Investing in a standby generator for your home can be a big decision. They are not cheap but they can provide you and your family with security in that if your power does go out there will be nothing to worry about. Your standby unit will kick on automatically and your home can function just like it did before while on the grid. The fact that these standby systems are automatic AND that there is none of the manual setup that comes with portable generators is enough to sell many people on the idea.

The hesitation occurs when you really begin to look at the cost involved to purchase and install one of these systems. Typically a standby system can range between four all the way up to ten-thousand dollars depending on the size, brand, and features that you choose. Along with purchasing the actual unit you will also need to pay for the installation. In many cases the install costs just as much as the unit itself. So, if you purchase a five-thousand dollars standby system then you can expect to pay another five-thousand dollars for the installation.

This investment into your home begs the question, will you get your money back? If you purchase a standby system will it raise your home’s value? From my research I have found that in most cases a standby system WILL raise your home’s value… but by only half of your investment. So, using the example we just mentioned above on the ten-thousand dollar unit/install your home would see its value raise by only five-thousand dollars.

The remaining five-thousand dollars would be sunk cost. This is why I recommend only purchasing a standby system if you plan on staying in the home for a significant amount of time. If you are going to be selling in a year or two then a standby system may not be worth it. However, if you plan on staying in the home for five years, ten, or even longer then it will make sense to pay for the remaining difference.

In conclusion, do not purchase a standby system with the idea of raising your home’s value. Yes, it can raise the value slightly but you will not get all of your money back. Only purchase these systems if you suffer from frequent power losses AND you plan to stay in the home for years. Otherwise, you are just throwing money down the drain.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Question

If your home experiences power losses frequently then it may be time to look at purchasing a standby generator, or a whole home generator. These standby systems automatically detect when a power loss occurs and will switch your circuit board away from the power grid and over to the standby system within seconds of the power going out. In most cases you will just see a flicker of the lights as the switch occurs. After that it is smooth sailing and your home can function just like it did before when you were receiving power from the grid.

These standby systems are a great investment. A few years back my family and I lived quite a ways out in the country on a small farm of about twenty acres. It was absolutely beautiful and I miss it every day… but it was not perfect. I live in Kansas and during the spring and summer we can have some significant thunder storms. Since we were so far out and away from the city our power went out quite frequently. We also had the same problem in the winter with ice or blizzards. It became an occurrence we were all too familiar with.

We had a portable generator we could use for back up but it was a hassle. You had to roll it out in place. You had to fill it up with fuel. You had to hook up all of the extension cords and even then you still couldn’t power everything in your home. A standby system however could power our whole home. This is when my wife and I seriously started looking at purchasing a standby system. While these are the best option for power loss at your home they can be quite expensive as well.

You can expect to pay between four to ten thousand dollars for a standby system and THEN you have to pay for the installation. Typically the install is the same as the purchase price. So, if you purchased a five-thousand dollar system then you can expect to pay about five-thousand dollars for the install for a total cost of ten-thousand dollars. As I said before, standby systems are an investment. Only purchase these if you plan on staying in your home for a while and you do experience frequent power outages.

One of the questions we came across when researching standby systems is how long do they last? After all, I am not about to spend ten-thousand dollars on one if they are only going to last five or ten years. This ladies and gentlemen is where this article comes into play.

How Long Do They Last?

Before I give you the answer to this question we need to understand that how long your standby system lasts depends on two main variables. The first is how often are you running the generator? If you have a ton of power losses and are running it for thousands of hours per year then it is going to shorten the life span. The other important question here is maintenance. If you are performing proper maintenance on your generator then you can expect to truly achieve the longest lifespan. However, if you neglect maintenance and just ignore the system until you need it then you could significantly shorten the life span of your system. The other day I wrote an article on the maintenance required on standby generators which can be found by clicking here. Here is another article outside of ToughAssTools that provides many great tips on maintenance as well.

With all that being said the numbers I found when researching this topic stated that a standby system can last for about twenty-thousand to thirty-thousand operating hours. Now most folks said that the twenty to thirty thousand number equates to about a twenty to thirty year life span of the generator. But, as I said before, it all depends on how many hours you are operating the unit. For example, let’s say you are averaging about twelve-hundred hours of generator operating time per year. Let us also say that your generator will last around twenty-five thousand operating hours. Now it is just simple math of dividing twenty-five thousand by twelve-hundred to get us a number of twenty. So in this example your generator would last for twenty years.

I am sure that if you genuinely care of your generator and do not run it often you could see it last for thirty years. That number I gave above is a range. There are going to be exceptions. I see no reason why a generator that is sparingly used could last for thirty plus years. Again, take that same example above and instead of twelve-hundred hours a year call it seven-hundred. That math works out to about a thirty-five year life span.

Conclusion

All in all folks it really depends on how well you take care of your generator and how often you are running it. The numbers I gave you above were rough estimates. If you are serious about purchasing a standby generator I would make it a point to ask the longevity question to the dealer that you are working with. If the dealership is helpful you may even find that some brands last longer then others. Personally, I have always been a fan of the Generac brand. They are the most recognized and have the largest market share. That is NOT to discount the other brands out there though. Do you research and determine what is right for you and your family.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Question Marks

Having the power go out in your home is never an enjoyable time. This is especially true if your home is prone to frequent power losses or if when you do receive a power loss it lasts for a day or more. Having no power in your home is not only an inconvenience but it can also cause all of the food in your refrigerator/freezer to spoil as well as cause the temperature in your home to rise or fall to dangerous levels.

A few years back my family and I lived on twenty acres way out in the country about an hour south of Kansas City. I loved how peaceful it was out there but it was prone to power losses during spring storms and winter blizzards. When the power did go out it was always a while before it was restored. This was just a fact of life when it came to living that far out from the city. As a solution to this problem we started looking into purchasing a standby generator.

Standby systems can provide your whole home with power the very moment your power goes out. It is all automated as well so the worst that you’ll see is a flicker of the lights for a moment when the power goes out and then the standby system kicks on and power is restored. These systems are by far the best solution when it comes powering your home during a power loss.

Over the past few weeks we have written numerous articles on these standby generators. Today we are going to take a look at exactly what kind of maintenance can be expected on your standby generator. Let’s take a look.

