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SME Inc of Seattle offers our customers a broad and deep range of electrical services across commercial and industrial industries and residential properties. From tenant improvement, new build or renovations to assembly lines, healthcare facilities or multi- or single-family residences, the team at SME Inc provides experienced engineers and licensed electricians who have the skill and expertise to design, install and complete any project.

Residential Generator Transfer Switches

Generator Transfer Switches

An automatic transfer switch for an automatic generator is required for the system to work independently. A portable generator can be nearly as easy to use as an automatic generator by having a manual transfer switch installed outside your home. As licensed electricians, SME Inc. can professionally install your standby generator and automatic transfer switch or install a manual transfer switch for your portable generator.

Automatic Transfer Switch

When you purchase an automatic generator, you will also need to purchase an automatic transfer switch. The transfer switch is the interface between the standby generator and your circuit panel. Switches are 100, 200 or 400-amps and need to be matched to your electrical panel.

Load centers combine an automatic transfer switch and a subpanel. These are ideal for smaller homes that have 100-amp panels. Eight to 16 circuits can be connected for backup power.

If you have more than 16 circuits to be powered during an electrical power outage, you will need an automatic transfer switch with a service entrance disconnect. This system powers an entire 200-amp electrical panel and is suited for large standby generators.

When the automatic transfer switch detects that the utility power has been disrupted, it relays the information to the standby generator and starts the engine. Once the standby generator gets up to proper power, the automatic transfer switch transfers over to emergency power for uninterrupted backup power to your home.

This process is reversed once the automatic transfer switch detects that the utility power is back on. The generator will be powered down and the emergency power status will revert to normal status.

Due to the possibility of overload, standby generators in the past couldn't power a two unit air conditioner system. Today using AC shedding (for either Load or Service Disconnect switches), two AC units can be included in a backup power system and be protected from starting at the same time and possibly overloading the generator.

Manual Transfer Switch

Portable generators require you to plug in the appliances that you want powered during an electrical power outage into the generator. A much simpler and safer option is to have a manual transfer switch installed. This switch is wired to your circuit panel and has manual switches that will power a specific number of circuits you've chosen to support with backup power.

With a manual transfer switch, you only need to plug in one cord from the portable generator into the switch box then flip the manual switch box circuits to begin powering the select appliances. The size of the manual transfer switch is described in amps and is matched to the size of your generator's power cord. The number of switches will be based on the size of your portable generator.

Many manual transfer switches will have a wattage meter to track power usage and help you prevent overloading the system.

Automatic and manual transfer switches should be installed by a licensed electrician, SME Inc. can help you figure out the type and size of generator and switches that are right for your backup power needs and install the switch. We are certified and select servicers of Generac® Generators and as licensed electricians, we can install, service and maintain any Generac® Generator as well as install all brands of standby generators.