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Completed generator sub-panel with a Square D generator interlock between the utility power main circuit breaker and the generator circuit breaker

Wired Generator Sub-Panel

Dear Mr. Electrician:  How do I change over my circuits to a wired generator sub-panel? NOTE: Some text links below go to applicable products on Amazon.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Using my links helps to keep this website FREE. Answer:  Using a prewired generator sub-panel may not suit all of your emergency power needs.  Get a generator sub-panel suitable for your application.  Some generator sub-panels are prewired, and you make the correct connections with the existing circuits in the main electrical panel.  Those types usually have limitations regarding the number of circuits connected to the generator. Table of Contents: Before Sub-Panel Installation Installing This Generator Sub-Panel Generator Inlet Installation Interlock Kit Internal Generator Bonding Using an interlock kit, it is possible to make a generator sub-panel out of an ordinary load center circuit breaker panel.  You need to get the correct accessories. In the generator sub-panel circuit wiring installation pictured below, I used a standard Square D Type QO, 125 amp, 24 circuit, single phase load center as a sub-panel with a separately purchased Square D Interlock Kit made for this purpose. I also had to purchase a grounding terminal bar separately for all ground wire terminations.  Most load centers do not have a separate ground bar unless designated as a sub-panel.  This panel did not have a main circuit breaker installed by the factory.  I installed the QO 100 amp main breaker and a QO 50 amp generator circuit breaker. For this particular generator hook-up installation, the client wanted many circuits to be powered by a portable generator.  Those circuits included an electric range, electric water heater, oil burner for heat, microwave oven, bathrooms, and kitchen outlets & lighting. My first thought was to install an interlock kit on the main breaker in the existing circuit panel that would have provided the homeowner access to all the electric circuits. I chose to install a generator sub-panel rather than an interlock kit on the entire main electrical panel because, at the time of this installation, I could not find an interlock kit for the existing panel that the electrical inspector would approve.  The panel manufacturer does not make an interlock kit for this particular panel. There is a company called Interlockkit.com that does make an interlock kit for this main panel.  However, the State of New Jersey, where this installation is located, did not accept the test laboratory certification the manufacturer used for their products. The manufacturer has since changed testing laboratories, and some of their products have been re-tested by the new lab and are now acceptable to New Jersey.  If you are in New Jersey and need an interlock kit from this company, contact the factory by phone to learn if the product you need is approved.  Click to see some examples of interlock kit installations done by me.   CLICK HERE to See Generator Interlock Kits on Amazon Top Of Page STEPS BEFORE GENERATOR SUB-PANEL WIRING You need to apply for an electrical permit before wiring a generator sub-panel.  When I submitted the permit application...