How to Take Care of Your Home Power Generator - My Horizon Home

Home Power Generator

Solar Power / November 1, 2016

When considering the purchase of a generator for home back up use, you should also think about installing a transfer switch device. A professionally installed transfer switch makes using your generator easy and safe.

What is a transfer switch?

A transfer switch is an electrical device that is installed next to your electrical panel in your home. It connects to the circuits in your electrical panel that you wish to power during an electrical outage.

This allows you to power these circuits by connecting the generator to the transfer switch, instead of having to run extension cords to various items.

Why do I need a transfer switch?

  • A transfer switch is required by the National Electric Code for any connection of power to a home.
  • A transfer switch is the only safe way to directly connect the generator to your home.

    A transfer switch isolates selected circuits your home from the power lines. This prevents back-feed, which occurs when power goes back down the utility lines.

    Back-feed can not only damage the generator, but has the potential to cause a fire.

    Even worse, back-feed could electrocute any technicians who are working on the lines - causing injury or even death.

    A transfer switch eliminates the risk of back-feed. It is the only safe way to connect your generator directly to your home.

  • A transfer switch is the easiest way to power your home during an outage.

    Running extension cords to and from appliances can be awkward and time consuming. A transfer switch lets you use your home's wiring system to power any appliance in your home with your generator quickly and easily.

    Other items like a furnace or a well pump cannot be connected to a generator with an extension cord. A transfer switch is the easiest and safest way to connect these items to the generator.

  • A transfer switch can increase the usefulness of your generator.

    This helps you to use a smaller, less expensive generator to meet your power needs. It lets you use your generator more efficiently - with less effort on your part.

How does a transfer switch work?

A licensed electrician will install the transfer switch into your home and connect it with the main breaker box.

The main breaker in the transfer switch switches the power source from utility to generator. The house cannot be connected to both the generator and utility power at the same time - the main breaker transfers power from one source to the other.

This prevents the generator power from back-feeding through the utility lines, as well as preventing utility power from back-feeding into the generator.

The transfer switch also contains a number of circuits. You can instruct the electrician to assign each circuit to a different load. For example, you might want to power the furnace, well pump, refrigerator, and some lights. You can assign different circuits to power each appliance or room.

You may have more items on different circuits than the generator is capable of powering at the same time. However, using a transfer switch will make it easy to switch between different loads. Just turn one circuit off, and the other on. Our Universal Transfer Switch will even do this for you. A transfer switch makes it easy to manage your power usage and maximize your generator's effectiveness.