How to Connect Portable Generator to Electrical Panel in 7 Steps

how to connect a portable generator to the electrical panel

A portable generator is ideal for a location that frequently experiences severe weather conditions. It can be used as a temporary source of electricity whenever a power outage occurs at your location. However, it can be tiring when you need to set up a generator repeatedly.

To avoid this situation, it can help to know how to connect a portable generator to the electrical panel. When the power goes out, you can easily turn on your alternate electrical source with less effort.

If you want to learn how to make a proper connection between your electrical circuit and the generator, this article is perfect for you.

Tools You Need


Remember that the brand of the circuit breaker, the nominal amperage and the gauge of the wire they may vary based on generator ratings.

I’ll use a 30 amp, 240 volt generator as an example for this procedure. Here are the tools you need to set up your own generator and electrical connection at home.

Note that there are many types of breaker interlocks. The breaker interlock kit you need may depend on the brand of your panel where you want to install your generator connections.

Note: Wire a 120 volt generator only if you have low electrical demands (less than 3000 watts).

How to connect the generator to the electrical panel


Before you start your work, there are There are several essential things to know.

The first is to make sure you have space in the breaker panel for the generator circuit.

Remember that any type of breaker interlock installs on the nearest left side of the breaker.

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In addition, a circuit breaker interlock prevents hazards caused by use from a bidirectional power supply. supply. Installing a generator connection in an electrical panel without a transfer switch is against safety codes.

Now, connecting the generator to the electrical panel is an easy job that an average person can do with basic electrical knowledge. However, if you are not comfortable working with electricity, calling a professional to do the job is the best option.

If everything is clear and ready, you can now begin the step by step guide below to connect the generator to the panel.

Step 1. Remove the cover panel

Before working on your electrical installations, always be sure to turn off and unplug all devices connected to the circuit. You can then turn off your circuits and your main breaker panel. This is to avoid damaging your devices and to ensure that no flow of electricity can shock you.

After that, you can now safely remove the panel cover. To do this, simply unscrew all the screws holding the cover.

Step 2. Install the interlock kit on the panel

After removing the cover panel, you can now install the interlock kit on it. You can use your power drill to make the mounting holes for your interlock switch. Then, bolt and secure the kit to the panel cover.

You can also use the pliers to remove the removable cover for the circuit breaker position.

Step 3. Install the Power Box

To install a power box, you must first choose a great location where you can easily access and connect the generator set. If possible, you can drill a hole near your breaker panel where you can mount the power entry box.

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It’s also good to use conduit for extra wire protection if you need to install the box outside .

Mount the box to the wall with tapcon screws.

Step 4. Start wiring the connections

After installing the power entry box, you can run the wire from the power entry through the conduit to the panel breaker.

Power entry wiring is usually red and black for two hot wires, white for the neutral and green for the ground wire. You can look up a power input wiring diagram to make sure you do it correctly.

Note: Don’t forget to connect the ground wire to the body of the power input box if it is made of metal. frame.

Step 5. Install Circuit Breaker

Connect the ground wire to the ground bus and the neutral wire to the neutral bus. Also, connect the two hot wires to the breaker for the generator circuit connection and install the breaker on the panel plate.

Also, don’t forget to install the retainer bracket for the breaker on the interlock kit.

Step 6.Install the cover panell

Now that you have completed all the above steps correctly, re-install the cover panel. Screw down all sides of the panel cover and you have a ready connection to your generator set.

It’s also good to test your work to see if it will work correctly.

Step 7 Time to test your work

Connect your generator set with its power cord or extension cord to the power input. Start your portable generator and turn on your built-in circuit breaker.

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Now that your generator set is running, you can now turn on each circuit at a time to see how many circuits your generator can run

Tips : Wait at least five minutes after starting your generator set before turning on all the circuits in your home. Makes the generator set load ready to feed the house electrical circuit.

This installation guide is not only good for installing a generator to breaker box kit inside your house. It also helps you connect your off-grid generator to your switch away from home.

Watch this video by Benjamin Sahlstrom and see how he was able to connect a generator to a breaker box. The most interesting thing about your installation is that you have a Sense power monitor in your circuit.

This means that it can detect the actual loads that your generator or the power company produces.


Knowing how to connect a portable generator to the electrical panel is sure to give you a convenient way to set up your generator when a sudden power outage occurs at your location. Also, this is a simple job that can be done by someone with basic household electrical knowledge.

Now that you have this guide on how to connect a generator to a household electrical panel, do you think you can do the job of facility? What part of the installation process interests you most? Let us know your thought. You can leave them in the comments section below.


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