Troubleshooting Your ATS

Automatic transfer switch (ATS) failures can leave you in the dark. Modern ATSs are packed with sensitive electronics that are susceptible to damage that can cause the switch to fail when you need it most. When the ATS doesn’t work the way it was designed, an EGSA certified technician can troubleshoot your system and apply the appropriate solution to correct the problem. In our experience, the following are some of the most common causes of ATS failure that we encounter in the region as well as some troubleshooting suggestions.

Tripped Circuit Breakers

Power surges can trip the circuit breaker that provides power to the ATS. It is an exceedingly common problem and one of the first things that should be checked before further examining the ATS for problems.

Transient Voltage 

Transient voltage can damage the sensitive components in the ATS. As the voltage flows into the circuit board, it can cause damage to the control boards that can prevent proper operation. In our experience, the best way to protect an ATS from the hazards of transient voltage is to ensure the proper functioning of the transient voltage surge protector. (TVSS)

Damaged Wires

ATS controllers use a standard two wire start system. When the utility power is interrupted, a relay that is held open by utility power closes, allowing these two wires to come together, causing the generator to start. When the wires are damaged or incorrectly connected, they may not make this connection.

Bad Controller

A damaged controller in an ATS can fail to send the appropriate signals to the generator when a power outage occurs. However, not all controllers need replacement when a failure is suspected. Many can be repaired and reprogrammed.

Damaged Solenoids

Solenoids can cycle too fast which causes intense heat to build up. This can cause it to burn out and fail. They can also fail following damage during maintenance or through the build up of dirt and grime within the generator.

Common Problems in the Region

Failure to Transfer to Utility

When the ATS fails to transfer to the utility, it can be because the service disconnect breaker is open or the voltage is unacceptable. When this happens, you can reset the service disconnect breaker or simply wait for the voltage to return to acceptable levels.

Generator Continues to Operate After Transfer back To Utility Power.

This is a result of the engine cool down period. Its best to allow the generator to continue to run after the load has been transferred back to utility power to allow the engine temperatures to settle back to normal levels. The engine cool down period is typically programmed to be between 10-30 minutes at which time the generator will shut down and be ready for another utility outage.

We encourage you to contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324 for more information about ATS failures. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and help repair any problems you are experiencing.

Posted Under: ATS