So you just bought your first generator. First of all, congratulations! Second, here are some valuable tips that you may want to keep in mind before you have it installed.
Your generator can either be a standby type or a portable one (backup generator). The standby home generator is one that is permanently installed outside your house at a specific location. You can think of it like the compressor (outdoor) AC unit of your HVAC system. The engine of this type of generator usually runs on natural gas, diesel, propane or other fuel oils.
A backup generator is one that is portable. You have to roll it out of the garage or wherever it was stored and start it manually and then connect it to the transfer switch. It may also be connected by extension cords to power appliances directly.
Generators are bound to make loud whirring noises. More advanced generators that have adjustable output according to the load can be better when it comes to sound but they cost more than household generators and fall in the commercial generator category. You may have to stretch your budget a bit just to buy it.
Some people with metal-work in their set of skills have started welding motorcycle mufflers but you should know that once you do that, the generator’s warranty is voided. The best way to get less noise from your generator is to use only those electrical appliances which are required and turn them off as soon as you’re finished.
Don’t even think for a moment that it is okay to run a generator indoors where there is little to no available ventilation. The exhaust gases that are produced from the home generator include the poisonous, colorless and odorless (not to mention deadly) CO (carbon monoxide).
Even if there is a screened or open porch, a garage with an open door or an open window near to where the generator is placed (indoors), this gas could just as easily poison or even kill someone due to prolonged exposure. So whether it is raining or snowing outside, you need to keep the generator outside. It’s much like a car or heater running in a closed space (the effect is the same from the deadly carbon monoxide).
Keep your generator a safe distance away, usually 10-12 feet, from the house so that the effects of CO are not that rampant. Also, the muffler of the generator does not stain the side of your house or melt vinyl siding this way. There should always be working CO detectors with working batteries to detect CO in the indoor air. Another important thing is to ground your generator.
The last but most important thing to remember is that if your generator needs to be refueled with propane, natural gas or diesel or some other fuel oil, you should allow it to cool before you start the refueling process.
To get your home generator installed conforming to the NEC guidelines.