Role of a Transfer Switch for Portable and Standby Generators
Portable and standby generators are useful for commercial and residential facilities in case of an emergency power outage. With a generator, you can be assured that you will always have power if the main power supply breaks. As important as the generator, the additional components that come with it are also necessary. One such component is the transfer switch. A transfer switch is used to maintain safety and provide seamless transfer in a generator. Without a transfer switch, using a generator can be dangerous. If you are concerned about a transfer switch, give us a call and we can perform a full generator servicing in Brisbane.
What Are Transfer Switches?
A transfer switch, as the name suggests, is a device that helps in automatically or manually transferring the source of power from the electrical grid to the generator in case of a power outage. The transfer switches can be of different types including automatic transfer switch and manual transfer switch. The automatic transfer switch is usually installed in stationary backup generators whereas the manual transfer switch is used in portable generators. The installation must be taken care of by a generator specialist in the area to ensure efficient performance.
An automatic transfer switch is connected directly to the circuits by qualified electricians. This transfer switch keeps on continuously monitoring the electricity flow from the grid so that as soon as the electricity flow is cut it sends a signal to the generator. As soon as the generator starts supplying power, the electricity from the home grid is automatically disconnected. When the power outage has passed and the generator detects the grid is supplying enough voltage-current it will signal the generator to stop and the power will be shifted to the home grid automatically.
The functioning of the manual transfer switch is similar to that of the automatic one with just one difference. In the case of the manual transfer, the users have to switch the power supply on and off. The portable generators which are not directly connected to the home power grid and are only used occasionally, have this kind of transfer switch. In case of a power outage, the user has to turn on the transfer switch and then turn on the generator. Once the electricity is back, the user has to again switch off the transfer switch and the generator. This can be troublesome for any person, and that’s why it’s important that you invest in maintenance of your transfer switch. The manual transfer switch is installed separately from a generator.
The automatic transfer switch is much more convenient as the electricity transfer does not require the homeowners to switch on and off during the power outage. An automatic transfer switch is somewhat costlier, so if you are looking for a cost-effective option, you can get a manual transfer switch installed.
A transfer switch is important in facilities that power heavy-duty equipment with a generator. A transfer switch will help in the safe use of power during an outage. Most of the electrical codes also require high-capacity generators to use or transfer switches. The reason for this is simple: any heavy-duty appliance will carry a higher electricity load. Any connection to the appliance made without a transfer switch can be dangerous and can lead to fires, damage to the equipment, or physical harm to the user.
The transfer switch also allows the users to easily connect the generator through the entire service panel. Without a transfer switch, each machine has to be connected separately to the generator. It makes the process very complicated.
With this being said, there are a few times when a transfer switch is not necessary. It is only in the case when your generator is powering smaller appliances that require lesser electric voltage. Any generator that is rated for 5000 watts and above will need a transfer switch. It is especially applicable in a case where the whole building is running with the help of a generator, and the power comes back on. If the user somehow forgets to switch off the generator, two power sources are feeding the machines. It leads to an excessive power surge which can lead to fire as well as damage to the equipment.
Transfer Switch Installation Guide
Installing the transfer switch should depend on a few factors. The first factor is the size of your generator. The ideal size of the transfer switch that you require will be equal to the generator load. So, if your generator has an outlet for 50 amps then your transfer switch also should be equal to 50 amps.
The transfer switches also differ from each other depending on the number of circuits they have. A transfer switch can be a single circuit, double circuit, and even multi-circuit. If you are going to use heavy-duty appliances, then a multi-circuit transfer switch is the best option for you.
Also, it is important to decide the best place for you to install your transfer switch. Some transfer switches can be installed inside the home, whereas some need to be installed outside. Rely on the expertise of a professional to help you with this decision because it’s part of the basic knowledge included in training for generator servicing in Brisbane. There are also transfer pre-wired switches that are a little costlier than the ones that need wiring. The pre-wired transfer switches are easier to install whereas, with the non-pre-wired switches, you will need to hire a trained electrician.
Safety Instructions For Transfer Switch Installation
The first thing to keep in mind while installing a transfer switch is to hire a trained and qualified expert that has experience in generator servicing. Although, people with little knowledge of electric equipment installation can easily install the manual transfer switch. But it is important to consult a generator repair professional who also reads and understands the product guide that comes with it. Also, you need to make sure to mount the switch properly near the electrical panel and connect all the wires, so that there are no short circuit situations.
Having a transfer switch in your standby or portable generators can easily ensure the safety of your buildings, as well as the other appliances that run on electricity produced by these generators. No matter what kind of transfer switch you use, make sure to install it if your generator is using power beyond 5000 watts. It is also important to always consult a trained professional for generator repair to check the transfer switch regularly to maintain safety.
So, if you want help with your transfer switch, Reactive Generators is here to help.
Reactive Generators directs every effort towards supporting our customers. We work with each client individually to establish their needs, goals, and budget before providing tailored advice and services. Operating across Queensland, we offer skilled technicians in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich. We cater to industrial and commercial clients across the region, providing a comprehensive and end-to-end service. From purchase and installation to maintenance and repairs, you can trust Reactive Generators to get the job done.