Transfer Switches Simplified
Always be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for tips for successful installation. There is also a minimum time requirement, but it is longer than for emergency systems. Optional standby systems supply power to facilities where life safety is not an issue and where they are not mandated by codes or government regulations. A manual transfer switch must be actuated by the homeowner.
There is also a minimum time requirement, but it is longer than for emergency systems. Did you try these steps? Convert to generator power and return to utility power as per manufacturer's instructions. Moreover, the electrician that performs the initial installation does not have to cut incoming power and perform heavy service entrance conductor work during the install. These systems require ATSs, and a minimum time interval is specified for the switchover to be complete. Lines and paragraphs break automatically. Edit Article How to Install a Transfer Switch Installing a transfer switch refers to the process of adding the necessary trigger to change your energy to generator power in the event of an electrical outage.
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Thanks for helping us achieve our mission of helping people learn how to do anything. Electrical Wiring and Safety Switches. Edit Article How to Install a Transfer Switch Installing a transfer switch refers to the process of adding the necessary trigger to change your energy to generator power in the event of an electrical outage. Decide which home conveniences you'd like to be generator accessible.
This usually includes the refrigerator, stove and other essential appliances. Access your fuse box and calculate the amount of power that will be demanded of the generator to run each of these devices separately. Confirm that the amperage of needed power does not exceed the generator's capacity. The combined amperage may exceed the generator's capacity as long as the instruments aren't running simultaneously.
Assign each appliance a number which coincides with its circuit and label this in the circuit breaker of the switch. The sizes of the assigned breakers must be equal in both the transfer switch and the home's load center. Trim the unit's insulating tube, which will cover the wires, to a workable length using a utility knife.
Use the transfer switch's wiring harness to connect the unit to the circuit breaker. The wires should be drawn through 1 of 3 knockouts located on the underside of the switch. They should join the circuit breaker through a knockout found at the bottom of the box. Lift the transfer switch up to the wall where it is to be installed and label the placement of the mounting screws.
Join the wires to the transfer switch referring to the labels created previously. Attach the miscellaneous black wires to the Utility 2-pole breaker in the transfer switch. Join the white wire to the neutral area located in the middle of the transfer switch.
Join the green wire to the grounding bar on the left side of the lower portion of the switch. Confirm that the power supply is cut off at the main load center. Detach the assigned wires for each appliance from the circuit breaker box. Attach to the transfer switch using wire connectors and again referring to the labels. Detach the 2 individual pole breakers from where each assigned appliance wire was removed. Join the green wire to the ground bar.
If a ground bar is not present, join the green wire to the neutral bar. Put the cover back on the main circuit breaker, and restore the power supply. Convert to generator power and return to utility power as per manufacturer's instructions. You're helping people by reading wikiHow wikiHow's mission is to help people learn , and we really hope this article helped you.
They know in the event of an electric utility power supply outage it is at the very least desirable to power up selected circuits in a service entrance panel to provide limited light, heat, and refrigeration.
Having the option of operating a double-throw switch — or sitting back and doing nothing while the switch operates on its own — is a very appealing and safe option. By design, it is a physical impossibility for both power sources to supply the load simultaneously, unless, of course, that is the intent. It's also impossible for the two sources to mix — or for one source to backfeed into the other.
Interior of an 8kW LPG generator installed in residence for backup power. In the event of an electric utility outage, it starts automatically and comes online within less than a minute. Installing a transfer switch is a relatively straightforward task. You install the switch upstream of the service entrance panel, which typically contains the main disconnect.
You should locate it next to the entrance panel. For a retrofit, if the main disconnect is part of the service entrance panel, it's necessary for you to pull the meter with electric utility permission in order to de-energize the service entrance conductors.
Then, reroute them into the transfer switch, wire in the generator, and refeed the service entrance panel. In all cases, you should use cable or raceway suitable for the environment and of proper ampacity.
