Backup Generators: Are They Right For Your Home?

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Backup generators have always played a big role in numerous commercial, state and federal buildings. In hospitals, for example, backup generators have ensured that priceless and necessary equipment continues to run in order to save lives and bring light to physicians who require it to perform delicate medical procedures. Having said that, backup generators are becoming more and more common in residential areas. First, in higher end residential apartments in urban areas, and now, the phenomenon seems to be spreading to all residential areas in general. The question remains, though: are backup generators right for your home? This brief article will serve to answer that question for you.

Who Should Get A Backup Generator?

Any home would benefit from getting a backup generator, but some homes definitely have a greater need for backup generators than others.

If you live in a home that has water supplied to it via an electric well pump, you would benefit from a backup generator. When the power goes out, you don't know how long it will stay out. You don't want to be without the ability to access clean water, flush the toilet, or bathe for extended periods of time.

If you have a sump-pump that doesn't have a backup battery attached to it, you will benefit from a backup generator. If the sump-pump can't do it's job, your basement may quickly overflow with water after the power goes out. This is especially true if the power outage is caused by heavy rainstorms.

If you have ailing loved ones at home who are dependent on medical devices that require electricity for their care, you should get a backup generator. Otherwise, you will have to take them elsewhere to ensure their safety. It is also a good idea to get a backup generator if you live with elderly loved ones, as they are more susceptible to the dangers of extreme temperatures, such as overheating or hypothermia, that will occur in a home without power.

When A Backup Generator Would Benefit Your Home

Even if you don't fall into one of the above cases, a backup generator may still benefit you and your home as a convenience, rather than a necessity. If you live in an area that is subjected to below freezing temperatures, a backup generator is a good idea to help prevent your pipes from freezing during an extended power outage. It will also help you stay at a comfortable temperature while you are waiting for the power to be restored.

If you work from home and are dependent on your power to get your job done, you might want to install a backup generator. This will ensure that you don't miss any work in the event of a power outage.

Those who have extra freezers for food storage would also benefit from a backup generator. It doesn't take long for food to begin to thaw out, and if you face an extended power outage without a backup generator supplying power to your extra freezer you will be left with pounds of spoiled, wasted food.

How Are They Installed?

Although it is generally recommended that you call upon the services of a professional electrician to install a backup generator, it does not take a precise degree of electrical wizardry to install such devices. The following steps do require some degree of electrical know-how, however.

Next to the main electrical panel or circuit breaker, you will want to install a sub-panel with a transfer switch linking the two. Redirect the primary circuits from the panel to sub-panel. Make sure you have a level base for which to set the generator upon and then set the generator upon it. Dig a trench from the generator to the high pressure gas meter, which will serve as the fuel for the generator. Run a gas line from the generator to the gas meter in the trench and connect the two. Voila! There you have it.

Backup generators can play an integral role in the supply of power to your home. For those concerned with losing power to their home, or for those cautious individuals who wish to play it safe, a backup generator is, without a doubt, a fantastic investment.


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