Maintenance Needs

A standby generator system can be very expensive to purchase and install. These systems can range from eight-thousand dollars all the way up to twenty-thousand dollars. They are a large investment for your home or business. It only makes sense that you want to protect this investment and insure that it will last for a very long time. This is why regular maintenance of your generator is essential. If your generator is taken care of correctly you can expect to see a lifespan of between ten-thousand to thirty-thousand hours of operating time. This would equate to around twenty to thirty year lifespan.

Now a standby generator is very similar to any other machine that you use commonly that has an engine. Think of your lawn mower, your car, or even your ATV. All of these have engines and all of these engines need routine maintenance. Generators are no different. Their engine is what creates the mechanical force that in turn is transferred to the alternator where the electrical energy is created.

Just like your vehicle, the more you use your generator the more maintenance you are going to need. This is why the maintenance plan for your system must be tailored towards you and your usage. There is not a one size fits all solution here. It is up to you to document how often your generator is used and make the determinations for maintenance based off of those operating times. The most important thing to watch and maintain on your generator is oil levels. All engines need adequate oil and all engines need their oil changed routinely. Just by doing this simple task you will add years to your generator’s lifespan.

Along with checking and changing the oil you should also be reviewing the air filter and fuel filters to ensure they are clean and if they need to be replaced. Again, this is a fairly simple task but it can make a significant difference in your generator’s performance.

Lastly, it is recommended that a load test for your generator is done weekly, or at least monthly. These tests involve your generator starting up with little or no load and then shutting off after a few minutes. Visually inspect the unit during these tests. Were there any alarms or indicators that went off? Did you see any leaks anywhere on the unit?  If so, then these are all red flags that should be looked after immediately.

What I mentioned above are just some of the basic maintenance needs on your generator. These are by no means everything that has to be done. The problem is with the more advanced needs your generator can get a bit more specific and it may make sense for you to have a professional review the system. Some of these maintenance needs are ensuring that the battery is charging and is working as intended, checking the battery cables and electrolyte levels, visually inspecting the drive belts, reviewing the coolant lines, and changing the spark plugs. For more specific details I recommend reading this article from ASNE.com on the topic.

Conclusion

Each generator is different and requires different needs. This is why it is also recommended to read and review your owner’s manual so that you are not missing any major steps in the maintenance process.  In many cases the original equipment manufacturer you bought the generator from is your best bet when it comes for maintenance questions and needs. Chances are these OEMS also offer their own maintenance protection plan which can cost anywhere between four-hundred to eight-hundred dollars a year. This plan will allow for scheduled maintenance visits to your property by a trained professional. They will do a visual inspection on your unit as well as changing the oil and filters if needed.

Having a professional review your system multiple times pear year is your best bet when it comes to generator maintenance. As we stated earlier in this article, standby generators are a large investment for your home and your family. It only makes sense to spend that little bit more every year so that you have a professional reviewing your needs. This will also help your case as well if your generator is still under warranty. By having the dealer catching and diagnosing problems chances are they will fall under the warranty policy.

Thanks for reading folks and I hope this article was helpful,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Question

Having the power go out in your home is never a fun time. If it is out for just a few minutes, or even an hour or two, it is an inconvenience. The problem occurs when your power goes out for a day or multiple days at a time. This goes from being an inconvenience to a real hassle. A few years back I owned a small farm way out in the country about an hour south of the Kansas City area. It was extremely peaceful there and watching the snow fall was great… until our power went out.

As I am sure a lot of you know, when the power goes out when you are in the country it can sometimes take days for it to turn back on. In one particular instance our power was out for three days. Luckily, this outage occurred in winter and we were able to keep most of our food cold and keep the house warm by using our fireplace. If this had been summer though we would have been hot and miserable as well as losing all of the food in our refrigerator.

It was immediately after this power loss event that we began looking into standby generator systems. I knew that portable generators were an option as well, but I wanted an option that would provide our whole home with power and that would require little or no setup when the power went out. Standby generators were the solution. We had researched various models and but had ended up not purchasing and instead sold the home the next year.

The concept of standby generators has fascinated me ever since and that is why over the past few months I have been researching and writing article after article on the topic. In today’s article we are going to take a look at exactly how much these generators cost. What can you expect when purchasing? How much does install cost? Let’s take a look.

How Much do They Cost?

Let me first state that standby generators are NOT cheap. If you wish to purchase one for your home then you better plan on staying in your home for at least a few more years. While purchasing and installing a standby system can raise your home’s value it will ONLY raise it by about fifty percent of the money you spend on the system. SO, if you spend ten-thousand dollars then your home’s value will only increase by five-thousand dollars. If you do plan on purchasing one just be aware that you should stick around for a few more years so that you can enjoy the system.

To answer your question folks a typical standby generator can cost between four-thousand dollars to ten-thousand dollars. It all depends on exactly what size of standby system you need for your home or business. Standby systems are measured in kilowatts. The higher the number the more power that will be generated by your generator and the more expensive it will be. In order to determine exactly what size generator your home needs you will need to tally up the wattage of all of your appliances and electronics. If you cannot find the wattage of an appliance or electronic then you can take the amperage that it uses and multiply it by the volts. (If the appliance uses the standard plug-in at your home it uses one-hundred and ten volts.)

Once you have added up all of your wattage it is recommended to add another thirty percent to that number. This will give you some buffer room in case you forgot something or plan to add an additional appliance down the road. Standby systems can come in a variety of sizes but in most cases you will units start at around seven-and a half kilowatts and go all the way up to forty kilowatts. A standard twenty-five hundred square foot home can typically get by on a twenty-two and a half kilowatt system. But again, I am going to defer to your own sizing calculations to determine your generator’s size.

You should also understand that even though you have the size of generator that you need figured out the price can still vary significantly depending on brands and features. As an example, the twenty-two and a half kilowatt systems can range from four-thousand dollars all the way up to ten-thousand dollars. This is going to be a matter of preference. Research each brand and also research the additional features. Are they worth the extra cash, or are you ok with a standard system? I am personally a big fan of the Generac brand.

The last big thing to mention here when it comes to pricing your standby system is installation costs. A  lot of folks do not think of this but it is a real expense that can be just as expensive as the standby generator itself. This is why it is so important to budget the installation cost before purchasing a standby system. There is a lot that goes into installing one of these systems. You will need the help of an electrician to hook the unit to your home, a plumber or other professional to setup the fuel lines from your generator to your gas or propane line, and in some cases a county or city representative to come out to ensure the standby generator is compliant with code. These installs can be costly.

