How To Use A Generator Transfer Switch?

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How To Use A Generator Transfer Switch

How To Use A Generator Transfer Switch

Generators are becoming the need of the hour, particularly for the people who are living in areas where heavy storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes are very frequent.

These intense storms blow out the power supply from your nearby grid by knocking out the supply lines along the way to your home. Or it may be intentionally cut off to prevent the financial loss to electric supply lines during these storms.

In any case, if power outages are frequent in your area having an alternate power source is a must-have necessity. Generators are the ideal of these alternate sources and they will give you great control over your daily power use on days of troubles with the grid power supply.

You must be thinking that changing between grid power and generator power supply can be a tiring task but don’t worry you don’t have to manually switch between these power sources every time you face a power outage. This switching can easily be done with the transfer switch.

Read our review to know how to use a generator transfer switch but before that, it is also mandatory to know how a transfer switch work to understand its installation and work better.
So let’s head for the working of a transfer switch.

How To Wire In A Generator Transfer Switch Diagram?

A transfer switch is used to pass the extension cord that runs between your generator and the inlet box on the wall.

This inlet box houses the transfer switch or is connected with it and the main work employed to it is to switch between grid power and the generator power when the power outage occurs.

The transfer switch should be installed with the help of a professional or certified electrician to ensure proper safety measures.

Furthermore, you have to ensure that you are using only one time of power source otherwise your generator system will be blown.

Now, coming towards the manual work of a transfer switch, you can transfer the power from the grid to the generator supply using the transfer switch. For that purpose, you have to follow the given guidelines.

  • In case of a power outage, connect your generator to the transfer switch system via an extension cord and power it on.
  • Let the generator warm up for about 10 minutes.
  • Make sure you keep the generator in an outdoor environment to your main home like in a garage or exterior home environment.
  • A distance of 10 feet from the living area and generator should be mandatory for safety purposes.
  • After the warming up you can press the transfer switch to convert the grid power supply to generator power.
  • You can power on the outlets and circuits on the generator depending upon your requirements which are the appliances that need to be immediately powered on.
  • Be sure not to overload your generator.

In this way, your transfer switch will work closely with your circuit panel and manage the power sources.

To install the transfer switch you have to take care of the wiring of the generator cord, inlet box, and the transfer switch itself. Given below is the diagram to represent the wiring of the transfer switch is it manual or universal?

How To Use A Generator Transfer Switch

How To Use A Generator Transfer Switch?

There are two types of generator switches depending upon the mode of their operation.
These types are:

1. Manual Transfer Switch
2. Universal Transfer Switch

Let’s now discuss the working of both these types.

How To Install A Manual Transfer Switch?

You can check your user’s manual to know how to use a manual transfer switch with your generator. After thoroughly reviewing the transfer switch you can read the following instructions to install a manual transfer switch.

When The Power Outage Happens Or The Grid Power Goes Out:

  • Switch off the circuit breakers of the transfer switch.
  • Place your generator in an outdoor area like the garage or off the entry door.
  • Now, connect the transfer switch to an inlet box and then connect the box to the generator power cord.
  • After connecting the generator cord and transferring the switch to the inlet box, power on the generator and let it warm up for a few minutes.
  • Switch on the main circuit breaker toward the generator power position. The power source will be shifted from utility power to generator power
  • Now, according to your need power on the desired circuits and generator outlet. Powering one circuit at a time will be helpful to prevent overloading.

When The Utility Power Supply Is Resumed:

  • Switch the main generator circuit breaker towards utility power.
  • Switch off all circuits that you have previously turned on.
  • Power off the generator. And disconnect power cords and extensions.

Universal Transfer Switch:

Universal transfer switches are automatic and they will detect the power source changes and automatically adjust the circuits.

When the utility power supply is cut off, a universal transfer switch will shift the main circuit breaker to generator power and power will be resumed in your house.

After the utility power is restored the main breaker will be turned towards the utility and the generator power will be cut.

You simply have to turn on and off your generator and the rest of the work will be done by the universal transfer switch.

Final Words:

A transfer switch is a small device installed near your circuit panel and is used to switch the power source between utility and generator power. You can use a manual or universal transfer switch depending upon your choice and need. A transfer switch will turn the main circuit breaker towards generator power when the utility power goes out and when the power is resumed it will shift the circuit breaker towards utility power.

This shifting of the main circuit breaker can be done manually or automatically and this is the only difference between a manual and a universal transfer switch. Furthermore, several circuit breakers are used to divide the load of generator power and you can switch on only the required circuits to prevent overloading.

See More:

What Size Generator Do I Need For Sump Pump?

What Size Generator Do I Need For Power Tools?

Video Help:

Maybe this video will help you.

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