Manual Vs. Automatic Electrical Transfer Switch

Your business relies heavily on technology and electricity to function, which is why a blackout or even a minor loss of power can be devastating to your bottom line. With an electrical transfer switch, you can move from one source of power to a backup source, such as a generator to supply power to your business. This means that your business doesn't suffer while you struggle to get the lights turned back on. However, there are two different types of switches: manual and automatic. Both can save your business, but one may be a better option than the other for your needs. Check out the pros and cons of each type of electrical transfer switch.

What Are the Pros of Manual Transfer Switches?

A manual transfer switch requires that a person manually switches power from one supply to another. The number one reason to consider this type of transfer switch is because of the incredibly low price. You can purchase a simple six-circuit switch for between $250 and $300. This type of switch works well with a 5000-watt generator, so you will also need to purchase the generator if your business doesn't already have one.

The other advantage of manual switches is that they are extremely small, so they can fit just about anywhere, making them great for businesses that have little space. Also, manual switches are easier to install than automatic switches. In fact, you may be able to purchase one on your own at a home improvement store and install it yourself.

What Are the Cons of Manual Transfer Switches?

The reason so many businesses shy away from manual transfer switches is because they are manual. Basically, when power is lost, someone must go and manually switch the power source. Of course, this doesn't take long, but during that time, your business is powerless and production comes to a screeching halt.

For some businesses, this may not be a problem. For example, in a small insurance office, a few minutes without power doesn't cause much trouble. However, on a production line, where quotas must be met, even a few minutes could put everyone behind.

What Are the Pros of Automatic Transfer Switches?

Automatic transfer switches, as the name suggests, automatically switch to new power source: usually a permanently installed backup generator. Therefore, once the system notices the loss of power, it automatically switches to the backup power source.

The biggest benefit is that your company doesn't lose a moment of time. With no downtime, everyone can keep working on schedule, and your business doesn't lose money. This makes automatic transfer switches a great option for larger businesses or those that can't lose a moment of power.

What Are the Cons of Automatic Transfer Switches?

The biggest disadvantage of an automatic transfer switch is the high price. They are more high-tech and have more technology, so the system can make the automatic switch. In fact, automatic transfer switches are so high-tech that in some cases, you don't even realize there was a hiccup in power or that the system had to switch to a new power source.

Another disadvantage is that the systems are bigger than manual switches, and because they often rely on large permanent backup generators, you'll need even more space. Lastly, building and installing an automatic transfer switch is more complex, so you'll want to hire a professional, which will cost more money.

If you own a business, you must consider an electrical transfer switch. Whether you get automatic or manual, it can save your business money. For more information regarding transfer switches or generators, contact a contractor in your area today.