Conclusion

So, when you factor in the cost of the generator and the install you could be looking at a total purchase price ranging from eight-thousand dollars all the way to eighteen or twenty-thousand dollars. It truly depends on your sizing needs as well as the brands and features you wish to invest in. To a lot of folks these amounts may simply be too much… especially if you only experience power loss a few times a year.

There is another option out there though. If you wish to save a ton of money and do some manual work there are portable generators. Portable systems are what you typically see at camping sites or RV parks. They are a portable system that can generate power wherever you need it. The downside of these systems it that they are all manual. When I say that I mean that when the power does go out you have to roll out the generator from storage, fill it up with fuel, and then manually connect the appliances you want to power via extension cord.

As you can imagine this will require a lot of work to get setup each and every time that your power goes out. The bright side is that you can save thousands by opting for a portable system. Looking at some of the models on Amazon.com we can see that the cost on a larger portable system will be right around one-thousand dollars. Now this unit may not power your entire home but it will provide you enough power to run your refrigerator, freezer, and other electronics.

Ultimately though folks, the choice is yours. Do you want to spend the money and invest in a standby system and save yourself time each time your power goes out? Or, do you want to save thousands and invest the time it takes to setup a portable system each time? Time or money?

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Question

Having the power go out in your home is never an enjoyable time. I remember as a child when the power went out I would be upset that I couldn’t watch television or play my video games. Now as an adult with a home of my own I worry on how I am going to heat and or cool the home. What am I going to do with all of the food in the freezer and refrigerator? In my previous home, before we sold it last year, we would get power outages rather frequently. It was an older farmhouse on twenty acres. While it was peaceful it was prone to outages and since we were so far away from the city we were often the last ones to get our power restored.

After some time and frustration we decided to look into getting a standby generator system installed. As you know, standby systems are designed to power your entire home during a power loss. With a standby system installed you may not even notice that you had a power loss. In many cases all you’ll see is a slight flicker of the lights and then the circuit board in your home switches over to the standby system and everything goes back to normal.

If you are prone to power outages then I highly recommend you look into standby systems. The question in this article though is where exactly should you place a standby system? With a portable generator there is a lot of risk when it comes to placement. If you place it too close to your home then you risk carbon monoxide leaking into your home and harming your family. It is typically recommended to have portable systems at least twenty feet away from your home in an open area where the wind will blow the exhaust away.

But, where should standby systems be placed? Let’s take a look.

Placing Your Standby Generator

Luckily, standby generators are regarded as notably safer then a portable generator. Now do not get me wrong, standby systems can still be dangerous. Both types of generators produce carbon monoxide that can be harmful to your family. Both generators have combustion engines that burn through fuel just like your vehicle. These engines produce carbon monoxide. If the generator is too close to your home then that monoxide can leak into your home and slowly poison you and your family.

The placement of a standby generator has to be considered very carefully. Now throughout my research on this topic the commonality I found is that it is recommended that standby systems are placed at least five feet away from your home. They should also be somewhat near your circuit board as well as your gas or propane line for an easy fuel connection point. They should also NOT be near any kind of overhang, awning, or garage that could trap carbon monoxide. The generator should also be at least three feet away from any kind of flammable material. I would suggest at least ten feet though to be abundantly safe.

Conclusion

The good news here is that when purchasing a standby system it is recommended to have it professionally installed. A professional install assures you that you are having the absolute best location picked for your standby system. The installer will consider the points I mentioned above but will also consider other variables such as the typical direction of the wind, elevation, slope, etc. Installers also have to be familiar with local state, county, and city codes and ordinances when it comes to generators. This alone is worth the investment of an install as you can be assured that you will not have to redo anything.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Question

Having the power go out in your home is never a fun time. At best it can be a minor inconvenience to you and your family. At worst it could mean seeing all of the food in your refrigerator/freezer spoil or having to find a way to stay warm in the winter. Luckily for most people a power loss typically only lasts for a few hours… but what do you do if you have frequent longer power outages in your area?

There are a couple solutions to this problem. The first is portable generators which can be rolled out and manually setup as needed, but they can be a hassle. The other solution and the focus of this article are standby whole home generators. These are stationary generator systems that are professionally installed for your home. When the power goes out you will only notice a slight flicker of the lights and then your standby system kicks on. Presto, you have power again. It happens so fast that you may not even notice the power went out.

The question in this article though is are these standby generators safe for you and your family? Well folks, let us take a look and find out:

Are They Safe?

The good news is that standby generators are significantly safer then portable generators. Both types of generators produce carbon monoxide that can be deadly if it accumulates in an enclosed space like your garage, home, or other area. The difference here is that with a portable generator it is up to you to roll it out, pick a location, and set it up. This means that YOU have to determine the best location for your portable system to run. You have to determine if it is far enough away from your home. That the exhaust is pointed away from your home. That the exhaust is not being blown back to your home by the wind. There are many factors that have to be considered when setting up a portable system.

Standby generators are different though as they are stationary. They are setup in a designated area and will never leave that space. When you purchase a standby system you also need to pay for the professional installation. This is the main difference between portable and standby. The standby system is professionally installed. That means that the professional that comes out to your home determines the exact spot to locate your standby generator. He considers all of the factors we mentioned above and even more.

Before an install takes place the installer should survey the yard to determine the absolute best spot for the generator. The system will ideally be placed about five feet away from your home nearby your circuit board and your gas/propane line. The exhaust should obviously be pointed away from the home. The installer will also consider typical wind as well as if there are roof overhangs or awnings that could accumulate carbon monoxide.

The other thing to keep in mind is to never store any flammable materials or fuel near your standby generator. Remember that your generator is an engine that is burning through fuel. It will get hot due to the combustion taking place. Having something easily flammable could result in a fire. This is why most folks recommend at least three feet of space between something flammable and the standby system. If it was me though I would push for at least ten feet or more just to be on the safe side.

Besides those main points if you schedule regular maintenance on your standby system you will have a safe and secure way to restore power in your home during severe storms. They are also a great investment for your home as you can typically see your home’s value raise by about fifty percent of the cost of your standby generator. As an example, if you spent ten-thousand dollars on a standby generator and install then you can expect your home value to raise by about five-thousand dollars.

