I recently mounted a 10 circuit Transfer switch and attached about half of the wires to the electrical panel. After I start and plug in the generator, some of the circuits work fine (well pump, which is wired to 2x 20 amp terminals), some don't (refrigerator, wired to 15 amp terminal) and some partially work (oil burner, wired to 15 amp terminal, constantly clicks on/off).

When the generator was running and powering both the well pump and oil burner, the burner was clicking on/off about 6-7 times a second. After the well pump finished, the clicking slowed down noticeably to once every couple of seconds, as if there was more power available.

The circuits on the main panel are 20 amp circuits. I'm patching wires from the 15 amp circuits on the transfer station, but according to the instructions, this should be ok.

Are there any suggestions about what might be set up incorrectly and how I could start troubleshooting this?

  • Pictures might help. This might be a tough one, without actually being there. Does the generator have enough power, to support all the loads?
    – Tester101
    Nov 2, 2011 at 14:58
  • Yes, the generator is a new 8000Watt Briggs & Stratton 30471 and the transfer station is a new Reliance Controls 10-switch transfer station. I tried testing with everything except the oil burner shut off, but had the same results. I'll try to add pictures in after I get back there and clean up the area a bit :) Thanks
    – JML
    Nov 2, 2011 at 15:17
  • I see the problem when the transfer switch is on Generator. I just started wiring this up yesterday, and we've been out of power for a few days now (with a couple more days to go) so I can't say for certain if I'll have the same problem or not after I switch to Line. But before the introduction of the generator/transfer switch, everything worked well straight from the panel.
    – JML
    Nov 2, 2011 at 16:48
  • The oil burner is on a single 20-amp breaker in the panel. I wired this up to the 15-amp breaker in the transfer switch (according to the documentation, this is ok to do). The well was on a double, which I reflected in the transfer switch and was able to get to work. The circuits that are wired up are balanced, but not all of the breakers are tied in yet (I stopped about halfway to test). Would it be worthwhile to try to tie the burner to the 20-amp circuit on the transfer instead of the 15?
    – JML
    Nov 2, 2011 at 17:28
  • 1
    Shouldn't matter.
    – Tester101
    Nov 2, 2011 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


I went to test it out again, hoping elves would've fixed it while I was gone, but no such luck. As I was playing with the oil burner, I flicked on/off the emergency shutoff switch and got shocked. This led me to check the ground wires. The transfer station looked ok, so I went outside to check the power inlet. I was cautiously happy when I saw that the ground from the building wire had come loose due to some really shoddy workmanship. I reconnected and secured the ground and everything worked just fine after that :)

Thanks Tester and everyone else for all the assistance. It was greatly appreciated.


Found a good troubleshooting guide at the end of this document.

Generator Trouble Shooting Guide

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.