Emergency Power Parts: The Camlock

If you are looking to install or maintain an emergency power system, there are a number of things you need to look out for when considering and reviewing your system. To begin with, emergency power systems are an integral part of any power system as they provide much needed support when normal power systems fail.

Emergency generators are, however, often only used in commercial and industrial contexts – but it’s easy to see why. It is easy to imagine a myriad of companies and services that need power around the clock. Many obvious examples, like hospitals or financial services, could not cope with even small disturbances in power supplies. Your business may be the same and you should therefore carefully consider whether they might be needed.

This small guide covers only one small component people often have questions about – camlocks. Although not meant to be an exhaustive guide by any stretch of the imagination, it can be used to make some initial considerations and evaluate some of the basic facts you may need to know.

What are they used for?

Camlocks, put simply, are the connection points between the generator and the electric components it is supplying with power. In this sense, camlocks are an important feature to maintain as well as to carefully label. As stated, camlocks are connection points. Like sockets in a basic electrical set-up, there are a number of differences based primarily on the type of power that is being run through them.

As these connections are only ever used in professional and larger installations, it would be uncommon to find them in your home. Most of the connection points you will find are carefully labeled and are always color-coded. In most situations, but especially during faults and installation, the consultation of an electrician is vital. As the currents that run through cams are often very large, extreme caution should always be taken.

What to Look out for

As stated previously, camlocks are always color-coded. Although this is the case, however, colors are not always consistent and do not always mean the same thing – although general trends do generally apply. For this reason knowing what color means what is the main source of problems and questions when installing or fixing these sorts of connection points.

You should never assume you know which is which and you should consult with an electrician if you do not know what colors represent. The meaning of colors differs between, as well as sometimes within, countries. If you have purchased systems from abroad, or if you are using older equipment, you should take special notice that the colors represent the same thing – as stated, they don’t always.


No matter what system you are using, camlocks form an integral part in how your electrical system operates, forming the connection hub for a myriad of electrical needs. Camlocks are easily distinguishable by their bright colors, which represent different connection types, and are usually found in more professional set-ups. Lastly, if you need help or are unsure how you should maintain or set-up your connections, make sure to call in or consult an experienced electrician and have your system work for you – and not the other way around!