Generator Changeover Switch Installation

What is a Generator Changeover Switch?

A changeover switch is a device that can make your life a lot easier when there is a power outage that affects your house. Changeover switches are designed to switch the power source of an electrical circuit, and their most common application is to switch a house’s electricity supply from the main power grid to a “generator system” in the event of a power outage. That means you’d be able to keep your house partially or fully powered during a power outage, allowing you to continue with your normal home activities like using appliances, cooking, and keeping your food properly refrigerated.

Generator changeover switches are not only convenient to have but also offer numerous safety benefits, providing a secure connection between the main circuit of your house, the main power grid and a generator or other backup power source. They prevent the electric current from flowing from the grid to the generator and vice-versa, which could be extremely dangerous. Additionally, they protect sensitive equipment that may be damaged by an electrical surge or voltage variations and some switch models can even detect power fluctuations and automatically transfer from the grid system to your generator when there is a power failure.

Why Do I Need a Generator Changeover Switch?

A generator changeover switch is needed when a generator is wired to a house electrical circuit. There are many situations in which generators need to be wired in conjunction with the main power supply, and having a changeover switch provides:

  • Safety: A changeover switch provides a safe connection between the three circuits. Without the switch, a wired generator can continue to power the home even if the power has been restored. This is extremely dangerous because it can lead to a back feed of the electric current and cause an electric overload. A changeover switch also allows you to quickly cut power from a faulty generator, which can help prevent accidents and electrical fires.
  • Convenience: A changeover switch allows you to quickly change your power source and keep your appliances running safely and efficiently without the hassle of connecting cords and wires. This also eliminates the risk of making wrong connections that might damage your appliances or even result in serious accidents.

What Are the Different Types of Transfer Switches?

There are two main types of generator switches that can be installed and wired into homes:

Manual Changeover Switches

Manual changeover switches have to be manually operated and therefore, are less expensive and more common than automatic switches. Manual switches must be flicked when necessary and depending on the installation and switch type, they need to be configured to control which circuits or areas of the house will receive power from the generator. 

Automatic Changeover Switches

Automatic changeover switches have the ability to detect power fluctuations and automatically transfer the power supply from the grid system to a generator and vice-versa. When the main source of electricity is interrupted, the switch will automatically connect the house to the generator, and disconnect once the power from the grid has been restored.

When to Replace a Generator Changeover Switch

Generator changeover switches are an essential part of any backup power system. They are responsible for automatically switching your home’s electrical supply from the utility company to your generator in the event of a power outage. However, these switches don’t last forever. Over time, they can become worn out or damaged, which can cause them to fail when you need them the most. So how do you know when it’s time to replace your generator changeover switch?

There are a few signs that you should look for. First, if your switch is more than 10 years old, it’s probably time for a replacement. Second, if you’ve had multiple power outages in a short period of time, that can also shorten the lifespan of your switch. And finally, if your switch has started to show signs of physical damage, such as cracks or corrosion, that’s another good indicator that it needs to be replaced.

If you’re not sure whether your generator changeover switch needs to be replaced, you can contact your local electrician for professional advice. That way, you’ll be prepared for the next power outage, and you won’t have to worry about your switch failing when you need it the most.

Generator changeovers switch installation on the Sunshine Coast

If you have a generator connected to your house’s electric circuit, a changeover switch is an essential component that will provide you with safety and convenience.

At Need A Sparky, our electricians are equipped with the knowledge, expertise and experience to handle any electrical project. So, if you have concerns regarding your generator installation or would like to upgrade your electrical system, do not hesitate to contact us. We are committed to providing Sunshine Coast homeowners with the best, safest and highest-quality solutions to improve their homes, comfort and quality of life.

To book a service or request a quote, call 07 5314 1046.

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