Deciding on Installing Your Home Standby Generator Yourself

Install a Home Standby Generator Yourself: Why/ Why Not?

Standby generators interact with an automatic transfer switch to supply electrical power throughout a power outage. Installation just isn’t necessarily a fancy job, nevertheless it does require knowledge past the scope of many do-it-yourself books. Handling the task yourself instead of hiring an experienced and qualified installer can stretch your budget, nevertheless it will likely be harder. You will find positives and negatives to handling it as being a do it yourself project and hiring an expert.


The best standby generator installation runs on the load center coupled with an automatic transfer switch in a unit. The transfer switch connects to some double-pole breaker in the primary service panel. The circuits the generator will power are disconnected in the primary panel and routed into the new automatic transfer switch where they’re connected to new breakers.
Other installations replace the main service panel with a new one which incorporates the automatic transfer switch, or ATS is installed between your meter along with the existing panel.
Plumbing to increase the home’s gas lines for the standby generator is essential with an assessment with the gas utility meter to make certain it is going to handle the raised flow of gas. Otherwise, the utility will demand a fresh meter installation.

Electrical Work

In case you are knowledgeable enough to do the task yourself and can convince the local building inspector that you can handle the task, you may be as much as the installation. Understanding of the country’s Electric Code in regards to the installation plus your service entrance, and also a well documented insurance policy for installation can help pave the way for a permit to proceed with a generator installation, but you will still have to do everything correctly and pass the inspection.
Failure to add important codes or making dangerous mistakes might prompt the inspector to need you to hire a mason afterwards, which will probably run you more money ultimately. Developing a “No Occupancy” tag slapped in your home simply because you made too many mistakes can give back off to a motel and incur much more expense before troubles are corrected plus your generator passes installation.

Plumbing Work

Linking to your home’s natural gas or LP gas supply lines is important. Propane lines for the new standby generator are run with black iron pipe, and LP gas uses copper or plastic tubing. You will want the skill to produce leak-free connections and be able to test for leaks after the installation.
Building inspectors are particularly shy of homeowners that might like to do their unique gas line plumbing work, and gas utilities feel . The possibility of explosion or suffocation from leaking gas is very high when mistakes are made and gas lines leak. Explosion danger also includes neighboring homes.


When you Do-It-Yourself

In case you are positive about your skills and will obtain the building permit, then go on and install your standby generator and automatic transfer switch. Follow all of the manufacturer instructions along with all local building codes. The dwelling inspector ought to be other people you know throughout the installation and will offer advice and caveats. In case you come upon problems that make you deviate from the plan, call the inspector to make certain the newest plan’s acceptable. Most significantly, never proceed with purchasing materials or starting set up before you have the proper permits.

When you Employ a Pro

Do not forget that you’re working with electricity and are confronted with dangerous electrical currents. You’ll need to tap into your home’s gas lines and develop a leak-free pipe run and connection to the standby generator. Failure in either of these trades might cause severe injury or death. If you are not positive about your abilities with proven experience, hire an expert. It’s worth the comfort and saving a few bucks isn’t worth losing the life of someone close or yourself.

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Uses and Best Fit for Under 14kW Generators

Uses and greatest Fit for less than 14kW Generators

Generators that produce below 14kW of power might appear to be lightweights, but some can provide power within an outage to keep critical circuits operating and still provide a couple of conveniences at the same time. Standby generators paired with an automated transfer switch operate automatically during an outage to keep your home provided with power, if you are not home. Portable generators won’t operate automatically, nevertheless they can get the job done each time a standby generator just isn’t an option.

Fuel Consumption

Supplying fuel into a generator during an outage is definitely an issue. Finding gasoline or diesel fuel during a widespread outage could possibly be difficult or supplies could possibly be restricted. After Hurricane Sandy, some areas rationed gasoline. Smaller generators use less fuel, and consumption is directly impacted by electrical load.

Standby generators use propane or gas and eliminate the requirement of continuous refueling. Some portables can run on propane, and a few may use gas, propane, or gasoline.

Homes which use LP gas instead of propane must store their fuel in a tank. LP-powered generators from 7kW to 14kW tend to be ideal for LP gas installations simply because they use less fuel than larger generators. Expect a totally loaded 7kW generator to use about 1.3 gallons of propane each hour, while 20kW can use around 2 gallons per hour to generate the equivalent power.

