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Backup Generator Installation

Dealing with sudden power outages can disrupt your daily routine and leave you in the dark. However, with the installation of a backup generator, you can ensure that your home remains powered, no matter the circumstances. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about installing backup generators, from selecting the right model to understanding the installation process.

Understanding Backup Generators

Backup generators, also known as standby generators, automatically start up when a power outage occurs, keeping your appliances running and your home illuminated. These generators can run on various fuels, such as diesel, natural gas, or propane, depending on your location, cost considerations, and personal preference.

Selecting the Right Backup Generator

Choosing the right backup generator involves considering several factors. Firstly, you need to determine the size of the generator, which determines its capacity to produce electricity. To determine the appropriate generator size, create a list of all the appliances you wish to power during an outage, calculate their total wattage, and select a generator that can handle that load.

Additionally, the type of generator is important. Homeowners usually prefer standby generators due to their automatic operation. When a power outage occurs, these generators kick in without the need for manual intervention.

Location and Placement

The location of your backup generator is crucial for both safety and efficiency. It should be placed outside the house, at a reasonable distance from doors and windows to prevent exhaust fumes from entering. Ensure the site is easily accessible for maintenance and repairs.

The Installation Process

Installing a backup generator is a complex process that requires professional expertise. Here are the basic steps involved:

  1. Site Preparation: Prepare the site by laying a concrete pad for the generator to sit on.
  2. Generator Placement: Place the generator on the pad, ensuring it is level and secure.
  3. Transfer Switch Installation: Install a transfer switch near the electrical panel. This switch safely transfers the power source from the main grid to the generator during an outage and vice versa when power is restored.
  4. Wiring: Connect the generator to the transfer switch and then to the electrical panel. It is essential to hire a professional electrician to ensure safety and proper operation.
  5. Fuel Connection: Set up a fuel line based on the type of fuel your generator runs on (propane, natural gas, or diesel). Professional assistance from a plumber may be required.
  6. Testing: Once the setup is complete, test the system to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

Costs Involved

Backup generator installation costs can vary based on factors such as generator size, installation complexity, and additional equipment needed. It is recommended to obtain quotes from multiple service providers before making a decision. Remember, the cost of the generator itself is just one component; installation, maintenance, and fuel costs should also be considered.

Safety Considerations

Safety is of utmost importance when installing a backup generator. Improper installation may lead to dangerous situations, including carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shocks, and fire. Here are some safety tips:

  • Always hire a professional for installation.
  • Ensure the generator is placed at a safe distance from windows and doors.
  • Regularly maintain the generator to keep it in good working condition.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Maintenance and Warranty

Regular maintenance is crucial for extending the life of your generator and ensuring it is ready to provide backup power when needed. Maintenance tasks typically involve checking fuel levels, regularly testing the system, and keeping the unit clean. Before finalizing your generator purchase, review the warranty terms to avoid unexpected repair or replacement costs.


If you reside in South Dakota, it is vital to have a trusted professional electrician available to handle any electrical issues that may arise. Whether you require assistance with circuit breaker troubleshooting, electrical system maintenance, or other electrical work, rely on a professional for help. Explore our directory of skilled electricians in South Dakota to find professionals who can ensure the electrical safety of your home.