How does a manual transfer switch differ from an automatic transfer switch?

How does a manual transfer switch differ from an automatic transfer switch?

Automatic Transfer Switch

Automatic transfer switch senses utility power. After sensing 5 seconds of no utility, the generator engine will start. Once the engine is up to speed and creating power, the transfer switch will automatically transfer from utility power to generator power so now the generator is the power source. Once utility is restored, the transfer switch will sense utility being restored for 20 seconds before automatically transferring back to utility.

Manual Transfer Switch

A manual transfer switch is 100% manually operated. If you are not present or able to operate the switch, no backup power will function.

Most manual transfers found online will not meet local codes or Utility specs. All Utility Companies must approve the method of lockout and they will have a list of approved switches. DO NOT BUY UNTIL YOU HAVE APPROVED. We have seen many installed transfer switches get replaced because they don't meet utility specs and standards.

Design and functions

Home standby units are built and designed to work with an automatic transfer switch. They are not designed to be connected to a manual transfer switch. Trying to connect a standby generator to a manual transfer voids the warranty and is very problematic. All standby units have controllers that always need power to run properly. Without these connections, the unit will burn through batteries, not exercise the engine properly, and cause premature failures in the major components.  THIS DOES NOT SAVE MONEY!

Installing for the future

We have numerous people think they will save money by setting up a standby generator and think they will just go to turn it on and off when they want it to run. This creates more issues and defeats the purpose and design of a standby generator. If you want a manually turn on and off, use a portable generator and manual transfer. This was the designed purpose of a manual transfer and also the way the codes show to hook it up.

For more info please refer to these specs from OPPD.