Homes with Lower Power Requirements

Don’t assume all home requires the volume of power a sizable generator is capable of producing. Many older homes have 100-amp or even 60-amp main service panels, and the maximum amount power they could use is already limited. Even newer homes with 200-amp electrical service avoid a whole lot of power.

A 13kW generator can create 54 amps of current continuously at 240 volts―almost over a 60-amp service, and apart from peak periods, it nears all the power supplied by having a 100-amp service in many situations. A more substantial generator is simply unnecessary.

When air conditioners and also other high-voltage, high-current appliances are utilized, a transfer switch that manages generator power will ensure that power hungry appliances obtain the power they require.

Mobile Homes

Many mobile homes are designed and produced for 50 to 60-amp service and are supplied using an external disconnect mounted on a pole or post away from camper, with the utility company meter. Building codes typically need a 100-amp service as the minimum, and also the cabling that runs between the disconnect as well as the ‘recreational vehicle’ must accommodate very much power. Other jurisdictions allow connection through a 60-amp cord and receptacle.

No matter what, the ability needs of mobile homes are generally below built-in-place homes, and so are good candidates at under 14kW portable or standby generators that run on LP gas, gas, or gasoline. Gasoline storage might be a condition in rv communities, making LP or gas preferable.

Alternative Energy Systems

Energy powered off-the-grid energy systems provide their unique power which gets kept in batteries. They provide enough power for energy-efficient appliances , nor depend on power through the electric utility. In most cases, they are fully disconnected from the power grip.

Generators made to operate off grid and are powered by LP gas complete the gap once the sun doesn’t shine or perhaps the wind doesn’t blow, and battery levels run low. Typically, these generators produce about 6kW, although larger units are available. Off grid and renewable energy systems are equipped for minimal power use and environmentally safe operation, making small, energy-efficient generators your best option.

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Emergency Generators – A Must for All Residential Homeowners

Emergency Generators: A Must for All Residential Homeowners

Some time when electricity in the home was a luxury convenience is no longer carried out. Since the end of the 1940s, just about any existing home in America continues to be supplied with electric power, and quite a few jurisdictions require complete installation in new homes. Modern homes count on electricity for hvac, preventing ground water flooding, alarm systems and refrigeration. Homes in rural areas likewise use electricity to pump water for consumption, hygiene, and sanitation.

When electric power shuts down, these essential systems will no longer function. Basements and crawl spaces can flood from ground-water seepage, refrigerators and freezers slowly warm and food spoils. In subfreezing temperatures, the plumbing will ultimately freeze resulting in broken pipes and the possibility of flooding. During extended outages, batteries in alarm systems will fail. People that count on medical equipment could be at increased risk when they do without their life support systems.

Making do without electricity is frequently not just a headache, it places the exact property at an increased risk and may threaten the lives of those who count on the safety their residence provides.

Emergency Generator Protection

It really is unnecessary to reside without electric power after an emergency generator is installed.

When utility power fails, an emergency availability of power is able to keep essential circuits operating. The larger the generator, the more it can power. Smaller standby and portable units of 5000 to 7000 kilowatts can keep the refrigerator and freezer cold, power a couple of lights, combined with the sump pump and possibly the furnace whether it is needed.

Larger units as much as 14 kilowatts with power management strategies will handle more appliances including well pumps, hot water heaters, and ac units, in addition to more convenience lighting and small appliances or computers.

Air cooled standby units up to 20,000 watts are available for larger homes or more appliances. Liquid cooled units of up 60 kilowatts will supply perhaps the most power hungry of homes with plenty of capability to keep everything running from pool pumps to jacuzzis.

Standby Emergency Generators

Portable generators can supply backup power, nonetheless they won’t do it automatically. In relation to emergency power for critical home systems, the standby generator fills in if the utility company cannot deliver power.

Standby emergency generators are permanently installed appliances that work with an automatic transfer switch. The switch selects utility power during normal operation and standby generator power in an outage. It reconnects the utility when services are restored. Both air-cooled and liquid-cooled models are available for residential homes, and run using natural gas or on LP gas (propane). They may be reliable and begin automatically throughout a power outage without operator intervention to safeguard the exact property and family regardless if the homeowner is away on vacation or at the office a fairly short distance away.

