A transfer switch is a device used to provide homeowners and business owners a safe way to connect and disconnect from two power sources which are likely to be between a generator and the usual power supply from the grid.
This has become more common as awareness grew on the importance of having one, especially during long power outages and emergencies.
Do you really need a transfer switch?
Technically, you can use outdoor-rated extension cords to power up your house from the generator. But that meant having multiple cords because you’re going to need a dedicated cord for each appliance that requires a lot of power. This can easily cause an overload.
Not to mention the fact that you can only use your generator on devices that have the standard plug.
You can bypass all that headache by having a dedicated transfer switch.
How to Install a Transfer Switch
There are two types of transfer switches. You can either have an automatic type that quickly acts when it senses that the utility power has been interrupted or a manual type that needs an operator to modify the power source.
In this article, we’ll have an in-depth look at manual transfer switches. An example of this type is Nature’s Generator Power Transfer Switch Kits which can either be a 4-circuit or 6-circuit.
But first, how do you do a transfer switch installation?
- Determine which appliances or house parts you want to have continuous uninterrupted power during emergencies and power interruptions.
- Once these are identified, you can now look at how much wattage would it needed for the home appliances and areas to run. Below are some appliances and gadgets to give you an idea:
- A television would at least require 300 watts and can increase depending on the size.
- A garage door opener can need between 500 to 600 watts
- LED light bulbs would need between 5 to 20 watts while non-LED light requires more wattage
- A refrigerator needs more power and can depend on the size as well. It can range between 350 watts to 750 watts.
The hot wires are then removed from the double pole circuit breaker. Then, replace them with the Red 1 and Red 2 wires. Then intertwine the Black 1 and Black 2 wires to the two hot wires taken out of the circuit breaker.
It is highly recommended to check in with your licensed experts to make sure that you meet all the safety standards and don’t miss any wiring connections.
What do you need? 4-circuit Vs 6-Circuit
The difference between 4-circuit and 6-circuit is the number of areas the transfer switch and generator can cover. Typically picked areas are the hallways (to light them up), bedroom, bathroom, common areas, or garage doors.
This is also a way to gauge how much you’re going to spend during the transfer switch installation. On average, a 6-circuit installation can go between $650 to $700.
If you’re using the 3600W Elite Nature’s Generator you can either use the 4-circuit Power Transfer Kit or the 6-circuit Power Transfer Switch Kit (or Power Transfer Kit Elite). A quick tip was provided above to help you assess which of the two best fits your need.
The difference between the two is their amperage. The 4-circuit Power Switch Transfer Kit is only able to provide 15-Amp while the other one can provide up to 30-Amp.
Then, if you want to use Nature’s Powerhouse Generator, a 6-circuit, 240v/30-amp manual transfer switch or the Powerhouse Power Transfer Kit has been recently released this September. It is created with easy indoor installation in mind. It can also be used for those wanting to go on an off-grid trip and not just during power outages.
The Powerhouse Power Transfer Kit’s first two circuits are 240V double-pole circuits. Allowing its owners the ability to power up just about any device and appliance during a power outage. It also has three power inlets that can be used for whatever direction you may need it for.
Connecting Your Generator to a Power Transfer Kit
To connect your Nature’s generator to the transfer switch just get the included power cord in the kit. Then, fit the female connector to the power inlet of your transfer switch. Lastly, put the male plug into Nature Generator’s AC outlets.
Once a power interruption occurs, just turn the generator’s main power switch on. The generator’s LCD screen will turn on as an indication. This is followed by turning the generator’s AC Switch on. A green light will turn on above the AC outlets. Then, choose the toggle switches of the circuits that you want to power. Move their position from LINE to GEN.
Once the grid power is restored, just move the toggle switch back to LINE and turn off Nature’s Generator to automatically transfer the connection to utility power.
There is no need to worry about any surge damage once the normal power comes back on as the circuits connected to the transfer switch are isolated.
Take note that the transfer kits are not responsible for recharging your generators. They are juiced up either by solar panels or an AC outlet. And, if you’re using a different generator, it’s okay as they can work on any battery-operated generator.
Be sure to check with your local experts to make sure that you follow all the rules and standards when installing back-up power and transfer switches. This ensures that all required checklists have been covered to avoid any headaches.
If you’ve got any questions about generators and power transfer switches don’t be shy and reach out to us. We’ll try our best to give you the best solution.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Cris Ilao, contributed research and content to this blog titled: Transfer Switch Installation Thank you, Cris, for your contributions!