FAQ’S – Standby Emergency Power
What does the generator run on?
Generators can run on fuel like gasoline or diesel, but fixed or permanently installed generators are commonly supplied with the readily available propane or natural gas already supplied to your home.
What kind of power do they generate?
A system as small as 8000 watts can easily power a number of essential circuits in your home.
Is the generator loud?
The decibel level of small to medium sized units is comparable to a car idling.
What else does a system require?
Most homes have a readily accessible Main Panel (breaker panel). It is best to place the generator and transfer switch near this panel if possible.
Where should I place the generator?
The home emergency power generator is usually located outdoors, like an A/C compressor or heat pump. In fact it’s comparable in size to these appliances.
(Note: Local city and county ordinances may affect the placement of your generator.)
What if the generator fails?
Any piece of equipment can malfunction. However, Generac generators are self-testing. They can be programmed to self-start once a month, for example.
What happens when there is a power outage?
The emergency generator is self-starting upon power loss, and goes into self-shutdown upon restoration of the utility-supplied power.
What circuits should I back up?
In most cases you may select which circuits you want backed up with emergency or standby power.
(Note: In some cases where some essential circuits are fed from a sub-panel within the home, it will be more difficult to access those circuits with backup power.)
Some typical essential circuits and/or devices are:
- Refrigerator/Freezer – Kitchen circuits
- Lighting Circuits – Furnace
- Well Pump, sump pump – Garage Door Opener
- Medical Equipment
Why do we recommend Generac generators?
- Industry leader
- Their only products are generators
- Excellent warranty
What are some factors that affect the price of my repair or upgrade?
Any one of the following points can significantly add to the scope of work or material needed:
- The age of the home. Example: Older homes may have plaster and lath walls, versus drywall, adding labor time.
- Obsolete parts. Some breakers, for example, are only available now from aftermarket suppliers and can be very expensive. The same applies to many reconditioned OEM breakers.
- Exterior materials. Stucco can actually be easier to patch efficiently than wood siding.
- City/County codes and ordinances.
- Accessibility of needed work areas/work space.
- Attic or crawlspace access versus no access.
- Distance from the main or sub-panels to the area under construction.
- Design changes.
- Is there existing wiring in the locations where a new device or fixture is desired, and if so, is it suitable for the installation.
- Our estimates usually do not include drywall repairing, texturing or painting. These costs should be considered as well.
Sometimes unforeseeable problems arise during the projects that affect the cost:
- Poor workmanship or construction defects in the original installation.
- Severely deteriorated construction materials (the electrical panel is in good condition, but the lumber it is attached to has dry rot or termite damage.
- Previous repairs or remodels of varying quality.
- Double drywall, soundproofing or sheer wall, where there appeared to be simply drywall.
- Original installations that will not meet current codes or safety standards.
- New code requirements, or even inconsistent requirements by City Inspectors/Building Departments.
- Other needed electrical repairs become apparent. Examples: 1) The main panel is inadequate for the new loads being added. 2) There is extensive use of aluminum wiring, and it shows evidence of overheating.