Planning Your Home Standby Generator Installation
As spring fast approaches, so too will the many storms we see on the West coast. When the power goes out it can be a real lifesaver to have a generator ready to go, helping to provide you with uninterrupted power. However, it is important to remember that having a generator ready to take over involves more than just being able to plug one in. The successful installation of a generator also requires proper planning, permits, and the assistance of an experienced, licensed electrician. Here are the steps to consider when setting you your home standby generator.
1. Interview Electricians
A great first step is to interview electricians and obtain quotes to do a price comparison. However, it is important to remember that sometimes spending a little bit extra can help you to hire an installer who knows exactly what he or she is doing. It is also important when interviewing an electrician that you determine whether or not they have extensive experience with home standby generator installation. You may also wish to request references to speak with past customers of theirs.
2. Obtain Permits
Do you need to acquire a permit? Well, it depends. To determine if you need one it is best to speak with someone at your local municipality. When you hire an installer though, they will obtain the permit on your behalf. Just keep in mind that the paperwork will take a few days to go through.
3. Select a Location
Before purchasing the generator, you must figure out a location for it where it will remain in compliance with all electrical codes and the manufacturer’s recommendations. You should install your generator in a safe location so that it poses no threat concerning carbon monoxide. A standby generator must usually be installed a minimum of two feet from the residence with a minimum of three feet on its front and sides. You can figure all of this out by speaking with an electrician. This works out because most areas require that an inspection be done to verify compliance. Having an electrician help with installation can also prove effective and cost-efficient. If you install your generator close to your gas meter it will increase fuel efficiency, which may help to bring down costs.
4. Prepare the Surface
When it comes to preparing the surface for your generator, it is important to keep in mind that small air-cooled standby generators usually have a composite base on their bottom so that a concrete pad underneath is not required. However, the surface underneath the generator must be flattened before being raised by at least four bags of level pea gravel. Small air-cooled standby generators are equipped with a composite base on the bottom, so you are not required to pour a concrete pad.
5. Receive the Delivery
While this may seem obvious, not everyone thinks about the difficulty of bringing a thousand-pound generator off of the back of a truck. That’s why it can be imperative that you order liftgate service, which allows the driver to safely lower the generator to the ground. Before signing for the delivery, be sure to inspect the package for any damage that could have occurred during delivery.
6. Installation of the Generator
After you have completed the above steps, you will be ready for installation. The job of installing the generator is often more complex than the basic knowledge that homeowners possess. This is why it can be extremely important to consult with an electrician who is experienced in installing residential standby generators. If you require a standby generator and want to ensure its safe and effective installation, the professionals at South-West Electric Inc. can help. With over a decade in operation, our electricians are highly educated and experienced.