right side of the circuit breaker panel is the feed from the portable generator inlet box which is mounted on the outside of the house next to the garage.

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The existing GE main circuit breaker panel with the 10/3 Romex hanging on the right.  Click for next photo
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Another "Before" photo depicting the existing GE circuit breakers that need to be relocated to another part of the main panel or to a new GE sub-panel.

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Too many circuit breakers in the existing GE main electrical panel.
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 in the National Electrical Code
This is the existing wall space that was available to install a GE sub-panel.

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The available existing wall space for the new GE sub-panel installation.
 
A photo of the inside of the main electrical panel before any changes were made.

Because most of the original circuits were not labeled, a circuit tracer was used to identify many of them.

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Inside the existing GE main panel.  Click for next photo.
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Here is the new sub-panel installed using 3/4" EMT conduit.

A 3/4" EMT bender was used to bend the conduit to fit into place.  Pre-bent conduit elbows and offset fittings are available for some sizes of electrical conduit.

Note the 4 11/16" square junction boxes  mounted on the ceiling.  By mounting the junction boxes there, it made it very easy to remove cables out of the existing GE main circuit breaker panel and bring those circuits into the new GE sub-panel.

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The GE sub-panel installation.  Click for next photo
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Another shot of the new GE sub-panel with 3/4" EMT conduits for the panel feed as well as the branch circuits.

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The GE sub-panel installation.  Click for next photo.
A 3/4-Inch EMT Bender with Handle was Needed Here
The completed GE sub-panel with all circuits labeled as required by the National Electrical Code

The yellow tape on the circuit breaker is there to help the homeowner choose circuits to run off of the portable generator.

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GE Sub-Panel.  Click for next photo
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Close shot of the GE sub-panel with circuits labeled.

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Close shot of the GE sub-panel. Click for next photo
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The completed interlock kit installation with many of the circuits labeled. 

The red arrows point to labels that were provided by the interlock kit manufacturer and must be installed as per the instructions supplied with the interlock kit.

The yellow tape marks are there to help the homeowner choose some of the important circuits to be powered by the generator.  When the utility company power goes out, this basement will be dark until the portable generator is powered up..

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The completed interlock kit installation with the identified circuits.  Click for next photo.
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This is the area that the homeowner chose to have the generator inlet box installed.  It is next to the garage door.

Article 445 in the National Electrical Code covers generators.  You should also read article 702 entitled "Optional Standby Systems".  Article 250 is also applicable as are others that may be contingent on the type of wiring methods used.

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The outside wall before the Reliance PB30 Generator Inlet is installed
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A close shot of the Reliance PB30, 30 amp, 120/240 volt, L14-30 generator inlet box.

It was caulked using GE Silicone 2 Gutter and Flashing caulk to prevent any water from getting behind.

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The Reliance PB 30 Generator outdoor flanged inlet.  Click for next photo
 
This is the completed interlock kit installation. The main breaker handle gets pushed down to the "Off" position.  Then the generator circuit breaker can be pushed "On".

When the utility company restores power, the generator breaker is pushed "Off" and the main breaker handle is free to be pushed up to the "On" position.

Click for the "Before" photo.

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Click here for photos and text describing the installation of an interlock kit on an older Cutler Hammer circuit breaker panel.

The finished interlock kit installation.  Click for a video clip.
 

You are on http://www.MrElectrician.tv/questions/question-GEInterlockKit.html

Created February 21, 2013             Updated December 14, 2015

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