How Generator Installation Is Done

A generator keeps your home safe, comfortable, and functional during a power outage. Its engine powers a rotating shaft that spins an electromagnet (armature) inside a stationary magnetic field (stators) to produce electricity.

Generator Installation

Whole-house generators must be connected to the house’s electrical and gas systems by licensed contractors. They may also need a permit and be inspected by your municipality before operation. Contact Ampi Electric Inc. for professional help.

When you schedule a generator installation, a professional will help you decide where to place the unit. They’ll take into account local codes and regulations as well as the manufacturer’s guidelines. Ideally, the generator should be at least four feet from your house, but each jurisdiction sets its own minimum distance requirements. It’s also a good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector nearby in case of leakage. In addition, the installer should know how to work with your municipal code enforcement officers to resolve any conflicts between the manufacturer’s recommendations and local ordinances.

The generator should sit on a pad that’s flat and level. It should also be sturdy enough to withstand the vibrations generated by the engine and other components. Brothers typically uses concrete pads to ensure the unit’s foundation is stable, but some communities allow generators to be placed on a bed of pea gravel or other material.

It’s important to keep in mind that standby generators produce a lot of noise when they run. It’s a good idea to place the unit away from areas that are used frequently, such as living rooms and bedrooms, and be mindful of any noise restrictions in your area.

You’ll also want to choose a location that’s close to your home’s gas and electric meters. This will make tying the generator into the house’s utilities easier and less expensive. The farther the gas and electrical lines have to run, the more expensive the install will be.

The installer will also want to determine if your home has adequate pressure for the natural gas line required to power the generator. If not, the installer may need to install a pressure reducer, which is an additional cost to consider.

Size

Electricity runs everything in today’s homes, making a power outage inconvenient and even dangerous. If you lose your electricity, a generator will provide the power you need to keep your family safe and comfortable until the utility company restores it.

When choosing a generator, it’s important to select the right size for your needs. Choosing the wrong size can result in your appliances overdrawing during an outage and shortening the generator’s lifespan. To avoid this, choose a generator that is slightly bigger than your estimated power requirements. Doing so will ensure that your home’s electronics can run without overdrawing, and it also provides a margin of error for future additions to your electrical load (such as an additional refrigerator or new medical device).

If you are not sure how to calculate the wattage required by your appliances, consider working with a professional electrician who has experience measuring power requirements. They can help you determine the wattage needed for each appliance and equipment, including their starting wattage (which is 2-3 times higher than their running wattage). Once you have your list of appliances and their wattages, multiply them by 1000 to convert them to kilowatts. A professional can then use this information to recommend a generator that is the right size for your home.

In addition to determining the size of your generator, you’ll need to account for any obstacles or obstructions that will impact its location and operation. Most generators need to sit at least 18 inches away from any structure, including your house and garage, and they must be at least five feet away from windows, doors, and other openings to your home. In addition, many types of generators will produce vibrations that can affect other structures on your property, so you’ll need to choose a method for reducing their impact.

Electrical Connections

Some homeowners choose to bypass the expensive transfer switch and connect their generator directly to their home wiring system. Although this is technically possible, it is dangerous and should only be done with a professional’s help. If done incorrectly, this could lead to serious overloads that damage appliances and even cause fires.

Many experts agree that it is best to install a 240v outlet near the main circuit breaker panel and run a heavy-duty power cord from this to the generator. It is also recommended to install an interlock kit on the main breaker panel. This prevents the generator breaker from being turned on when the utility breaker is on. This is important to protect against potentially backfeeding electricity into the utility lines and injuring a lineman working on them.

Connecting a generator to the main panel with a manual changeover switch requires removing the load wires from the related breakers and connecting them to the transfer switch. Once the switch is flipped to generator power, these wires can be switched on one by one and the load points will have emergency power. This way, homeowners can determine which appliances are most critical in a power outage and only those will receive generator power.

There are two main types of transfer switches available for residential use: manual and automatic. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, but a manual switch is typically the least expensive. They are usually easy to set up and can be found at local hardware stores. An automatic transfer switch can be more expensive, but it is more convenient. It can also save homeowners money on fuel costs. If you want to go with an automatic switch, it is important to get the right size for your house, as it must be able to handle the maximum load for which you’ll need it.

Gas Connections

Once your generator has been positioned, a licensed professional will make the gas connection. This is done by digging a trench from the home to the generator and connecting with a gas line that connects to your natural or propane gas meter. It’s important that the piping is sized correctly to ensure sufficient fuel supply to your generator during an outage. An improperly sized line can cause operational problems due to excessive pressure buildup. A licensed professional will ensure that the correct size is used and test for leaks before burying the pipe.

Your natural or propane gas will be brought in through pipes that are buried underground and are installed in compliance with all applicable codes and standards. A variety of piping options are available, including polypipe, flex fuel lines, and risers. Regardless of the piping type, it is crucial that a manual shut-off valve is installed at your home’s gas meter to provide an external source of fuel control for your generator.

During the gas line installation process, the contractor will determine how much your generator will be able to power during an outage. This will be based on the number of circuits connected to your generator, as well as the kW (Kilowatt) rating. This will include appliances such as your kitchen, furnace, hot water heater, security system, garage-door opener, and a few lights or outlets.

You can decrease your generator’s kW ratings by choosing to not power certain items in your home, like your air conditioning. This will reduce your cost and will allow you to stay comfortable during an outage. However, you should still consider your family’s needs and lifestyle when deciding what to power with your generator.

Transfer Switch

The transfer switch is one of the most important parts of your backup generator. It connects your generator to your home’s electrical system, allowing you to choose which circuits will be powered during an outage. This switch is typically mounted within a few feet of your main circuit breaker box. In order to install this component, you’ll need a power cord, the generator, and your home’s electrical panel, which is usually located in the garage.

There are a few different types of transfer switches. Some are designed for use with a single generator, while others are built to be used with multiple generators. You’ll also find that these devices come in a range of amperage ratings. In addition, some offer load management features, which allow you to prioritize which appliances and equipment are powered during an outage.

When selecting a transfer switch, be sure to consider the size of your backup generator and the number of circuits it will be required to power. This will help ensure that the generator is sized correctly, and that all of your essential appliances are covered during an outage.

A professional electrician can help you determine the appropriate size of generator and transfer switch for your home. They will also be able to ensure that your generator and transfer switch are compatible with your existing electrical system. They will make sure that the transfer switch has enough wattage capacity to support the number of appliances you have connected to it.

Many jurisdictions require that a transfer switch be installed before a generator can be used in a residential setting. This is to protect the safety of utility workers and those using backup power. If you’re unsure whether your local regulations require the installation of a transfer switch, contact your local building code enforcement office.