Everything You Need to Know About Generator Transfer Switches

October 14, 2020 10:11 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you ever suffered through a long power outage? It can affect your entire household, from having enough light to carry out basic tasks to causing your food to spoil in the refrigerator and freezer. If you’re depending on electronic medical equipment, or are one of the millions of American households without a landline, keeping your electricity going during an outage is a must. That’s why many households have a backup power generator for emergencies. It’s great for keeping the power on while you wait for your local electricians in Oakdale, CA.

When you have a generator, a transfer switch is a must—it helps switch your household power load from utility lines to the generator. Read on to learn more about why this is so important.

What is a generator transfer switch?

A generator transfer switch allows you to switch your power source from utility lines to your backup generators. There are two main varieties: automatic and manual. Automatic will switch your power over as soon as an outage is detected, while manual requires you to take action and make the switch yourself.

If you didn’t have a transfer switch, you’d need to manually transfer power for your entire household or business before the generator can do its job—which is dangerous and time consuming. Most people don’t have time to wait for an electrician to do the job for them, so having a generator transfer switch is a must.

Automatic switches require owners to decide which power circuits they want to switch over in the event of an outage. When an outage is detected, the power switches to the backup generator immediately. This is the best option for anyone who can’t afford to lose power for a single second, such as those who are dependent on medical equipment.

Manual switches do the same thing, but more slowly. Since you need an actual human to flip the switch, they’re not as good for people or businesses that can’t afford outages.

Do I need a transfer switch?

As you now know, a transfer switch is a necessity—and a standard generator requires it in order to function. They not only make it safer for you to use your generator—manually connecting power is a job best reserved for your local electrician in Oakdale, CA—but they’re required under National Electric Codes 700.5 and 701.5.

Buying and installing a transfer switch

Before you get a transfer switch, make sure that you understand how much wattage you need so you can buy an appropriate model. Most switches come with a kit that has everything you (or your electrician) need to properly install the generator and transfer switch—if yours doesn’t, you might want to seek out a different model.

Finally, be sure your transfer switch comes with a good warranty. When you’re depending on the switch for backup power, it’s important to know that you’re protected should something go wrong.

For help installing your generator transfer switch and all your other electrical needs, call the local electricians in Oakdale, CA at Wilkinson Electric Inc. today.

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