Transfer switches are used to swap power between two sources. They are generally used to switch between grid power and generator power. They are a better alternative to generator interlock systems, at a higher cost.
That brings us to the question, how much does it cost to install generator transfer switches?
The average cost to install generator transfer switches vary among certain factors. Such as the type of the switch, number of circuits, installation procedure, electrician cost in your area, etc. However, on average it might cost around $650 up to $800.
This article will go over transfer switches, their benefits, and how much it costs to get one installed. Without further ado, let’s begin.
What is a Transfer Switch?
Transfer switches is a device that allows multiple sources of power to be safely connected or disconnected from an electric load. A backup generator is installed in many houses and businesses as a means of backup power. A transfer switch simply flips the power from one source to another in a safe manner.
Transfer switches can be broken down into two main categories. Automatic transfer switches and manual transfer switches. They both have their own pros and cons when it comes to practical use.
An automatic transfer switch (Fig 1) automatically transfers power from your grid to your generator during an outage. Some automatic transfer switches can also turn on your generator in case of an outage. Similarly, it can turn your generator off when the main power comes back. Hence they are extremely costly. They are also pretty hard to install and should only be done by a professional.
A manual transfer switch (Fig 2) costs significantly less than an automatic one. And rightfully so. Because it does not provide you with any additional features, such as automated power transfer, or turning your generator on and off. You have to be physically present to turn on your generator and pull the switch to swap power to your generator. They are also comparatively simpler to install than automatic transfer switches.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Transfer Switch?
As I have said before, the cost to install generator transfer switches depend on several factors. The type of switch, number of circuits, amperage rating, electrician cost, etc. I will categorize the cost below based on these categories and later summarize them all together.
The Type of the Switch:
Manual transfer switches cost significantly less than automatic transfer switches. The average price of a manual transfer switch will vary between $200 to $800 based on its amperage ratings and circuit support. Whereas an automatic transfer switch will cost around $400 to $2000 on average. A detailed chart is provided below.
|Ampere Rating||Manual Transfer Switch||Automatic Transfer Switch|
|30 Amps||$150 – $450||$200 – $500|
|100 Amps||$250 – $700||$350 – $1000|
|200 Amps||$450 – $1000||$700 – $1450|
Number of Circuits Supported:
Another important factor is; how many circuits does the switch support? A six-circuit switches cost less than a ten-circuit switch. How much does it cost to install a 10 transfer switch? It will cost $350 to $400 for the switch, and an extra $200 to $400 for the electrician cost.
As I have said earlier, manual transfer switches are easier to install. On the other hand, automatic transfer switches are very hard to install and can take above five hours on average.
Thus they will cost significantly more to install. An electrician might charge around $200 up to $500, depending on the reputation of the electrician, and the region.
You might be wondering, “Can I install a generator transfer switch myself?”. Yes, you can. But, only if you have the necessary knowledge and experience to do so. It is an extremely risky task, and any minor mistakes can lead to major accidents.
Hence, you should always leave it up to a professional if you do not have the necessary expertise in this field.
These are the different factors that will directly affect your cost to install a transfer switch. Let’s summarize.
Manual transfer switches will cost you around $650 to $800 on average, including the electrician cost.
Automatic transfer switches will cost you around $750 to $1000 on average, including the electrician cost.
But keep in mind, this is only an estimation. The cost will completely depend on your choices. The type of switch you choose; the number of circuits you wish to support, will directly impact the cost of installation.
I have talked about the different types of transfer switches, their functions, as well as their cost. I have also discussed the average installation cost if you employ the help of a professional electrician.
I hope this article has given you concrete knowledge about the cost to install generator transfer switches.