Electrical Generator install Repair
Written by Walt Meyer

Important Considerations for Standby Generator Placement

Before installing your standby generator, its placement should be carefully considered. A unit’s location will be chiefly concerned with two distances. The first will be the distance from the generator to your home. The second will be the distance from the generator to your electrical service, which is the main panel, fuse box, or breaker box. 

Noise Level

A standby generator needs an engine to function, and it will make noise. Fortunately, the top brands like Generac, run quietly. Their 22 KW residential unit has been measured at a dB(A) rating of 66 at normal speed. This noise level is similar to a typical HVAC system. As a result, the majority of exterior locations would be suitable for the location of a high-quality unit like a Generac.

Wiring Required

You should be aware that more costs will result if a standby generator is installed a considerable distance from the electrical service because more wiring will be required.  When a generator’s location is near the electrical panel, the electrician will need less electrical wire for the connection to your home’s electrical system.

Fire Protection Codes

As set forth by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 37, “Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines (2010)” section 4.1.4, a generator’s engine has to be a minimum of 5 feet away from wall openings such as doors and windows. It also must be a minimum of 5 feet away from structures that have combustible walls. Make sure to verify state and local codes with your electrician before installation.

Homeowners Associations

HOA covenants often have restrictions regarding the placement of generators, and it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with the help of your electrician.

Safety Considerations

Generators must not be installed inside a crowded or enclosed area like a garage, carport, or porch. Their engines generate heat, therefore room must be allowed around the unit for air to circulate in and around the unit for cooling. In addition, generators produce hazardous carbon monoxide, and so they should not be installed near windows that open.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.