Portable Generators For Emergencies

Portable generators also supply power during emergencies, but have to have the homeowner to hook them up, start them, and manually switch the property to generator power utilizing a manual transfer switch. Additionally, they have to have a steady diet of fuel. A normal installation includes the manually operated transfer switch that connects to a inlet box and the key service panel. The switch supplies power in the main panel or in the generator with a select number of essential circuits. A heavy-duty cord connects the generator on the inlet box.

A less sophisticated method connects appliances on the generator with extension cords. This utilizes homeowners, but operating hard-wired appliances such as the furnace is generally difficult.

Emergency generators supply much needed power during emergencies and each home must be built with an emergency power source.

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Home Power Generation Units and Their Impact

Home Power Generation Units and their impact

It was less than a century ago that electric power would be a convenience rather than a necessity. Homes which in fact had electricity enjoyed a number of lights as well as fewer receptacles for plugging appliances into. Electrical codes were few and people who existed weren’t widely enforced. Gradually, the main advantages of electric power were realized and by the 1930s, most homes in US cities had electricity, but rural farms and homes would not.
The Rural Electrification Act of 1935 was passed with the purpose of providing electric power to all homes in the US. Teams of electricians worked together with line crews to setup electric power on farms. Most homes were provided 60 amp service that included a range circuit, a kitchen circuit, and 2 or 3 lighting circuits.

Reliance on Electricity

Not surprisingly, luxury hotels and manufacturing facilities were the first person to embrace electricity. Hotels installed electric lighting and operated their particular generators. In a similar fashion, industry switched from steam driven equipment to electrical motors plus used electrical generators to deliver their particular electric power.
As the capacity to produce electricity grew, hotels and industry gradually stopped generating their own power and depended on the newly constructed metered instead. Electrical energy use spread to other businesses after which homes in cities and across America’s rural areas.
As electrical service was installed through the county, reliance on electricity grew. Refrigeration which was once based on blocks of ice was largely substituted with electric refrigerators by the end of the 1940s. Electrical lighting proved safer than oil lanterns and gas lamps, and America’s reliance on electricity grew as each new convenience was a necessity. Nearly all the electric power originated in generators operated by the 1st electric utilities.

Backup Power

The electric power grid is definitely vulnerable to interruptions due to natural events and accidents. Weather is truly the culprit behind an outage then when injury to the grid is widespread, it may take days or perhaps weeks to repair.
Home standby and portable power generation units provide electric power if the utility services are interrupted. They actually do more than simply supply power in the interest of convenience, they protect homes, families, and property. Today’s modern home relies on electricity for assorted purposes, and some of those can spell disaster if the utility electrical power is interrupted. Your house power generation unit supplies electric power that is not merely a convenience, but has changed into a necessity.

Medical Equipment – Here

People that rely on medical equipment can live both at home and not in institutions due to the widespread availability of reliable electricity. Once the method of getting electric power is interrupted, the medical equipment fails. Home generators for backup power can supply the appropriate electric power and keep the apparatus operating. Generators provide power for brief periods until help arrives, or for as long as the outage lasts. Home medical equipment that may run on standby generator or generator power includes oxygen generators, monitors, CPAP machines, and home dialysis equipment, as well as other forms of equipment.

Appliances For The Home

Within a power outage, home generators supply power for sump pumps to prevent flooding, well pumps to offer water for drinking and sanitation, and refrigerators and freezers to help keep food from spoiling.
Early twentieth century homes had outdoor plumbing, passive heating systems, and windows for temperature control. Today, HVAC systems provide climate control to help keep homes warm or cool and supply adequate ventilation whilst keeping the plumbing from freezing or mold from growing if the humidity is way too high.
As reliance on electricity has grown, our capability to do without some has decreased proportionally. Home power generation units fill out the space left when power companies neglect to deliver electric power to homes that need it.

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20kW Standby Generator Comparison

20kw Standby Generator Comparison

Standby generators supply backup power throughout an outage, whether for some hours or even a few weeks after having a major storm like Hurricane Sandy. Manufacturers including Generac, Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, and Cummins Power Generation offer various models with both common and unique features.

A standby generator can operate automatically when connected to a home or office with an automatic transfer switch. The switch along with the generator’s controller must communicate so that you can provide automatic operation. Some generators hand off certain functions towards the transfer switch, others handle each of the main functions and control the transfer switch directly.

