Page last updated Oct 20, 2021 @ 10:12pm

Help - Which Type Manual Switch is Best?

There are four basic types of manual transfer switches available for connecting a backup power source or generator to a building wiring system.  With each there are advantages and limitations.  Use the table below to help determine which is best suited to your application.

(click for catalog listing)
Load-side Multi-Circuit Transfer Switch Single-Circuit Transfer Switch Transfer Panel installed as a Sub-Panel Transfer Panel installed as a Main Panel
Sample Images Gt15114.gif (63525 bytes) RelianceControls_30310A-1008.jpg (38402 bytes) RelianceControls-Q510AET.jpg (4168 bytes) RelianceControls_TWB-open.jpg (23077 bytes) gt-powercenter-open.jpg (12038 bytes) Ronk-7406.gif (76094 bytes) Gt-2026.jpg (32397 bytes) Gt-trc.gif (18404 bytes) gt-301060flex.jpg (16978 bytes) Ttv-open.jpg (14601 bytes)
Installation Arrangements
(click images to enlarge)
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Maximum number of branch circuits 4, 6, 8 or 10 branch circuits Switches 1 main circuit,
as many branch circuits that can fit in downstream panel
6 to 16 branch circuits depending on model 36 branch circuits
Maximum rating of each branch circuit 15A or 20A
(Q-series 30A)
200A, 400A or larger main,
branch circuit rating limited only by panel (usually 100A max)
varies depending on model, some limited to 30A, others can accommodate up to 100A 100A
Individual control of each circuit allowing some to operate on generator and others on utility? Yes No No No
Generator Meters? Included on most models Included on some models Included on most models Included on most models
Branch breakers freed up in existing load center panel? No No Yes ---
Additional double-pole branch breaker required in existing load center panel? No No Yes
(not included)
Ease of installation? Easy Difficult Medium Very Difficult
(unless new construction)
Installation Remarks

- connect flex conduit to
  spare knockout
- disconnect wire from
   each branch breaker
- connect to wire from
- insert other switch wire
   into branch breaker

- pull electric meter if no
  disconnect at meter
- break main cable
- replace part of main
   cable if too short
- mount and connect

- purchase double-pole
  branch breaker
- connect flex conduit to
  spare knockout
- install branch breaker
  and connect feed to sw.
- disconnect wire from
   each branch breaker
- connect to wire from

- disconnect all wiring
   from existing panel
- remove existing panel
- mount new transfer
- purchase and install all
   branch breakers
- reconnect main supply
- reconnect all branch


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