Understanding Home Standby Generators

howitworks-1._V192553167_An average home may use more than a hundred electrical appliances and devices to provide convenience, comfort and security. It is, therefore, essential that we install a backup home generator to prepare for a power outage.

A residential generator has major advantages over a portable gen set such as automatic start, permanent placement, more power output, cleaner fuel (natural gas or propane), low running costs and all-weather operation. Standby power systems start automatically within seconds after a home’s electricity goes out and ensures a continuous electrical supply.

A generator system immediately senses when power is interrupted and transfers power to the generator. It also senses when power is restored and transfers the load back to the utility source and the generator system shuts down.

The generator is installed outdoors and linked directly to the home’s permanent fuel supply, providing a constant fuel source for long outages.

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Typical Whole House Installation:

A residential whole house standby generator system typically has four basic elements: a generator, a transfer switch, service-entrance breaker and load management.

  1. Generator – Produces electricity for entire home systems which includes cooling, heating, refrigeration, security and lighting. Your backup needs, simple or more extensive, determine the size and output of the unit.
  1. Transfer Switch – Properly disconnects the generator system from the utility preventing improper back feeding into the utility lines. Allows the generator to feed the entire main electrical panel exactly as the utility system essentially replacing the same power.
  1. Service Entrance Breaker – Provides protection to your transfer switch, internal breakers and circuits and the generator due to electrical strikes and power surges.
  2. Load Management – Certain systems have the capability to delay the start on high load appliances allowing better generator control and output.

Typical Essential/Select Circuit Installations:

A residential essential/select circuit standby generator system typically has two basic elements: a generator and a transfer switch.

  1. Generator – Produces electricity for entire home systems which includes cooling, heating, refrigeration, security and lighting. Your backup needs, simple or more extensive, determine the size and output of the unit.
  1. Transfer Switch With Circuits – Properly disconnects the generator system from the utility preventing improper back feeding into the utility lines. Allows generator to power the mission critical circuits for basic emergency backup power.

Note: You should not attempt to specify and install a generator system on your own. Electrical connections must be made and fuel systems installed/connected by qualified and licensed personnel. Improper installations present hazards, which can result in personal injury or property damage. Please contact a licensed residential electrician and your local natural gas or propane supplier for these services.

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