Do you have questions about how to check or change your oil during a power outage?
What is a managed, whole house generator?
Size is important, a load calculation for your electrical needs will be necessary, we can help.
How much of your home can be covered with the generator, with the correct management, all of it!
If your question is about cost, how much will you spend to get a successful system and what should you get, read on. An outstanding question, what will it cost any many persons start with cost in determining which way to go. What brand, who should take care of setting it up for you, or take care of it after it is installed, these questions ultimately are tied to cost. Cost is extremely important, we know, but the cost should be accurate, effective, and provide a means for a system that is successful, that has a long history. Let's do this once.
Alright, we are here to get you an answer, but we should start at the beginning. Our philosophy is to help, but the answer has to come with an explanation if you are to make an informed decision, yes even for cost. We are glad to share 40 years of experience in the electrical field, with over 27 of those years committed to providing generators that are successful.
First question has to be, what do you want, your entire house, just the necessities, or maybe something in between. To explain the terms, entire house first, to supply power for your entire house without any inconvenience, you will need a generator large enough to cover your potential electrical use. Potential use does not mean the same thing as, "We will not use everything at one time or its just my better half and I or and our children are off at school", these statements have merit with respect to how much use you may demand of a generator system however this is not potential load. Potential load is there to cover worst case scenarios, because you may not know how much is connected to the generator at any one time or your children or guest stop in for a stay causing more electrical use. The electrical codes of our nation, made up of individual state electrical code enforcement boards realized automatic generators, while convenient, come with more liability with reference to potential load than their past counterparts, the manual transfer generator system type. This being the case, new code was introduced into our lives in 2008, the requirement for a load calculation for automatic generator systems. This calculation uses your house's electrical needs; using percentages of the actual totals; taking into account that everything would not necessarily be used at the same time. This determines what the potential load would be for your structure. This potential load calculation insures you never overload your generator, preventing expensive cost for repair of either the generator and or the loads the generator provides generator power for. So no guessing.
For necessities, this typically includes refrigeration, well pumps, septic system pumps, a microwave for cooking, control circuitry for gas heat, gas hot water heater, a couple of lighting and receptacle circuits, the garage door opener so if you leave home, come back and the power is off. These would be considered necessities, enough to get you by.
For the most practical solution, an entire house using automatic load management to control how much electricity you use which can allow you to install a smaller system; a system that may come with minimal inconvenience, but the system itself will not allow you to overload the generator.
In determining your cost, does it matter if it is installed correctly, what about success rates, does that matter, how about longevity, does it matter to you how long it will last. We know it does, so sometimes relying on the least expensive, just looking at cost, you may not get what you really want or need.
Not to bore you with all the specifics, the engineering, the design of a system that will provide longevity, the experience and education needed for delivering that type quality, successful systems that can last 20 years, possibly more, depending on which way you go. To qualify this kind of longevity, generators just plopped on the ground, not installed correctly considering potential load, location, not serviced thru proactive service plans, will not provide the same longevity.
One would have to ask, why are systems installed incorrectly, if no one else is curious, I am, why? There is no benefit to the end user installing a system totally based on the cheapest cost. Electrical & gas piping codes provide only minimal requirements, to be honest, they do not consider aesthetics nor how long the system will hold up.
Speaking of longevity, one should also consider the aesthetics, what will the installation look like in 5 years, 10 years? For systems being placed onto composite pads with no retainage structures to protect from water or simply adjacent landscaping duties, or for electrical circuitry or feeders installed using plastic flexible conduits just hung from the exteriror surface of your structure, like eveything else, you will reap the results of how the equipment is installed. Enough of that but it is important in determining how a system should be installed, and by whom?
One other item to cover, whom should you ask about cost, a consumer report media, how about Angie or all the new find you a contractor services that have made it to the internet platforms? Not sure what they really know about cost if their data collection is inaccurate? A generator does not work every day, not for its intended purpose which is carrying potential loads and actually working. Just because a generator runs once a week for 5 to 20 minutes for what most are calling an exercise, does not represent a successful system. Because of this, data can be misinterpreted if you are not a generator service provider and depend on others for information. To get the most accurate picture, speak with a true generator specialist company not a marketing platform.
Below are approximate turnkey cost for the most popular and practical system, one delivering the biggest bang for your dollars, an automatically managed whole house generator system. Over the years we have found that most installations fall into a few cost categories which would include the generator equipment, necessary electrical parts, installation, and most importantly correct commissioning of the system including a stress test utilizing an external load. Permitting, inspections by local authorities, and the installation of gas piping are all part of our cost estimates.
With Natural Gas Fuel Source:
• 1000-2000 sq. ft. - Some major appliances on gas, one HVAC system, utilizing load management for installation, cost for a smaller air cooled generator approximately $8K to $12K.
• 2000-3000 sq. ft. - Some major appliances on gas, one or two HVAC systems, utilizing load management for installation, cost for a larger air cooled generator approximately $12K to $14K.
• 3000-4000 sq. ft. - Some major appliances on gas, two or three HVAC systems, utilizing load management for installation, cost for a larger air cooled generator approximately $13K to $16K.
• 4000+ sq. ft. - Installation costs can vary greatly depending on which appliances are fueled by gas and the amount of load management the customer feels fits with their lifestyle. In these situations an air cooled or liquid cooled generator may be used and installation costs can range from $14K to $25K+.
With Liquid Propane Gas Fuel Source:
• 1000-2000 sq. ft. - Some major appliances on gas, one HVAC system, utilizing load management for installation, cost for a smaller air cooled generator cost approximately $8K to $11K.
• 2000-3000 sq. ft. - Some major appliances on gas, one or two HVAC systems, utilizing load management for installation, cost for a larger air cooled generator approximately $11K to $13K.
• 3000-4000 sq. ft. - Some major appliances on gas, two or three HVAC systems, utilizing load management for installation, cost for a larger air cooled generator approximately $12K to $15K.
• 4000+ sq. ft. - Installation costs can vary greatly depending on which appliances are fueled by gas and the amount of load management the customer feels fits with their lifestyle. In these situations an air cooled or liquid cooled generator may be used and installation costs can range from $14K to $24K+.
All Electric Homes:
• Installation costs for homes that are all electric can vary greatly depending on a number of factors including whether or not there is a gas source already on property. Homes 1000-3000 sq. ft. with a gas source on property could range $11K to $14K. Without a gas source already on property you would need to add a tank or have natural gas run to your structure, these cost are dependent on your individual situation but you can assume another couple thousand dollars.
For a whole house or basic necessity type systems, send us an email we will glad to provide you some information in determining the cost.
To qualify our numbers, generator systems should be installed by persons that understand the theories associated with a combustion engine generator system, and then taken care of by companies that posses the same knowledge but also have an experienced, educated resource built over a long period of time.