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Installing Generator Transfer Switch


As residents of Elmhurst, Providence County, Rhode Island, we are no stranger to harsh winter storms and unpredictable weather. Unfortunately, these conditions often lead to power outages, leaving us in the dark and without the basic essentials for days on end. Where electricity powers almost everything, being without it can be incredibly frustrating and inconvenient.

As such, it is essential for homeowners to have a reliable backup plan in place to ensure that their homes remain powered during an outage. This is where a generator transfer switch comes in. It is a critical component of any backup power system and is responsible for safely and efficiently transferring power from a generator to your home’s electrical system.

At B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, Rhode Island, we understand the importance of keeping your home powered during an outage. With over seventeen years of experience, our licensed electricians have been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island. We specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, and we are dedicated to providing exceptional service to our valued customers.

In today’s article, we will delve into the topic of installing a generator transfer switch and explore the various benefits it offers for homeowners in Elmhurst and the greater Providence area. So, if you’re a homeowner looking for a reliable backup plan to keep your home powered during an outage, keep reading to learn all about this essential electrical component.

What is a Generator Transfer Switch?

A generator transfer switch is a device that allows you to safely connect a portable generator to your home’s electrical system. It acts as a safety measure, preventing backfeeding (the flow of electricity in the opposite direction) and ensuring that the power from your generator does not flow back to the power grid, which can be dangerous for utility workers.

A generator transfer switch also eliminates the need for extension cords, which can be a fire hazard and more prone to damage. It also allows for a seamless transition of power from your main electrical panel to your backup generator, within seconds of a power outage.

Types of Generator Transfer Switches

There are two main types of generator transfer switches: manual and automatic. As the names suggest, a manual transfer switch requires manual operation, while an automatic transfer switch automatically detects a power outage and switches to your backup generator without any manual intervention.

Manual Transfer Switch: This type of transfer switch requires the homeowner to physically unplug their home from the main power supply and connect it to the generator. This switch is often less expensive but can be more time-consuming and may require the homeowner to go outside to start the generator during an outage.

Automatic Transfer Switch: An automatic transfer switch is integrated into your home’s electrical panel and will automatically switch to your backup generator when it detects a power outage. This switch is more convenient and reliable but is also more expensive than a manual transfer switch.

Benefits of Installing a Generator Transfer Switch

Ensures Safety: As mentioned earlier, a transfer switch is a crucial safety measure that prevents backfeeding and protects utility workers. It also eliminates the need for extension cords, which can be a fire hazard if not used properly.

Convenience and Peace of Mind: With an automatic transfer switch, homeowners do not need to manually operate the switch during an outage. This provides a sense of convenience and peace of mind, especially during severe weather conditions when going outside may not be ideal.

Quick Transition of Power: An automatic transfer switch can detect a power outage within seconds and switch to your backup generator immediately. This ensures that critical appliances, such as refrigerators, sump pumps, and heating systems, stay powered, reducing the risk of damage or loss during an outage.

Tips for Installing a Generator Transfer Switch

Before installing a generator transfer switch, it is essential to consult with a licensed electrician to ensure that the process is carried out correctly and safely. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when installing a generator transfer switch in your home.

1. Determine Your Power Needs: It is crucial to accurately determine the electrical needs of your home to choose an appropriate generator and transfer switch. This will ensure that your essential appliances and systems stay powered during an outage.

2. Choose the Right Location: The location of your transfer switch is also crucial. It should be installed in a dry, well-ventilated area, preferably near your main electrical panel. It is also essential to ensure that there is enough space for the switch and the generator to be connected.

3. Follow Safety Precautions: Installing a generator transfer switch involves working with electricity, which can be dangerous, so it is essential to follow all safety precautions. It is best to leave this task to a licensed electrician to avoid any potential hazards.


Installing a generator transfer switch is a crucial step in ensuring that your home remains powered during an outage. It not only provides convenience and peace of mind but also ensures safety and a quick transition of power. At B&K Electric, we understand the importance of having a reliable backup plan, and our licensed electricians are well-equipped to install a generator transfer switch in your home efficiently and safely.

We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the benefits and importance of installing a generator transfer switch. Remember to consult with a licensed electrician before starting the installation process, and stay safe during an outage. B&K Electric is here to provide exceptional service and keep your home powered during any situation.


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