What does a transfer switch do?

Are you concerned about storms and the state of your municipal electrical grid? If you are, one of the ways you can ensure your home always has power is by installing a generator. However, when you have a generator wired into your home’s electrical system, you also need a transfer switch. Let’s take a look at what a transfer switch is and the types of switches available.

Understanding What a Transfer Switch Does

A transfer switch is a device that switches your home’s power from the municipal electric grid to your generator. In the event of a power outage, you’d either flip the manual switch to the generator, or the switch flips automatically in order to provide your home with electricity from the generator. Transfer switches also provide a second function, they protect the utility lines from backfeed, which can damage power lines and injure any lineman working on those lines.

Types of Transfer Switches

It’s important to understand that if you have a generator or want to install a generator, you must have a either a manual or automatic transfer switch. It’s required by the building code.

Manual Transfer Switch

A manual transfer switch requires that you flip the switch in the event of a power outage. If you’re home, this is no problem. Once you realize the power is out and staying out, you’d simply start your generator and flip the switch in order to restore power. If you’re not at home, the switch won’t flip by itself, which means any refrigerators or freezers you have would not have any power until you arrived home, started your generator and flipped the switch.

Automatic Transfer Switch

Automatic transfer switches flip when it detects a power loss from the municipal electric grid. This type of setup starts your generator and switches the power from the grid to your generator. Many homeowners prefer this because it creates a nearly seamless transfer from utility-provided power to your generator. Once the city’s electrical grid is back in operator, the switch flips back, and your generator turns off.

Transfer Switch and Generator Installation with Luminous Electric

Our experienced electricians install whole-house generators and manual or automatic transfer switches. If you’d like a new backup power system or to upgrade your transfer switch, we can perform the work to ensure that you always have power to your home.

For more information on transfer switches and to schedule an install, give us a call at 941-727-02782.

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