The installation of a standby generator does not stop after ordering the generator. You must also decide on where to place it. Of course, it is a general rule that a standby generator must be at least 5 feet away from the nearest part of your home because of its vibration and dangerous fumes.
However, there are several other factors that you must consider in the placement of your generator. The factors have been discussed briefly in this article. So, sit back and read the article to the end.
What Size of Standby Generator Is Good for Homes?
This is one of the frequently asked questions, and our answer has remained the same. Every size of standby generator is good for homes as long as the placement follows all the requirements and safety codes.
Some people believe that the bigger a generator is, the more powerful it will be. This is true to only a small extent. We have seen some smaller generators give out more electricity than bigger ones. Also, the bigger your standby generator is, the higher its installation cost will be.
So, it is better to focus on the power output of the generator and not necessarily the size. Once again, any size of standby generator is good for your home, as long as it can generate at least 12KW.
Factors to Consider in Placing Your Standby Generator
Source of fuel – You don’t want your generator to be too far from your gas meter. Remember, if your generator is far from your gas meter, it’ll require more piping.
This will cost you more money for materials and labor. But if it’s near your gas meter, you won’t spend so much. Besides, there will be consistency in the supply of gas.
The direction of its exhaust – Standby generators give off carbon-monoxide, which is dangerous to human health. That’s why you should position your generator in such a way that its exhaust will not face your home. Let it face the opposite side of your home to allow the breeze to blow it away.
Noise – First of all, it is important to buy a generator that has a low noise level, but notwithstanding, the nearer your generator is to your house, the higher the noise. So, you need to place it not too far away to reduce your installation cost, and not too near to reduce the noise.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes – You must consider the codes and be sure that the installation of your generator meets the requirements.
Local Codes – Every city and county have their own regulations and requirements on the installation of standby regulations.
In some areas, a permit has to be taken before a generator is installed. You need to factor this into your considerations too. You don’t want to be fined for not following due process.
Manufacturer’s requirements – Finally, you also need to follow the manufacturer’s requirements as well.
5 Tips for Standby Generator Placement:
Here are some generator placement tips that should always be on your mind until you have successfully placed and installed your generator. And if you place or install it wrongly, you can make necessary corrections.
1. Place Your Generator on a Level Ground
Remember that generator vibrates when in use. If it is not on a level ground, there are chances of tipping over while vibrating. If it does, it could spill its fuel, posing serious danger. This is why you must place your generator on a level ground. Some people even go further by chaining their generators.
2. Place Your Generator Close to Your Service Panel
The generator supplies electricity to the service panel that powers your home. It will save you some unnecessary cost when your generator is close to your panel. And you will use less materials. It will cost you more, if you place your generator far from your panel.
3. Your Generator Should be Placed in a Dry Area
Water is a good conductor of electricity, so you should protect your generator from snow or other types of moisture. If your generator comes in contact with water while in use, a dangerous short circuit could occur, leading to shock or malfunction. It could also cause an electrical fire. For that reason, your generator should never be wet.
4. There Must be Adequate Air Circulation Around The Generator
The generator gets hot as it works. To prevent overheating, you should ensure that there’s proper air circulation around your generator. The generator also needs a lot of air to blow off dangerous fumes, otherwise harmful gases like carbon-monoxide may start building up.
5. Consider Your Neighbors Too
The generator should never be too close the house of any of your neighbors because of heat and noise. It could lead to lawsuits. Also, if you have a firepit around your house, don’t place your generator around it. Fuel and fire should never come close to each other.
Tips on – How to Maintain Your Standby Generator?
1. Change its Oil Regularly
You should always change the engine oil of your standby generator often. This is because when the oil stays too long, it may lose its viscosity, and its lubricating effect will be jeopardized.
With an oil that has lost its lubricating ability, there’ll be more wear and tear on the components of the generator. This may shorten its lifespan.
2. Empty and Wash The Generator Tank
It is also a good idea to empty your generator’s tank and wash it at least once a month. Running clean fuel will put your generator in perfect condition all the time.
3. Test it at Least Once a Month
If there’s no power outage in your location, you won’t have the cause to start your generator. And inactivity kills its components gradually. This is why you must run your generator at least once every month whether there’s a power outage or not.
How far should a generator be from a window?
The proper placement of your generator is very important. According to experts, your standby generator should be at least 5 feet from your lot line. And it should be placed at least 1.5 feet or 18 inches from the side of your home. Also, according to local ordinances, your generator should be at least 5 feet away from any of your windows.
This is for two reasons. First, generators make a lot of noise, and the closer the generator is to your window, the louder the noise will be. Also, generators give off fumes that are harmful. The closer the generator is to your windows, the higher the chances of its fumes getting into your house.
More importantly, the exhaust of the generator should be directed away from your house. When thinking of where to place your generator, bear the following clearance tips in mind.
- There should be a space of 3 feet or 36 inches in the front of your generator for servicing it.
- You should leave a space of 1.5 feet or 18 inches between the generator and your house.
- There should be a space of 5 feet or 60 inches from windows, doors, and fresh air intakes.
The exhaust should be directed away from your house.
To wrap this up, let’s remind you that your generator must be placed at least 5 feet away from your house and your neighbors’ houses. Also, ensure you consider all the points discussed above when installing your generator.