Common Features

Power quality is a big factor with today’s sensitive electronic products and all the major generator manufacturers offer utility-quality power, even under heavy and changing loads, with digital voltage and engine speed regulation.

Standby generators can take months looking forward to an energy outage. Disuse allows seals to normally dry out and not enough lubrication can allow oxidation and corrosion. Exercise periods keep the engine lubricated which will help prevent seals from drying out, and try out the unit to make it willing to operate. Exercise intervals range between weekly to monthly, along with the intervals on most models are programmable.

Corrosion resistant enclosures that meet fire standards would be the norm with aluminum and galvaaneal steel powder-coated lockable cabinets that fully enclose the units and invite access for servicing and maintenance.

Other common features include the option of wireless monitoring, low engine oil shutdown, over-crank and also over-temperature protection, overload protection, fully pressurized lubrication, and engine cool-down operation.

Available Power

Manufacturers rate their 20kW standby generators by how much continuous power they could provide, although not all generator ratings are equal. Briggs & Stratton, Generac, and Cummins Onan all offer standby generators that run on either LP or gas main, but only supply a full 20kW of power while running on LP. The generators are derated while operating on gas main and definately will only provide up 18kW of continuous power.

Kohler generators are made to operate on either LP or NG, and so they give you the rated power with the generator. A 20kW NG standby unit will provide 20,000 watts of power, the same as the similar model that is run on LP gas.

Reserve power has never been advertised by standby generator manufacturers, but generators provides another boost of power for some seconds to start large, durable motors.

Remote Options

Generac uses the cellular phone text messaging system making use of their Mobile Link offering to supply status and maintenance updates for their 20kW generator on any text-message-capable cellphone. Mobile Link now offers web access through the computer, tablet, or smart phone that features programming exercise periods or scheduling maintenance.

Cummins Onan can email updates, send maintenance requests to technicians, and invite viewing generator status online.

Kohler Power Systems has got the On Cue Home Generator Power Management System, which allows homeowners to view real-time 20kW standby generator status, view and reset diagnostic codes, check status messages, and examine multiple generators for a passing fancy screen.


All of the 20kW generator manufacturers offer warranties applicable to standby power applications the place where a utility supply is connected. Off-grid systems not connected to the utility supply have no coverage from the standard consumer warranties.

Kohler’s consumer warranty is a few years or 2000 hours. In a few off-grid applications like a standby unit, they have an 18 month/1000 hour warranty. Labor is merely covered during the initial two years after installation.

Generac now offers a 5 year consumer warranty with complete coverage for that initial two years, coverage only on parts in year three, and limited coverage on the alternator and engine in years four and five.

Briggs & Stratton supplies a four year, 1600 hour limited warranty on parts and labor.

Cummins Power Systems comes with a limited consumer warranty for 5yrs or 2000 hours. Off grid applications have warranty coverage for twelve months or 1000 hours. Travel and labor are covered for that initial two years.

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Need More than a 20kw Generator can Provide

Need More than a 20kw Generator can offer? A peek at Larger Units and Who Needs Them

Air-cooled standby generators top out at 20 kilowatts, a just 83 amperes at 240 volts. Most new homes have 200-amp service. Normally, most homes don’t use the volume of power their service is capable of supplying, and seldom come close―most of the time. Actually, most homes don’t exceed 80 amperes apart from short periods or when large motors on air conditioners or well pumps start. Through the 1940s to the 1970s, 60-ampere service was usual and 100-ampere service became common in the 1970s.

With power management features intended for most residential standby generators, along with conservative power use practices, most homes can function comfortably on 20 kilowatts or a reduced amount of standby power.

Higher Power Requirements

Larger homes have higher power requirements. It is not uncommon to need 300- and 400-amp service in large homes, and the largest luxury homes are often provided with even larger electrical service. They have got multiple, high-capacity air conditioners and furnaces, and in general, larger appliances.  Power use exceeding 20 kilowatts could be the normal, everyday degree of used in these homes.

Smaller businesses and manufacturing facilities may also be higher users of electrical power. In the case of larger facilities, multiple standby generators are often used to produce enough standby electrical power in order to supply emergency systems that don’t include everyday operational requirements.

Liquid Cooled Generators

Liquid-cooled standby generators use engines comparable to those present in cars. There is a fan-cooled radiator stuffed with coolant that’s pumped through the engine to chill it. Because they don’t rely on the ambient air temperature to directly cool the engine, and because their cooling system is active as opposed to passive, they have less issue with overheating and give more reliable operation.

