Why do I need a Generator Bypass System for my portable generator?
In Florida, having a generator is a must. When you decide to purchase a generator, it’s extremely important to call your local electrician to discuss the installation of a generator bypass system.
So what is a generator bypass system and why is important that you have one? A breakdown of the system includes:
- The inlet
This is the opposite of an outlet and is where you actually hook up your generator.
- The interlock kit (the actual bypass system)
This important feature does not allow your main breaker to be on at the same time as the breaker for the generator.
Why is this important?
Quite frankly, running a generator incorrectly can kill someone. Particularly after a storm, expect workers to be working on power lines to get the power back up and running. Without a generator bypass system, you run the risk of back feeding power, sending live power back out to the power lines, posing a very serious risk to others. Be sure you either invest in this system or spend the time to learn as much as possible about portable generator safety to protect everyone!
We sat down with Bryan to discuss the dangers of back feeding your generator (and it could be lethal)
Bryan: “Hooking up your generator to the panel, it does work, it does get the electricity out there. The problem is, if you hook it up wrong, you’re going to kill somebody. We got a lot of these TECO and FPL guys working on these lines right now. If you don’t have the proper switches and safety switches installed in your panel, what happens is right now with your main breaker on, you got power feeding in.
When I say you plug in your generator and you’re technically back feeding your breakers, if you don’t have this switch in and you don’t shut the main breaker off, what happens is the power comes into your breaker, feeds back into your main breaker, which then feeds back into your TECO lines, which then go out to your street. If we got a guy working on these lines right now, that means they now have live wires coming from you.
Which you could potentially shock or kill someone. So you want to make sure that you always use the proper equipment in here so that way like this little tiny piece of metal, which is just an inner lock kit, which doesn’t allow your main breaker to be on when your generator is on. So this one little switch here makes you have to switch your switch off in order to turn your generator breaker on.
That way you don’t forget, which that can always happen. “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll remember to turn my main breaker off.” But if you forget to turn off that main breaker, you can accidentally harm someone. So, you want to make sure that you get the proper inner lock switch for the proper main brand panel you have in your home. Not every inner lock switch inters changes with every panel. You have to get the named brand. So that was just a quick tip. Be careful out there, electricity can be dangerous. It can hurt somebody. Even if it comes from a generator.