The Boston-Area Homeowners Guide to Standby Generators


standby generators, Holliston, MassachusettsBecause of natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, which left many Boston homes without power, more and more people are opting to invest in standby generators.

These generators can supply power to your home for days after an outage and are a dependable solution in times of need. In blackout situations, a standby generator can make all the difference between having your home comforts and being left out in the cold.

How do they work?

Standby generators connect directly to your home’s electrical panel and are powered by an external fuel supply. Smaller, air-cooled, essential-circuit units can keep certain parts of your home going, whereas larger units can comfortably power the whole house.

Standby generators operate intelligently via an automatic transfer switch which can safely disconnect you from your utility when it detects a disruption in service. Once off the grid, the switch initiates the generator which transfers power to your home’s electrical panel. Bear in mind, these generators don’t run by themselves. Instead they’re fueled by an internal combustion engine which runs on natural gas, diesel or liquid propane.

Safety in mind

Once your regular power supply is available, the switch automatically shuts down the generator, and you’re reconnected to the grid. This system works well for those with small children or occupants who need an uninterrupted power supply for medical equipment. The switch itself is also a safety mechanism, preventing any back-feeding of electricity to the grid, which can be hazardous.

Other considerations

Generators can be a costly investment for any homeowner, but determining the size of generator that’s needed can help. If you live in a city, check for noise ordinances restricting the use of generators. These systems can be rated at 62 decibels, which is often measured at 25 feet and is roughly equal to an idling Harley. Building codes can also require that generators are installed at least 5 feet from a house opening and flammable materials.

For more information and advice about standby generators for your Boston area home, contact the experts at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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