Conclusion

To answer your question folks, yes standby systems are in fact very safe. I would rate them significantly safer then the standard portable generators that we are all used to. Just be aware that there is still the risk of carbon monoxide accumulation, but if the system is installed correctly by a professional then you should be perfectly fine. I would not recommend trying to install one of these systems yourself. You not only have to deal with the safety concerns but you also have the electrical setup; the fuel line setup; and many state, county, and city codes and regulations to consider. It is best to leave this job to the professionals.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Having the power go out in your home is never a fun time. If it is during a snowstorm you have to find a way to keep warm. If it is during the summer you have to find a way to keep your food in the refrigerator and freezer from spoiling. Now, in most cases power outages usually only last for a few hours… but there are instances where it can last for a day or more. A few years back I lived out on a farm about an hour south of Kansas City. We had twenty acres and it was as peaceful as can be. The only problem was that when the power did go out it stayed out for at least a day. I believe the longest we went without power was three and a half days during an ice storm.

A standby generator for your home can solve any power issue you are having. It can power your whole home and will turn on automatically. Over the past few weeks I have written numerous articles on standby generators. In today’s post we are going to focus on one simple question: How far should these standby whole home generator systems be placed from your home?

To answer your question right off the bat most experts recommend to place your generator at least five feet from your home. This is quite different then portable generators. Portable systems need to be at least twenty feet away from your home and have their exhaust pointed away to prevent carbon monoxide from flooding your home. While standby generators do not need as much distance you should still be mindful of the exhaust risk. Do NOT place the generator under an awning, overhang, or anything else that could trap exhaust. Also consider where the wind typically blows in your yard and place the generator’s exhaust to blow with the wind away from your home.

Along with the five foot rule it is also recommended that your generator be at least three feet away from any nearby flammable material. This is to prevent any accidental ignition and or fire. Remember folks, that generators are engines and they are burning through fuel. If something flammable is too close it could ignite.

The last real point here to make is that the generator should be placed close to your home’s circuit board as well as close to your propane or natural gas line. This just makes it easier for install and overall maintenance.

Conclusion

Purchasing, placing, and installing a standby generator is complicated business. This is why there are various dealers out there that can walk you through the process step by step. While the guidelines I mentioned above are widely considered the standard it is important to note that your local laws and regulations can vary across the country… or even outside of the United States. You could run into regulation challenges when having the utility propane/natural gas lines laid out. Or, it could be local city, county, or state codes that you were not aware of.

By consulting with a professional at a generator dealership you can ensure that you are following all of the proper laws and regulations so that you do not have to spend any more then you have to by redoing the work again to be in compliance. If you are seriously looking at a standby system then you should also be looking at getting it professionally installed.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

 

Standby generators are a great investment for your home. They provide you with an easy solution to power your entire home during a power loss. Just like with portable generators there are a variety of pros and cons to purchasing and installing a whole home generator system. Let us first look at the pros. Firstly, and the most obvious, is that a standby system can power your entire home. When I say whole home I mean it. This includes your air conditioner, furnace, water heater, refrigerator, oven, lights, electronics, and so on and so on. You will be hard pressed to find a portable system that can do this. Portable systems simply do not have enough wattage to accomplish this.

If you have a standby system during a power loss then you may not even notice that the power has gone out. Standby systems are all automated. What that means is if your power does go out the standby system will automatically sense this and switch your circuit board’s power source away from the electrical grid and over to your standby system. In most cases this will look like just a flash of the lights as your whole home system turns on. You do not have to worry about rolling the generator out, messing with all of the cords, and plugging everything. It is all done automatically for you. Standby systems are the ‘easy’ button when it comes to power generation.

All generators need a fuel source rather they are portable or standby systems. With portable units you have to constantly refuel them as they burn through gallon after gallon. Standby systems though are different. They can either be hooked up to your own natural gas line and be fed a never ending source of gasoline from your city. Or, they can be hooked up to a propane tank. A few years back when I lived out in the country we had an eight-hundred gallon propane tank. It provided fuel for our oven, furnace, water heater, and other things. With standby systems you can either leverage the existing propane tank you have on site or you can purchase another one strictly for your standby system. No matter what fuel source you choose to go with you will not have to worry about constantly refueling your generator with a standby system.

The last pro that I am going to mention also bleeds into a con. A standby generator system is an investment into your home. It can be a very expensive investment. The good news is that you get some of that investment back. A fully installed whole home generator will raise your home’s value equal to about fifty percent of the total cost of the system. So, while you will not recoup all of the money spent you are able to get some of it back if you decide to sell in the future.

Alright folks, so now we are onto the cons of these generators. As you can guess the biggest and most obvious is the cost. A portable system can cost five-hundred dollars up to fifteen-hundred… maybe two-thousand dollars but that is rare. A standby system can cost you four to six-thousand dollars and then you have to have it installed. The install cost is typically the same as the unit itself. If you purchase a four-thousand dollar system then expect to pay another four-thousand in installation for a total cost of eight-thousand dollars. This price range varies depending on the size of standby system you need. If you only need a sixteen-thousand watt system then you are going to pay significantly less then a forty-thousand watt system.

While we touched on install just a second ago it is still worth mentioning that you will need a professional install done by someone at the dealership you bought the generator from. On top of that you will also need a plumber to hook up your new standby unit to either your natural gas line or to you propane line. Lastly, you may even need to have it inspected by the fire department or by your propane supplier. In some cases you will need a permit as well. If you are unsure of your local regulations then check with the dealer that you are purchasing the unit from. This is why these installations can be so expensive.

Besides the overall cost and install there is one other con worth mentioning. This is maintenance. Your standby system will need maintenance performed after ten days of running. This maintenance includes checking the oil level, changing it if necessary, and also checking and or changing the filter. If you are unsure of how to do this then most generator dealerships offer an annual maintenance plan where their technician will come out and maintain your generator. I’ve seen these plans range from three-hundred to six-hundred a year. While on the topic of maintenance you may notice that your generator turns on automatically for about fifteen minutes each week. This is intentional and allows the unit to operate and stay functional. Nothing to worry about.

