Home Standby Generator
Written by Walt Meyer

FAQ Answers for Your Home Standby Generator – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, you may be a homeowner who has some questions that need answering before you install a home standby generator. Part 2 will answer three more FAQs about home standby generators. Consult with an experienced and licensed electrician for the best results.

What about my existing gas meter?

Permanent home standby generators can consume a significant volume of natural gas while running, so your home may need a larger gas meter. A gas meter that has an adequate volume for operating the standby generator as well as the home’s gas appliances will be needed. A gas meter has a plate noting its capacity in cubic feet/hour. Each cubic foot per hour of gas generates about 1,000 BTUs. Adding the total BTUs of a home’s gas appliances to a standby generator’s gas usage will let you figure out the necessary gas meter capacity. The homeowner is responsible for working with the gas company to have a new gas meter installed.

What are the installation basics?

Most communities require the standby generator to be installed behind the house, and so three factors need consideration: 1) gas meter location, 2) electric meter location, and 3) electrical panel location. Gas is supplied to the generator from the gas meter via a flexible gas line or pipe. The electrical hook-up will require a transfer switch box, which will automatically disconnect the utility line and connect a new power line to the generator. The box will be either installed next to the electrical meter or mounted by the electrical panel.

Does a standby generators need to be run and maintained occasionally?

Standby generators are like other engines, and they must run occasionally in order to run properly. Units are typically programmed to run up to 15 minutes weekly to maintain all their systems and fluids and ensure constant readiness. The run time and day can be scheduled by the homeowner. In addition, a standby generator will require annual servicing and maintenance to maximize service life.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Meyer Electrical Services is an authorized Generac and KOHLER Sales and
Service Dealer serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. We provide custom standby generator installations and are trained and licensed to perform the regularly required important factory service and maintenance. Receive a free consultation today by calling (301) 941-1400.