How Do You Install a Standby Generator?


Quick Answer

Installing a standby generator is a complicated job that includes electrical and gas lines and should be performed by a licensed electrician, as noted by This Old House. A professional installation takes approximately six to 10 hours and requires lineman's pliers, wire strippers, fish tape for threading wire through conduits, a shovel and a backhoe or trenching machine.

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Full Answer

A standby generator, plastic gas line, electrical conduit and electrical cable are the materials needed for this project. In most instances, everything is supplied by the installer. Concrete or crushed stone to create a stable base for the generator can be predetermined, according to the generator's placement, and set in advance of installation.

A licensed electrician will install an electrical sub-panel with a transfer switch adjacent to the house's existing main electrical panel and redirect the circuits of the main panel to the sub-panel. With the generator installed on the concrete base, he will then likely dig a trench from the generator to the new high-pressure gas meter. Then, he will run a new gas line and tracing wire from the generator to the gas meter and connect the gas line to the meter. After pulling the electrical cable from the generator to the house, he will make electrical and gas connections to the rear of the generator to complete the job.

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