Standby generators of this type are available with as much as 60 kilowatts of power for residential use, and larger models as high as 150 kilowatts for commercial use. A capacity of 60kW can provide as much as 250 amperes of current continuously, enough to hold most luxury homes operating without judicious using power.

The larger, commercial standby models will handle the needs of most commercial facilities and can supply power to restaurants, offices, apartments, and retail facilities. Facilities which need more power can install multiple units.


For residential use, Generac Power Systems manufacturers the QuietSource distinct home standby generators. The QuietSource models can be bought in 22, 27, 36 and 48 kilowatts, enough power for the majority of larger and luxury homes. QuietSource generators include models in 240-volt single-phase,  208-volt three-phase, and 480-volt three-phase standby power.

Generac’s Commercial series of liquid-cooled standby generators include 22 to 150 kilowatt models for business or commercial use and come in 240, 208, or 480 volt models in the single and three-phase configurations. Models with steel or aluminum enclosures are available.

Briggs & Stratton has three models intended for entire house standby power in 35, 45, and 60 kilowatts to power the largest of luxury homes within a power outage. With this type of power available, you don’t need to forgo some of life’s necessities or conveniences.


Homes that rely on high-demand electric appliances like ranges, dryers, water heaters, well pumps, electric heating, and central air conditioners may require more power than an air-cooled standby generator can provide without extensive management and careful using of power. These homeowners should consider a bigger, liquid cooled generator.

Businesses and commercial operations will want the reliability and higher power advantages that larger, liquid-cooled standby generators may offer.

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Uses and Best Fit for Under 14kW Generators

Uses and greatest Fit for Under 14kW Generators

Generators that produce lower than 14kW of power feel like lightweights, but a majority of them can supply power in an outage to keep critical circuits operating and offer several conveniences at the same time. Standby generators followed by an automatic transfer switch operate automatically within an outage to keep your home supplied with power, if you are not home. Portable generators won’t operate automatically, but they can complete the task each time a standby generator is just not a choice.

Fuel Consumption

Supplying fuel to a generator within an outage is always a concern. Finding gasoline or diesel fuel during a widespread outage may be difficult or supplies could be restricted. After Hurricane Sandy, some areas rationed gasoline. Smaller generators use less fuel, and consumption is directly impacted by electrical load.

a href=””>Standby generators use propane or gas and eliminate the necessity for continuous refueling. Some portables can work on propane, and some are able to use propane, propane, or gasoline.

Homes which use LP gas rather than gas must store their fuel in a tank. LP-powered generators from 7kW to 14kW will often be well suited for LP gas installations because they use less fuel than larger generators. Expect a fully loaded 7kW generator to make use of about 1.3 gallons of propane each hour, while 20kW can use up to 2 gallons per hour to create the equal amount of power.

Homes with Lower Power Requirements

Don’t assume all home requires the volume of power a large generator is capable of producing. Many older homes have 100-amp and even 60-amp main service panels, and all the power they could usage is already limited. Even newer homes with 200-amp electrical service don’t utilize that much power.

A 13kW generator can establish 54 amps of current continuously at 240 volts―almost over a 60-amp service, and aside from peak periods, it nears the most power supplied via a 100-amp service in numerous situations. A bigger generator is merely unnecessary.

When air conditioners along with other high-voltage, high-current appliances are used, a transfer switch that manages generator power will assure that power hungry appliances have the power they want.

Mobile Homes

Many mobile homes are designed and developed for 50 to 60-amp service and are supplied via an external disconnect mounted on a pole or post outside the mobile home, combined with the utility company meter. Building codes typically have a 100-amp service as the minimum, and the cabling that runs between your disconnect and also the camper must accommodate very much power. Other jurisdictions allow connection via a 60-amp cord and receptacle.

No matter what, the power needs of mobile homes are normally lower than built-in-place homes, and are good candidates for under 14kW portable or standby generators that operate on LP gas, propane, or gasoline. Gasoline storage is often a problem in camper communities, making LP or gas preferable.

Renewable Energy Systems

Solar and wind power powered off-the-grid energy systems provide their unique power which gets held in batteries. They furnish enough power for power efficient appliances and don’t depend on power through the electric utility. In most cases, these are fully disconnected through the power company.

