What size home generator do I need to have installed?

What size home generator do I need to have installed?

Have you decided to install a home generator? If you’re preparing yourself and your home for the next time the grid goes down, you’ll need to know what electrical systems and appliances you need to keep running and how much juice you’ll need to feed them. The capacity of home generators is measured in watts. The higher the wattage output of a generator is, the bigger it will need to be (and will cost more too). But there’s no sense in buying a home generator that does not do the job adequately, and your electrical needs will generally grow, not shrink. Big appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners can draw an especially large amount of power upon start up, too (as much as two or three times the juice it normally requires), so you’ll need to figure in more wattage than you might otherwise need to prevent a blown circuit. By doing a little research before you buy and install a home generator, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration the next time you need to call it into action.

Size matters
The folks at Consumer Reports have tested commonly available home generators, and they’ve found that small portable home generators that produce about 3,000 to 5,000 watts are good for such applications as:
• Refrigerator (600 watts)
• Microwave (1,500 watts)
• Sump pump (600 watts)
• Several lights (400 watts)
• TV (200 watts)

A mid-size portable or stationary home generator, typically about 5,000 to 10,000 watts, can power everything a smaller generator would power, plus:
• Portable heater (1,300 watts)
• Computer (250 watts)
• Heating system (500 watts)
• Second pump (600 watts)
• More lights (400 watts)

A large stationary home generator putting out 10,000 watts or more will power all of the above plus a clothes washer (1,200 watts) and an electric dryer (5,000).

How do I plug it in?

A home generator needs to work with the wiring already in the home or business. But it doesn’t just plug into a wall socket; the process is a little more involved and is best handled by a professional like the team at Effective Electric. A safe home generator installation starts with installing a transfer switch. The transfer switch is a combination of a switch and an electrical panel that stands separate from your home’s electrical panel. The switch is wired directly into the building’s electrical service panel and the generator is plugged into it. The transfer switch, when activated, disconnects the building’s electrical system from the outside grid and prevents the electricity it generates back into the grid. It then directs the power generator to the specific circuits designated when the generator was installed.

Effective Electric is the premier full-service electrical contractor in the Westchester, Putnam, and Fairfield County areas. If you know it’s time to install that backup generator or if you need extra outlets in your home office, count on the team at Effective Electric to give you a complete, accurate estimate and experienced, detailed and considerate service.

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