More people today are investing in a standby generator for their homes because of the possibility of power cuts. If you live out in the sticks somewhere, you may find that you have power outages on a regular basis, and this can range from being a minor inconvenience to something far more serious, depending upon what sort of equipment you have and use that requires electric power.
For instance, you might have a family member dependent upon a power wheelchair, a ventilator, or communication devices that rely upon electric power, so if you are unable to charge them it can be a serious issue. OK, if the power goes down for a couple of hours it may not be too serious a matter, but if it goes down for a day or even more, then it is a big issue. Even if you only have a power outage three or four times a year,that is three or four times too many.
This is why more people are buying generators so that they can always have a supply of electricity, no matter what. However, when you have a generator, it is a legal requirement that you also have a transfer, or changeover, switch. You can install either a manual or an automatic changeover switch.
An automatic changeover switch is always preferable because - believe it or not – when the power goes down your system will automatically start the generator and so you will only be without power for a matter of a few seconds until the generator kicks in. If you have a manual changeover switch it means that somebody has to manually switch from the mains power to the generator. That may be OK if someone is on the premises and can do that, but if you are away from home for a couple of days and you have something such as a tropical fish tank, those fish are, unfortunately, not going to last until you get home.
With an automatic transfer switch, you have no such worries. You can have an automatic transfer panel with mains detection or without. If it has mains detection, it will detect the power failure and send a signal to the generator telling it to start. Once the generator has started, it will send a signal back to the automatic transfer switch to tell it that it is ready, and the transfer switch will then disconnect from the mains and connect to the generator.