If you own a building that houses grocery stores, restaurants, ice cream parlors, or other businesses that keep perishable foods on hand, you know a power outage can be devastating. Many businesses have installed private generators to keep things running while the power outage continues elsewhere, but this is not as simple as you think. It is overall simple, but there's a crucial decision you have to make: whether to have an automatic transfer of power or a manual transfer of power. Like most comparisons, both have good points, but automatic transfers ultimately win out.
Both automatic and manual transfers work in essentially the same way; they allow you to move the power supply from the currently out city grid and onto your building's generator. Automatic switches do it automatically, while you have to set manual switches yourself, which is not hard but does result in a slight delay. If you want your customers to be able to continue their shopping or dining uninterrupted, an automatic transfer switch is what you need.
Immediate Cost Margins
Grocery stores and restaurants tend to work with very thin margins. There isn't a lot of financial room to move, and you (or the managers of those businesses) need to keep costs down whenever possible. Manual transfer switches are usually cheaper to install, so if you're truly on the financial edge, a manual switch might be fine. But, you have to be sure it is easy to access so that if the power goes out, you can get to it immediately. An interruption of a few minutes can seem very long when you're not expecting the power to go out.
Future Cost Margins
However, a power outage in a grocery store or restaurant can make people headed into the place turn right around and leave. You might not think that would affect you if the power were out for only a few minutes. But anyone who sees your building during those few minutes isn't going to wait around to see if your power will go back on. Using an automatic transfer switch means your building's power will stay on, and customers should still head inside.
You can find out more about the two types of transfer switches by contacting an electrician or a generator company. Whichever you choose, though, get that generator installed as quickly as possible to avoid potential power outage issues.