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GENERATOR SIZES AND TYPES FOR HOME OR BUSINESS
Home and business owners often ask us two questions:
1. What size generator do I need? and
2. Should use a portable or stationary generator for my home or business? This great article by Coleman, a leading manufacturer of home generators was adapted to answer this question for you. Read each section carefully and you will see how each type of generator fits into you power backup planning.
Power Generation, What Size Do I Need?
For a more detailed analysis, use our interactive
Guide to determine
how much power you'll need during a blackout.
HOME STANDBY GENERATORS
you want the convenience, security, and comfort of a generator but don't
want to venture out in inclement weather to get it started, you might want
to consider getting an emergency standby generator.
These personal power plants supply electricity to the majority of your house, not just to a few selected circuits. The all-weather generators are installed outside like a central air conditioner and are wired through an automatic transfer switch to the main electrical panel.
The units run on natural gas, propane, or diesel fuel. Some systems can even be connected to a home's natural gas line, eliminating the need to fill fuel tanks.
When the power goes out, there's a slight delay of 15 to 20 seconds, then the generator automatically kicks on - whether you're home or not - and continues running until power is restored, when it will automatically shut off. If you have critical applications such as life support equipment, computers or similar systems, you can install a UPS (uninterruptible power supply, a battery in a special box), and there will be no interruption of power to these devices while the generator starts up.
These systems are becoming increasingly popular in newer homes with sophisticated computers and electronics, and in rural areas where prolonged power outages are common. To see our extensive line of home standby generators, Just Click > Residential & Commercial Packaged Systems.
sake, hire a licensed electrician to install a transfer switch that distributes
power from the generator to the home's circuit box. This reduces the need
for multiple extension cords running from the generator to specific appliances,
and eliminates the risk of electrical "back feed" injuring utility workers
working on downed power lines.
The transfer switch (around $150 and up) is installed beside the main electrical panel, and then it's connected to circuits you'll need during a blackout. When the power goes out, you simply crank up the generator and run a single extension cord from it to the transfer switch. We sell transfer switches for small generators manufactured by Gen-Tran, to get more information, Just Click > Transfer Switches, Portable-Small Applications. For larger systems, Just Click > Transfer Switches, Large and Industrial.
Once the generator is running, you can choose which circuits you want to use by flipping the switches on the transfer switch.
It's important to keep track of what's being powered because the transfer switch is often wired into more circuits than the generator can handle all at once.
A typical transfer-switch installation will take less than two hours and cost around $100-$200, but it's an investment that will be fully appreciated the next time the power goes out.
Make your installation simple so all family members can use the generator safely. Make an instruction sheet and put it with the generator so family members know what to do to restore power.
NOW GET TO WORK AND FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED FOR YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS STANDBY GENERATOR!
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