If you have a standby generator connected to your home you should also have a generator and transfer switch system set up and in use. A generator and transfer switch system will not only keep you but will also keep any person working on the power lines around your home safe. We will briefly learn about how a transfer switch works and why you should be using them with your power supply. If you are attempting this procedure on your own ensure you are following all of the safety precautions and warnings. Read all the safety instructions that come with your transfer switch and generator. You should also take some time to learn about the basic generator safety guidelines.
If you own an automatic generator you should know how the transfer switch system works. The transfer switch itself is a completely automatic switch that closely and constantly monitors all incoming voltage from the utility lines. If the power flow from the main lines becomes interrupted the transfer switch automatically and immediately senses the problem and signals for the generator to start. Once the generator is running at the correct speed the automatic transfer switch will safely shut off the main power lines while at the same time open the generators power line in order to give you power. This all happens within seconds and although your generator is now the only supply of power, the transfer switch still continues to monitor the main power lines in the event of power being restored. Once it has recognized that the power is back up it will reconnect the main lines for power and slowly turn off the generator returning power flow back to normal.
Considering the gravity of responsibility that the transfer switch holds, it is something that should be installed only by a qualified electrician or highly knowledgeable person as this device must comply with every law and electrical code. As mentioned before, the transfer switch can protect anyone working on the main power lines. Transformers are used to step down the electrical current in order to safely power homes. However a transformer can also work in reverse by stepping up the voltage. This stepped up voltage back-feeding through the power lines can potentially electrocute a worker trying to work. A transfer switch will protect the linemen from this situation.
Not only will a transfer switch protect a linemen, it can also protect your own home. Improperly made connections will allow an electrical current to come from your generator and short circuit main utility lines when the power is restored. This can potentially start a fire inside your home. On top of protecting your entire home it also protects the generator itself. Automatic standby generators are quite expensive so it is in your best interest to try and protect it. In the same way power being restored can short circuit the main utility lines, it can also run through your generator causing it to burn or potentially explode.
There are many types of transfer switches that can be installed from residential to high output industrial zones. Each will cater to the specific needs of the individual.