Knowing nothing I'll add my two pence from that standpoint. I consulted
with a licensed and well experienced electrician. He installed a transfer
switch wich was $500 and his labor, another $400 as I recall and it works on
the alloted circuits as proven by a two day outage last year. It seems to
me that when you choose to energize the entire house on a small generator
you could overload it accidentally. And, as I said, since I don't know
anything about electricity I assume that this could cause a catastrophic
accident. No ones life is worth a savings of any amount of money.
I wouldn't be energizing the entire house, only select circuits to ge
by. I'm debating the options of transfer switch or a master cutof
switch which would cut power off before the meter. I'd know for certai
that the utility power is off before I could backfeed. I'm not committe
to either option at the moment, I'm researching before I decide. M
power comes out of the ground up to about 5' to the meter. The powe
exits the meter from behind(into the wall) and into a perpendicula
interior wall about 5' to the breaker box. The breaker box is confine
in a narrow spot.(Not much room for a transfer switch). My neighbor'
house has a meter with a master cutoff box next to it with a lever o
it. The power exits the cutoff switch from behind to his breaker box
To me, that's a positive way to cutoff power from the pole. I hav
nothing between the meter and the breaker box but the main breaker. I'
not opposed to a transfer switch, it's just that it would be difficul
in my situation.
C & M Wrote:
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I can't take this anymore; gotta speak up.
A Transfer Switch, properly installed, automatically
disconnects the wired ckts from the mains, meter,
incoming power, whatever you want to call it, all in
ONE motion, and gives thos ckts to the generator ONLY.
A cutoff switch, though functional enough, is ANOTHER
added action in order to isolate the generator from the
power coming in. First you have to throw the cutoff
switch, then hook up your generator - at LEAST two
steps, easily forgotten/mixed up in an emergency.
With a transfer switch, you can monitor the power
being used with the meter, how much is on which leg,
and even control what can or can't run.
With a cutoff switch, after you get the generator
hooked up and running, then you have to be sure you
turn off several breakers, or go around and make sure
"extra" things aren't running.
With a transfer switch, using it assures you
disconnected from the incoming power by virtue of its
design. A cutoff switch just disconnects the whole
house and that's all.
With a transfer switch, you can still know when
power comes back. Not so with a cutoff switch.
Some codes still require a cutoff switch regardless of
whether you use a transfer switch or not, because they
predate transfer switches for residences.
Yes, I have a transfer switch. Yes, I used it
during the Ice Storm on '98, for 5 days, in fact. No,
I'm not required to have a cutoff switch. My
installation was inspected and passed with flying
Best to check on local codes.
Just my two cents
What you are calling a transfer switch is a transfer panel that contains
a number of transfer switches. I don't make that distinction to split
hairs but rather to point out that a transfer switch is simpler to
operate and provides more flexibility in which loads you can run. A
transfer panel offers better control but less flexibility in load
Each of the switches in a transfer panel is a transfer switch that
controls a single load or circuit. One advantage of that arrangement is
that you can transfer the selected loads and still leave some load
connected to the utility to indicate the return of public power.
Another advantage is that you greatly limit the likelihood of
overloading the generator to the point were it's Over Current Protective
Device opens and darkens the whole house again.
A double throw switch, or a pair of single throw switches that are
interlocked, which controls the entire supply to the home allows you to
run any load in the home up to the limit of the generators capacity.
"This alternating current stuff is just fad. It is much too dangerous
for general use." Thomas Alva Edison
===> Your comments are correct of course, but what a
person sees when he approaches mine is "Transfer
Switch" on the label. In many parlance it's common to
call a "box" of something by the singular form; thus I
suppose a "box" of transfer switches is "a" transfer
Google for "tansfer switch" and you won't get the
individual 3-position (or 2 position) switches, you'll
get a bunch of sites calling a "box" of transfer
switches a transfer switch, singular. It just makes
sense and is logical.
I have a feeling we're on opposite sides of the
high\\low voltage equation?
One can go as far as they wish with definitions, but
it's generally best to go with what is "common" or
"perceived" usages. If someone asks you what a
transfer switch is, you're probably going to continue
describing dtdt, dptt, tptt and so on, but it would
have served no purpose to the post, IMO. But I
would describe it as a box with a set of switches to
isolate your generator from the mains lines. Which is
by far more accurate than trying to describe one of the
internal switches, in view of the current usage.
So, I'm at a loss as to just what the heck you are
trying to communicate in your post. Were you adding
to, subtracting from, or otherwise trying to
correct/revise something I said? You did address it
specifically to me, so it has to be my post your are
If so, come out and say it. I'm not aware that I
gave any bad advice to the posters, so if there's
something wrong, be specific.
I don't bite :-)
What he means is, a transfer switch panel and a master transfer switch
are similar, but the "panel" transfers power to the circuits from the
generator/utility. A transfer "switch" is one large switch in the main
line that transfers power to the whole breaker box from the
generator/utility instead of individual circuits. That's the point. You
can get a transfer panel to power selected circuits or a general switch
to backfeed the whole board which in my case is much more convienent
There are all kind of switches and difficulties of installation, so the
prices you give might be right for some.
But for normal installation of a 7500w switch, it should be about half of
that. (having just done one...)
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