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​Transfer Switches: Manual or Automatic?

28th Jul 2018

If you have been shopping for a generator lately, you have probably noticed you have a couple of options for your transfer switch: manual and automatic. As a result of the options, people often ask, “What should I choose?” Each has its benefits; they simply depend upon the circumstances in which the generator would be used.

A power outage can be a costly thing. For a business owner, it means business is slow, or down altogether. For a homeowner, it means discomfort without AC or heating, the possibility of spoiled food, and the inability to get some things done without electricity. Power outages cause a lot of loss and you want to make sure that each element of your generator makes it run efficiently, hence the option for an transfer switch; they help you make sure you don’t go without electricity any longer than you have to. They get you up and running faster during an outage.

Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)

The ATS is a permanently-installed fixture that allows your generator to power up immediately after the normal power grid goes down. Your system senses the power is out, so the ATS switches you from the normal power grid to the generator’s power. It’s a fast, easy way of operating your generator in an emergency situation. Many people find its convenience to be the best advantage of an ATS.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s perfect for everyone. The ATS may have high installation costs. Plus, because the power transfer happens so immediately and suddenly, people may not realize the power is out and the generator is engaged, which can be a problem later. 

Manual Transfer Switch (MTS)

Manual transfer switches are particularly useful for those who don’t want, or feel they need the additional costs and convenience of an ATS. The MTS is easier to install and smaller. The primary disadvantage is that it takes that extra time and energy to go out to the switch and make the connection manually when the main power goes out. If you don’t anticipate that you will need your generator often, then the MTS may suit you. If outages occur regularly where you are, or you simply want that convenience, then the ATS could be best for you. 

Ask for more information from Nationwide Generators, and find the right generator and transfer switch for you.