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How does a transfer switch for a generator work?

A generator transfer switch is an electrical device designed to keep your main utility electricity supply and generator supply separate. This switch is necessary to ensure only one electrical supply is powering your devices at any given time.

How Your Transfer Switch Works

Your generator’s transfer switch monitors the voltage coming from your utility line at all times. When the power is interrupted, the transfer switch shuts off the utility line and activates the power line from your generator. The generator now supplies power to your home as your transfer switch continues monitoring the status of your utility line.

It’s crucial to have a properly working transfer switch because it protects your utility line, generator line, and most importantly, your home.

Types of transfer switches

There are two main types of transfer switches — manual and automatic — and both work to support your generator and power your home.

As the name suggests, automatic transfer switches alternate between the power lines automatically, turning your generator on and off. Manual transfer switches require you to flip a switch or turn a handle to alternate between the generator and main lines.

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