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Generator Home Transfer Systems – How Are They different?

Generator Home Transfer Systems – How Are They different?

When it comes to determining the best generator for your house, there are several options to consider. How big of a generator do you need? What type of fuel will you use? How much power is required to power your home? What type of switch will you want or need? Although these questions can seem daunting, a quick examination of some of the differences can point you in the right direction. As always, even if you have a general idea of what you want or need, it’s best to consult an expert to make sure you get the right generator for you and your family.

Fuel Options

You’ve most likely seen or heard of generators that operate on gasoline, but this isn’t your only option. While gasoline seems like an easy option, you can also have a generator that is connected to your natural gas lines. The good news about this style of generator is it is low costing and has a continuous access through that local connection to your natural gas feed. You can also decide to use a diesel fuel operated generator, which may cost you more than natural gas but will be more efficient on how much fuel is used. Diesel fuel consumption is much more effective than natural gas. A fourth option is a generator operated by LPG, or liquid propane gas. Liquid propane burns hotter than natural gas and therefore generates more power out of the same generator. Liquid Propane Generator setups are great in locations where installing natural gas lines might be to expensive. Overall, if available a natural gas generator is the most convenient to use because you are connected to essentially an endless supply from the gas utility company.  These types of generators are the most common installed in Hampton Roads.

Transfer Switches

If/when you find yourself in a power outage, your generator needs to be turned on at some point. However, what you may not know is there are two types of transfer switches: automatic and manual. How they operate is simply in the name. For automatic switches, the power transfer from the grid to the generator is automatic. For manual switches, you can determine which panels need power and you’ll have to start the device manually and connect it to the switch installed in your home. Their difference isn’t only in how they operate; automatic transfer systems (ATS) are more expensive and are generally used by businesses who cannot function without power or for areas prone to regular outages. A manual transfer system (MTS) is much more cost effective in design, fabrication, and installation and perfect for home use. Just like most things you pay for convenience, but when its storming outside and your neighborhood loses power and instead of fumbling in the dark your generator automatically cuts on. It’s a matter of what’s important to you but you will always pay more for convenience.


The whole purpose of having a generator is to continue to have power during an emergency outage, but determining how much power is needed will determine the size and type of generator you purchase. Looking at how many circuits your home has, consider that a 5,000 watt generator can typically restore power to six circuits. For best results, get in touch with us today so we can assist you in determining how much power you need to power up your house.

Size, installation of switches, location, and price are all things to also consider. Nipper Electric is a family owned and operated business that exists to help you get the right electric solutions for you and your family. Contact us today so we can help you determine what style of generator you need and help you get the right switch installed.