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Useful Precautions To Take When Using An ATS With Your Generator

A Manual Changeover Switch (MTS) is an electrical  switch box or switch gear that helps a user transfer power from one source or the other to the building, office or apartment. Using a manual changeover switch has its advantages and its disadvantages.

Although a manual changeover switch unit does not have the advantages of automation, it however allows the user to come in contact with the Generator as much as possible during changing over processes and Gen start/stop operations.

This is because since it cannot start or stop the Generator on its own, the user or operator is tasked with the assignment of starting and stopping the Generator manually and as well as changing-over from one source to the other.

For the user, coming to start and stop the Generator every now and then allows the user to notice any anomalies or low levels for oil, fuel and water and he or she makes corrections or reports accordingly.

This can have a lasting positive effect on the life span of the Generator when it is closely observed and properly maintained as at when due.

Every technology no matter how intelligent or advanced will always have its upsides and of course downsides especially if not properly managed. Automating both the changeover process and stopping/starting your Generator automatically can have some negative effects on the life of your Generator if you do not check on your Generator from time to time or assign someone to do it.

The convenience of power automation through the use of an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) which automatically starts and stops your Generator as well as transfers power from available sources to your loads can be so relaxing that one can easily forget to check the oil level for instance. Of course, this can have drastic effects on the life of the Generator as well as result in poor general performance not to talk of expensive repairs if the Generator breaks down (Engine knocks!).

If you will be too busy, it might be a good idea to assign someone handy to take routine looks at the Gen as well as to top up the coolant, oil and fuel levels as at when needed.

Therefore, we have put together a short list of items or areas that may need to be checked as frequently as possible when using an automation device such as an ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch or automatic changeover switch).

See list below:

  1. Oil level ok?
  2. Coolant level (Water) ok?
  3. Fuel level ok?
  4. Battery status (Voltage level, firm terminals, Acid level etc)
  5. Any leakages – Oil, water and fuel?
  6. Engine over heating?
  7. Is there any unusual noise from Generator when in operation or when starting?
  8. Are there any error messages (or flashing Red indicator) on generators control panel display?
  9. Physical Inspection of the Generator and ATS areas against smoke/smell of  burning components or wires (Resulting from partial contacts , sparks, over loading e.t.c) which may result in system break down or fire outbreak if not checked and fixed on time.
  10. Check on the Hours Log record of the Generator to know the number of hours the Generator has been operated against when next it should be serviced.

It is the responsibility of the user or assigned individual to monitor the health of both the Generator and the ATS so as to enjoy not just the convenience of the automation but also cheaper running costs and system durability in the long run.

Do you feel there is something we would have added to the list which we omitted?

Join the discussion and leave your comments below.

Thank you.


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