Whole House Generator Transfer Switch Installation

whole house generator transfer switch installation

The whole house generator transfer switch is a critical part of any backup power system. It helps keep essential circuits powered up so you and your family can stay safe during an outage.

Installing a generator without a transfer switch is illegal in most states, and may result in voiding your fire and homeowners insurance. It can also cause safety hazards if the generator connects to an inactive utility line.

Installation Cost

The installation cost of a whole house generator transfer switch depends on a number of factors. The type of switch you choose, the wattage of your generator and the installation location will all have an impact on how much it costs to install.

The transfer switch is a critical component of your home backup power system. It tells the generator which circuits need electricity and turns them on when there is a power outage.

When a portable generator or whole house generator is connected to your electrical system without a proper transfer switch, it backfeeds into the power grid, creating surges that can cause damage or fires.

In order to comply with building codes, you should always have a transfer switch installed. It will protect your property from legal trouble and ensure that your insurance isn’t voided when you use your generator.

Power Requirements

A whole house generator transfer switch is an electrical circuit breaker or fused box that connects the generator to your home’s main circuits. It is a great way to simplify backup power by running all of your appliances directly from the generator.

When a power outage occurs, a whole house generator transfer switch automatically switches your home’s utility service to standby generator power. Usually, it does this in less than 30 seconds after a loss of power.

You can use a whole house generator transfer switch with a portable generator or you can have an electrician install one that’s connected to your home’s electric panel. If you have multiple service panels, the National Electric Code permits different transfer switches for each panel.

You’ll want to make sure that you buy a whole house generator transfer switch that matches the amount of power you need to operate your home during an outage. Don’t go for a transfer switch that’s more powerful than you need; it’s not practical and could cause problems down the road.

Installation Time

The installation time for a whole house generator transfer switch depends on several factors. One of the biggest factors is the size of your home’s electric service panel and the type of transfer switch being installed.

Another factor is whether you need an automatic or manual switch. If you need an automatic switch, the installation will likely take longer than a manual switch because it requires electrical work to be done.

Moreover, your electrician may need to disconnect your utility services before installing the switch. This can take up to an hour of their time.


The installation of a whole house generator transfer switch is a serious job that should be done only by licensed electricians. This is because the generator and the household wiring are both very sensitive to power.

The transfer switch connects the power from the generator to selected circuits in your home. These can include lights, your furnace, your well pump, or other essential circuits.

It also prevents electricity from flowing back to the grid, a condition known as back feed. Back feed is dangerous and can cause fires or even death.

Your transfer switch can be either an automatic or a manual type. Manual types need you to manually turn a switch or handle to change between the mains and generator.