Generator Care

How Much Does It Cost to Install Interlock Kit for Generator

One of the safest ways to connect a backup generator to your home is through an interlock kit. It allows you to safely switch on the generator breaker without back-feeding the mains when there is a power emergency. So, how much will it cost to install an interlock kit for a generator?

The cost of installing an interlock kit for a generator ranges from $100 to $350 depending on the job’s complexity, the electrician labor charges, and the types of hardware you buy. An interlock kit will cost you anything between $25 and $150, and the labor rates range from $50 – $150.

But these are general estimates, generalized on the whole package of installing the interlock device. In this post, I will be breaking down the entire concept to give you an idea of the cost involved in the whole setup. Read along!

How Much Will It Cost You to Install a Generator Interlock Kit

The amount you’ll spend on generator interlock kit installation will depend on how much you spend on the hardware required, its complexity, and your area’s labor rates.

Assuming you’ve installed the breaker and all you need is an interlock device, then you will need to buy the kit and get a quote from your reputable electrician.

Usually, a generator interlock kit costs anything between $25 and $150, depending on quality, brand, and application.

Generally, an electrician will ask for anything between $50 and $100 per hour for the labor rates. The installation can take 30 minutes or more, depending on the complexity and the work involved, with the average work taking around 30 minutes and 2 hours.

Installing an interlock kit should take a long especially if the generator backup line is already connected to the service panel. However, if you only have a running generator, then the costs won’t cut it.

Why? It would be best to buy a generator breaker, the interlock kit, extension cords, power inlet box, and the electrical wires for connecting the inlet box with the service panel.

Besides this, the electrical work required just increased. That means it can take the electrician more than 2-hours to install the device and other hardware.

If you consider these new additions, your cost of installing a generator kit could rise to about $800.

If your area requires you to get a permit to install a generator interlock kit, then be prepared for a small fee that you’ve to pay.

Break Down of the Cost of Installing a Generator Interlock Kit

Now that you know the estimates in general let’s break it down a little bit to show you everything involved.

1) Hardware

Most of the time, searches on the cost of installing a generator interlock kit are generally on how to install the whole thing from scratch. That means you need more than just an interlock kit. It would be best if you had other hardware that will cost you more. Hardware required for a complete interlock kit installation include:

a) Generator Interlock Kit

You do need the central part of the installation, the interlock kit. It comes as a set of two metallic or hard plastic sheets and screws most of the time.

A generator interlock kit will cost you anything from $25 to $150, depending on the seller’s offer and the quality.

b) 30-Amp or 50-Amp Circuit Breaker

To connect your generator to your home through the service panel, you need a 30-amp circuit breaker or 50-amp circuit breaker that you need to install.

An interlock kit keeps the mains breaker on when the generator breaker stays off. It allows you to turn on the generator circuit breaker when the is a power emergency but only after shutting off the utility mains breaker.

A generator circuit breaker will cost you anything between $30 and $100, depending on the brand and quality of the product.

c) A Generator Inlet Box

It’s a must you run your generator outdoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Because of this, you need a generator inlet box to allow you to get the generator power to your house.

A generator inlet box will cost anything between $20 and $100, depending on the quality and brand.

d) A 10-Gauge or 6-Gauge Electrical Cable

From the service panel, you have to run a 4-Conductor 10-gauge cable for a 30-amp generator and a 6-gauge cable for a 50-amp generator to connect the service panel to the generator inlet box.

Be prepared to spend around $30 per 10-meter length of 10-gauge cable or more. The size will depend on the distance between the service panel and the generator inlet box.

e) A 30-Amp or 50-Amp Extension Cord

When you start your generator, the next thing you will do is connect it to the inlet box using an extension cord. The length of the cable will depend on where you place your generator. Remember, it has to be few feet away from the windows, doors, and air vents.

A decent length of a 30-amp extension cord is around $30, but a lengthy one can cost about $300.

2) Labor

One requirement of installing an interlock kit in some cities is that a professional electrician must install it.

The device installation is simple, but you have to interact directly with the service panel and possess a significant electrocution threat.

A mistake in the installation can cause damage to your appliances and increase the risk of getting electrocuted or fire.

You might also spend a lot of money buying some handy tools such as a drill, which you’ll need to bore holes on the wall.

An electrician will come equipped with the necessary skills, tools, and experience working on such devices.

What’s more, the electrician can help you check if you need a permit to install the interlock kit, as some states do require you to get one.

How much will it cost to have an electrician install your interlock kit?

That will depend on the time it will take the electrician to install the unit, which is also determined by the job’s complexity.

It can take him anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes. If the electrician is there to install the interlock device only, if you have the breaker already installed, he might take around 30 minutes.

However, if the electrician is there to set up the whole line from the generator inlet box, hole(s) drilling, running the cable, installing the breaker, and interlock kit installation, the time might be longer. That’s why I’m assuming he’d take around 2 hours and a half.

The electrical work labor rates differ from region to region. However, they range from as low as $50/hour to as high as $150/hour.

So, assuming your electrician will ask for an average price, the lowest you can pay for interlock kit installation is $50 ($100/hour x 0.5 hours) and the highest $250 (100/hour x 2.5 hours) labor only.

So, if you add all these values up, you get the following:

Item/ServiceLow EndHigh EndAverage Cost
Interlock Kit$20.00$150.00$100.00
Circuit Breaker$30.00$100.00$60.00
Inlet Box$20.00$100.00$50.00
Electrical Cable$30.00$250.00$150.00
Extension Cord$30.00$300.00$100.00

Related Questions

Can You DIY Install Interlock Kit for Generator?

Yes, you can install it by yourself. However, it’s only possible if your state permit doesn’t require the device to be installed by an electrician. Otherwise, the process is simple for an electrical-experienced DIYer.

Is an interlock device legal?

Yes, an interlock kit is legal. However, it must be installed by a certified electrician in most cases for it to be legally installed. The device also has to meet the National Electrical codes followed in your state. Ensure your electrician cross-references this before installation.

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Sharif Gen

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