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Types of Generator Transfer Switches

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Generator Transfer Switches and Generator Panels: The Basics of Home Generators and Transfer Switches

Generator Transfer Switches

Electrical Question: Some transfer switches require a 2-pole breaker(60-100 amp) to be installed in the load center, while some transfer switches do not. Why is this so.

This electrical question came from: Tom, a Homeowner from Averill Park, New York.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question about home generators Tom.

Understanding Generator Transfer Switches

Application: Installing a Generator and Transfer Switch
Skill Level: Advanced – Licensed Electrical Contractor, Not Recommended for Homeowners.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools and the various power tools necessary for installing the generator and transfer switch.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and size of the generator and transfer switch and the available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing electrical wiring within the immediate area that may interfere with the installation of the transfer switch may need to be relocated if necessary.
Important: Installing a generator and transfer switch must be well thought out and performed with a permit with all work being inspected.

Generator Transfer Switches and Generator Panels

In a perfect (electricians) world where everything is wired according to electrical code, connecting a different sized portable generator would not be possible due to incompatible connections. However based on my experience of seeing first hand and receiving countless emails and questions about how homeowners and others are connecting their generators I know that there are a lot of illegal generator installations that are not wired according to code and pose hazardous electrical conditions. My desire is to help prevent such hazardous conditions though information found on this website.

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