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Expert Electric Blog

Home Standby Generators: Helpful Tips & Maintenance

A home standby generator is an ideal solution for extended power outages because, unlike a portable generator, it can provide an uninterrupted backup power supply for days. This is because it is connected directly into your home’s electrical panel and powered by an essential fuel supply (natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel). Home standby generators come in a range of different sizes, from the smaller units that can only energize a few circuits at a time to larger units that will comfortably power an entire house.

How Does a Home Standby Generator Work?

Home standby generators work by using an automatic transfer switch that will disconnect your utility after detecting an interruption in service. Once your home is safely off the grid, the switch will start up the generator before transferring its power to the home’s electrical panel. Home generators are fuelled by a local natural gas supply, or liquid propane or diesel stored in a large tank nearby if there is not any natural gas available.

When the power comes back on, the switch will shut down the generator and reconnect your house to the grid. This seamless operation makes home standby generators ideal for families with small children, as well as those needing uninterrupted use of electric-powered medical equipment. The transfer switch also acts as a safety mechanism by preventing back-feeding electricity to the grid, which could potentially start a fire or harm utility workers.

Home standby generators

Maintaining Your Home Standby Generator

In order to ensure that your home standby generator functions properly, it is important to make sure that it is properly maintained. Your generator will stay healthy through a lifetime of outages if you check the engine oil daily during its use, run it at no more than 75% of its rated capacity, replace overworked or deformed motor brushes, and avoid starting or stopping it under load whenever possible.

Choosing the Right Generator for Your Home

The first step in choosing the right generator for your home is to identify the things that you absolutely cannot live without during a power outage. Usually items high on the list would be the fridge and freezer, as well as a well pump, furnace fan, heat, and some lighting.

If you would like to learn more about home standby generators, or if you are interested in one of our residential or commercial services, please contact Expert Electric at 604-681-8338.