Why It Makes Sense to Use a Transfer Switch with Your Generator

words Al Woods

Transfer Switch

No one likes a sudden power outage, especially if you are racing to submit a school paper or work proposal before the set deadline. This is where a generator will come in handy. When setting up an electric generator at home, you have to thoroughly follow the safety instructions mandated by the law. In most countries, you are obliged to install a transfer switch with your generator.

However, you first need to understand the purpose of a  transfer switch in order to realize its importance. A transfer switch is an electric switch that alternates between two different electricity sources -a primary one and a generator. It can either be automatically or manually operated. Continue reading below to find out why it makes sense for you to install one with your generator. 

For Safety Reasons

This is the first thing you should look at when it comes to any electricity-related work you want to do at home. A typical home standby generator cannot endure the electricity loads of average daily consumption. Installing a transfer switch will give you control over which appliances to hook to your generator and which to hook to your electricity grid. Furthermore, when the power is down, the transfer switch will protect your home against the shocking surge in electricity when it comes back. This will eliminate the risk of potential fires and chances of electrocution.

To Power Some Items

Some items cannot be connected to a generator with electrical wires, so you will need a transfer switch to power those. According to the blogpost published on generatorgrid.com/blog/transfer-switch/, you will need a transfer switch to ensure that important electrical appliances like your AC unit can keep operating even during a power outage. In addition to those appliances that cannot be connected by an extension cord, the transfer switch will save you the hassle of looking for cords in pitch-black darkness. 

To Increase Your Home’s Market Value

Since using a transfer switch with your home generator is required by law, not having one means that your home is in violation which will considerably reduce its market value. If you are in the house flipping business or planning on selling your home soon, it only makes sense to install one and have everything in place before attempting a sale. 

Transfer Switch

To Avoid Hefty Penalties

The National Electric Code requires that you install a transfer switch when you’re installing a portable generator for your home. If you want to avoid subjecting yourself to hefty penalties, you should use a transfer switch. To stay in the clear, make sure you check with your local authorities about the instructions that you need to follow before installing a generator at home. This should give you a clear idea about the steps you have to follow. 

To Protect Your Generator

Not only will the transfer switch protect you, but it’s also essential to protect your generator. The back feed that happens when the power is back on after an outage can fry your generator. Purchasing and installing a small transfer switch makes more sense than taking the risk of losing your expensive generator. 

To Maintain Energy Efficiency

Whether you are using a transfer switch for your home or office generator, you’ll be glad to know that it will maintain energy efficiency. Modern transfer switches are highly sensitive and designed to detect even the slightest energy fluctuations to act immediately and activate your standby generator. In an office setup, this is a highly sought-after feature to avoid any disruption in operations. 

For Social Responsibility 

Even in the unlikely case that you don’t care about your own safety enough to install a transfer switch, you should at least care about the safety of others around you. If a back feed-caused fire should occur, the damages will be catastrophic affecting your neighbors and other unfortunate bypassers. Serious injuries and even death can result from such a small act of recklessness on your side. You clearly wouldn’t want to live with this burden so as you can see, it makes sense to use a transfer switch with your generator. 

To Extend the Lifespan of Your Generator

As previously mentioned, using a transfer switch will protect your generator and eliminate the risk of having to replace it anytime soon. Generators are supposed to last you anywhere between 20 and 40 years, but only if you maintain it properly which in this case means using a transfer switch. 

Unless you are a professional electrician, you are not required to know all there is about generators. However, as a citizen, it’s your responsibility to collect the needed information before attempting to install a home generator. It’s not only for your own good, but it’s also the right thing to do. Your only say in the matter must be whether to use an automatic transfer switch or a manual one. 


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