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Old 09-14-2017, 07:56 PM   #1
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Default Lock out vs Transfer switch

From what I can see on this forum,
Most generator systems use a physical lock out system.
But in Australia it is different,
We use Transfer switchs,
Which is just a large multi pole switch.
It just isolates the incoming mains and connects the system to the genny.
I don't think I have ever seen a physical lock out system in Australia.
So Do you use Transfer switchs in USA ?
How and when would they be used / preferred ?

I suppose in domestic situations lock outs are cheaper !

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Old 09-14-2017, 09:28 PM   #2
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Most transfer switches here are automatic and cannot be locked in either position.

Sometimes there is a manual transfer switch and those can be locked in the open position.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
From what I can see on this forum,
Most generator systems use a physical lock out system.
But in Australia it is different,
We use Transfer switchs,
Which is just a large multi pole switch.
It just isolates the incoming mains and connects the system to the genny.
I don't think I have ever seen a physical lock out system in Australia.
So Do you use Transfer switchs in USA ?
How and when would they be used / preferred ?

I suppose in domestic situations lock outs are cheaper !

Both Americian and Philippines system typically use automatic transfer switch but some location do have manual transfer switch and some can able locked out on open side.

The Hospitals are strictally automatic transfer switch system ( some do have multi ATS in the system )

And with automatic transfers system can not be locked in either postion but some ATS do have lockable in off postion that about it.

in the home it kinda tossed up depending on the customers want automatic and some want manual ( cheaper and more common on portable units )
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:05 AM   #4
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Don't we all hail from the IEC?

One would assume isolative methods exist anywhere , lest disaster occur , much like matter meeting antimatter on Star Trek>>



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Old 09-18-2017, 11:17 PM   #5
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The question is not so much about locking ability,
But more about why physical lock out systems seem
to be more popular than a transfer switch.
Most smaller domestic systems in Australia are manual transfer switchs.
Automatics tend to be mainly on larger systems.

Is it mainly a matter of cost ?
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:50 PM   #6
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It's cost and also how often it needs to be operated. Plus how long the power system can be down.

A manual transfer switch is perfectly fine for a house but not a hospital.

Also, if the POCO fails often, an automatic switch would be less of a hassle that a manual.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:41 AM   #7
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Are you talking about portable generator connections? I assume that's what you are going with when you refer to the physical lockout system where he have an interlock that requires the main breaker to be shut off to turn on the backfed breaker from the generator. These are a newer invention. The old way was to use a transfer switch of some kind, either a 6 circuit jobbie with 6 double throw switches (each acting as a transfer switch) or a double pole double throw transfer switch to an emergency panel. The interlock system is preferred due to cost. It's waaay cheaper and easier to pop one of those in instead of setting up a transfer switch and emergency panel, and gives the homeowner far more options on what they power than the gentran style transfer switch.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
From what I can see on this forum,
Most generator systems use a physical lock out system.
But in Australia it is different,
We use Transfer switchs,
Which is just a large multi pole switch.
It just isolates the incoming mains and connects the system to the genny.
I don't think I have ever seen a physical lock out system in Australia.
So Do you use Transfer switchs in USA ?
How and when would they be used / preferred ?

I suppose in domestic situations lock outs are cheaper !

I have seen several ways of isolating and transferring.
I'm just not sure of what you are calling a transfer switch.
We have automatics
Kirk Key interlock
Manual double throw
Larger manuals switches are motorized

Not really sure what you are calling a transfer switch.

Some recent installed we did

This is a 3000Amp 480 volt automatic. It took us almost 80 man hours to swap


This one is a 400 amp 480 volt

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Old 09-20-2017, 03:56 AM   #9
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http://www.clipsal.com/Trade/Product...?CatNo=PS100CO

This is a good example of a change over switch for an Australian house.
Bare in mind most houses in Australia have single phase 240vac.
main supply fuse is usually 80A.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
http://www.clipsal.com/Trade/Product...?CatNo=PS100CO

This is a good example of a change over switch for an Australian house.
Bare in mind most houses in Australia have single phase 240vac.
main supply fuse is usually 80A.
If that 100 amp double throw were NEMA size in the US, it would be made of steel, powder coated and about the side of the back of a car seat.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
From what I can see on this forum,
Most generator systems use a physical lock out system.
But in Australia it is different,
We use Transfer switchs,
Which is just a large multi pole switch.
It just isolates the incoming mains and connects the system to the genny.
I don't think I have ever seen a physical lock out system in Australia.
So Do you use Transfer switchs in USA ?
How and when would they be used / preferred ?

I suppose in domestic situations lock outs are cheaper !

I think your mixing up a couple of terms we use.

Here a lock out is what we put on the breaker for safety so no one can energize the circuit while we work on it.

A Transfer switch is used when we have two sources of power, regular power from the utility and emergency power from a generator. It can be a manual switch like you posted, or an automatic switch
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southeast Power View Post
If that 100 amp double throw were NEMA size in the US, it would be made of steel, powder coated and about the side of the back of a car seat.
And cost $500. And that is exactly why the interlock was invented. So you could do the same exact thing with a pair of inexpensive 2-pole breakers.
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