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A lengthy power outage in Myrtle Beach, SC, caused by overburdened grids in the hot summer months or damage due to hurricanes is a nightmare for any homeowner. Having a generator can allow your air conditioner, refrigerator, Internet, and other essentials to continue to run even when the power fails. Not only does this help to ensure your comfort, but it can also make all the difference to the health and safety of your family. Stand-by generators allow you to always be prepared in the event of an emergency. Reading these tips before you call a generator hookup service can help you get the right unit for your needs and set you up for a successful installation.
1. Start With the Load.
Before you can select a unit and hire a generator hookup service, you must determine which appliances and electronics in your home are essential. Make a list of what you can’t afford to be without during a blackout. Some items to include are:
- Lighting in key areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and living room
- Outlets for small kitchen appliances and charging mobile devices
- Refrigerator and freezer
- Television and cable or satellite box
- Garage doors
- Microwave and oven
- Computer, modem, and router
- Security system
- Exterior lighting
- Air conditioning and heating system
- Sewage and water pumps
2. Know the Key Terms.
As you discuss your needs with a generator hookup service provider, you’ll encounter electrical terms that you may not be familiar with. Knowing the following definitions will help you communicate more effectively and compare generators with greater ease:
- Watts measure the rate at which electricity moves through a circuit and represents overall power
- Amps or amperes measure the speed at which electrons move through a conductor and represents the electrical current
- Volts measure the difference between the number of electrons in two points in a circuit and represent electrical potential
- Ohms measure resistance, a force that slows down the flow of electrons
3. Accurately Calculate Your Wattage.
Wattage ratings tell you how much power a generator can provide. In order to choose a generator that can supply the right amount of power for your home, you must add up the number of watts that the items you wish to power require to operate. You will also need to consider the number of watts the items need to initiate a start-up. By adding up the wattage needed for all the items on your list, you can figure out the minimum wattage that will fit your needs. An experienced generator hookup service provider can help you with this calculation.
4. Double-Check Your Local Laws.
Some municipalities and homeowners associations may not allow you to install a permanent standby generator. Laws, rules, and regulations may also place requirements on the type, size, and location of generators. Many areas require you to hire a professional generator hookup service for installation.
5. Come Up with a Budget.
Before you begin to call generator hookup providers, you should have a rough idea of how much you can afford to spend on the entire project. Keep in mind that in addition to purchasing the generator, you will need to pay for the labor of the installer. You may also need to purchase accessories.
6. Select the Right Fuel Source for Your Needs.
Standby generators can be fueled by propane, diesel, and natural gas. If you have a natural gas hookup in your home, the latter will likely be the simplest and most cost-effective option. If not, propane is usually the best alternative, as diesel generators tend to be large, expensive systems intended for commercial and industrial use.
7. Inspect Your Home Before You Install.
Even the most experienced generator hookup service technician can’t install a unit if there are problems with your home’s wiring or the natural gas system. Your electric and gas systems should be inspected ahead of time to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
8. Compare Warranties Carefully.
Most standby generators are backed by a warranty, but not all terms are the same. Make sure that you read the fine print carefully so that you know exactly what the warranty covers. A 20-year warranty that only applies to one part of the generator may not be as beneficial as a shorter-term that covers the entire unit.
9. Consider Location and Noise Control.
Think carefully about where you want to have the generator hookup service install the generator. Make sure that there is enough space available in your intended installation area to accommodate the generator you are considering. Depending on the location, you may need to purchase a weather-protective shield to ensure safe operation. If your generator will be located on an exterior wall shared with a bedroom, you will want to take the amount of noise created by the unit into consideration.
10. Go with a Pro.
Generator hookup service can be challenging, so it’s best to hire a pro instead of trying to attempt the job yourself. It’s important that you’re careful when choosing a service provider. Before you choose an electrician for the job, ask the following questions:
- How long have you been in business?
- How many generators of this type and size have you installed?
- Are you licensed? How many of your employees are licensed?
- Are you certified? How many of your employees are certified?
- Do you have insurance?
- Is there a master electrician on your team?
- What does your bid include?
- Do you handle maintenance and repairs or will we need to hire someone else?
- How soon are you available for the installation?
- How long will installation take?
Mister Sparky Generators of Myrtle Beach, SC, employs only trained, licensed, and insured electricians, making them a trusted source for generator hookup service. Call today to schedule a consultation and get on your way to freeing yourself of the worries of unexpected power failures.