Generators meant to operate off grid and are powered by LP gas add the space once the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, and battery levels run low. Typically, these generators produce about 6kW, although larger units can be found. Off grid and sustainable energy systems are designed for minimal power use and environmentally safe operation, making small, power efficient generators the ideal choice.

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Why Kohler Generators are a Great Option for Home Standby Units

Why Kohler Generators are a fantastic Selection for Home Standby Units

Kohler entered the power generator industry after WW1 after they began building the Kohler Automatic Power & Light Power Plant in 1920 to be used on farms as well as in other isolated locations. During that time, the rural power grid hadn’t been conceived and the power plant filled a niche that filled an easy-growing dependence on electricity. The generator system was revolutionary in that it started automatically whenever power was needed as an alternative to operating regularly.

During World War II, Kohler supplied generators to U.S. troops throughout the world in support of the world war 2 effort. Following the war, they built standby emergency generators for hospitals, businesses and government buildings that needed the best source of standby power―at that period an unheard of concept―Kohler was already there with generator goods that met the demands of the time.

After their entry in the generator market over 90 years back, Kohler Power Systems continues to be manufacturing and supplying standby generators that really work automatically without human intervention.

Kohler Home Standby Generators

Kohler’s home standby generators supply power once the electric utility fails. Joined with an automatic transfer switch, the units standby around the clock to start and run automatically in the event of the power outage.

Once the power fails, the generator waits a short time to ensure the outage just isn’t momentary. Then an engine starts and reaches operating speed. The automated transfer switch disconnects through the utility supply and connects to the generator. Electricity is restored to selected circuits through the entire home (based on the transfer switch configuration). Once the utility line is re-energized, the transfer switch restores utility capacity to the home. The generator runs for a minute to chill down, then shuts off.

Kohler supplies home standby generators in sizes that cover anything from 8500 watts to 100kW that satisfy the power needs of even most luxurious homes and a lot of businesses.

Automatic Transfer Switches

Standby generators require an automated transfer switch to work automatically. Kohler designs their automatic transfer switches specifically to utilize their standby generators. They’ve many different designs to meet the requirements of most homes.

The Intelligent Transfer Switch Load Center combines a principal service panel having an automatic transfer switch which includes an intelligent load-shedding power management system. The indoor model has room for 40 circuit breakers, the outdoor NEMA 3R model has room for 28. This model can replace the main service panel.

Other transfer switches manufactured by Kohler include 100 to 400 amp models with or without load centers and power management capabilities. Models without load centers can manage utility and generator power for your home or maybe a subpanel, while load center models are designed to operate like a subpanel with the main circuit breaker panel as the source.

Kohler Power Systems Reliability

Kohler has a long history of reliable power solutions. Their innovative systems have been providing power both at home and throughout the world since the 1920s, and they also were one of the primary to provide automatic standby generators. Their residence standby generators come with an industry-leading warranty that covers their units for five years or 2000 hours. The generators can operate for days or even weeks if needed, and so their models are factory tuned to perform on either LP gas or Gas, driving them to efficient and reliable performers that offer utility quality power when needed.

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Understanding the term Home Standby Generators

Understanding the term Home Standby Generators

Residential use generators supply power to homes once the electric utility supply is lost. Utility power interruptions occur due to weather related events including high winds, ice buildup on wires, wild animal damage, motor vehicle collisions, and damage caused by many other acts of nature or man. Devices and systems that depend upon electrical power cannot function throughout an outage unless a supply of emergency power is available.

Permanent Installation

Standby generators are invariably able to operate, 24 hours a day, seven days weekly. They may be permanently wired to the home’s electrical system using an automatic transfer switch, and attached to the home’s natural or LP gas supply pipes. A Natural or LP gas hookup ensures the generator has always a sufficient supply of fuel available and does not require frequent refueling throughout an extended outage.

Automatic Transfer Switch

Automatic Transfer Switches work alongside the standby generator’s controller. After the generator starts and is able to accept the electrical load, the automated transfer switch disconnects the electrical system from the utility supply and connects it to the home standby generator. The change in power from one supply source to another is automatic and controlled by electronic switches inside the transfer switch. If the electric utility restores power, the transfer switch reconnects the utility supply and disconnects the generator.

Automatic transfer switches usually are made by the generator’s manufacturer to meet the requirements of a particular standby unit, since they work directly together with the standby generator’s controller. They also provide different alternatives, including power management, with respect to the needs of the consumer.

