Power outages are never a pleasant experience. Within two hours, the food in your refrigerator begins to spoil and time seems to stand still as the lights, televisions, fans and other appliances in your home sputter out with a loud groan. Power outages lasting days often require emergency measures, which can mean rationing food and other necessities to sustain in the event of a prolonged power outage.
To protect your home and family from the inconvenience and costliness of power outages, connect your Honda generator to your home using a transfer switch. A transfer switch is an electrical device, either manual or automatic, that is installed next your home’s electrical panel, and it serves to redirect your home’s power usage from its original power source to an alternate power source, which will then continue to power the circuits that are connected to your Honda generator.
Although you can power various appliances by running individual extension cords, furnaces and well pumps are just two examples of items that cannot connect via extension cord to a power generator. In addition to the convenience that a transfer switch provides and an increase in overall generator efficiency, the National Electric Code requires a transfer switch if you intend to connect your home to any power source.
Your Honda generator will use your home’s already established wiring system to provide electrical power to the appliances or even particular sections of your home that are connected to it. The transfer switch is the only way to safely direct this power because the transfer switch will isolate the selected circuits in your home from the main utility power lines. Isolation of these circuits reduces the risk and often prevents the back-feed (back-feed is what happens when the electrical power goes back down the utility lines). Back-feed can harm or even kill technicians that may be working on the local utility lines to fix the outage and is also responsible for generator damage and dangerous electrical fires.
Contact a licensed electrician to install and connect the transfer switch to your home’s main breaker box. Since your home cannot draw power from both the utility and generator sources simultaneously, the main breaker inside the transfer switch will transfer your home’s source of power from the utility lines to your Honda generator.
The transfer switch has an assortment of circuits that can be assigned to power different parts of your home or even particular appliances. Remember to inform the electrician if you wish to take advantage of this convenience so that he or she can assign different loads to each circuit. There may be instances when your generator cannot support all the items at once; in this case the transfer switch makes it simple to shift electrical loads between the circuits.
In order to operate a manual switch, you must carefully review and follow the detailed instructions that came with your owner’s manual.
To operate an manual transfer switch, simply connect your Honda generator’s cord to your automatic transfer switch or inlet box. After connecting, proceed to turn all the transfer switch’s circuit breakers to the off position. Then start your Honda generator and allow it to warm up for at least a few minutes. Once your Honda generator has warmed up, flip the transfer switch’s main breakers to the position labeled “Generator”. In order to prevent overloading your Honda generator, turn on the circuits that you want to have power one at a time. When power returns to your utility lines, turn the transfer switch’s main breakers back to the position labeled “Utility Power”. You can now turn on any other circuits that were previously off. Turn off your Honda generator and disconnect any cords. Your home is now ready to be powered by your local utility lines.
To operate a Universal Transfer Switch, or UTS, first start your Honda generator and then connect it to the transfer switch. The UTS detects and manages power automatically so there is no need to manually adjust the circuits, as the UTS will do that for you. Once the power from your local utility lines returns, simply disconnect your Honda generator and turn it off.
Review your owner’s manual carefully before using your Honda generator or operating your transfer switch to ensure that you are operating each safely and correctly.