Q: Dear Ed: With the recent storms hitting the U.S., I have decided to have a standby generator installed. I remember last year you did a special column on steps involved when having a home generator installed. Could you please do your readers a favor by revisiting this topic?
– Fred, Massachusetts
A: A residential standby generator is not a portable generator. This type of generator runs on natural or propane gas and is wired directly to your home's electrical system.
Standby generators start up automatically when power is lost and I'm happy to revisit my five basic steps to follow if you're looking to have a standby generator installed:
1. Standby generators are professionally installed with proper permits pulled. So, first locate a licensed standby generator dealer/installer in your area.
2. After a location site visit and any trenching needed, the automatic transfer panel switch and generator are set in place.
3. All electrical lines/controls are installed and connected.
4. Natural gas or propane fuel lines are connected to the generator and any underground wires and gas piping backfilled.
5. Your dealer/installer starts and tests the system and your new standby power generator is there to back you up during and after the storm.
Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Always consult local contractors and codes.