Generator Transfer Switch

A transfer switch is a safe way to connect your home to a portable inverter generator during a power outage.

It allows for the entire home to be powered by the connected generator. A transfer switch should be installed only by a licensed electrician to ensure the safety of family members, property and utility workers. Injury or accident resulting from an improperly installed transfer switch could possibly void your homeowner's insurance.

A transfer switch can be either automatic, manual or a combination of both. For the home, a manual transfer switch is a safe and convenient option. It can be configured to isolate the circuits that require power while preventing the risk of harmful utility backfeed.

Reliance Controls Transfer Switch Kit - 6 CircuitSizing requirements depend on a few key factors. For starters, determine what size power cord will be used. If you plan to use a 30 amp cord then select a 30 amp transfer switch. A good way to pick your chord is to match it to the largest outlet on your generator. If there's a 50 amp outlet, then choose a 50 amp chord. Make sure the plugs on the chord to be used match up with the outlet on the generator and transfer switch. There is a possibility that the ends may require different plugs.

Next, decide which circuits you plan to power. If you plan to utilize a 3000 to 5000 watt inverter generator then maybe consider a 6 circuit transfer switch. Look for a transfer switch that includes a built-in wattage meter so you can monitor the load and to make sure that the system is not overloaded.

The location of your electrical panel is usually where you would install the transfer switch. If your electrical panel is located outside the home then most likely you would place your inverter generator near the transfer switch and plug straight in. If your electrical panel is located within the garage, inside the home or a basement then maybe consider running a hard wired power inlet box to the transfer switch from a convenient location on the outside of the home.

Reliance Controls Transfer Switch Kit - 6 CircuitReliance Controls 31406CRK - 6 Circuit Transfer Switch

If your power needs are minimal or you require only lights and critical appliances to be run during an outage, then the Reliance 6 Circuit transfer switch or similar may by an ideal choice. It is rated for 30 amps and can support generators up to 7,500 watts. Although it can be self installed, a license electrician is recommended. If you do take the self install route, the included documentation and installation walkthrough video are very helpful and straightforward. This transfer switch includes built in wattmeters, a 30 amp 10 ft power cord with L14-30 and L14-20 ends, an outdoor power cord inlet box rated at 30 amps and a 5 year warranty.

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Reliance Controls 31410CRK Transfer Switch Kit - 10 CircuitReliance Controls 31410CRK - 10 Circuit Transfer Switch

Like the 6 circuit model listed above, this complete 10 circuit 30 amp transfer switch turn-key kit by Reliance Controls can also handle generators rated up to 7500 watts. This transfer switch would be ideal for running larger appliances like water heaters or central air conditioners. The transfer switch cabinet is made of rugged, powder coated steel and includes six 15 amp, four 20 amp single pole ciruit breakers and integrated wattmeters. It can interface with generators that include NEMA L14-20 or L14-30 power outlets. This kit also includes a convenient 30 amp outdoor power cord inlet box and a 10-foot 30 amp power cord.

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GenTran 3028 8-Circuit 30 Amp Transfer SwitchGenTran 3028K 30 Amp 8-Circuit Transfer Switch

To accommodate larger power requirements, an 8 circuit transfer swith like the GenTran 3028K model enables more devices in your home or business to recieve power with the added benefit of being expandable up to 10 ciruits if the need arises. It supports generators rated up to 7,500 watts. As with any transfer switch, a licensed qualified elecrician is recommended for the installation. The kit version of the GenTran 3028 transfer switch includes the 8 circuit prewired transfer switch, dual watt meters for load monitoring, power cord inlet box with 25 ft power cord and a 2 year limited warranty.

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GenTran 10 Circuit PowerStay 30 Amp Manual Transfer SwitchGenTran 10 Circuit 30 Amp Manual Transfer Switch

Easily accommodate generators rated up to 7,500 watts with the GenTran PowerStay adjustable manual transfer switch. Although the base design is for 10 circuits, this unit can scale up to 16 circuits. It can be configured for hardwired or plug-in connections to your generator. The NEMA 3R-rated aluminum cabinet offers surface and flush mounting flexibility. Be aware that if you plan to flush mount this transfer switch that you will lose access to the L14-30 connector which is located on the top most cabinet panel. Moving the plug to a custom cut hole on the cabinet front face or running a power cord to a break out receptacle would be a couple of work-around options to consider. This transfer switch includes a single 2-pole 30 Amp breaker for a water heater, one 2-pole 20 Amp breaker, three 20 Amp 1-pole breakers and three 15 Amp 1-pole breakers.

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