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Generator Transfer Switch: Types, Installation, and Buying Guide

Generator transfer switches are an essential component of your standby generator system. Without it, your standby generators are not safe to operate. If you are about to install a standby generator in your home, you need to consider the type of transfer switch you will buy. When choosing your transfer switch, several factors influence the decision, such as the type, power usage, and costs. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the transfer switch in your generator. 

Various types of generator switches

There are several types of transfer switches ‌‌you can find in the market, and each serves a purpose. Here are the most common ones:

  • Open transition transfer switch: An open transfer switch breaks the circuit from one connection completely before connecting to another circuit, preventing any back feed to your utility service. However, this creates a lag that can damage your electrical appliances in the long term. 
  • Closed transition transfer switch: Unlike open transition transfer switch, close transition transfer switches don’t have a time lag. However, they can only be used if both connections are compatible.
  • Soft loading transfer switch: These switches are designed to help your generator and utility connection synchronize so there is minimal voltage variance while switching. 
  • Static transfer switches: These types of switches don’t use any moving parts, instead rely on semiconductors for the switch. 

Each switch has its pros and cons. If you have trouble deciding the best switch for you, you can ask your generator maintenance service providers to help you choose the right one. 

Installation of transfer switches

Once you determine the type transfer switch, the next step is installation. For installation, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Permits: Most permanent additions to your home will require a permit from state authorities. Some states have‌ a simple permit process, while others have a more complex one. It depends on your location. The installation company you hire for the process can help you get permits yourself, or take permits on your behalf. 
  • Costs: Another crucial consideration for installing a transfer switch is its cost. It can range between $200 to $400 depending on the company and the average labor costs in your region. You can also get an estimate from your company beforehand. 
  • DIY installation: There is no rule against DIY transfer switch installation. However, you should have the technical knowledge and experience to do so, or it can be dangerous. Hence, it is best to call professionals for the job. 

Tips for purchasing the proper transfer switch

Here are the things you should look for:

  • Wattage: Check whether the transfer switch has enough wattage to handle the electric load of your home. 
  • Inclusions: Transfer switches come with a kit, and you need to check what you are getting along with the switches. Some manufacturers offer more parts than others. 
  • Manual or automatic: You can get both switch types, but you must consider which is best for you. 

About Nebraska Generator Service LLC

If you are looking for a generator rental in Omaha, Gibbon, or the Nebraska region, Nebraska Generator Service LLC is your one-stop solution. Our services include remote monitoring and emergency service calls, maintenance, and commercial generator repair. You can schedule a free assessment today by filling out our online contact form. Contact us at (402)800-0748 to know more.

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