Electrician, Installation, Home generator
Written by Larry Cook

Answers for Your FAQs About Home Standby Generators – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, you may be a homeowner who has some questions that need answering before you install a home standby generator. Part 2 will answer three more FAQs about home standby generators. Consult with an experienced and licensed electrical contractor for the best results.

What must be done with my existing gas meter?

It is possible that your home will need a larger gas meter. Permanent home standby generators are capable of consuming a significant volume of natural gas while they are functioning. A gas meter that has an adequate volume for operating the standby generator, as well as the home’s gas appliances, will be needed. A gas meter has a plate noting its capacity in cubic feet/hour. Each cubic foot per hour of gas generates about 1,000 BTUs. If you add the total BTUs of a home’s gas appliances to a standby generator’s gas usage, you will be able to figure out the necessary gas meter capacity. The homeowner is responsible for working with the gas company to have a new gas meter installed.

What are the basics of an installation?

The majority of communities require the standby generator to be installed behind the house, therefore three factors need consideration: 1) gas meter location, 2) electric meter location, and 3) electrical panel location. Gas is supplied to the generator from the gas meter via a flexible gas line or pipe. The electrical hook-up will require a transfer switch box, which will automatically disconnect the utility line and connect a new power line to the generator. The box will be either installed next to the electrical meter or mounted by the electrical panel.

Does a standby generators need to be run and maintained occasionally?

Standby generators are just like any engine, and they must run occasionally in order to run properly. Their important components include a cooling system, block heater, battery, and trickle charger. Standby generators are typically programmed to run up to 15 minutes weekly to maintain all its systems and fluids in constant readiness. The run time and day can be scheduled by the homeowner. In addition, a standby generator will require annual servicing and maintenance to maximize service life.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.