Conclusion

Standby generators basically boil down to two main points. Do you want the convenience of having a standby system automatically turning on during a power loss? And, if you do want that then are you willing to pay for it? If not, then you can go portable generator route just expect a lot of manual work to get power back on during a power loss. Portable systems have to be rolled outside, setup twenty feet from your home, cords have to be routed and plugged in, fuel has to be added, and THEN you can turn it on and begin to get power. Standby systems though turn on at the drop of a hat the moment your power goes out… they are just far more expensive. The choice is ultimately up to you.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Question

Generators are a great tool to have around the house in case of emergencies. They can provide you with much needed power during power loss events. I live about sixty miles outside of the Kansas City area near a fairly rural town. We have around twenty acres. It is peaceful, but can also be quite isolated. When we have severe weather rather it be a storm, ice storm, or blizzard we can lose power. When power losses occur out here in the country they can linger for a day, or more. I remember once years back that we lost power for four days straight. Having access to a generator saved our food from spoiling and also allowed us to watch television during this time.

Generators can do more then just power your home though folks. They can also provide you power while camping or RVing across the country. Typically when you’re RVing you stop at designated rest stops found along the highway or at national parks. These rest stops provide shore power via  thirty or fifty amp connection for your RV. However, if you decide to go off-roading or ‘dry-docking’ and there is no power source to be found then you will need a generator to power everything in your recreational vehicle. Your vehicle’s batteries will only get you so far and you will need to recharge them. Generators not only provide you power but also allow you to recharge your batteries.

In most cases there two main types of generators. You have your portable systems that are able to be moved as you require and then you have your permanent standby models that are anchored in place and hooked directly up to your home. There are pros and cons for both the portable and standby units. In this article we are going to take an in-depth look at exactly what those are. Should you purchase a portable system, or should you go with the standby model?

How do You Plan to Use It?

The first question I have to ask you is how exactly do you plan to use your generator. This is an important point to consider as if you wish to have a system that you can take with you for camping or RVing then you obviously need a portable system. On the other hand though if you are looking for a system that can power the entirety of your home during a power loss then a standby system is what you need.

There are also in-betweens here where you want to power your home, but maybe not all of it. Or, it could be that expense is an issue as standby generators are much more expensive. So, if you wish to power basic functions in your home and are worried about cost then a portable system is meant for you. This also allows you to take the portable system wherever you go so it could also be used during camping trips.

Standby systems offer peace of mind. Yes they are significantly more expensive then portable systems but once you purchase one and have it installed you never really have to worry about power loss again. If the power does go out you will only notice a flicker of the lights before your standby system automatically kicks on. This automated process occurs even if you are not at home. As an example, if you are on a business trip in the middle of the summer and a storm rolls through near your house. The power goes out and you will not be home for another day. The standby system has you covered. Your food will not be spoiled. Your air conditioner will still be running. Everything will be as it was.

So, looking at those points, what type of generator is that you wish to purchase? Keep your answer in mind as we move to the next section for more considerations.

Your Sizing Needs

Once you have determined how you wish to use your future generator we next need to figure out what size of generator that you require. Generators can range from one-thousand watts all the way up to forty-thousand watts. The question now is to determine exactly how many watts that you need for your specific application. Now the best way to determine sizing for your generator is to add up the watts of everything that you wish to run on your generator.

Most appliances and electronics will have a wattage amount on their labels/stickers. If you cannot find it on the label then you can check the instruction manual. In today’s world most everything has their instruction manual online as well. If you find that there is no mention of wattage then do not worry. You can still figure it out. Look at the label/sticker of the product and see if there is an ‘Amperage’ rating or ‘Amps.’  You may even see it labeled as ‘A.’ This amperage rating gives you what you need to determine wattage.

Take the amp rating and times it by the volts. The volts a machine requires is just the type of plug-in that it uses. Most everything uses a one-hundred and ten volt outlet. Some of the larger machines out there like an oven or clothes dryer can use two-hundred and twenty volt outlet. As an example let us look at a coffee machine. When we look at the label we see that it says six amps. Now we know that coffee machines plug-in to your standard one-hundred and ten volt outlet. So the math problem is six amps times one-hundred and ten volts equals six-hundred and sixty watts required to operate the coffee machine.

Now that you know how to calculate wattage usage you need to go through everything that you wish to power with your generator and determine the total wattage. Once you have that total wattage number increase it by about twenty or thirty percent to give yourself some leeway. It is always better to overshoot your needs then undershoot.

Starting/Surge Watts

There is another point to consider here folks and that is what is known as starting/surge and running watts. With more complex appliances such as air conditioners or refrigerators you are going to run into what is known as starting watts. These are also known as surge watts. Let’s look at refrigerators as an example. A refrigerator uses the refrigeration cycle to generate a cold environment. A key component of the refrigeration cycle is the compression of refrigerant using a compressor. Compressors require a significant amount of power to start up and running. This is where the term surge/starting watts comes into play.

It may take an extra twenty or thirty percent, sometimes more, watts to actually start your refrigerator. Once the fridge has started and has begun to run the initial peak of watts required will diminish and it will move to a running watts number. This is why it is called starting watts. That large surge of watts is only required when the machine is turned on. Once it has been turned on it will quickly taper back down to a running watts number.

Here is the important part. You MUST include surge/starting watts in your sizing calculations. If you do not then you will not be able to power everything that you wish to. Surge watts are important. That being said, there is a slight work around that can be done if you are tight on wattage. Using the same refrigerator example as above let’s say that you are very limited on wattage. Some folks will ONLY connect the refrigerator to the generator and then turn it on. This allows the fridge to handle the surge watts and then settle down to running watts. Once the fridge has moved to running watts the generator now has more room to handle other machines.

I typically do not recommend going with this strategy though . I find that it is always better to exceed the total wattage that you need by that twenty or thirty percent marker. Going this route allows you some wiggle room in case you ended up forgetting something or miscalculated the wattage of an application you wish to use.

Sizing Guidelines

So now that you understand starting watts and running watts as well as how to size the generator for your needs, I can give you an estimated size of generator that you need for your application. Be aware that this is just an estimate and like we said before the best way to determine the right size is to add up the total wattage of all of your appliances and electronics you wish to power.

Let us start from smallest to largest. First, if you are going on a camping trip and need to power your phone or laptop while you are out in the wilderness then a generator with one-thousand or two-thousand watts will provide you with enough power. If you wish to add a coffee maker or other basic appliance then you will most likely need to increase in size. If you are camping with your RV, camper, or motor home then you are also going to need some additional power. In these examples I like to recommend a generator between four to five-thousand watts. This allows you to power the basic appliances in your RV as well as an air conditioner and other appliances.

