Be ready for the next power outage with a Generator & Transfer Switch

If you live in an area where power outages are common, then you know the frustration of being suddenly plunged into darkness. And loss of lighting isn’t the only inconvenience. Going without electricity for just a few hours can cause fresh foods to spoil and frozen foods to thaw. Unless you have a gas range or barbecue grill, forget about cooking meals. And if your home has an electric well pump, you won’t have any water for drinking, washing, bathing, or flushing the toilets.

transfer switch generatorWe can all agree that power outages stink, but there’s no reason to sit in the dark and feel helpless. You can run your home’s most critical electrical circuits with the aid of a portable generator and an electrical device called a transfer switch. A transfer switch is a good alternative to a standby generator, one that will allow you to power up only the most important items.

A transfer switch is a compact breaker box that is installed inside the home, right beside the main electrical panel. The switch is wired into the main panel and connected to the most critical circuits, such as the furnace, water heater, refrigerator, range, well pump, and interior lights. A power inlet box, which is essentially an electrical outlet, is mounted to the exterior of the house. An electrical cable runs from the inlet box directly into the transfer switch. Sometimes the cable runs to a junction box installed near the transfer switch and then a power cord with a plug is wired into the box.

Once the transfer switch is installed, the system works like this:

When the electricity goes out, you set up a portable generator outside and plug it into the power inlet box. If the inlet-box cable runs to a junction box with power cord, plug the power cord into the transfer switch. Be sure all the toggle switches on the transfer switch are in the off position. Then go outside and start the generator.

Now that the generator is running, you can pick and choose which appliances and electrical circuits to electrify by simply flipping up the switches on the transfer switch. Note that in most cases, the transfer switch will be connected to more circuits than the generator can accommodate all at once, so keep track of which circuits are on and be careful not to overload the system. We’ll advise you on the most efficient use of your generator and transfer switch and we highly recommend that you read the owner’s manual that comes with the transfer switch.

Transfer switches come in various sizes to match common-size generators. The two most popular residential transfer switches are the six-circuit switch which is designed for use with a 5000-watt generator, and the 10-circuit switch, which can accommodate a 7500-watt generator. You’ll need an experienced, licensed electrician such as Barney’s Electric to install the transfer switch.

The total cost of installing a transfer switch can seem significant, but it’ll be well worth the investment the next time the power goes out and you’re not left sitting in the dark.

Posted in Local Electrician Blog

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Barney Messenger is a Rockwall Electrician Serving Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Kauffman counties

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998 Holli Ln
Rockwall, TX 75087

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Barney's Electric
Reviewed from Google

4.9 out of 5 stars

Cale Watts
Cale Watts

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I submitted an online request at 9pm one evening for some electrical work I needed on a newly constructed patio cover. Barney called me around 7:30am the following morning! Now that's a fast response time! The work needed to be completed asap and had to be coordinated with my builder. They coordinated perfectly with my builder's schedule. They got the work done fast. And this was all done with very short notice!  They were prompt, professional, courteous, and very informative. They even gave me free advice on a non-related issue that is going to save me hundreds of dollars. They did excellent work and cleaned up afterward! I will definitely be using them on other properties and upcoming projects in the near future.  I highly recommend Barney's Electric! 

 

Joanna Rich
Joanna Rich

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I'm new to Rockwall and needed an electrician out as soon as possible due to a circuit breaker not turning back on. Jason worked with me on timing to make sure he was here before the AC company - arriving at my home within two hours of my first contact! Amazing service and they will be my first call for any future electrical work.

Nelda Gillilan
Nelda Gillilan

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

Barney's Electric is professional, friendly, and timely. Barney and Jason both were great at repairing our electrical problem today. We are pleased to have found them and will be using Barney in the future for any electrical services we need. Thank you, Barney and Jason.