Basics of Backup Generator Installation

Posted by Michael Pasquino

Backup generators are invaluable during sudden power failures. Instead of suffering through the frustrating disruption of work, or any other indoor activity that relies on power, you can resume the full use of your electronic devices after only a few seconds, when the generator (thankfully) kicks in. As Florida’s hurricane season lasts from approximately May – November, we Floridians brave a 6 month storm season in which we have to consider the safety and reliability of our power supply and appliances. Imagine a hot stormy day without air conditioning or a refrigerator? This may be troublesome enough to consider professional generator installation.

Two Basic Types of Generators

There are two basic generator types: the standby generator and the portable generator.

Standby Generators

A backup generator, also known as a standby generator, is frequently found in residences or office spaces. Usually these are installed outside the work or activity area and are directly connected to the circuits and wirings. A sensor automatically activates the generator in the event of disrupted energy supply.

That’s why during brownouts or power failures, the electricity in some homes or other buildings only falters for a few moments before the backup generator starts up and provides power. These lucky people continue on with their daily business while their neighbors lose productive work time at the office or suffer in a hot an uncomfortable home environment without air conditioning or power.

Standby generators also have two types: liquid-cooled and air-cooled. These are the mechanisms that allow a generator to cool off to prevent it from overheating. Modern homes and buildings are likely to use liquid-cooled generators, as they tend to be more effective and efficient, as well as quieter.

Portable Generators

The other basic type of generator is the portable generator. Unlike power generators, which are installed permanently beside office spaces and buildings, portable generators can be wheeled to different locations as needed. They’re commonly used in areas where there is no direct or constant supply of power.

Portable generators can provide power for appliances, as long as they can be hooked to power boxes and connected using extension cords. Portable generators usually run on gasoline and have a shorter lifespan.

Home or Office Generator Installation

When you order generator installation for a specific structure, the following must be considered:

Check with National Codes and Generator Manufacturer Guidelines

Take note of two very important codes for generators, namely the National Electric Code and the Fuel Gas Code. If these are not properly followed, there can be legal repercussions. Naturally, an electrical company that is used to handling generator installation will be familiar with all local requirements and restrictions, so it is best to use a professional electrician, additionally most municipalities require a permit prior to installation. Only licensed electricians can pull the permit and complete the inspections required by the building department.

Find a Generator with a Mounting Pad

When considering a generator, order a model that comes with a mounting pad. Most standby generators are mounted on a flat surface outdoors. It is a general rule that generators should not be installed indoors. The surface designated for generator installation should also allow for water drainage, to avoid any liquids pooling under or damaging the generator. Better yet, let the experienced electricians from a trusted electrical company handle these details, call the pros.

Michael Pasquino
Michael Pasquino is President of Theta Electric and a State Certified Master Electrician. Michael enjoys helping others so they can benefit from his experience and expertise. Aside from his professional life, Michael enjoys being a father and husband and taking in the great outdoors in sunny Florida.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Theta Electric and a clickable link back to this page.


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