If your home lost electricity during the last storm, you may wonder why your generator did not take over to give your home power. One possible reason why your generator did not work correctly is the electric transfer switch. To see if this could be the issue, use the four-step guide below to check your generator's automatic transfer switch.
Step 1: Turn On Your Generator
Before you turn your attention to the transfer switch, you should first check to see if your generator is operating correctly. If the motor has malfunctioned, you may need to turn your efforts towards it.
However, if you are able to easily turn your generator on, turn the main circuit breaker off in your home. If the power from the generator does not reach your home, there is a good chance the automatic transfer switch is not functioning properly. If this is the case, proceed with the next three steps.
Step 2: Flip the Override Switch
With the generator still running, locate the automatic transfer switch on the outside of the machine. Look for a switch on the unit that indicates it is the manual override switch.
Flip the switch, and check the power in your home. If you have electricity in your house, the automatic circuit in the transfer switch may have malfunctioned.
If this is the case, the circuit may need to be replaced by a qualified technician. Until you are able to have it repaired, you will need to manually turn on the switch to fully activate your generator.
However, if you still do not have power in your home, there could be another issue with the transfer switch. Go on to the next step to investigate further.
Step 3: Check the Wire Connections
With the power in your home still off, shut down the generator. Then, inspect the wires connected to the transfer switch. If one has become dislodged from the relay contact, this is likely the issue causing the lack of power.
To reconnect the wire, check the voltage on the switch and wires using a multimeter before handling the wires directly. If you get any type of reading, there is still an electrical current running through the system. If so, contact a professional who is familiar with electric transfer switches to inspect it further.
If you do not find any current, loosen the relay contact, and wrap the wire around the base. Then, tighten the screw. Turn the generator back on to see if this has fixed the issue.
If you still do not have power or did not find any loose wires, turn the generator off again. Then, go on to the next step.
Step 4: Inspect the Relay Contacts
Once you have found that the wires are secure, look at the relay contacts to see if they show signs of rust. If the metal has started to oxidize, the rust may be blocking the current.
Using a small metal brush, gently remove any excess rust on the relay contacts. Then, restart the generator to see if cleaning the contacts has made a difference.
If removing the rust does not work, look closer for signs of wear and damage. If the contacts are worn out or burnt, they may be unable to pull current through the switch.
After going through the above guide, you may strongly suspect that your generator's switch is causing the problem with your generator's ability to power your home during outages. If so, you may want to contact a technician so they can professionally inspect the electric transfer switch and discuss with you whether to repair or replace it.Share
14 June 2017
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