Why You Need a Professional Electrician to Install a Generator

Planning for the unexpected is part of being a homeowner and that’s why everyone has insurance, smoke detectors, and (hopefully) a safety kit for emergencies. Having a generator installed is one more way that homeowners can protect themselves in the event of a power outage, when anything from food spoiling to a lack of comfortable temperatures can occur.

Power outages can happen anytime, in any season, due to storms or overuse of the electrical system in the area. One windstorm could topple trees that damage power lines or the lines themselves could be blown down. Will you and your family be warm or cool enough when the power is out for more than a day? How will all of your appliances and devices be impacted by a loss of power?

Considerations When Buying a Generator

A generator is an investment and you need to have the space to store or install one. Below are some things to think about as you take steps to make this purchase:

  • Where can you store a portable generator?
  • Where can you safely store gasoline for a generator?
  • How many of your appliances are electric?
  • What about a transfer switch?

Read more about buying an emergency generator in this article.

A stationary generator is installed and connected to the fuel source so it can basically be activated when needed and there is not the same need to store fuel or re-fuel the generator during use time. Learn more about choosing the right generator for your home and needs in this article.

Consumer Reports breaks down the pros and cons of different generator models based on price and other factors.

While a generator and its installation is a big expense, weigh this against a non-functioning security system or HVAC system during a power outage and potential expense of losses when the electricity is not working like normal.

The Importance of Hiring a Licensed Electrician to Install a Generator

There are different terms to describe a stationary generator; these might also be called standby generators or whole house generators. These generators are typically necessary for multi-day power outages. There is an ease of use with this type of generator:

  1. Comes on automatically when the power goes out.
  2. Low noise when in use.
  3. Covered and protected from the elements so will work during a rainstorm or when there is moisture.
  4. Already connected to a fuel line and can run on natural gas or propane.

All of the reasons that make a standby generator preferrable to a portable generator are why an electrician is needed for the installation. In order to have that easy transition from a power outage to back-up power, correct connections and precautions needed to be taken by someone with experience.

When you’re doing any type of electrical work, there is a need for tools and equipment that the average homeowner does not have lying around in the basement or garage. The cost of installation includes the use of this gear that you aren’t storing year round, and that the electrician knows how to use correctly.

Here are some of the tasks an electrician will likely do when installing a generator in a home:

  • Install a subpanel, if needed
  • Enter the home to install a circuit breaker
  • Relocate existing circuits
  • Install a transfer switch

There is likely a need for other experts to pour concrete or related tasks so that the generator is installed on a stable and level surface, and an electrician will have recommendations or relationships for this work, which can save a homeowner time researching someone else reliable.

Safety and Local Codes for Generators

When it comes to having a whole house generator installed, your electrician will know the latest codes to be followed for optimum safety.

The improper installation of a generator can have serious consequences that threaten life and property, including gas leaks, fire hazards, air poisoning inside of the home, and more.

Your new generator should come with a warranty which is more likely to be honored when the homeowner can show receipts for a professional installation done correctly.

Generator Maintenance and Repairs

Even an unused generator will need routine maintenance to insure that it does work when needed. For their own safety, many electricians can’t or won’t work on a generator that was not initially installed by a professional. A generator under warranty does not mean it is maintenance free so starting with a professional installation means there can be on-going work done to keep this generator in good shape.

A Club Membership can be an option for discounts on electrical repairs and routine maintenance.

Contact Mister Sparky to discuss financing, generator installation, and other questions you may have about protecting what is likely your biggest investment, your home.