Frequently Asked Questions

  • The generator monitors incoming voltage from the utility line
  • When the utility power is interrupted, the generator detects the problem and goes to work
  • The automatic transfer switch safely disconnects the utility line and simultaneously connects a new power line from the generator
  • Power is restored within seconds
  • When utility power is restored, the generator returns to standby mode
Yes, an automatic standby generator is permanently connected to your home’s electrical and gas systems.
During a utility power outage, an automatic backup generator provides numerous advantages over a portable generator:

  1. With an automatic backup generator properly installed outside, your home is protected from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning that is a much greater risk with portable generators.
  2. Running on the home’s natural gas or LP fuel supply, it is less expensive to run than gasoline and does not need to be refilled.
  3. They start automatically within seconds of a power outage, and eliminate the need to haul a portable generator outside or run extension cords throughout your home.
  4. They provide protection 24/7, whether you’re home or away, and they turn off automatically when utility power returns, so there is no need to monitor the unit during an outage.
  5. The American Red Cross recommends permanently installed backup generators as a safer way to provide backup power to a home than a portable generator.
An automatic backup generator is a backup electrical system that operates whether you are home or away. Within seconds of an outage, it automatically supplies power directly to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage. It operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit.
Air-cooled generators come with engines that use fans to force air across the engine for cooling, while liquid-cooled generators use enclosed radiator systems for cooling, similar to an automobile. Generally, liquid-cooled engines are used on larger kW generators due to the larger engines required for the higher power output and are much more expensive than air cooled generators.
No. The generator fuel costs would be much more expensive than buying power from the utility company since their cost to produce electricity is divided among thousands of customers.
Yes, maintenance is required to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service. Canter Power Systems offers annual maintenance for a worry-free ownership experience.
Standby generators are equipped with overload protection. In the rare event of an overload, the generator’s circuit breaker will trip, disconnecting the unit from the load. Simply correct the overload and reset the breaker in the generator.
Code requirements for installing standby generator systems vary substantially nationwide. That's why we recommend having Canter Power Systems install your system. We are familiar with the requirements of all local and national codes, making sure the generator is properly sized, installed, connected and tested based on the requirements for your area.
We recommend checking the oil level after every 8-24 hours of operation, depending on the size and model of the generator.
Absolutely. Standby generators feature a quality alternator for ultra-smooth power from your backup generator. And it's just as safe as what you normally have coming out of the wall socket. The spikes or surges that accompany power generation are just a normal aspect of electricity. However, when considering sensitive or expensive electronics like your home computer or microwave running off a wall outlet, you should use a good surge protector to guard against small influxes of power.
Yes. Certain standby generators can support central air conditioners with the help of a load management transfer switch system.
Yes. Equipment having a motor connected to your backup generator requires larger amounts of amperage for initial start-up than when running. Some equipment such as your refrigerator, central air unit, furnace fan, air conditioner, etc. will require more watts than normal running wattage for motor starting. Advanced controls enable your standby generator to manage the starting requirements of most equipment with motors.
A module is a small electrical switch that uses load management technology to turn the power on/off to a selected appliance at the direction of the transfer switch. Modules can be placed nearly anywhere throughout the home for a customized installation. Additional modules can be used, if needed, to manage high wattage appliances.
A transfer switch is a device that is connects your home’s electrical system to either the utility power or the generator power. It also isolates the two sources of power from each other so a back feed does not occur which could be dangerous or fatal to power line workmen. The National Electrical Code requires a transfer switch to be installed if a generator system is utilized.
  • We recommend a minimum tank size of 250 gallons be used with all air-cooled units. This allows for between 75-125 hours of operation under full load conditions, depending upon the model.
  • We recommend a minimum tank size of 500 gallons to be used with all liquid-cooled units. This allows for 75-125 hours of operation under full load conditions, depending on model.
  • In very cold temperatures, it may be necessary to size the tank even larger to allow for adequate vaporization.
  • Never use a gas grill type LP tank to operate any generator. It can not provide enough fuel flow, and may damage the generator unit.
  • For specific fuel consumption refer to the owner’s manual.
Absolutely. All of the technicians at Canter Power Systems have received extensive hands-on training and are certified by all the manufacturers that we sell and install.