A standby generator is nice to have when you lose power. If you have an aging power grid that often goes out when the wind is strong, you may be tired of living in the dark or losing the food in your refrigerator.
A standby generator solves these problems by automatically kicking on when the power goes out and then turning off when the power returns. In order to function properly, the generator is installed so it connects to your electrical panel and gas supply. Here are four important points to consider about generator installation.
1. Where You'll Place the Generator
Placement is important to consider since a generator is noisy. Noisy is an acceptable trade-off when it keeps you from being in the dark, but you may find the noise annoying if you place the generator near a bedroom window. Plus, you'll want to consider the extra cost of hooking up the generator far away from the power source. Putting the generator near your electrical panel might be a good choice.
2. How You'll Power The Generator
You'll need gas to run a standby generator. If you don't have natural gas lines in your area, you'll need to install a propane tank. You'll want the tank installed and full before the generator installer arrives. It's also a good idea to let an electrician check your electrical panel to be sure it has room for a new circuit if needed or if you need an electrical upgrade.
3. What You Need To Do To Prepare
The generator manufacturer may recommend the generator be placed on a slab so it stays out of mud, grass, or mulch. Once you decide where the generator will be placed, you may need to remove landscaping that would be too close to the generator and have a level slab installed on top of gravel so the area drains well.
4. Who Installs The Generator
Installing a generator requires an electrician to connect the equipment to the transfer switch and electrical panel. The electrician also has to install the transfer switch beside the panel. A plumber is needed to hook up the generator to the gas.
The generator installation crew may be licensed to do these jobs, but if not, you'll need to arrange for the other contractors to do their part. The details of coordinating the installation should be worked out in advance with the generator installer so installation day goes smoothly and your new generator is installed as quickly as possible.
Once it's installed, the contractor can show you how to operate and maintain the equipment. They'll also run checks to make sure everything is working as it should.
Contact a professional to learn more about generator installation.