Standby Generators - What Everyone Needs to Know

    (Provided by Steven Nameroff - Tuesday, October 11, 2016)

Standby Power Generators

Although blackouts are nothing new, the last two years have brought a new meaning to the importance of electrical power. Recent years has shown the nation’s worst for grid-disabling natural disasters, with long power disruptions affecting millions of consumers.

It’s no surprise that the sales of portable gas-powered generators have gone through the roof,but many generator manufacturers are also ramping up the production of a different kind of generator. A stand-by generator could energize a home for days, but comes with a hefty price tag of around $20K. Read below for six points that could help you decide whether they’re worth the investment.

What They Are

Standby generators are installed permanently on a concrete pad in your yard, and will provide uninterrupted backup for days.

How They Work

When the generator detects an interruption in service, it activates an automatic transfer switch . An internal combustion engine, which is the heart of the system, is fueled by a local gas supply, but can also be fueled by propane or diesel. When the power turns back on, the switch shuts down the generator and reconnects your house to the grid.

Installation Cons

Some cities have noise ordinances, and a stand-by generator can be quite loud, especially if it’s in a tight city lot. Urban installation is also tricky, because building codes require generators to be at least 5 feet from a house opening, and cities tend to have less space than a rural area.

They Need a Professional

You’ll need to hire a professional to asses your load needs and the logistics of installing. Standby generators are not DIY projects, as they require advanced electrical and plumbing skills, knowledge of local building codes, and permits.

Cost and Size

The bigger the generator, the more circuits it can power, and the more costly it is. Additionally, the bigger it is, the more fuel it needs.

They’re High-Maintenance

After 24 hours of continuous use, you’ll need to get it serviced. You’ll also need to check the engine oil daily during use, never run it at more than 75 percent of its rated capacity, and replace overworked or deformed motor brushes.

To read more visit Popular Mechanics.

 

 

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