How to Install a Backup Generator Step by Step

Finding the right power solution is an important decision every home should make. From solar to windmills, alternative power options like backup generators ensure that homes have power amidst dire crises like thunderstorms. This guide explains how to install a backup generator for your home and why you even need one in the first place.

Why does one need a backup generator?

Fluctuations in the power supply can be detrimental in critical life support systems like hospitals. Installing backup generators is also beneficial to corporate bodies and industries like the mining sector and traffic regulation controls. Failure to do so could lead to loss of money, damage of electrical appliances, and eventually loss of lives. A backup generator will keep power in your home running, including your home security system to give you peace of mind. Here are some reasons you should use a backup generator:

 

  • Medical Equipment On-Site

If you have got life-saving medical equipment sort of a home medical instrument or suction device that needs the power to function, then it goes without saying that you need to install a backup generator.

 

  • Essential Heating and cooling

A breeze of cool air in the summer can make all the difference between having a good night’s rest and sweating throughout the night. Pellet stoves, electric space heaters, and heat pump all require electricity to run. An extended power failure could mean allowing the house to drop to uncomfortable and possibly dangerous temperatures.

 

  • Essential Heating and cooling

If you reside in a relatively cooler part of the globe, then heating your house is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. You simply cannot afford to freeze to death.

 

  • Camping

Imagine this scenario: You’re camping along with your friends or maybe on your own under the night sky and you decide to capture this moment but your phone is low on battery.  In a situation like this, a portable generator will come in handy;  it’s a fast and efficient way of distributing power. With this amazing equipment, you get to charge your phones, keep drinks cold, and even check your email on their laptops.

 

  • Emergency

An emergency generator may be a backup power supply that gives electricity temporarily in the event of a power outage. It can provide light, heat, and electricity until a facility is restored.

Standby generators are automatically switched on when your main power supply goes out; therefore it should be noted that portable generators, which also supply emergency power must be operated manually.

 

What is the difference between an automatic standby and a backup generator?

Basically, a backup generator can also be referred to as a portable generator but does not run automatically when the power goes out. The standby generator derives its name from what it does literally; automatically taking over in case the main power supply fails. This is an exception for some standby generators which can be portable as well.

The backup unlike the standby generator doesn’t require any professional installation or skill.

Should I install a backup generator myself?

Installing a backup generator isn’t a simple feat, it’s not as simple as purchasing happening the generator. It requires an awfully specific set of skills and although you would possibly have done some research on how to install backup generators. A little piece of advice here: don’t DIY because you may probably encounter some which could be hazardous not only to you but others around you, so do yourself a favor and call our experts to help you save the day.

 

Read Also: Why DIY generator installs are a bad idea

How Much Power is needed to operate backup generators?

The amount of power needed to operate a backup generator is an important tip you should consider when purchasing and installing a backup generator for your home. Note that wattage (watts) is the assigned power supply of a generator. About 5,000 watts is required to power an average home, so you need to buy a generator within this wattage to prevent power fluctuations and their effect on your life and electrical appliances, especially when close to moisture or water.

For example, a refrigerator requires about 800 watts of power, your phone charger about 20 watts, and your cooling system about 1,000 watts. If you only wanted to make sure these three things will have the power within the event of an influence outage, you’ll require a 2,500-watt generator, which leaves room for surge wattage.

Read Also: Consider these qualities in choosing the most suitable backup generator for your home

What is required: How to install a backup generator

This is vital so do some background research on the various types and models of generators. This can help you make a pre-informed decision.

  • Obtain the needed permits

This is unarguably the most important step before committing to installing a generator. Every local governing authority has different pre-installment requirements; just so you know whether you DIY or hire someone to get the job done for you. Obtaining the needed permit would save you time and money.

  • Hire a knowledgeable installer

Installing a backup generator isn’t a straightforward job anyone can do; it takes incredible skills and a focus on detail to confirm that the installed generator doesn’t cause damage because of shabby installation.

