How to Install a Generac Generator Transfer Switch

A transfer switch is an essential accessory if you own a generator. In simple terms, it gives you access to power by switching from your local power source to the electricity generated by your generator in the case of an outage. If you do not have a transfer switch, you’ll have to manually link up your generator to the equipment you want to power up, which is an incredibly inefficient feat. 

Although hiring a technician when installing a transfer switch is recommended, if you think you’re up to the task, we’ve got you covered. To install a transfer switch, you simply need to find where your electrical service panel is. Then, you should mount the transfer switch. When you’ve done that, you’d be wanting to run electrical wiring from your electrical panel to the transfer switch and from your switch into the electrical service panel; and voila, you’re done. 

With that being said, we have formulated the perfect guide that will aid you in your Generac generator transfer switch installation escapade. Without further ado, let’s get to it! 


Is Transfer Switch a Necessity?

If you have a standby generator that generates more than 5,000 watts, you must have a transfer switch for ease of use and safety reasons. A regulator is necessary in this case to keep surges and back feeding the grid from occurring.

Back feeding the grid means that when a generator is being used without a transfer switch and the main power source returns, there are basically two power sources supplying electricity to your home. This can cause electrical surges and issues in the wiring, which can damage your appliances and even cause a fire.

If you have a portable generator, you can simply plug in whichever appliance you wish to power up. A switch isn’t necessary for that scenario.


Types of Transfer Switches

Before we go into the whole Generac transfer switch installation extravaganza, we would like to tell you about a few types of transfer switches:

Automatic Transfer Switches

As the name implies, they are compatible with Generac automatic standby generators. In case of an outage, they 6automatically link up your home’s power system to the generator and switch it back to your primary power source when it is restored. These transfer switches are typically used in factories, hospitals, and other facilities where an instant switch between the two power sources is quite essential. 

Manual Transfer Switches

With a manual Generac transfer switch, you’ll have to manually shift the load of your home’s electrical system to your generator. You can power up your whole house with these manual transfer switches. With these manual transfer switches, you can also deliver power to a single appliance, such as an air conditioner. These types of switches ensure that there is no overlap between the two power sources and are incredibly safe. 

Before installing a Generac generator transfer switch, ensure that your standby generator has been installed correctly and is operating correctly. 


How to Install a Generac Generator Transfer Switch Step-by-Step?

Step 1 – Locating Your Electrical Service Panel

First, locate your electrical service panel and cut off your primary power source by turning off the main power breaker. Then, determine what appliances you would use when there is a power outage and locate their critical circuits. 

Step 2 – Feeding Transfer Switch Wires Through the Knockout Hole

After locating your electrical service panel, select a knockout from the bottom of your main service box and remove it. Ensure that the knockout you are removing matches the connector on the flexible conduit originating from the transfer switch. Then pull the transfer switch wires through the knockout hole, making sure that no damage occurs to the insulation. You will observe that all the wires are labelled according to the circuits they feed in the switch box. Lastly, ensure that the flexible conduit is secured from the transfer switch to the service panel using a locknut. 

Step 3 – Installation of the Transfer Switch

Install the transfer switch to the wall in a way so that the edge closer to the main service panel is about 18 inches away from it. You can use whatever screws you want to install the transfer switch. After this, detach the first critical circuit’s breaker from the service panel box. Then, unlink the wire lead from the breaker’s lug. Do this for all the breakers. 

Step 4 – Identifying the Appropriate Transfer Switch Wires

Then, identify the red wire for the transfer switch that matches the circuit you’ve disconnected. This red wire goes into the appropriate breaker’s lug, after which the breaker is reinstalled. After this, locate the black wire in each of the transfer switch circuits you’ve just made. Twirl this wire along with the old feed wire with the aid of a yellow wire connector. Ensure that these wires are tucked out neatly out of the box. 

Step 5 – Attaching the White Neutral Wire

Once you are done with all the circuit connections, connect the neutral white wire originating from the transfer switch to the neutral bus bar on the electrical service panel. After that, make sure that you attach the green ground wire of the transfer switch to an empty port on the grounding bar in the main electrical service panel. This concludes the installation process.  

Step 6 – Testing Your Transfer Switch

Firstly, insert the power chord from the transfer switch into the generator. Then turn on your generator and let it run for a while. Flip each circuit switch on your Generac generator transfer switch, and if the load shifts to the generator, then kudos to you and your circuit-making skills. 


Conclusion

This carefully structured article gives you a deep insight into how to install a Generac generator transfer switch. Furthermore, we have also mentioned why transfer switches are essential along with their types.

If you follow the steps mentioned above, you’ll have a Generac generator transfer switch installed in no time.

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