Preparing Your Home For A Standby Generator

Installing a standby generator for your home can be a great way to weather a severe storm, an extreme winter, or other adversity. In areas where portable generators are a necessity, homes with permanently installed generators are already two steps ahead. There are several important steps to address prior to installing one for your home, though; spreading the work out will give you more time to plan and offer other tangible benefits.

Making a Space for Your New Addition

A generator should be accommodated like any other major structural addition to your home, and as such will require its own foundation. Pouring a concrete pad will reduce wear caused by vibration and minimize the risk of the generator shifting during operation. Be thoughtful about placement though, and be sure to place your generator on a side of your home with few windows to cut down on the chance of fumes drifting inside.

Pouring the concrete foundation well in advance of installation will allow it time to fully set and cure, making for a more durable slab. With the extra curing time, you'll be able to pour a larger foundation that can also support a fuel tank if you choose to use a gas, diesel, or propane generator. If you plan on using natural gas, make sure you run this line first to avoid having to bore a hole through your new slab.

Making a Lasting Connection

One of the most important steps before installing a standby generator involves installing a secondary breaker system. This back-up circuit can be run to as many or as few outlets and appliances as you choose, but the more power you're using, the larger your generator will need to be. Make sure you allow yourself time to plan and have the wiring professionally run to ensure you're not overtaxing the generator.

With the added time that results from spacing each step out, you'll be able to evaluate the usefulness of other electrical components, such as fault trip protection similar to what's found on bathroom outlets. You can also install an automatic switch that engages the generator as soon as a loss of power is detected. This can be especially valuable if you're caring for an elderly family member for whom a power outage could be disastrous.

As you consider your needs, make sure you have your home evaluated by a generator contractor. They'll be able to look at the energy needs of your home, the appliances, lights and outlets you want the generator to energize, and let you know what kind of generator will meet those demands. The sooner you get started on a project like this, the more likely you are to be done before you need it to work.

For professional help, contact a company such as Original Donnelly Heating Cooling & Electric.