Things to Remember Before Home Generator Installation

Whole-house generators provide backup power during outages. They use propane or natural gas and have a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician.


Your contractor should be familiar with your local ordinances and homeowner’s association guidelines. They will also know the manufacturer’s specifications and how to select the best location for your generator. Visit to learn more.

Home generator installation can take weeks or even months depending on the availability of generators, installer schedules, and the permitting process in your municipality. A good contractor will work with your local government to ensure all permits are obtained. This can include a plumbing permit to pipe natural gas or propane to the generator site.

Before the generator can be installed, a site survey must be completed. This is a critical step that determines where the generator will be placed and the most appropriate size for your home. The site survey also determines whether or not the generator will need a transfer switch, which electrically isolates the generator from the house during a power outage and prevents utility workers from accidentally reconnecting your house to the grid while the generator is running.

A licensed electrician will install the transfer switch and integrate it into your home’s electrical system. The generator should then be connected to the transfer switch and, if necessary, to your chosen fuel source, whether it is natural gas or liquid propane. The final step is to perform initial testing and running the generator during a power outage to make sure everything works correctly.

Choosing the right generator is important for safety, longevity, and return on investment. Follow a guide to add up the power requirements for all appliances you wish to have running during a power outage and match that total to the correct generator size. It’s important to not skimp on generator size as your power needs will likely increase over time, not decrease, so choose the largest option you can afford.

The most common home generator is powered by natural gas, which runs through existing gas pipes. Propane is another popular option and comes in a variety of sizes to meet your home’s backup power needs. A good contractor will be able to advise you on the right size generator for your home and will install it in an area that is at least five feet away from windows, doors, and soffit vents to avoid carbon monoxide exposure.


Home generators are a great option for homeowners who want back-up power in the event of a power outage. They can run your lights, air conditioning, and appliances, as well as keep critical medical equipment working. However, there are a few things to remember before you decide on a home generator installation.

First, you should figure out how much power you need for a backup generator. Then, you can choose a model with the right generator capacity. You should add up the total electricity requirements for each of the appliances you need powered during an outage. Remember to include electrical devices like televisions and computers as well as gas appliances such as stoves and fireplaces.

Once you know how much power you need, you should get a permit from your local municipality. This process can take a few days to a few weeks. If you don’t have the time to wait, you can work with a professional installer who will arrange for the permit on your behalf.

Next, you should prepare the site for your generator. A whole-home generator needs to be placed on a concrete pad, so you’ll need to clear the area and remove any landscaping items. The generator should also be a safe distance from the house—generally 18 inches away from any windows or doors and five feet away from any soffit vents or gutters.

Finally, you’ll need to make sure the generator has a direct connection to your propane or natural gas line. This is where it’s important to hire a licensed and insured plumber or electrician with experience working with outdoor gas lines. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an unreliable generator that could cause carbon monoxide poisoning or fire.

When you choose a plumber and electrician for your project, be sure to ask for references and check their ratings with the Better Business Bureau. They’ll help you avoid unqualified contractors who might not be able to complete the job within your permit’s allotted time frame. It’s also a good idea to speak with past customers and gauge their satisfaction with the contractor’s workmanship.


Investing in a home generator might seem like a luxury, but it could save you from many hassles during a power outage. Power outages caused by severe weather can lead to food loss, medical device failures and even carbon monoxide poisoning. A generator will keep your essential appliances powered, and can also help you avoid costly repairs if you use a propane or natural gas generator.

Most whole house generators are powered by propane or natural gas and are connected to your home’s electrical system via a transfer switch. A transfer switch senses the onset of an outage and sends electricity to the generator, allowing you to select which circuits you want it to operate. A licensed electrician can set up the wiring and install an electrical subpanel if needed for your generator to work properly.

It’s important that your installer has experience working with outdoor gas piping and knows how to read electrical plans. This will ensure that your new generator is wired and installed correctly. In addition, if your home generator is powered by natural gas or propane, your municipality may require a plumbing permit and inspection before the gas lines can be hooked up.

A qualified electrician can perform a site survey to determine the best location for your home generator. Ideally, it should be located near your electric and gas meters so that the gas piping doesn’t have to run as far, which will reduce wear on the pipes and ensure a consistent fuel supply for your generator. Your electrician will take into consideration manufacturer guidelines and local city regulations when selecting the best location for your generator.

It’s never a good idea to try a do-it-yourself project like this one. You’ll need extensive knowledge of residential electrical systems that goes well beyond the skillset of a DIY homeowner. In addition, the installation of a standby generator requires substantial modification to your home’s electrical panel. You’ll also need a licensed contractor to connect the natural or propane gas line and a transfer switch, which is why it’s important to hire a professional for your home generator installation.


Home generators are a valuable investment, but they also require routine maintenance to function properly. Regular inspections can detect small problems before they become more serious, saving homeowners from incurring costly repairs and replacement costs in the future.

While some maintenance tasks can be done at home, a professional is required to perform other routine inspections. Homeowners should check the generator’s fuel level, oil and coolant levels monthly, clean battery terminals and cell ports each month, test and inspect electrical connections, and remove any debris that could obstruct the unit.

It is important to find a qualified contractor that has a good reputation and experience in the field. Checking with local Better Business Bureaus to see how long a contractor has been in business and how well they handle customer complaints is a good way to get a feel for the quality of a potential installer.

If a homeowner decides to hire a contractor, it is a good idea to make sure they are licensed and insured. It is also a good idea to select more than one contractor and compare prices, services, and qualifications. It is not a good idea to hire a contractor solely on price because there may be hidden fees or the work may not meet local codes and safety standards.

In addition to performing a thorough visual inspection, the technician should examine the electrical system and wiring for signs of wear or damage. The contractor should also inspect the transfer switch and gas line for leaks. If the generator is installed outside, it is important to inspect the area around it for rodents and other pests. Checking for chew marks and droppings is a good way to determine if there is an infestation problem.

It is also important to remember that a standby generator can only power one or two rooms at a time, not the entire house. If an owner wants to back up more than one room, they will need a larger generator and a larger transfer switch. This will increase the installation cost and will also raise the monthly utility bill.