Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS): What It Is, and Why Your Generator Needs One

You’ve done your research and determined that a standby generator is an essential appliance for your home as it provides uninterrupted power in the event of an emergency or power failure. However, you don’t want to stop here — unless, of course, you want to be solely responsible for turning the generator on and off, which can prove hazardous in inclement weather.

In addition to buying a generator for your home, you’ll also want to invest in an automatic transfer switch (ATS). This piece of equipment is responsible for triggering the generator when your power grid goes down, saving you time and energy. Let’s take a closer look at what the ATS is, how it works, and why it’s essential to your generator’s operation.

What Is an Automatic Transfer Switch?

Also known as a generator transfer switch, the ATS is a permanent switch that connects to your home’s power supply and generator. It constantly monitors the electricity in your home, and if it detects a power outage, it will transfer the power load to a secondary source (in this case, your generator). Your backup generator will supply the electricity you need until the city grid is back up and running. Once the utility is restored, the transfer switch will turn off the generator and transfer the load circuit back to your home’s electrical system. This switch is a saving grace at times when the weather is detrimental to your health and safety and at night.

Why an ATS Is Important When Installing a Standby Generator

Automatic transfer switches are essential accessories to emergency generators for reasons besides the fact that they make using backup power more convenient. Without an ATS connected to the generator, your family and electrical workers could be at risk.

When the city power is restored, but the generator is not immediately turned off, backfeeding occurs. Backfeeding the grid results in power surges that can harm utility workers working anywhere on the line. It can also cause house fires that destroy properties and harm lives in a blink of an eye. Instead of worrying about the right time to manually turn off your generator, enjoy peace of mind knowing your family is safe and you’re not overloading the power grid with electricity by installing an automatic transfer switch.

The Importance of Hiring a Professional to Install an ATS

Automatic transfer switches must be connected to your home’s electrical panel. Because the installation process involves electrical work, you do not want to undertake this project yourself. Errors — even seemingly small ones — could lead to injury, death, or house fires. Instead of going the DIY route, you should hire a professional trained and certified in electrical work. The generator installers at Colonial Generators have undergone extensive training and can properly install transfer switches for various types of generators. We can even help you secure any necessary permits for installing an ATS, making the entire installation process seamless.

Get an Automatic Transfer Switch to Live Life Uninterrupted

While it may seem like just another expense you have to pay, an automatic transfer switch is vital to the safe operation of your emergency generator. If you want to use a backup power source responsibly (and live life uninterrupted!), you will recognize the importance of installing a generator transfer switch.

In addition to offering standby generators, including Kohler generators, for sale, we can help you select and install an automatic transfer switch that is compatible with your system. Contact us today to learn more about the peace of mind transfer switches provide and to discuss whole-house generator financing options.