Installing an interlock setup - questions
Hurricane Sandy has obviously increased the number of generator questions. I already have a transfer switch installed and even have a generator shed built. Now, my wife has lent my services out to her co-worker! I went over to her house and she has a ton of space in her box but very little next to her panel and therefore figured an interlock setup would work perfectly for her.
My questions are:
1.) Is using an interlock setup generally considered legal? Because I'll be working on someone's house, I'd like to get an idea if this is generally accepted practice. I'll of course look at her town's electric codes to confirm it's accepted, but was just curious.
2.) I've been to interlockkit.com and the hardware portion of the kit seems pretty darn expensive ($149). I've seen similar setups in the Home Depot for $49. Why the price difference? Where do you guys go to get the hardware part that ensures only one breaker can be on at the same time?
3.) Is there anything special about these backfeed breakers? Couldn't I just put any 30 amp double pole breaker in the upper right hand spot,get the correct hardware plate, wire the breaker to an inlet box and be good to go?
4.) How often does the main breaker fail? Because obviously the main breaker not failing is critical to this whole setup. Is there a way to test the main breaker and make sure it's up to snuff?
5.) What kind of setup do you guys create to know when the power gets turned back on? In my case with my transfer switch, I don't power my double oven. The moment I see my clock light on my double oven go on, I know the power has been restored. Since the main breaker will be off using an interlock setup, do you just rely on your neighbors to know when the power is on?
6.) I picked up 70' of generator cord from the Home Depot today since she wants to run her genset in her shed (she's afraid of thieves). I've been told that the voltage drop from this length will not be significant. I mean, I guess I can just test this myself by using a voltmeter, but was wondering if you guys thought that length would cause too much of a voltage drop.
I believe those are all of my questions!