Welcome to our review of the innovative Westinghouse ST Switch — a modern transfer switch without the complexity of traditional products, which is a good thing. You don’t need an electrician, just plug it in. Simple.
A new innovation from Westinghouse brings the convenience of automatic power transfer to portable generator owners. This review will come as a revelation to Westinghouse generator owners. A must read if you want the convenience of an automatic standby generator for little more than the price of standard portable generator. We’ll be looking at how the Westinghouse ST switch works, the pros, as well as the cons.
Until now, if you wanted a generator that switches from utility to emergency generator power automatically, you’d have to spend a small fortune on a large standby generator. Westinghouse has bridged this gap with the Westinghouse ST automatic transfer switch. Regular transfer switches for portable generators have been around for a long time. Though none of these have been automatic. So portable generator owners may not be all that familiar with an automatic transfer switch.
How does the Westinghouse ST automatic transfer switch work?
Portable generator owners know the drill all too well. The power goes down and you have to go out, switch the generator on and connect the power. You may have the luxury of a transfer switch, making things a little less complicated. Though you still have to switch the generator on and manually and switch the power between the generator and the grid.
If you’re not at home when the power fails, too bad. If it’s raining or snowing, well, you just have to get out there and take care of what needs to be done. Unless you have an automatic transfer switch. This means the ST switch will automatically switch the generator on when the utility power is not present. It will then switch over the power to all appliances connected to the ST switch. When the mains power is restored, the generator will switch off automatically, switching everything back to the main supply.
Is it easy to install the Westinghouse ST switch?
The ST switch comes with an easy to use instruction manual. Actually this isn’t even what I’d call a manual. It’s just a single page with diagrams and photographs, giving you a full step-by-step installation guide. It’s short and sweet, because the ST switch is so easy to install. Full DIY installation is a breeze, no technical skills are required.
Simply plug the ST switch into the L14-30P (30A transfer switch outlet) on your generator. A control wire is supplied, connecting the ST switch to your generator for full automation. The St switch is a small portable box (5” X 8” X 10”) that you can place in a convenient location. The box has a duplex (5-20R) outlet, allowing you to connect two extension cords for power anywhere you need it, up to 2,400W.
You need to be sure that the Westinghouse generator that you’re using is compatible with the ST switch.
ST Switch Compatible Westinghouse Generators
Currently, there are only a few Westinghouse generator models that can accommodate the ST switch. I’m sure, in time, more will follow. Here’s a list of the models that are fitted with an ST Switch control port:
Who would want the Westinghouse ST Switch?
I guess anyone who owns one of the ST Switch compatible generators would benefit from using the automatic transfer capability. Whether it’s for home or business, the advantages are immediately apparent.
Apart from just convenience and ease, there can be some instances where the Westinghouse ST Switch can be of greater value. If you have a security system or CCV camera setup, this can be invaluable for your home or business security. If you’re not around when the power fails, your home or business will be left vulnerable. With automatic transfer between utility and emergency power, you know you’re always protected. The elderly or infirm, who rely on critical life support, will obviously benefit from this system.
This list can go on to fill the page. In the end, who wouldn’t prefer a generator that’s fully automatic?
Westinghouse ST Switch ǀ Pros / Cons
As much as I really like the Westinghouse ST automatic transfer switch, there are some aspects I’d like to see improved. I’m sure they will be introducing upgraded models not too long from now. Here’s a quick reference to the biggest advantages and disadvantages to the current ST switch version.
- Relatively cheap when compared to automatic transfer standby generators
- Easy to install
- Fully automatic transfer of power during an outage
- Compact and lightweight
- Limited power capacity. The Westinghouse ST Switch is rated for 20A 120V (2,400W). Hopefully we will see 30A and 50A variants in the future. The ability to connect to a 120V/240V generator would also be an advantage.
- The Westinghouse ST Switch cannot connect directly to your house power. The current ST Switch can only supply power to your appliances using extension cords.
- Limited range of compatible generators.
In the space of less than a decade, Westinghouse has proven to be a major player in the domestic portable generator market, with some pretty competitive industrial grade models to boot. Reasonable prices and exceptional quality has come to define the brand. The introduction of the Westinghouse ST Switch is another indication that this is a brand to be reckoned with when it comes to creating useful and innovative technology that homeowners actually need.
Despite the limitations that I mentioned earlier, this is an amazing product and will be a useful addition to most portable generators. Given the way in which the Westinghouse product line has grown rapidly over the years, I’m sure we will see more ST switch options in the near future.
Hopefully with a greater capacity for more current and the ability to connect directly to existing panels. As new Westinghouse generator models are introduced, and existing models are updated, we’ll probably see all Westinghouse generators with ports to accommodate the ST switch. Currently, there are no inverter generator models that can accommodate the ST switch. Something that I would like to see change, sooner rather than later.