Some transfer switches install between your utility meter as well as the main service panel to supply power to the whole panel. Others install as a subpanel from the main service panel and just supply selected critical circuits, including pumps, refrigerators, furnaces, and medical equipment.


Standby generators are automatic, permanently installed equipment that do not require frequent refueling with liquid fuels. They operate without operator intervention, except for regular, scheduled maintenance. Unlike portable models which should be connected and started when power is needed, the standby home generator operates in a fully automatic mode, whether or not the homeowner just isn’t present.

Standby power means the generator is able to operate always. When an outage occurs, the generator starts following a short delay, then this transfer switch moves your home onto emergency backup power. It happens quickly and without intervention, but it is possible to find a short time when the home is without electrical power. Some electronics may require an uninterrupted supply that operates off battery power before standby generator will be able to start and connect to the home’s electrical system.


Installation requires building permits and the services of a qualified electrician to set up the transfer switch and make the mandatory electrical connections, and also a plumber in order to connect the generator for the home’s gas supply. Inspections from the prepared gravel bed or concrete slab usually are required before installation, as well as the finished work after installation. Adherence to National Electrical Codes, Plumbing Codes, National Fire Protection Association Codes, and native ordinances is essential.

The location chosen for installation must be sure that exhaust gases will not likely enter in the home and using CO detectors is additionally required.

Home standby generators complete when electric utility power becomes unavailable to guarantee the safety of homes, property, and families.

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Whole House Generators – a look at what really matters

Entire House Generators – a review of what it really means, and how much power you receive

Some standby generator packages are identified as providing “entire home power” meaning they’re able to power everything at your residence. The packages more often than not have an automatic transfer switch with power management features.

Alone, “entire home power” ensures that the whole property is furnished with power, however not all generators are capable of producing enough power to support all appliances and lights simultaneously.

Home Power Use

The typical new home in the USA carries a 200-amp service panel with a lot of circuit breakers. In the event the amperage of all breakers within the panel are added up, they may total around 800 amperes, far more over exactly what the panel or main breaker are prepared for. If all of the home’s appliances and lights were switched on, the complete would still not exceed 200 amperes and the main breaker wouldn’t trip.

Safety and convenience dictate the size of the primary service panel and the volume of circuits it supplies. The size of the primary breaker is not a good indicator of the volume of power the entire house uses.

Power Management

Managing power takes two forms. Homeowners do their part by switching off nonessential appliances and lights while operating on standby power. What produces a nonessential appliance is determined by your situation along with the capability of the entire house generator. Power management devices for example load-shedding controllers or digital power management systems prevent backup generator overloads by limiting the volume of high-demand appliances that operate simultaneously.

Automatic Transfer Switches

The automated transfer switch is an essential part in the entire home generator system. Their installation configures them since the gatekeeper for electricity for the entire home. During normal operation, they send power from the electric utility to the main service panel. When utility power fails, they disconnect the utility lines from the home and route power from the entire home generator to the main panel.

To satisfy electrical codes, the automatic transfer switch current rating within a entire home power configuration must equal or exceed the primary circuit breaker current rating. A 200-amp main circuit breaker needs a 200-amp or greater automatic transfer switch. By using a smaller switch for entire home power may cause a fire or permanently damage the switch.

Entire House Generators

Generators are rated in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW), a measure of the work electricity is capable of doing. Air-cooled generators for entire home power begin with ratings of around 8,000 watts (8 kW) and top out at approximately 20,000 watts (20 kW). Liquid-cooled generators for residential applications offer 20 kilowatts to 65 kilowatts of electricity.

By comparison, 100 amp main circuit breaker are prepared for about 24,000 watts of power along with a 200 amp panel about 48,000 watts of power. Take into account that your home never uses the volume of power the primary breaker is designed for.

Picking a Home Standby Generator

For most applications, you shouldn’t have or economical to install a whole house generator able to offering the equivalent power the primary circuit breaker is designed for. By utilizing power management devices and judicious homeowner power use, smaller generators will supply the entire house with electricity.

Perform a power audit to determine all the power used at the time. Figure out what high voltage appliances are necessary and which are not. Finally, decide on a backup generator package which will match the power needs of the entire home and employ power management devices to regulate the energy supplied to high profile appliances for efficient entire home energy that suits you.

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