Every manufacturer will offer transfer switch options that are compatible with their home standby generators. Generac is no different. All transfer switches will have the basic function of transferring your service back and forth between generator and utility power safely. Generac generators can be paired with almost any Generac unit as long as you have the same single or three phase rating. Here are some of the switches that Generac offers.
The Gen-Ready (5449 and 5454) switches are a two-in-one switch. The purpose of this type of transfer switch is to have just a transfer switch instead of both a main panel and a transfer switch. You will see this more commonly when generators are installed in new construction homes and businesses. However, as a home owner, it is a better option than having two bulky boxes attached to your wall.
The RTSY switch options are service entrance rated, whole-house transfer switches. This option works best if you want to avoid picking individual circuits to backup. You are able to power the entire house, as long as your generator can handle it. One of the advantages of this switch is that it is considered to be a “smart” switch, meaning, it is capable of load-shedding and has a service entrance disconnect. Load-shedding allows you to have a pre-designated circuit be completely shut off instead of tripping the main breaker on the unit. This is useful if you have a home with a lot of appliances that will put a strain on the generator. When the generator senses that the hertz has dropped below 60 then it will open the circuits connected to the load-shedding module.
The RTSR switch is exactly the same as the RTSY, except that it doesn’t have the service entrance disconnect built in. With this switch you won’t be able to power up an entire service unless you have an additional disconnect installed before the transfer switch. In most applications this is only beneficial when you aren’t powering an entire service. For example, let’s say you have a four hundred amp service, but, only want to power a sub-panel of two hundred amps. Since you aren’t powering everything, according to electrical code, you don’t have to have a service disconnect. In this particular instance, the RTSR switches would be the perfect options for you. Before you select your transfer switch, make sure you confirm the electrical code and amp requirements with a licensed electrician, or a generator professional.
The RTG switch allows you to be selective about your power needs by picking circuits. You have the option of choosing a ten, twelve, fourteen, or sixteen circuit switch. This can help you save a lot of money because you won’t have to purchase a large generator. Instead, you can purchase a generator large enough to handle only the appliances on circuits you have chosen.
The RTSJ switch is a bit of a hybrid. It combines features from each of the RTSY, RTSR, and RTG switches. Most homes won’t need this set up, however, select applications might find benefit in it. This switch has a priority load center and will power an additional two hundred amp switch. The difference is that when it’s overloaded it will shed the entire two hundred amp service to preserve the load center. Unless you have a large home, over two hundred amps, it isn’t likely that you will need this kind of switch. If you do have a large home, and, don’t want to get a liquid cooled generator then this is the best way to be able to stay in the air-cooled range.