Based on the frequency of power outages in the United States, many homeowners have decided to get a standby generator for their homes. They don’t want to spend hours, days, or even weeks without electricity. It is quite unbearable to live without electricity because virtually all the appliances in your house run on electricity.
This is why many of our readers keep asking me the same question – how much does it cost to install a standby generator? So, we have decided to discuss the question in detail. We will tell you what it entails to install a generator and all the steps that you need to take.
In addition, we have also answered several other frequently asked questions about the topic. And in the end, we summarized the most important point under our final thoughts. The article is for people that are planning to buy a standby generator. If you’re one of them, you might want to read this article to the end.
Who Can Install a Standby Generator?
Two sets of professionals will have to install work on the installation of your generator. After you take delivery of your generator, a plumber will help to run the gas line from your main gas supply to the generator. That’s if you intend to run the generator on natural gas. On the other hand, if you intend to run the gen on either diesel or liquid propane, there’ll be no need to run a gas line.
The second professional that will play a role in the installation of your generator is the electrician. Your electrician will wire your electrical panel, and install the inlet box and the transfer switch. If you want to play a role in the installation of your generator, you can prepare the concrete pad on which the generator will stand.
We don’t advise you to try your do-it-yourself skills on the laying of the gas line or wiring the electrical panel. Both tasks are too dangerous for non-professionals.
Is It Worth Installing a Standby Generator?
Yes, of course. Installation of a standby generator in your house is worth every dollar. Remember, electricity has become a basic necessity of life. Most of the appliances that make your house homely are powered by electricity. Your television, heating unit, air conditioning unit, microwave oven, fans, lights, water pump, and refrigerator run on electricity.
In addition, you need electricity to charge your phone, tablet, digital camera, and laptop. Having all these in mind, do you think you can stay in your house without electricity? The answer is probably no. That’s why a standby generator is a must-have appliance in every home. It is worth every dollar of its cost. A generator may be expensive, but an extended power outage will cost you much more if you don’t have a generator.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Standby Generator?
The installation cost depends on the size of your generator and the labor cost in your community. It involves the preparation of the site, casting the concrete pad where the generator will stand, installation of the fuel tank or gas line, and wiring. We have given the estimated costs of generators below. They are based on the capacities of the generators.
7-10KW: Generators within this range will cost $2,500-$4,000 to install.
12-20KW: Generators within this range will cost $4,000-$10,000 to install.
22-45KW: Generators within this range will cost $9,000-$15,000 to install.
Cost of labor: $200 – $1,000
What Is Needed to Install a Standby Generator?
To install a standby generator, you must prepare the pad on which the generator will stand. It is better to cast it with concrete and leave it for some days to dry fully before the generator arrives. After that, you’ll install the fuel tank of the generator if you want to run it with either diesel or liquid propane.
If you prefer to run your generator on natural gas, you need to get the gas line installed. The line will link your main gas supply to your generator. In addition, you also have to get an electrician to wire your electrical panel and install a transfer switch.
A transfer switch will feed your electrical panel with the electricity from either the grid or your generator. A transfer switch ensures that your electrical panel cannot get power from the grid and the generator at the same time. If that happens, the people working on the line may get electrocuted. The occurrence is known as back-feeding. In the United States, it is an offense to install a standby generator without a transfer switch.
Furthermore, the electrician also has to install the inlet box.
What Is the Labor Cost to Install a Standby Generator?
The labor costs vary widely. It varies from state to state. And it also depends on the size of the standby generator. Bigger generators are costlier to install, while smaller generators are cheaper to install. That being said, in general terms, it will cost you about $200 to $1,000 to install a standby generator.
How Long Does It Take to Install a Standby Generator?
First, it takes a few hours to prepare a concrete pad for the generator, and you’ll leave the pad for a couple of days to dry up completely. In addition, it takes a single day to install an air-cooled generator, while a liquid-cooled generator takes about 2 – 3 days to install. In total, you need about 3 – 6 days to install a standby generator.
Do You Need a Permit to Install a Standby Generator?
It depends on your location. In some areas, you need to take a permit before you install a generator, but in some other areas, you may not need a permit. Also, some associations of homeowners have laid down rules and regulations for generator installation.
As a quick reminder, the cost of generator installation depends on the size of the generator and the labor costs in your location. In addition, you need to prepare a pad for the generator, install either a gas line or a fuel tank, and wire your electrical panel for the generator. Finally, don’t install a generator without a transfer switch.