Understanding Whole House Generator Installation

Imagine a day when you are not allowed to use your water heater for shower. The blender is also not workable. So, there’s no orange juice for breakfast. Your laptop is lacking charge and so is the phone. But you have nothing to do because there’s a power outage going inside your locality.

Trust me, sometimes power outage situations even lead to life-threatening problems. For example, you’ll have to deal with a lack of cooling during high temperatures and heating in zero-degree climates.

The best possible solution from these worse situations? Installing a whole house generator!

Whole House Generator Installation: Things You Need to Reflect On

You may already decide on going through whole house generator reviews. But hold for a second! There are things you need to think about before picking one ideal generator.

For example, the cost of installing, what size is right for your house and such similar topics. So, let’s have a chat over these small things that are apparently not small at all.

The Right Size for Your House

whole house generator installation

One of the major questions to ask before installation is the right size of the generator. It needs to be enough capable of providing power to your entire house.

Now you might be thinking about the physical size of generator. That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about its electrical capacity. You have to decide on an electrical load sum. This sum will be able to run your house appliances simultaneously. It’s usually measured in watts.

You need to add all the loads that need continuous running. Then identify electrical items that need the most power to start its motor. This is important because certain electrical items such as air conditioners basically use a lot of loads to start up. This is two to three times extra than their regular running load.

So, it’s quite necessary for you to know if the generator you’ll be buying can provide for that extra electricity requirement occasionally.

Most of the whole house generator comes with two wattage ratings. These are called running and surge wattage. The first one is what you should choose the size based on.

The generators that are rated with surge wattage are basically to provide extra electricity capacity that huge appliances need.

Because the load you need might be temporarily large than your calculated amount in certain circumstances.

Once you get a generator based on running wattage, surge one automatically falls into line. You can always opt for larger generators if the extra surge wattage seems important for your usage.

Whole House Generator Installation Costs: Standby & Portable Options.

Now depending on the space in house and square footage, price is going to vary for installation.

When you consider a standby option which is pretty small, expect the cost to be somewhere near 500 dollars. On the other hand, with increasing wattage, the price will also add up. There is six thousand dollars’ worth of generators that provide 20kW power.

For portable generators, you can grab one from a wide range available with different prices. It can be inexpensive as 400 dollars to really high-end options costing two-thousands-dollars. 

However, you’ll have to invest for a transfer switch which might cost five to nine hundred dollars.


These units usually run between two to five thousand dollars. You’ll have to feed them fuel though. Natural gas units also connect with the utility grid.

Hiring an Electrician is Important

After considering how much is a whole house generator you should also deliberate on the cost of hiring an electrician. Now a few might want to know if there’s a way to install the generator.

If you are someone who comes from an electrical or mechanical background but lacks a proper license, it’s no harm to learn about the installation process. Here’s a small sneak peek of how it works:

  • A transfer switch is used to plug the generator. It’s a switch and electrical subpanel combination.
  • It needs direct wiring support to house’s service panel. Then the generator is plugged inside. After switching it on, two things will happen.
  • First of all, it will break the connection between house and outside grid. So that the generator does not flow power outside house and cause harm or injury.
  • Next, it sends all the power to house’s designated circuit. So that there is no overloading problem with the generator.

You see, the process of generator powering is quite complicated. It needs experienced and licensed supervising for proper installation. So, the best way to do so is by hiring a competent electrician.

How to Deal with Generator’s Noise?

There’s nothing much to do about the sound that generators make. If you opt for an advanced version of the generator that comes with noise reduction then expect to experience some poor performance.

The unit with less noise means a moderately powerful engine. Since due to less running speed it stays quiet and conserves fuel.

You can surely take some usual steps for noise reduction. A few have shared a good experience with motorcycle mufflers. If you have the requisite metalworking know-hows then probably this thing would be easier.


With such changes, you will offend the generator’s warranty. So, it may become void and unusable. By reducing the electrical load over the generator, you can easily lessen noise.

It’s a daydream to live a life with a powerful engine generator that makes no noise.

Is it Important to Ground Generator?

There is no exact answer to this question. You need to go through the owner’s manual for knowing about grounding. If you notice the manual includes a grounding session go for it. The thing will be relatively easy in most cases.

Another way to check is by looking for the grounding terminal signal. The generator that comes with these signals will allow grounding. If the manual suggests you ground generator it’ probably safe to go for it.

Maintenance Following Installation

There’s no point in having a generator if it does not work in a needy situation. And one good reason that has caused the slowdown of a generator is not following proper maintenance.

It’s a very critical criterion following installation. So, once you have considered everything about installation, be ready for the maintenance phase too. You may want to get additional tools and utensils that will help in maintenance.

Here are some tips that pay with better performance.

  1. Using any cheap siphon pump, simply take out the unused gas after each use and store it in a container.
  2. If you are storing gasoline, use some stabilizer.
  3. For emergency situations, always have spare oil and filters at home.
  4. Keeping the carburetor clean is important. So, make sure to run it for a few minutes every month.
  5. Make sure to inspect the oil before turning generator on.
  6. If generator lacks oil while running, the coil can get damaged. Make sure it never runs out of gas.


The decision of the whole house generator installation brings you some considerations. Don’t underestimate the power of knowing more about installation and things related to it. Because at the end of day, these ideas are going to pay back with a proper installation.

After installation, never forget to care about safety precautions. And Hopefully, You’ll Never Go Through A Bad Power Outage.

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