  • Choose a location

This will require you to do some groundwork and prep the location where the generator is installed. This could be done by simply placing a concrete or gravel slab at the specified location. Generators should be located in a locality that is:

  • Away from windows, doors, and water sources
  • Accessible for maintenance
  • Out of the way of utilities
  • Near fuel source and electrical hookup
  • Clear on all sides (including above)
  • Code compliant
  • Compliant with your homeowners’ or neighborhood association rules and regulation
  • Connect Generator

The generator is anchored to the concrete pad. This may be connected to the fuel source when your generator is connected.  Clear all debris from the space and place the generator in an airy environment. Get the best generator brands for installation here.

  • Final Inspection.

Outage simulation comprises a part of your generator’s final inspection. Your technician will simulate an outage on-site to ensure sure your generator is up and running. Modern generators have the potential to run periodic self-checks to diagnose any potential issues.

 

The cost involved in installing a generator

It should be noted that the type, size of a generator and the price of the original generator purchased largely influence the cost of installation. When installing a generator you ought to consider the additional costs that may incur aside from the general costs. Installation prices may vary. From the installation price to permits to site prepping installing a generator can be a handful, so call us and request an installation quote for your building.

Portable/backup generator installation cost

Power Output: 3,000 – 8,000 watts

Installation Price: $ 300.00– $1,200.00

Fuel Usage: 12 – 20 gallons of gasoline per day

Standby generators installation cost

Power Output: 8,000 – 20,000 watts

Installation Price: $2000.00 – $20,000

Fuel Usage: 13 – 48 gallons of LPG or fossil fuel per day

How to install a backup generator

Check out these steps to install a backup generator. You may need an expert installer, electrician, and a plumber. Some installers have mastered enough skills to be able to tackle these jobs, however, you may need professionals in each field.

Steps to put in a backup generator:

  1. Pick a location a minimum of 5 feet from all present windows and doors.
  2. On a concrete pad ideally supported by a gravel bed set up your generator.
  3. Secure your generator to the concrete pad with four stainless-steel bolts.
  4. Have a plumber connect a gas line to the generator.
  5. Have an electrician run a line-voltage cable to the generator.
  6. The generator tests itself automatically by turning on every period and running for about 20 minutes.
  7. Every time the generator kicks on, a diagnostic signal is shipped via the net to the homeowner and electrician.
  8. A transfer switch is installed beside the electrical meter; it transfers electricity into the house when the facility goes out and therefore the generator kicks on.

How to install a natural gas backup generator

The first thing you wish to try to do is to locate an installer who is accustomed to the local permitting process. Then you’ll have to determine the essentials of the installation process and install the generator. This prevents you from reassessing the budget. You’ll also have to know specifics like what size or kind of generator you’ll need. Once you work this out you can look out for any referrals or rebate programs from your public-service corporation conserving installation of fossil fuel backup generators.

Steps to line up your gas backup generator

  • Pick out your preferred location

Find a location aloof from your gasometer or circuit box and you’ll pay extra to run more wires and piping. Choose a  location too close to your house and you’ll run up against the inspector. Our installers will facilitate your pick of the most effective location for your unit.

  • Get a Permit

This will make sure that you’re not in violation of the state department. You’ll also have to get permission from your homeowner’s association, depending on where you reside.

  • Installation

You will need artisans like a plumber or electrician. The plumber will connect the gas line and so the electrician will have to install your automatic transfer switch (ATS) to trigger the generator to start when it senses fluctuations in an outage.

  • Inspection

Make sure that the local city inspector inspects the installation to ensure that everything is up to code.

  • Meter Change-out

Once the inspector gives the thumbs up, your installer will contact your gas utility company to put in a replacement meter.

Standby generator near me

A & A Genpro is a call away; for inquiries, guidance, or technical assistance on a step-by-step approach on how to install a backup generator, if you still encounter challenges. We also repair generators and provide you with recommendations in case you need to replace your malfunctioning generator set.

Not sure what you are looking for?

We have a range of solutions we can offer. Enter your details below to get a free consultation and quote.