To those who are unfamiliar with mechanical systems and electrical safety equipment, the plethora of terms and systems can be complex and difficult to deal with. We understand! Here we provide a list of some of our most frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for, please feel free to contact PSI Control Solutions.
What’s the Difference Between a Manual Transfer Switch & an Automatic Transfer Switch?
Transfer switches, which are used to swap from utility “main” power to an auxiliary source, come in these two types. A manual transfer switch must be operated by hand, using a designated lever, switch, or button. An automatic transfer switch monitors your structure’s electrical system. If a loss of power is detected, the switch activates, immediately starting your generator and swapping to your emergency power source when it is sufficiently running.
In many applications, a manual transfer switch is adequate. However, automatic transfer switches (ATS) are heavily relied upon in manufacturing, medical facilities, or other industries where any period of power loss could be catastrophic.
What Is the Difference Between a Fusible & Non-Fusible Safety Switch?
A fusible safety switch incorporates both the safety disconnect and a fuse or set of fuses to provide additional protection against overcurrent. Generally speaking, fusible safety switches are safer, but may not always be necessary. It’s best to employ fusible switches on circuits or machines that, if malfunctioning, can present an immediate danger to personnel or other electrical systems.
Are Circuit Breakers Different From Disconnect Switches?
They are, yes. A circuit breaker is a simple piece of protection equipment that is designed to open a circuit if overcurrent is detected. The breaker can switch on and off and does not require changing after “tripping.”
Disconnect switches also perform the same safety function, but most use fuses in addition to the switching mechanism. This makes disconnects ideal for more heavy-duty, more dangerous, or more sensitive electrical systems and machines, though the fuses do need to be changed after use.
What Are NEMA Ratings?
Electrical enclosures utilize the NEMA rating system to determine what sorts of hazards the enclosure provides sufficient protection against. For example, a NEMA 3R—one of the most often used enclosure types—protects against dust and minor moisture exposure. These ratings can also identify more complex hazards, such as an “X” in the product name to denote corrosive material resistance.
For a more in-depth guide, check our comprehensive list of common enclosure types here.
What Does “Service Entrance Rated” Mean?
Service entrance rated switches can be used as a main service entrance disconnect, or also can be used further in the line. These “rated” products have additional overcurrent protection and feature bonded neutral and ground wiring.
When Should I Use a Company Switch?
Company switches feature additional ease-of-use functions that make them ideal for entertainment and mobile hospitality venues. The primary reason for use in these industries is that company switches are portable, which other types of disconnects or connection equipment are not. They also can make fast temporary connections to circuits, are exceptionally safe to use, and are tamper-proof.
What Is a “UL Listed” Product?
Underwriters Laboratories is a third-party certification company that essentially sets standards for the safety and quality of electrical components, machines, and products. To be “listed,” products must meet a certain set of criteria. Even better is to be “UL Certified,” which means the product has earned certification and a seal of approval.
Why Call PSI Control Solutions?
PSI Control Solutions produces high-quality, reliable electrical solutions at a competitive price. We take pride in offering top-quality products and services. When you choose PSI Control Solutions you receive:
- Competitive pricing
- On-time delivery
- Engineering support
- UL-certified products
- 12-month material warranties
- 12-month workmanship warranties
- Private label assembly
These are just a few of the many advantages you’ll enjoy when you choose PSI Control Solutions to design and build your customizable electrical equipment. Contact us online or call us at (704) 594-4107.