Sizing a generator for your home can be a bit tricky. You first need to determine exactly what you want to power within your home. If it is just the lights, refrigerator, electronics, and furnace then you can get away with sizes ranging from six-thousand to ten-thousand watts. If you wish to power everything in your home then you are most likely going to need a standby generator. Standby models typically start at around seven and a half thousand watts and go all the way up to forty-thousand watts. Now a typical twenty-five hundred square foot home will need a twenty-two thousand watt standby system. If you have a significantly smaller home you may able able to get away with a fourteen or fifteen thousand watt system.

To help you in estimating your wattage needs I highly recommend a generator sizing tool from Champion Power Equipment. It walks you through your needs step by step, gives you an estimated starting/running watts of the appliances you choose, and at the end gives a full wattage number. The tool can be found by clicking here. Note that again, this is an estimate. While this tool can be used as a guideline the safest approach is to add up the wattage needs yourself.

Portable Generators Pros & Cons

In the next few sections we are going to take an in-depth look at the various pros and cons of portable generators and standby generators. At the end of these sections you should know exactly what type of generator you need. Firstly, we’ll start with portable generator. These portable systems are just that, portable. This means that they can literally be taken anywhere that you need. If you are on a camping trip or  cruising around the country in your motor home a portable system will provide you with the power that you need. They can provide the same comfort when the power goes out at your home.

You will also find that portable systems are significantly cheaper then standby whole home systems. A low wattage portable system can cost only a couple hundred dollars. The larger sized portable systems can cost as much as twenty-five hundred dollars. While that amount may seem high that is MUCH lower then the cost of purchasing and installing a standby system. These portable systems are highly recommended for those of you on a budget or if you just need some power for camping trips.

Now, there are quite a few downsides when it comes to portable systems as well. The first and most glaring is that they are all manual. What I mean by that is that it is completely manual to set these up when you need power. The unit will have to be rolled out from storage and placed twenty feet away from your home. You then have to get all of your extension cords out and hook everything up that you want to power. This can be a pain.

On the larger portable models there is an option to install a manual transfer switch on your circuit board. If you get this installed then you really only have to worry about one extension cord to your circuit board. After that power will flow normally throughout your home. These transfer switches are required if you wish to power your air conditioner, furnace, water heater, or other appliances that are hooked in directly to your home’s circuit board. These can cost around three-hundred dollars and will need to be installed by a professional. An example transfer switch can be found by clicking here.

In many instances portable systems may not be able to power your entire home. This is due to their size. Portable systems typically stop at around ten to twelve-thousand watts. Anything higher then that and you are going to need a standby system. Remember earlier I said that a twenty-two thousand watt can most likely power a twenty-five hundred square foot home? In this example you have no other choice but to go with a standby generator system. Portable just will not cut it. If you do have a small home you may be able to get away with a portable system providing you full power, but it is going to be close.

The other big downside when it comes to portable systems is the fuel. Generators are comprised of an engine and an alternator. The engine creates mechanical force by burning fuel and the mechanical force is converted into electrical energy by using the alternator. To operate the engine needs a constant supply of fuel. When researching generators it is wise to look at how long a system can run before needing to be refueled. Some can do four to five hours while others can last up to ten hours. This is important to know as every time your generator needs refueled you need to shut the entire thing down and wait for it to cool. Once cooled you can refuel and then start it back up. I can see this being a pain if you have to do this every four or five hours. Remember, NEVER refuel the generator while it is running.  Also keep in mind the actual storage needs of the fuel. A generator can burn between twelve to twenty gallons of fuel per day. Do you have room for that much gasoline or diesel?

I mentioned earlier that you need to have the portable system setup twenty feet away from your home. This is due to the carbon monoxide risk when running a generator. Remember, generators are engines and engines can produce carbon monoxide just like your car does. If left in an enclosed area you could suffocate. Do NOT run a generator in your home, in your closet, in your garage, or anywhere near your home. You MUST be twenty feet away with the exhaust pointing away from your home.

Moving portable generators can be a hassle in itself. As you go up in wattage size you also go up in weight and bulk. Some of the larger systems can weigh over a hundred pounds. Now some come with wheels on one side to make it a little easier to move… but some models do not. Be prepared for this. Look at the generator when buying to see if wheels come with it. If they do not determine how heavy the unit is and if you can easily move it yourself back and forth.

The last con to mention on these portable systems is the noise. Portable systems can range in noise volume between fifty to one-hundred decibels. At the higher end of this range is about the sound of a lawn mower operating nearby. It can be quite loud and intrusive. If you are camping you may find that certain types of generators are banned from being operated due to the noise. On the opposite side of the spectrum at fifty decibels it is about the sound of a dishwasher running nearby. Much quieter. Pay attention to the operating decibel volume when looking at units. Also consider where you will be running the generator. Could noise be an issue?

Standby Whole Home Generators Pros & Cons

Standby generators are a great investment for your home. They provide you with an easy solution to power your entire home during a power loss. Just like with portable generators there are a variety of pros and cons to purchasing and installing a whole home generator system. Let us first look at the pros. Firstly, and the most obvious, is that a standby system can power your entire home. When I say whole home I mean it. This includes your air conditioner, furnace, water heater, refrigerator, oven, lights, electronics, and so on and so on. You will be hard pressed to find a portable system that can do this. Portable systems simply do not have enough wattage to accomplish this.

If you have a standby system during a power loss then you may not even notice that the power has gone out. Standby systems are all automated. What that means is if your power does go out the standby system will automatically sense this and switch your circuit board’s power source away from the electrical grid and over to your standby system. In most cases this will look like just a flash of the lights as your whole home system turns on. You do not have to worry about rolling the generator out, messing with all of the cords, and plugging everything. It is all done automatically for you. Standby systems are the ‘easy’ button when it comes to power generation.

All generators need a fuel source rather they are portable or standby systems. With portable units you have to constantly refuel them as they burn through gallon after gallon. Standby systems though are different. They can either be hooked up to your own natural gas line and be fed a never ending source of gasoline from your city. Or, they can be hooked up to a propane tank. A few years back when I lived out in the country we had an eight-hundred gallon propane tank. It provided fuel for our oven, furnace, water heater, and other things. With standby systems you can either leverage the existing propane tank you have on site or you can purchase another one strictly for your standby system. No matter what fuel source you choose to go with you will not have to worry about constantly refueling your generator with a standby system.

