Generator Automatic Transfer Switch is Crackling Sizzling and Arcing
Why does my automatic transfer switch makes a Loud ‘pop’ and there was also a visible flash?
Generator Transfer Switch
Electrical Question: My automatic transfer switch makes a Loud ‘pop’ and there was also a visible flash.
There is a Loud ‘pop’ when automatic transfer switch opens or closes. Tonight, I realized that there was also a visible flash. is this normal and or acceptable?
This is a 16kw single phase standby generator with a 200 amp automatic transfer switch.
This electrical wiring question came from Jack, a Handyman in Virginia.
Jack, Thank You for Visiting Ask-the-Electrician!
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jack.
Crackling or Sizzling from a Generator Transfer Switch
Application: Generator Transfer Switch.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, Certified Electrician or a authorized Generator Service Technician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the Generator Transfer Switch, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the Generator Transfer Switch should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in Virginia. A permit and inspections may also be required.
Generator Transfer Switch is Crackling Sizzling and Arcing
This electrical wiring question is about a Generator Transfer Switch in the Driveway of an Old Home.
Generator Transfer Switch Crackling or Sizzling
Reviewing the Electrical Question:
- There is a Loud ‘pop’ when the automatic transfer switch opens or closes. Tonight, I realized that there was also a visible arc flash.
- Jack, from the information you have provided, the action of transfer switch is taking place while there is a substantial electrical load.
- The evidence of hearing the crackling and sizzling, and seeing an arc flash indicates that there may be substantial wear, and possible damage that may have occurred to the internal contacts due to transferring under a high electrical load.
- It is also possible that there is an electrical problem with one of the circuits that is connected to the generator transfer switch. Testing individual circuits and connected equipment would be advisable.
- If it is possible, you may consider reducing the electrical load that is placed on the generator transfer switch at the time of the transfer, especially if the generator is set up on an automatic start and stop program.
- NOTE: Over time, the relay contacts may wear due to the electrical load. However these parts are replaceable. It would be advisable to have a licensed electrician or authorized Generator Service Technician perform routine tests and inspections, and make repairs as needed.
200 AMP Automatic Transfer Switch
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