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Generator Installation Tips for Homeowners

The generator must be installed outdoors because it produces carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can build up to deadly levels in just a few minutes. It should also be at least 20 feet from any building openings.Generator Installation

A level concrete pad must be poured to keep the generator away from dirt and water. The contractor will get permits and work with your county and city to make sure the installation meets code. Call Us Today for more details.

There are a few things that affect generator installation costs. The type of generator you get is one factor, as are the size and fuel source. Natural gas generators tend to be the most affordable, while propane or diesel models cost more. The amount of power you need also has an effect on the final price, with larger generators generally being more expensive.

Another significant cost is the installation of a transfer switch, which automatically sends power to your generator when the utility fails. This is a must for all whole-house generators, and an electrician will need to install it in your home. This can add to the total cost of your project, as it can run up to $5,000.

A transfer switch can be installed in your breaker panel or in an electrical subpanel, and it will redirect all the circuits in your home to the generator when there is a power outage. Having a subpanel can help prevent the generator from overloading your home’s main electrical panel, and it can also make it easier to repair any problems that arise in the event of a power outage. In some cases, your electrician may recommend installing a subpanel as part of your generator installation.

The location of your generator can also impact the overall cost. Ideally, the unit will be located close to your home’s gas and electric meters. This can reduce the distance that the gas and electrical lines must travel, which can lower your installation costs.

If you’re unsure of what type and size generator to purchase, a professional survey will help determine your needs. The survey will look at each item in your home that will need to be powered by the generator and calculate its wattage usage. The results will give you an idea of what size generator to buy and how much it will cost to operate it during a power outage.

Once you’ve chosen the right generator for your home, the final step is to have it installed. The generator will need a permanent resting place, and most professionals prefer to install them on a poured concrete pad. This will reduce vibration, increase airflow, and protect the generator from corrosion. The cost for this is typically $50 to $75 per square foot, including site preparation and concrete pouring.


A generator provides power during a power outage, but the size of the generator depends on how many appliances and devices homeowners want to run. The best way to determine the correct generator size is to make a list of all the items that you want to be powered during an outage. Then, take note of their wattage requirements. This will help the contractor recommend an appropriate generator size for the home.

Generally, most homes need between 5,000 and 7,500 watts to power their basic electrical needs during an outage. This may include a refrigerator, sump pump, window air conditioners, and basic lighting. A larger generator is usually recommended for large homes and homes that are very dependent on electricity, such as those with well systems or electric water heaters.

When calculating wattage, it’s important to know the difference between kilowatts and kilovolt-ampere (kVA). kW is used to measure the actual power that a device produces, while kVA measures apparent power. It’s also helpful to understand how the wattage of an appliance changes with usage. For example, the starting wattage of an appliance is often 2–3 times higher than its running wattage.

Another factor that will affect a generator’s capacity is the type of fuel it uses. Most residential generators use either propane or natural gas. Propane generators are more expensive than natural gas generators, but they offer greater reliability and flexibility. The contractor will be able to discuss the pros and cons of each option with the homeowner and help them choose the right fuel type for their home.

If a homeowner prefers to estimate the size of their generator, they can find a wattage calculator online and add up the total wattage of their appliances and devices. Alternatively, they can visit their local hardware store and ask for assistance. Some homeowners may also wish to consider staggering the use of certain devices or unplugging appliances that aren’t essential during an outage.

Regardless of which generator size is chosen, it’s important to keep in mind that a generator must be placed a minimum of three feet away from any flammable materials. Additionally, a generator should never be operated indoors. This can produce dangerous carbon monoxide that can poison the family and cause fires or explosions.


Most municipalities require a permit to install a generator. When you choose a licensed electrical contractor to handle your installation, they should take care of all the paperwork and submittals for you. This means you’ll be able to avoid delays and get your generator installed on time.

Before starting on your generator project, it’s important to determine how much power you need. To do this, you’ll need to consider your appliances and what essential services you use during a power outage (e.g., sump pump, basement air conditioning, and refrigerator). You’ll also want to consider your home’s overall load capacity, which is the total amount of power the house uses in a typical day.

Next, you’ll need to decide where the generator will be placed. A good place is near your home’s gas or electric meter. This will minimize the distance that your generator needs to travel for fuel and power.

A licensed electrician will perform a site survey to make sure that the proposed location of your generator is safe. This is to ensure that the generator doesn’t interfere with your home’s breaker box or backfeed electricity into the grid. This can be dangerous to utility workers trying to restore your power, as it could cause a fire or electrical shock.

Depending on the type of generator, a transfer switch may be needed to ensure that the power produced by the generator only powers your essential circuits during a power outage. These switches can be as small as a subpanel that’s powered by the generator, or they can be whole-house transfer switches that connect your existing breaker panels to the generator’s power.

Conductors and control wires are then run from the transfer switch to the generator, with a shut-off valve and drip tee installed ahead of it for emergency service and maintenance. If you’re using a natural gas generator, a buried gas line will be run from your gas meter (or another point close by) to the generator. This will include a pressure regulator to maintain a constant flow of gas, as well as a shut-off valve and drip sleeve for safety.


There are a number of maintenance tasks that must be performed on an ongoing basis to keep your generator running smoothly and effectively in the event of a power outage. These tasks may include testing the generator and checking its components. Some of these tasks can be done by homeowners, while others require the expertise of a professional technician. These professionals can also perform a more extensive diagnostic check on your generator.

Some of these tasks may be done on a daily basis, while others are best done on a weekly or monthly schedule. It is important to follow the user manual closely for your specific generator model, as there are different maintenance procedures for each one.

It is recommended to use the same generator fluid (engine oil) that was recommended by the manufacturer. This will help your generator run more efficiently and ensure that all internal parts are working properly. In addition, it is important to have your generator properly fueled, and this should be done regularly. This includes a visual inspection of the tank, and it is also advisable to have a licensed professional inspect and flush the fuel system.

The generator must be kept on a flat, solid surface that is protected from extreme weather conditions. It should be located away from any combustible materials that could cause a fire. It should also be positioned on a pad that is large enough to allow for proper ventilation. If a generator is placed on bare ground, it will eventually sink into the soil. Brothers always installs concrete pads for the generators they install to make sure that the generator is not overly impacted by the ground it rests on.

The internal combustion engine of the generator produces carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that can be inhaled. It is essential to have the generator regularly inspected for carbon monoxide leaks by a licensed professional. In addition, the user manual may also recommend a regular yearly test and load test to ensure that the generator will be ready when you need it most.