Where Should I Place my Standby Generator?

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.


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

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