The last pro that I am going to mention also bleeds into a con. A standby generator system is an investment into your home. It can be a very expensive investment. The good news is that you get some of that investment back. A fully installed whole home generator will raise your home’s value equal to about fifty percent of the total cost of the system. So, while you will not recoup all of the money spent you are able to get some of it back if you decide to sell in the future.

Alright folks, so now we are onto the cons of these generators. As you can guess the biggest and most obvious is the cost. A portable system can cost five-hundred dollars up to fifteen-hundred… maybe two-thousand dollars but that is rare. A standby system can cost you four to six-thousand dollars and then you have to have it installed. The install cost is typically the same as the unit itself. If you purchase a four-thousand dollar system then expect to pay another four-thousand in installation for a total cost of eight-thousand dollars. This price range varies depending on the size of standby system you need. If you only need a sixteen-thousand watt system then you are going to pay significantly less then a forty-thousand watt system.

While we touched on install just a second ago it is still worth mentioning that you will need a professional install done by someone at the dealership you bought the generator from. On top of that you will also need a plumber to hook up your new standby unit to either your natural gas line or to you propane line. Lastly, you may even need to have it inspected by the fire department or by your propane supplier. In some cases you will need a permit as well. If you are unsure of your local regulations then check with the dealer that you are purchasing the unit from. This is why these installations can be so expensive.

Besides the overall cost and install there is one other con worth mentioning. This is maintenance. Your standby system will need maintenance performed after ten days of running. This maintenance includes checking the oil level, changing it if necessary, and also checking and or changing the filter. If you are unsure of how to do this then most generator dealerships offer an annual maintenance plan where their technician will come out and maintain your generator. I’ve seen these plans range from three-hundred to six-hundred a year. While on the topic of maintenance you may notice that your generator turns on automatically for about fifteen minutes each week. This is intentional and allows the unit to operate and stay functional. Nothing to worry about.

Conclusion

Alright folks I believe we have covered absolutely everything there is to cover on the matter of portable generators versus standby systems. As you can see there is a whole lot of content here but in the end it basically boils down to two main points. The first is how do you want to use your generator? Is it for camping, recreation, or as an emergency power source for SOME appliances in your home during a power loss? If so, then you need a portable system. However, if you are looking to power your entire home then a standby system is for you.

The second point is cost. Portable systems are significantly cheaper then standby systems. When I say significant I mean that standby systems can be five or ten times more expensive then a portable system. The question you have to ask yourself is do you want to pay more to have the convenience and peace of mind with a standby system? Or, would you prefer to save a heap of money and go through the manual work of rolling out, running cords, and setting up your portable generator when your power goes out? The choice is yours.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Question Marks

Having your power go out is never a good time. It causes you inconvenience and can ultimately cause a financial loss as well. I live a ways outside of the Kansas City area and when our power goes out in winter it is not too big of a deal. We get cold winters here along with blizzards and ice storms. I remember a few years back where we had the power go out for three whole days due to a bad blizzard. Over a foot of snow dropped within a day.

The good thing was that it was quite cold this entire time. We started our living room fireplace up and the surrounding area warmed up nicely. After that we went to our porch and dug a good sized hole in the snow. When we were done we got most of our refrigerator and freezer contents and set them in the hole outside. The temperature was cold enough that the contents stayed plenty cold. This was still a hassle, but we didn’t end up losing any food.

In the summertime though this can be an entirely different story. Kansas summers can be quite brutal. Weeks of one-hundred degree weather and high humidity. Having a power loss during these summer months can be rough. When these do occur it is typically due to a severe thunderstorm or even a passing tornado. After the power goes out the house will begin to warm up fast. If you do not have a generator the best you can do is hope the power comes back on before your produce spoils.

If you live in an area that has a lot of power failures either due to storms or just a poorly operated power grid then it may be time to consider generator options. Generators can provide your home with a short term power supply. Depending on the size of the generator you could have your entire home powered back on or just a select few appliances such as your refrigerator or freezer. It really depends on what you are looking for and what kind of investment you wish to make.

Standby VS Portable Generators

There are a couple types of generators out there on the market today. The most common type which you have most likely already heard of are known as portable generators. These units can be used to power your home but also your recreational vehicle or even during a camping trip. They can be hauled around with you and used as needed. The downsides of these units is that when a power loss does occur you have to haul out the generator, fill it up with fuel, then connect all the necessary extension cords to regain your power. In some cases this can be eased if you have a transfer switch installed on your circuit board but it can still be a hassle.

Portable generators are a great option if you wish to only power a few things in your home. They are cheaper then the standby models that we are going to get into next. They are also versatile and can be used in a variety of fashions. Their biggest downfall is that you have to constantly refuel them and they have to be setup with extension cords each and every time. You are also limited with their power supply. In many instances you will not be able to power your entire home with a portable unit.

The other alternative option here to provide your home with power are standby generators. While portable generators are just that, portable, a standby generator is a permanently fixed generator that is professionally installed at your home. They cannot be moved or changed. Standby generators are capable of providing power to your entire home including your hardwired appliances such as your furnace, air conditioner, and water heater. They also have sensors installed on your circuit board that can detect when a power loss occurs. If your power does go out your standby generator will sense this and automatically kick on a few seconds later. In most cases you will only notice a flicker in the lights as the power switches away from the grid and over to your generator.

Standby generators also do not need to be refueled. Well, let me rephrase that, they do not need to be refueled as often. Depending on your install your standby generator is either connected directly to your natural gas line or to large liquid propane tanks. If the generator is connected to your gas line then you will never need to refuel as it continuously pulls from the gas line. Just expect a larger then normal gas bill if you go a few days without power.

The other option is for it to be fed from a liquid propane tank. If you are out in the country chances are you already have a propane tank that is used to power your water heater, furnace, and even your oven. A few years back I had a farm on twenty acres and we had our eight-hundred gallon propane tank that we filled up once a year at the end of summer. Your standby generator could leverage this existing tank or if you wanted to you could have your own separate tank installed.

Should you Get a Standby Generator?

Alright folks now that we understand what a standby generator is the question we need to determine if you really need one or not. The first question I am going to ask you is how often do you expect to lose power? Is it one or two times a year? When you do lose power how long does it typically last? A few years back I lived on a farm out in the country on twenty plus acres. It was as peaceful as could be but we were a ways out from any town. We didn’t lose power often but when we did it could last four three or four days. I was almost to the point of purchasing a standby generator for our home when we decided to sell the farm and move back to town.

