8 Things to Consider When Buying A Generac Generator

So, You Want A Generac Generator?

Maybe you’re having problems with frequent power outages.  Maybe you just want to be absolutely sure you’re covered if something goes wrong.  Either way, you’ve decided that it might be a good idea to get a backup generator for your home.  Kendrick Electric is a Generac authorized dealer with over 20 years of experience.  We’re here to help you out with all your Generac generator needs.  But what do you look for in a standby generator?  Here are a few things to consider.

1. What are your power needs?

Generac Generator, Cache Valley           While your budget may play a roll in answering this, the real question you have to ask first is this: do you want your generator to power the entire building, or just part of the building?  As a homeowner, this is largely preference, but both decisions come with different costs and different size needs.  If you want your Generac generator to power your whole house, you’ll need to factor in power required for all electrical equipment.  You’ll need a larger generator, which may be a bit more expensive on initial installation.

If you’d prefer just powering a small section on an emergency basis, the generator can be a smaller, less expensive unit; however more labor is involved.  You need a transfer panel installed next to your existing breaker panel to choose what circuits to keep running.  Or we can keep the transfer switch on the outside of the house and add relays to shut down equipment with large power consumption requirements.  This requires additional work inside the house.  Be thinking about what you want your generator to do before you make your purchase.   Kendrick Electric can help you evaluate what you want and how to best serve your needs.


2. What fuel type do you want?

While gasoline might seem convenient, it’s a poor choice for fuel.  It’s relatively short period of stability makes long-term storage difficult.  As the fuel breaks down, it clogs the generator’s engine, so we avoid it. Instead, there are two main fuel types a Generac generator uses: propane, natural gas.   Costs vary depending on the size of the generator and fuel availability of the fuel type.  Propane provides an on-site fuel source, but you refill it yourself.  Extended outages may require multiple refills.

Natural gas takes less work on your part.  A local utility station supplies the fuel.  Unless a natural disaster requires shutting off the gas lines, you won’t have to worry about your fuel supply.  You will need to upgrade your gas meter to connect it to your generator.

City ordinances and codes may also dictate what fuel you can use.  Some cities, for example, do not allow propane usage within city limits.  If you’re not sure about what’s allowed, you can speak to a local city representative.  Kendrick Electric, will be happy to find out for you.


3. Where will the generator be located?

Generac Generator            A generator will need to be installed in a location that provides easy access for maintenance.   If you’re installing it outside, it needs to comply with safety codes.  It needs to be a minimum distance of 18” from house walls and 5’ from windows, doors, and vents. With these in mind, the generator should be located as close as possible to main service electrical panel and fuel supply.


4. Any special considerations for outdoor generators?

Some HOA areas have strict ordinances, so you should check with them first to find out what considerations they require.


5. What is the voltage requirement?

Different generators and different homes have different voltage requirements.  If you’re unsure what your needs are, we’re more than happy to help you find out.  In the United States, the common low voltages are:

  • Residential 120/240 volts single phase
  • Commercial Properties120/208 volts three phase
  • 120/240 volts three phase
  • 277/480 volts three phase.


6. Which type of transfer switch?

Transfer switches are automatic for standby generators, though manual transfer switches are possible.  We will determine the size of the switch based on what you decided for question 1.


7. Any additional accessories?

There aren’t any additional accessories required, but some are available if you want them.  Residential systems typically have a remote panel to tell you your Generac generator’s status from a particular location indoors so that you don’t need to go outside to check up on the generator.  Cold weather kits and other remote monitoring equipment may also be available.

You can also get an app for your phone that lets you monitor your generator.  The app will alert you if it’s started running, or shut off due to a problem.  It also alerts your generator service company.  Generac authorizes us to make any and all repairs to your generator.


8. What is the duration of the warranty?

Generac gives a 5-year warranty on all air-cooled generators sold.  The factory authorizes us to make full repairs during that period.  If you want extended protection, you can also purchase an extended warranty.  Generac offers 7 and 10-year warranties.


Maintenance For Your Generac Generator

It’s easy to forget about your Generac generator,  but just like a car, it needs regular maintenance to keep it from breaking down.  To keep the 5-year warranty valid, you must have routine maintenance performed on your Generac generator.  Not only will Kendrick Electric install the generator for you, we also provide regular maintenance.  Be sure to have us service it annually to avoid unexpected equipment failure just when you might need your generator.  We are available whenever you need us.

Give us a call at (435) 752-1888, or get in touch with us through our main page contact form and we’ll take care of any issues you have as quickly and conveniently as we possibly can.