Automatic transfer switch installation involves wiring the ATS to the power sources and load, usually at the main or sub panel. Most of the time, this isn’t a difficult task. However, it is crucial to make sure the wiring is done correctly. Here below, we take you through the steps to correctly install a transfer switch.
How to Install an Automatic Transfer Switch
Anyone installing automatic transfer switch assemblies should be familiar with electrical systems and wiring. Before starting the installation, it’s also important to know exactly what size ATS you need. The ATS must be sized according to the largest electrical loads that will be switched.
Usually, your automatic transfer switch manual will come with a wiring diagram and installation instructions. This diagram and other instructions should be strictly followed when installing the switch.
That said, here are the automatic transfer switch installation steps that anyone installing the device should follow, whether installing a generator or solar system transfer switch.
Automatic Transfer Switch Installation Steps
The procedure to install an ATS below covers the general guidelines. Different automatic transfer switch manufacturers may indicate varying steps for their product. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before starting the installation process. With that, let’s look at the steps to install a transfer switch.
Step 1: Automatic Transfer Switch Location
The first step is to choose a convenient location for your automatic transfer switch, especially if installing a transfer switch for generator backup. It should be close to the main breaker panel and easily accessible so that you can quickly respond in case of an emergency.
If installing a solar transfer switch, you want locate it next to the solar inverter. Ensure, also, that the switch is mounted at a convenient height and away from anything that could cause damage to it.
Most of the time, transfer switch instructions will require a distance of 18 from the service panel’s center. This can vary, though, depending on the installation conditions.
Step 2: Wire Automatic Transfer Switch
The next step is to wire the automatic transfer switch. This can be a delicate task because you’re dealing with electrical wiring and high voltages. If you’re not comfortable with this task, you should hire a professional electrician.
The automatic transfer switch wiring diagram that comes with the switch will help you understand how to wire it correctly.
Typically, main power source is usually wired to the “Line” terminals on the ATS, while the load is wired to the “Load” terminals. The backup power is then wired to the “terminals” An auto transfer switch will also normally come already wired, and you only need to attach their wires to the respective connections.
Step 3: Connect Automatic Transfer Switch
Next, install the switch. Manufacturers will usually include instruction on how to connect automatic transfer switch modules on their user manuals. Be sure to follow these when installing yours.
Ensure, also that you understand the mounting method. Different transfer switches offer different mounting options. Some will also install with an enclosure while some, especially the solar transfer switch, can be plug in types.
Step 4: Testing Transfer Switch
After you have installed the ATS, it is important to test it to make sure that it is working properly. You can do this by turning on all the lights and appliances in your home or business and then activating the ATS.
If everything is working correctly, the lights and appliances should stay on even if the power goes out. Remember that the transfer switch installation must be done correctly, or the installation will not be safe.
That said, most solar transfer switches are easy to install, and may only require a few steps to get them up and running. For example, a solar ATS switch can be a device that you plug into a utility socket, inverter, and load circuit.
Automatic Transfer Switch Installation Tips
1. Read the manual: It is always a good idea to read the automatic transfer switch manual before starting any installation. This will help you understand the process and make sure that you do not miss any steps.
2. Follow the instructions: Once you have read the manual, make sure that you follow the transfer switch instructions and warnings carefully. This will help you avoid any mistakes that could cause problems later on.
3. Take your time: Do not try to rush the installation process. This could lead to errors and could even damage the ATS.
4. Get a permit: In some areas, you may need to get a permit before you can install transfer switch circuits. This is usually the case if you are going to be connecting the ATS to the grid.
5. Inspect the area: Before starting the installation, it is important to inspect the area where the ATS will be installed. Make sure that there are no objects that could fall and damage the switch.
6. Have a plan: It is always a good idea to have a plan before starting any automatic transfer switch installation process. This will help you stay organized and avoid making any mistakes.
7. Follow the code: Be sure to follow all local building codes when installing the ATS. This will help you avoid any problems later on.
8. If you’re not comfortable wiring or do not know how to connect an automatic transfer switch, it’s best to hire an electrician. ATSs are complex devices, and they need to be installed correctly to work properly.
Automatic transfer switch installation should not be a complex task, especially if you have prior wiring experience and follow the instructions carefully. Only be sure to follow manufacturer instructions. Also, remember to get a permit if required in your area as required, and to follow all local building codes. However, if you are not confident in your ability to install the ATS, it is best to hire a professional.
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