This would be an example where a standby could be necessary. Power losses can occur without warning and can last for an unknown amount of time. If you do live out in the country then a standby generator can give you reassurance. Even if you are in suburbia but in an area with turbulent weather it may make sense to look at standby generator options. As we discussed earlier, portable generators are a legitimate option as well. So, the question becomes which one do you choose?

In nearly every case it is going to be dependent on money. How much are you willing to invest into a generator system? A portable generator can cost anywhere between a couple-hundred dollars all the way up to a few thousand. It depends on what size you want and how much you want to power. Standby generators can range in cost significantly more. As an example a twenty-two kilowatt standby unit can cost anywhere between four to five-thousand dollars for the machine. You then have to pay for the install service by a certified electrician or technician at the generator dealership. Install costs are nearly the same as the initial purchase. So, all in you could be looking at a total price of eight to ten-thousand dollars for a fully installed standby system.

While that investment may seem like a lot you are able to recoup some of it as installing a standby system in your home can raise your home’s property value. From my research I found that these generators can increase your home’s value but by only about fifty percent of what you paid for the system. Using the same example from above on the ten-thousand dollar system/install your home could see its value raise by five-thousand dollars.

If you are serious about purchasing a standby system then you next need to determine what size of generator that your home needs. Ideally your generator will be able to power everything in your home without issue. Generator sizes are measured in the amount of watts they can produce. Portable units can start at only a hundred watts and go up to twelve-thousand. Standby systems typically start at around seven thousand watts and can range up to forty-eight thousand watts. Other common sizes are twelve thousand and twenty-two thousand watts.

Now a standard twenty-five hundred square feet home can normally get by on a twenty-two thousand watt standby system. I also recommend checking out this interactive generator sizing tool from Champion Power Equipment. It can be found by clicking here. This tool allows you to select common appliances and provides you with an estimate at the end of it. This estimate will give you a good idea of how many watts you need for your generator system. That being said, estimating can give you an idea of what you need but you should not purchase based on an estimate. It is always the best approach to go through your home and determine the true wattage needs of each and every appliance and electronic. This will allow you to properly gauge the exact size generator that you need.

One point to be aware of folks is what’s known as starting watts and running watts. If you follow the link above and went through the steps then you saw at the end of the tool there was a number for running watts and starting watts. These are very important to understand and know. Larger appliances need an extra kick of power when they are being turned on. An example of this is an air conditioner. To start an air conditioner the compressor needs to be kicked on. Starting the compressor can take an initial surge of power also known as starting watts. This is why you are determining the wattage needs in your home you may find that your AC has a starting watts number and a running watts number. After the AC has been turned on the starting watts amount goes away and shrinks back down to running watts. Here is the important part. If you do NOT have enough starting watts in your generator then you will not be able to turn on your air conditioner. Simple as that.

Another factor to consider here before purchasing a standby generator is the noise level. Now, if you are out in the country then chances are noise isn’t going to matter much to you. But, if you are in suburbia and have close neighbors then you could get a complaint about the noise level. A standby generator can be about as loud as a lawn mower running nearby. Remember that this is an engine that is producing mechanical power that is being converted to electricity. It is not going to be quiet.

If noise is a problem for you then you could look at what’s known as portable inverter generators. These inverter generators are very quiet, about as loud as dishwasher running nearby. The problem with these is that the amount of watts they produce are significantly smaller then what most homes need. Inverter systems are typically used for camping or powering an RV. You would be hard pressed to find an inverter that can power most of your home. If you are in a situation where noise is a problem though then perhaps purchase an inverter generator and just power your refrigerator/freezer so no food goes to waste.

The last point here to make is on maintenance. I said it before but standby generators are engines. They are machines. They need maintenance to have a long life. The good news is that once installed the maintenance on standby systems is not too extensive. Most of the time this includes just checking the oil level and topping it off if needed. You should be changing the oil after ten days of use as well. Lastly, replacing the filter a few times a year is recommended. If you are not comfortable with doing these yourself it is recommended to hire a professional. The dealer where you bought your generator should have a maintenance program where their technicians can come to your home to maintenance your unit.

Conclusion

As you can see from the content above there is a lot to consider before purchasing a standby generator. If after reading this article you have decided to look into purchasing a standby generator then let us first look at the most common brand names out there today. There are five main brands out there but the most popular is Generac. Generac generators carry nearly seventy percent market share when it comes to twenty-two thousand watt standby generators. They have twenty-four hour seven days a week customer service and are located out of Wisconsin. If I was to purchase a generator Generac would be the name I go with. Their website can be found by clicking here.

Another reputable brand within the industry is Briggs and Stratton. I am sure you have heard of them before. Chances are you or your neighbor have a tool or appliances that uses a Briggs and Stratton engine. (My old zero turn lawn mower did.) Like Generac, Briggs & Stratton is based out of Wisconsin and offers US based customer service. Cummins is yet another brand out there. They are known for their various engine designs and applications but they also have their own line of generators that range from thirteen to twenty kilowatts. Their generators are also known for operating in cold temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit.

For those of you who have purchased portable generators you will recognize this next brand known as Champion. Champion offers a variety of portable generators such as this one here found on Amazon. They have sold over two million generators throughout the United States. As you can surmise, they also offer a line of standby generator models. They come with a unrivaled ten year warranty and can run in temperatures as cold as negative twenty-two degrees Fahrenheit.

The last brand I want to bring to your attention is Kohler. Kohler is seen by many as a rival to Generac. The other brands I mentioned above are all great but Kohler is seen as one of the top. They are seen as directly competing with Generac. They offer a fourteen kilowatt model as well as a twenty kilowatt. Their units also operate at a relatively low volume at around sixty-nine decibels. That is much lower then some other models that can be as high as one-hundred decibels.

Ok folks, so now I believe you have an idea of if you should get a standby generator and what kind of brand names to look out for. The last bit of advice I am going to leave with you is to consult an electrician or a dealer of one of the generator brand names I mentioned above. I say this because purchasing and installing a standby system is a lot of work and requires a certain skill set. You do not want to guess your way through this. Get the help from a professional and make your purchase decision with their aid. If you feel you are being overcharged then check out a different dealer or brand name that we mentioned above.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com