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​What is a Transfer Switch?

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In your search for the perfect generator, you may have heard that you need a transfer switch. A transfer switch is an essential component to a home’s backup generator system. It serves several functions to protect the change from a standard power grid to the generator’s power.

What is it?

The transfer switch is a device that connects your home’s electrical wiring and systems to the generator. It is installed in an electrical panel in, or near your home. In basic terms, it operates like a light switch that turns the backup generator on and off as needed. It makes generator use more convenient; instead of running extension cords and plugging in a generator when you need it, you can simply have your transfer switch make the change for you, automatically or manually. It also makes certain that the generator is safely wired to your home’s electrical system in order to avoid damage, or other incidents.

How Does It Work?

The transfer switch switches the power for your home’s use in times of need. When the standard power grid that powers your city or neighborhood goes down, the transfer switch is what changes your home’s power source to the generator rather than the utility power. You can have it set to do this automatically; the switch will detect when the power is out and automatically start up the generator. Or, you can install the switch, and when the time comes, plug your generator in and flip it yourself.

What is the Cost?

Costs for this equipment can vary, depending on whether it’s manual, automatic, and the generator power. It is best to have a professional perform the installation, which also carries costs. Simple manual transfer switches may cost $100 to $400, and some automatic models cost more than $600. Installation may take a few hours. Always discuss what type you need with a professional electrician.

Call us at AP Electric and Generators, or visit our website, and ask us about generators, transfer switches, and how we can help you get the best backup power for your home. 

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