Make sure the neutral is run through unswitched, and the transfer switch enclosure is properly grounded. Where aluminum conductors are used, be sure to wire-brush the metal, apply corrosion inhibitor, and torque the lugs to the proper value. For the electrician who has never retrofitted a transfer switch, the job is relatively straightforward, because it closely resembles the work involved with an ordinary service installation.
A manual transfer switch must be actuated by the homeowner. After having ascertained that the electric utility outage is more than a momentary loss of power, the homeowner must manually start the engine, allow it to come up to speed and stabilize, and then throw the lever on the transfer switch into the generator position.
A double-pole, double-throw switch is the basic transfer equipment when the entire load is supplied by either the normal source, such as an electric utility, or the backup source, such as a diesel generator. Backfeed or inadvertent connection of the two sources is impossible.
On the other hand, an automatic transfer switch ATS continuously monitors electric utility power. Fluctuations or serious power quality issues, which might precede an outage, trigger a start command to the generator.
After backup voltage and frequency stabilize, the transfer switch brings the generator online. Once electric utility power is restored, with no fluctuations for a predetermined amount of time, the switch goes back to its normal position. After a cooling down interval, the generator is automatically shut down.
All of these actions take place with no human intervention. No matter which type of switch is being used, the foregoing discussion is based on the assumption that the generator is capable of supplying the total connected load, which is often not the case.
Unless the residential load is unusually small or the generator is unusually large, successful operation depends on several factors. With a manual transfer switch in place, the homeowner would first have to make his way to the service entrance panel.
Many times, this would be done in the dark with a flashlight in hand. Prior to switching over to standby power, the homeowner would have to shut off individual breakers for nonessential branch circuits so as to shed part of the load and size it down to match the capability of the standby power plant.
If the loads on their branch circuits weren't properly noted prior to this activity, it's easy to overload the capability of the generator right from the start.
Fortunately, this process is not necessary with newer transfer switches. Several manufacturers provide selective load transfer switches click here to see Fig. Because this type of transfer switch carries only a small portion of the total load, it is smaller and moderately priced. Moreover, the electrician that performs the initial installation does not have to cut incoming power and perform heavy service entrance conductor work during the install. As the installer, all you have to supply is a 60A double-pole breaker to match the service entrance panel make and model.
Automatic selective circuit transfer switch retrofitted to A residential service. Because it is for an optional standby system, the owner designates the circuits to be supplied. Begin a retrofit by mounting the selective circuit manual transfer switch next to the service entrance panel Photo 2. A length of flexible raceway, in many cases electrical nonmetallic tubing ENT , is often furnished with the transfer switch. However, you should replace this with metallic raceway if the building is three or more stories above grade — or if ENT is prohibited by local codes.
Feed the prewired harness through this raceway. It includes heavy conductors for the new double-pole breaker in the existing service entrance panel along with designated ungrounded branch circuit conductors.
Splice these new conductors from the harness to the preselected branch circuit conductors with twist-type wire connectors inside the service entrance panel.
The raceway also includes a green equipment grounding conductor, which is provided for the purpose of grounding the transfer switch enclosure. The wiring harness is preterminated in the selective circuit transfer switch so the only connections that have to be made are those in the service entrance panel.
Although the original branch circuit breakers are no longer used, you can leave them in place as spares, or remove two of them to make space for the new double-pole 60A breaker. With increased arc fault and GFCI branch circuit mandates, it may be necessary for you to upgrade some of the breakers in the transfer switch.
Some models do not allow for this change.
Imsges: how do you hook up a automatic transfer switch
Practical tips for understanding and installing these devices in residential applications. The requirements in Art. Choices can be based on need and amount of power consumed.
Before performing such an installation, you should carefully review this Article to make sure your work is NEC compliant. Transfer switches may be manual or automatic. For a retrofit, if the main disconnect is part of the service entrance panel, it's necessary for you to pull the meter with electric utility permission in order to de-energize the service entrance conductors.
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