Electrical Transfer Switch: Manual Vs. Automatic

Posted on: 11 August 2017


With as much as humans rely on technology today, losing power is devastating. Even losing power at your home for a few hours can ruin your plans or your whole day. Of course, if you own a business, losing power isn't just annoying—it can ruin your bottom line. Luckily, electrical transfer switches are devices that can be used to change power from one source to another, such as a generator.

Why Install an Electrical Transfer Switch?

The two types of electrical transfer switches from which you can choose are manual and automatic. Regardless of which you choose, an electrical transfer switch stops your business from losing money. Instead of being forced to wait hours or days until the power is returned, you can switch to another energy supply and keep working without losing money.

Benefits of Manual Transfer Switches

For small businesses and use in personal homes, a manual transfer switch is an excellent option because they cost less to create and install. For example, a six-circuit switch, which works with a 5000-watt generator, costs between $250 and $300, plus the cost of the generator.

Another excellent advantage of manual transfer switches is that they are smaller, which is extremely important in homes and small spaces. These manual transfer switches are also much easier to install and can be obtained quickly.

Disadvantages of Manual Transfer Switches

The problem with a manual transfer switch is that it must be turned on manually. Therefore, if the power is lost, someone has to go and switch the power to the generator. This is probably not a big problem if you are using the transfer switch in your home because having no power for a few minutes doesn't cost money.

If you have a business, however, the time it takes to manually switch the power is money. If no machines or equipment can be used, your business is losing money. While this may not be a problem for some businesses, businesses that have to meet constant daily quotas could have problems.

Benefits of Automatic Transfer Switches

Automatic transfer switches are a more advanced option. They are typically used with standby generators that have been permanently installed in the building. As a result, they probably aren't the option you want for your home unless you heavily rely on power for something important, such as medical equipment.

They are ideal for businesses of any size, however. Automatic transfer switches, as the name suggests, automatically switch to the generator if the power is lost. This means that there will be no loss in production while someone starts the generator and switches the power supply.

Disadvantages of Automatic Transfer Switches

The main disadvantage of automatic transfer switches is the high price tag. They are more high-tech than manual transfer switches, which leads to the higher price. This is because they need to be able to seamlessly transfer from one power source to the other. In some cases, the transfer is so smooth that you won't even notice it.

Another disadvantage is that building and installing automatic transfer switches is more expensive and time consuming because there are more working parts that need to be tested and built properly.

Whether you own your own business or you simply want one at home, an electrical transfer switch is something you should consider. While automatic transfer switches are more appealing, they do have a high price tag, and even the manual units can save your business money in the event of a power outage. For more information regarding electrical transfer switches or generators, contact a company like Enercon  Engineering Inc in your area today and start asking your questions.