DIY Home Generator Installation: What To Consider Before You Start

Installing your own standby 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 possibly HOA regulations and you have a recipe for a major DIY heartache. Here is a short list of considerations that can make power generator installation a job best left to the professionals.

Regulatory concerns

  1. Noise of the generator - standby generators do not run silently, and are in operation constantly when the power is out. Larger generators are louder generators.
  2. Placement of the generator - distance from the house, from other exterior units, or from neighboring buildings.
  3. Infrastructure - rules governing plumbing and natural gas connections or LP (bottled) gas hookups.

Load

You will need to calculate the combined load of the appliances you intend to run simultaneously while giving consideration to the starting wattages of motor-driven appliances (for example, refrigerators and furnaces) before purchasing a standby generator to handle the load. The more appliances you want to operate during an outage, the bigger the generator you’ll need.

Electrical system

You’ll need to possess substantial electrical knowledge to connect the standby generator to your existing electrical system. Running the wires will likely require some basic carpentry skills as well.

Natural gas connections

You’ll need to possess substantial knowledge of plumbing in order to attach natural gas to your standby generator. Most generators require natural gas to be supplied at 5 to 7 inches of water-column pressure; too little pressure can damage the standby generator and/or the supply itself. You need to know if that pressure is available in your area. If it is, ask whether additional fees are required to access it.

These are just a few of the reasons why professional installation of standby generators is strongly recommended. As the leading Generac installer in four states, our professional team of engineers are already knowledgeable and experienced as well as equipped with the necessary tools to complete the install.

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