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Arthur Brown
  Mar 25, 2023 1:43 AM

Generator transfer switches are devices that are used to connect a generator to a home's electrical circuits and natural gas or propane lines. A transfer switch prevents backfeeding, which occurs when electrical power from the generator flows back into the utility line. This can damage the generator and create a safety hazard for utility workers. 
There are a few different types of generator transfer switches, including automatic, manual, and portable. Automatic generator transfer switches are the most expensive but also the most convenient, as they allow for a seamless transition between power sources. 
Manual generator transfer switches are less expensive but require the user to manually switch the power source. This can be done by flipping a switch or breaker, or by plugin in the generator. 
Portable generator transfer switches are the least expensive but are also the most difficult to use. They must be installed by an electrician and require the user to manually connect the generator to the switch. 
No matter which type of generator transfer switch you choose, it is important to have one installed in your home if you have a generator. This will ensure that your


So you want to use a generator as a backup power source at your house in an emergency. This is a wise precaution to save you a headache the next time a power outage affects your area.

In addition to a generator, you need one more essential accessory to keep your backup power system working.

It is the best generator transfer switch.

1. What Exactly Is a Transfer Switch?

The generator transfer switches allow you to connect your electrical and home appliances to a generator without any additional equipment.

If there is no transfer switch, you will need to manually connect the device to the portable transmitter, which is quite troublesome.

Therefore, the basic function of the switch is to efficiently and effectively connect your home's electrical grid to the generator's power supply.

The transfer switch does this by preventing overlap during power outages.

Transfer Switch

Transfer Switch

Source: Pinterest

This is why it is considered completely safe

It is not advisable to use additional devices other than switches to power important functions in the home. Always use the transfer switch for quick and efficient access to power in the event of a power failure. This is a necessary accessory, especially when using a portable generator.

2. Do I Need a Transfer Switch?

Many often argue about whether it needs to be turned on or off. While not every household needs the best transfer switch, owning one still gives you a big advantage.

Find out why in some of the reasons listed.

First, having the best transfer switch in the house is a requirement of the National Electrical Code.

You should use the best transfer switch whenever you want to connect the device to a portable generator in your home.

Aside from being a legal requirement, installing a generator transfer switch in your home is the most efficient way to power the house in the event of a power outage. This is also the safest way because most electrical appliances, such as heaters and air conditioners, cannot be connected directly to the portable generator with an extension cord.

Yes, You Need a Generator Transfer Switch!

Thanks to that, the best generator transfer switches become quite handy.

Another downside of using extension cords on transfer switches is that they can be re-powered from the utility line, which is very dangerous. This might result in an electric shock or fire outbreak. Therefore, the most reliable and safest way to power your household from a portable generator is to use a transfer switch.

You need to install a proper generator transfer switch in your home. The answer to our question above is yes; you need a generator transfer switch.

Otherwise, you could be prosecuted for breaking the rules or putting your family in danger due to an electrical problem.

The best generator transfer switch

The best generator transfer switch

Source: Amazon

3. What Should You Consider the Best Generator Transfer Switch?

One should look for several aspects when deciding which transfer switch to use in their home.

The first factor to consider when deciding which switch to buy is the accessories included in the kit.

Some manufacturers intentionally or unintentionally omit accessories that cause buyers problems during installation. Also, to avoid unexpected extra costs, check that the kit includes all the supplies needed to install the switch. If you need to know exactly what is needed, contact your electrician for professional advice to avoid unpleasant surprises during installation.

How Many Amp/Circuit/Power Meter is Best?

When buying the best generator transfer switch, the essential aspect to think about is the wattage of the generator you own.

Assuming your generator has a maximum output of 8000 watts, you should have a transfer switch capable of supporting up to 8000 watts.

If you do not have a generator, get a rough estimate of the generator's rated power and then purchase a switch. However, the best thing to do is to buy a generator first and then buy a switch. The type is the last aspect one should consider when buying a transfer switch. There are two types of paddle shifters on the market today, manual and automatic.

Check out the differences between the 2 types of generator transfer switches and see which one suits you best.

4. Manual vs Automatic Generator Transfer Witches – Which Should You Get?

The main difference between manual and automatic generator transfer switches lies in their names. As their name suggests, manual transfer switches will require someone to turn them on /off on the spot.

With automatic generator transfer switches, the generator power on as soon as the power goes out. However, several aspects distinguish a manual switch from an automatic one.

Manual generator transfer switches are cost-friendly compared to automatic switches.

Most of these costs are a fraction of what automotive units spend. It makes more sense to buy a manual transfer switch, especially if the power goes out occasionally.

In addition to the cost savings, manual transfer switches are easy to install, meaning paying an electrician will cost you less.

The only disadvantage of a manual transfer switch is that in the event of a power failure, the operator has to flip the switch manually.

Automatic Transfer Switch

Automatic Transfer Switch

Source: Amazon

The automatic transfer switch is mainly used with permanently installed generators. The generator will automatically power on if an auto switch is installed during a failure.

A Manual Transfer Switch is the Best!

That is the main advantage of an automatic transfer switch because it is hands-free and requires no operator.

However, automatic gearshift paddles have the disadvantage of being very expensive compared to manual gearshift paddles - a good automatic transfer switch costs over $1000, which is quite expensive for most users.

Manual Transfer Switch

Manual Transfer Switch

Source: Amazon

So Which Switch is Right for You?

Unless your area experiences constant power outages, a manual generator transfer switch is the best and most cost-effective option.


The best generator transfer switches are essential for those who operate portable generators. This is a legal requirement and the safest method to transfer electricity from a utility to a portable generator.

The switch works in tandem with a portable generator in utility power monitoring. Therefore, when power is restored, the switches return the electrical load from the portable generator to the utility without the risk of back-feeding or power failure.

Manual converters are preferred over automatic ones because they are cost-effective and easy to install.

Always use the switch in your home for your safety and for others. You will never have any regrets.

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