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Frequently Asked Questions
POWERSTAY MANUAL TRANSFER SWITCHES


What type of connection is required to connect my generator to my Gen/Tran transfer switch or Power Inlet Box?
A Typically, a 4-wire, twist lock connector is needed on each end of a Power Cord. The most popular connectors are a NEMA L14-20 (20A, 125/250V), L14-30 (30A, 125/250V) and a CS6365 (50A, 125/250V). Check the receptacles on your generator front panel to determine which type of connector you need to plug into your generator. Gen/Tran sells Power Cords with the most popular male connector and female connectors already wired to a Power Cord. Please see the “Power Cord” section to determine the exact Power Cord set you need.
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Can I use a generator whose wattage exceeds the wattage on the Transfer Switch?

NO. While it might be possible to connect a larger generator to the transfer switch, this is an unsafe and dangerous practice. Supplying more than the rated wattage through the transfer switch could damage the wattmeters, damage the neutral wire, and could overheat the main wiring in the transfer switch, which could cause a fire.
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What happens when the Utility Power is restored while I’m using my generator and transfer switch?
When your utility power is restored, lights and appliances in your home not connected to generator power will turn on; alerting you that utility power has been restored. Because Gen/Tran PowerStay™ Transfer Switches have interlocking main breakers, the utility power and generator power are never powering those circuits using generator power at the same time. There is no danger of back feeding the utility power.
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What if I buy a PowerStay manual transfer switch now – and find out that I need an outdoor unit? Can I just buy the outdoor/raintight cabinet later?
No. The interior assemblies in the indoor and outdoor transfer switches are entirely different, and therefore cannot be interchanged. Gen/Tran will exchange an uninstalled indoor PowerStay™ transfer switch for the correct outdoor model, with any price difference charged or credited to the customer.
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Are individual circuit breakers included with the PowerStay Manual Transfer Switch?
Yes. Each unit is equipped with an array of individual branch circuit breakers. Click here to see the different model configurations.
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How do I connect my generator to my PowerStay manual transfer switch if I flush mount it, since flush-mounting will cover up the power inlet on the top?
In most cases, a power inlet box is required for a flush-mount installation. In this case, the PowerStay manual transfer switch would be hard wired to the power inlet box outside.  Top of Page

What if I need to change the breakers in the PowerStay manual transfer switch to accommodate different circuits in my house? Which ones do I use, and how do I change them?
The Generator and Utility mains in the PowerStay manual transfer switch must NOT be changed. However, the branch breakers may be replaced with Siemens 1-inch type QP or type QT dual or quad breakers. Interchangeable type 1-inch breakers by Square D (type HO), Cutler Hammer (type BR) and the 1-inch series from GE will also fit. The Siemens breakers are available at Lowe's, Home Depot, many hardware stores and electrical distributors. To replace a breaker, simply plug it into the bus bars. If removing a smaller ampere breaker and exchanging it for a larger breaker, the wire size provided in the PowerStay manual transfer switch may have to be increased to accommodate the higher amperage breaker. See wire chart below for correct wire sizes:

Circuit Breaker size
Minimum wire size
15A
12 AWG
20A
10 AWG
30A
8 AWG
50A
6 AWG

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How do I expand my PowerStay manual transfer switch to accommodate 16 circuits?
By replacing single breakers with “dual" and "quad" breakers, you can get 16 circuits into your PowerStay manual transfer switch.
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How would I hook up a PowerStay manual transfer switch with a Solar-powered house?
Solar power is generally 120-volt only, and there is an inverter involved to convert DC to AC. The manual transfer switch could be powered by solar when the "GEN" main is connected to the inverter. The two poles of the “GEN” Main would be tied together so both phases would only receive 120 volts. Therefore, no 240-volt circuits could be operated.
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Do I need to shut off my main breaker when using a transfer switch?
No. The circuits being powered by the generator through the transfer switch are isolated from the rest of the house.
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When testing my generator, can I test with any circuits I want, or must I transfer the entire transfer switch?
Yes, individual circuits can be tested, BUT the UTILITY MAIN on the transfer switch must be turned OFF before the GEN MAIN can be turned ON, which means that all of the circuits on the transfer switch will be off when the UTIL MAIN is turned OFF. Then individual circuits can be turned on to test with the generator.
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I have a subpanel located a long distance (50+ ft.) from my main load center and I have at least one circuit I want to run off the generator. Will the transfer switch allow me to do that?

Generally NO. Unless you have the ability to get a separate circuit(s) from the transfer switch to the subpanel. If a 50 amp breaker in your main panel controls the subpanel, the entire subpanel could be fed with some models of the manual transfer switches. See the Power Center.
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Can I mount the transfer switch more than two feet from my Main panel?
Yes, you can do this ONLY by increasing the size and length of the conduit and using longer wires than provided with your transfer switch. The National Electric Code allows for a certain conduit fill rate. An electrical contractor can calculate the proper size of conduit for the length desired.
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How long does it take to install a PowerStay™ Manual Transfer switch?
About an hour by a qualified electrician familiar with residential wiring electrical codes. If installed with a power inlet box, the installation could take slightly longer. Since each unit is ready to wire, the installer simply needs to determine which circuits will be needed in an emergency/outage, wire each set of wires in the transfer switch to those circuits, install the neutral and the ground, and test the installation under load.
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Can I connect one transfer switch to two different load centers?
Yes. The load centers will need to be within two feet of each other. An additional ground and neutral connection will be needed between the transfer switch and the 2nd load center. Or you may use one of our Power Center systems.
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The PowerStay transfer switch installation instructions require me to splice wires in the load center. Please direct me to the NEC Code section that permits this practice.
Section 312.8 of the National Electrical Code permits splices and taps in enclosures if the splice or tap does not fill the wiring space to more than 75% of the cross-sectional area of the space. Unless you already have a large number of splices or taps in the load center, adding some more to install the transfer switch is not going to exceed the limits of the Code.
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Do GenTran's manual transfer switches accommodate Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI), or Surge Protector Circuit Breakers to meet certain codes, ordinances or installation requirements?
Yes, if Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI), or Surge Protector Circuit Breakers were used as the branch circuit protector in the main load center, they MUST be used in the transfer switch. GFCI and AFCI breakers require an isolated neutral connected from the load to the GFCI or AFCI breaker. The load neutral needs to be connected with a wire nut to a 6 foot piece of white (neutral) wire (installer provided), run through the harness conduit to the transfer switch and connected to the "load neutral" lug on the GFCI or ACFI breaker. Connect the white neutral "pigtail" wire on the GFCI or ACFI to the transfer switch neutral. Because GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers can take up more than one 1" space, the overall maximum number of circuits may be reduced. NOTE: Square D's Homeline Arc-Fault breakers do NOT physically fit in our prewired transfer switch models 2026, 3026, 3028. You will need to use another brand of interchangeable type Arc fault breakers.
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