The interest in generators has grown substantially in recent years for many reasons. Northern California faces two threats at all times: the general fear of random power outages and the looming threat of major power outages that leave people without power for days or longer.
So, what’s the best solution to keep your home powered at all times? There are important differences between a portable generator and a true backup generator.
Portable generators run on gasoline and can power a few major appliances until power restoration. A backup generator can be hooked up to a natural gas line and provide sustained power for an entire house.
If you want more than a contingency plan to power your refrigerator, you probably need a backup generator system installed by an electrician. A complete standby generator system keeps you prepared to handle an emergency outage that lasts days or weeks.
How a Backup Generator Works in Emergencies
In the event of a power outage, a backup generator automatically provides power to your home’s electrical system.
If a major storm or local electrical failure cuts power to your house, a transfer switch detects the outage and turns on the back up generator. The generator begins running on your home’s gas, propane, or diesel connection and supplies electricity to the main electrical panel.
Immediately after the outage occurs, your home starts running off of the backup generator. When power gets restored, the switch will know to shut off the generator and return to the normal power source.
A portable generator can only power a few devices directly plugged into the generator. With a backup generator, your entire home electrical system remains operational: lights, heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, and entertainment system all remain in use.
Backup Generator Installation
A complete standby generator system involves a standby connection to your electrical panel.
The details can vary depending on your physical property and energy needs. Here’s what installation entails:
- Electrical permits are usually required. An electrician can advise you on this process.
- The best size and location are determined based on your home’s needs.
- Wiring, modules, and transfer switch are configured to work with your existing electrical panel.
- Power source and location determine whether lines need to be dug and buried.
- The backup generator is wired by an electrician to connect to your electrical panel.
Prepare for Emergencies with a Backup Generator
In Marin and Sonoma counties, we face the general prospect of power outages as well as major coastal storms that leave utility customers without power for days or longer.
Outages can result in myriad problems ranging from lost perishable foods to the inability to work from a home office. For many people, serious issues such as medical devices that require electricity can prove to be extremely catastrophic.
Before power can be restored, life often requires more than what a portable generator can provide. The safest bet for homeowners is to invest in a backup generator for peace of mind and protection in the event of a power emergency.
Contact your local electrician today to learn about your options for choosing a backup generator that will connect to a reliable power source and your home electrical panel for complete protection.