There are several steps to follow when installing a backup generator in your home or business, and this requires the assistance of an experienced generator installation company. While generators are relatively simple machines, they can be unsafe to install. Fortunately, there are several best practices to follow when it comes to installing generators that any generator company in Marion, SC, will know about and apply on your behalf. This list of best practices includes the basics you should follow when considering a generator and the specific steps to be taken during installation.
Generators produce noise, heat, and exhaust fumes. You should avoid placing a generator where these factors will be most disruptive. For example, your garage is probably not a good location. If you have to store one outside, ensure it’s placed away from the main living areas or bedrooms.
Don’t forget to purchase necessary weather-proofing materials like rain gutters, water-resistant covers, and corrosion-resistant hardware. A generator installation company can help plan the best place for the unit and hooking up to the home.
There are significant safety considerations if you install a generator and have a home in an area at risk for earthquakes. Generators produce a high voltage that can, in some instances, travel long distances underground. If a geological fault lies underneath your home or business and you have no idea about it, that could be disastrous. For example, small-magnitude earthquakes are common in Marion, SC, severe enough to damage property.
According to an assessment by the S.C. Geological Survey, South Carolina typically experiences six to ten earthquakes annually. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources reported that there had been 39 earthquakes in South Carolina between January 18, 2021, and January 2022. Homeowners should prepare their homes by updating the building code to current standards and buying insurance that will cover them against losses from these events before an earthquake hits.
The size of your generator has a lot to do with determining how reliable it will be. More significant generators are more expensive, but they also produce more power, requiring less maintenance. Smaller generators are cheaper but can wear out faster, particularly if overworked.
Suppose you’re living in an area that often experiences storms and other weather-related events. In that case, you might want to consider buying a big enough generator to cover all of your most essential appliances at once. That way, when you flip on your generator during power outages, your home will stay fully-powered no matter what happens outside.
A generator installation company will help you choose the right size for your home and your family’s needs. The size of your home and how many people live there will determine which size of generator is best. If you’re unsure whether an existing gas or diesel engine will work in your home’s main circuit breaker box, ask the contractor to test it before making any final decisions.
Generators require massive amounts of fuel to run, which means there’s a significant chance of fire or explosion. Make sure to store your generator’s fuel in a separate location, at least 100 feet away from any structure and where kids can’t reach it. It’s also best to keep it in a metal container, which will prevent sparks when you add more fuel.
Call a generator installation contractor for assistance if you need extra guidance on setting up an appropriate generator storage area. They’ll be able to walk you through the process and make sure everything is safe before the storm hits. In addition, they’ll inspect your home’s heating system to see if anything needs repair.
Grounding & Bonding
For safety and liability reasons, you must bond your generator’s ground to your home’s grounding system. A generator installation company will follow National Electrical Code guidelines when implementing either of these methods for best results. They will always install a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) rated for outdoor use on all electrical receptacles.
Grounding and bonding are essential to generator installation best practices. Failure to do so can put you at risk for electrocution or fire and produce power interruptions when you least expect them. Many factors go into properly grounding and bonding your generator, including whether or not it’s D.C. or AC-powered.
A generator installation company will be able to provide the correct information and recommendations for how to ground your generator safely and efficiently based on its specifications. The last thing you want is a power outage because you were too proud or inexperienced to call a generator installation company for professional help.
Final Inspection and Testing
After installing and activating a new generator, a generator installation company will typically perform a final inspection to ensure the installation was correctly done. They will also test the generator to ensure everything is working properly. If everything is okay, they will have you sign off on their work. Once done, they can start up your generator and run some tests to make sure there are no problems.
They may do this by powering on an air conditioner or heat pump to test how well the generator does under load. They will then turn off the A.C. or heater and let the generator idle for a few minutes to see if any strange noises are coming from it. Next, they’ll start up some small electrical loads like lights or T.V.s and watch for any signs of trouble.
Use Professional Installation Services for Your Generator
There are several reasons you should consider enlisting a generator installation company to install your generator: safety. Unless you’re a trained electrician, installing a generator and ensuring it is entirely safe can be complicated. Additionally, having an expert look at your installation will ensure that you’ve installed it in compliance with local building codes and safety standards.
You don’t want to injure someone who accidentally comes into contact with wiring or misconfigured parts of your generator. The last thing you want is for your generators to spark some electrical fire because of faulty wiring work done by an amateur. It would cost thousands to repair the damage done by such an issue.
We Are the Generator Company You Should Call
Generators work great for homes and businesses, especially in disaster-stricken areas. However, there are some critical installation best practices to follow when considering these units for your property. Hiring a generator installation company can save you time and money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary troubleshooting headaches.
At Mister Sparky Generators in Marion, SC, we install generators for a living. With decades of experience under our belts, you can trust us to do it right. We have best practices for installation down to a science, from properly grounding your system and installing generator controls to conducting safety checks and testing all vital components. Contact us today for a free consultation.