Automatic Transfer Switches For Generators

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What is an Automatic Transfer Switch and why do I need one? It is a switch used to transfer an electric load back and forth between a primary source, such as a utility, and a secondary source, such as a generator. This switch is a critical component of any standby power system, back up power system or emergency power system. This transfer would be necessary from the primary source of power to the back up generator due to some type of power outage.

Or, when the quality of primary source of power deviates from set limits. Especially in cases of critical needs such as hospitals, IT servers, alarm monitoring systems, etc. The automatic transfer switch is also used to switch the source back to utility power once the power is restored and when the quality of the power returns to parameters of the set limits.

How Does The Transfer Switch Work?

When the normal (preferred) source of power is lost, transfer switches are designed to quickly, seamlessly and safely shift the load circuit from the normal source of power to the emergency (alternate) source of power.

This permits critical loads to continue running with minimal or no outage. Some high end switches negotiate the power transfer within seconds. Others may take up to thirty seconds or more. After the normal source of power has been restored, the re-transfer process returns the load circuit to the normal power source.

Why Do I Need An Automatic Transfer Switch?

If you have any type of power back up system or a standby generator system, your choices are: (1) manually switch on your back up power supply. (2) Use a manual transfer switch. Or. (3) Use a Automatic Transfer Switch. If you take the first option, you will be required, (at the drop of a dime) to totally disconnect the utility power connection and then connect your back up generator. This option, (and I know people who take this route) is really only reserved for qualified licensed electricians.

The second option simply means that you will be the person who initiates the power transfer. When the power goes out, a person has to manually switch from the failed utility power over to the back up generator power.

This process also entails starting the generator. The third option makes switching a breeze! The transfer switch automatically kicks into gear once it detects a power failure or outage. This is feature is critical especially in extreme weather conditions such as ice storms, winter weather conditions, hurricanes and other inclement weather.

Let’s face the facts, who wants to be the person to go outside in freezing temperatures to start a back up generator? Not me buddy! If you have a standby, emergency or back up generator, considering getting an Automatic Transfer Switch. It’ll save you time and make power outages seem insignificant.

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