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Automatic Transfer Switch for Portable Generator

Do you want to connect a portable generator as a backup power source to your home? It is essential to mount a transfer switch in this situation.

Not only must safety measures be taken when installing a transfer switch, but also relevant housing laws and regulations must be followed.

This article will explain what a transfer switch is, the different types of transfer switches, and how to choose the right transfer switch for your building.

What is a Transfer Switch? 

Transfer Switch

A transfer switch is an electrical device switch that allows electrical energy to be transferred between two power sources. Under normal circumstances, the transfer switch is installed near the electrical panel, between your house and the generator. The transfer switch allows a portable generator to supply power to the circuit of your preference in a power outage event. You won’t need extension cords for every unit after installing a transfer switch, a secure and compliant installation.

Extension cords weave their way through the pedestrian zone, through doors and windows, and between various electrical appliances. Fire threats include pinched cords and stepping on cords. Even if it’s just a crack, passing an extension cord through an open window will cause carbon monoxide to reach the building. The conversion switch removes the inconvenient and dangerous extension cords while maintaining a consistent power supply to the house. You may run hardwired equipment in the electrical panel, such as heating, well pump, or water heater, after installing the portable generator’s transfer switch.

Why is using a transfer switch to link a portable generator to your home’s electrical appliances a smart idea?

(1) This is a collection of national electrical regulations.

The National Electric Code (NEC 700.5 and 701.5) specifies that houses with generators are fitted with a transfer switch. The right transfer switch is mounted while using portable generators to supply electricity to home appliances. This is particularly important if you intend to sell your home in the future, as improper installation could result in a violation of regulations.

(2) This is the simplest type of power supply during a power outage.

Most of your vital electrical appliances, such as air conditioners, stoves, and water heaters, are hardwired and cannot be wired to the generator. Furthermore, finding, untying, and running extension cords would be extremely difficult during a power outage. When the power goes out, the transfer switch will automatically switch the power supply to the portable generator, providing a fast, convenient, and reliable alternative power supply. (3) Connecting a portable generator to your home in this manner is the safest choice. Extending extension cords can result in power being fed back into utility lines. This raises the risk of fire or electric shock, both of which may cause serious injury or death.

Transfer Switch application

Points to Note When Purchasing a Transfer Switch:

(1) Rated current and rated voltage

One of the most important features to look for in a transfer switch is the rated current and rated voltage it can handle.

This is critical: you must decide which circuits you want to power through the switch and measure the amount of power needed to run them.

(2) Related certification

Most brand goods would be eligible for certification, but it’s a good idea and double-check to make sure they meet the requirements.

(3) Warranty period

As with every purchase, you may want to double-check the warranty period offered by the company.

Types of Transfer Switch:

Transfer Switch types

There are two main types of transfer switch: manual transfer switch and automatic transfer switch.

The manual transfer switch allows you to manually switch the power supply from the grid to the generator by tapping the switch.  However, they are unable to deal with generators or handle high-voltage loads automatically. These switches are less expensive than ATS(automatic transfer switch), but they must be manually flipped in a power failure event.

The ATS (automatic transfer switch) can automatically sense when the power is off. The ATS switches the power supply from the grid to the generator as soon as the generator starts and sends a signal to the ATS, allowing primary circuits such as the water pump, refrigerator and freezer, heating and air conditioning so on to operate normally. Furthermore, ATS can be configured to automatically control the circuits with the highest priority during power outages. An ATS price usually is higher than a manual transfer switch because it has more features and a higher maximum power rating.

GEYA provides mini ATS, isolation ATS, W2R regular ATS, and solar PV ATS, with bulk orders receiving an amazing discount!

See more about GEYA ATS

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I am William, Electrical Engineering Author. Dedicated to writing technical articles on Timer Relay, Monitoring Relay, Surge Protection Device and other electrical devices. With 7 years of writing experience, I am committed to providing accurate and in-depth expertise to my readers.


    I got many insights from your article, thanks for sharing such an informative article about transfer switch.

    Firstly, thank you for this clear and easily understood article about Transfer Switches.

    I intend using an Inverter 1500W, with a 100ah Battery 12V. This is going to power my 1/3hp sump pump during a power failure.
    Could you please advice regarding the Amp rating of my Automatic Transfer Switch, and the connection diagram or the circuit diagram. I am a retired Instrument Engineer, with a working knowledge of Electricity. I would like to wire this switch myself.
    Thank you in anticipation. Please reply.
    Chris. 519-491-1024

    Crusal information I have achieved from reading your article on transfers switch. Thanks for the information

    Thanks to your easy life innovative. Would like to know some of the features of this equipment.

    I agree with your points, great post.

    How does the ATS automatically turn on the generator before switching the load?

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