Before you install your generator, you need to choose the right one for your home or small business. After deciding what size and configuration fit your needs, you can prepare for generator installation.
1. Hire an Installer
Hiring a single installer from the business you bought your generator from makes installation a streamlined process. You can also divide the generator installation requirements into smaller projects for individual tradesmen, such as plumbers and electricians. This method will require the home- or business owner to take on more work themselves, such as filing for permits. This method may be quicker, however, if your dealer is experiencing a rush of orders before hurricane season or winter weather.
2. Choose the Location
Your generator should be located in an area that is:
- Code compliant
- Accessible for maintenance
- Near fuel source and electrical hookup
- Away from windows, doors and water sources
- Out of the way of utilities
- Clear on all sides (including above)
- Compliant with homeowners’ association or other neighborhood regulations
Your generator will need to be connected to a transfer switch so it doesn’t back-feed power into the grid. Choose the location of the transfer switch based on the location of your generator, accessibility and your home’s wiring.
Your generator installation checklist should include determining the location of your fuel source, most likely a tank or existing delivery pipeline. The closer your fuel is to your generator, the less cost will be associated with this step. You will need to comply with local codes regarding fuel storage.
3. Receive Necessary Permits
Your town, state or homeowners’ insurance may require your plans to be approved before moving forward. This is where an installer from your generator dealer can be helpful.
4. Pour a Concrete Pad
Your generator should rest on a concrete pad. This will keep it above standing water and anchored in place during inclement weather or natural disasters.
5. Connect Generator
After the generator is anchored to the concrete pad, it can be connected to the fuel source and your home via a transfer switch. These tasks should be completed by your installer or a plumber and electrician.
When your generator is connected, clear all debris from the space and enclose the generator in a way that makes sense for your climate. This likely means rodent guards and could include a cold weather kit.
6. Final Inspection
Your installer should check all the new connections, as well as oil and fuel levels. Then, your generator will be ready to break in!