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Generators

Home Generator Installation: Tips Before Installing a Generator

January 25, 2016

Installing a generator is not your run-of-the-mill DIY project. Unlike changing the oil filter in your car or tiling the spare bathroom, home generator installation includes electrical wiring, plumbing and natural gas components. Add to that a myriad of state, local and possible HOA regulations you’ll have to keep in mind, and you have a recipe for a major DIY headache. 

Read more for four things to consider before installing a generator, which could make generator installation a job that’s best left to the professionals. Or contact us now for a free home generator installation consultation.

REGULATIONS FOR HOME GENERATOR INSTALLATION

Before attempting to DIY your home generator installation, you must comply with all state and local regulations. If you fail to comply, you’ll have to deal with the stress and ramifications of potential litigation and financial penalties. 

DIY whole house generator

Be sure to keep in mind these three common regulations for installing a generator: 

  1. Noise: Standby generators do not run silently and continuously operate when the power is out. Larger generators are typically louder generators, so be sure the noise from your generator is not out of compliance with local regulations.
  2. Placement: State laws often regulate the appropriate placement of your home generator, including the distance from your home, other exterior units and neighboring buildings.
  3. Infrastructure: Be aware of any rules that govern plumbing and natural gas connections or LP (i.e., bottled) gas hookups.

LOAD CALCULATIONS FOR INSTALLING A GENERATOR

You’ll need to calculate the combined load of the appliances you intend to run in tandem with your home generator. Before installing a generator to handle the load, you should also consider the starting wattages of motor-driven appliances (e.g., refrigerators and furnaces). The more appliances you’d like to operate during an outage, the bigger the generator you’ll need.

ELECTRICAL KNOW-HOW FOR STANDBY GENERATOR INSTALLATION

home generator installation

Substantial electrical knowledge is required to connect the standby generator to your existing electrical system. You’ll also likely need basic carpentry skills to run the wires safely.

NATURAL GAS CONNECTIONS TO INSTALL A GENERATOR

Home generator installation requires you to attach natural gas to your standby generator. To get the job done, you’ll need a thorough understanding of plumbing. Most generators need a natural gas supply at five to seven inches of water-column pressure. Too little pressure could damage the standby generator or the supply itself. You’ll need to know if adequate pressure is available in your area and if additional fees are required to access it.

These are just a few reasons you should trust a professional to install your generator.

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If you’re interested in one of our knowledgeable engineers safely and compliantly completing your home generator installation.

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