I don’t know about you, but when we had the first major loss of electricity back in October 2011 for over a week, I decided this will never happen again. It’s just an anomaly. It never snows in October! Briefly, I checked into getting a generator, but decided the electrical companies and towns had certainly solved the problems, fixed all of the wires, and cut down all of the hazardous trees.
Then we experienced Sandy – the October 2012 hurricane that devastated so many homes and left us without power for over a week. Time to bite the bullet and purchase the generator.
Types of Generators:
There are basically three types of generators: Portable, Standby, and Solar. We chose to go with the 20K Generac Standby because it automatically powers up as much or as little of your home as you like, along with a 320-gallon propane tank, which looks like a mini-submarine. When the power goes off, the generator automatically turns on in 10 seconds. To power an entire home, a unit with installation, gas, tank, & permits will cost you between $11,000-$14,000.
Now the process – be prepared – it’s long, filled with many delays, many installation steps, permits to be filed and town building inspections approved.
- After contacting several electricians/contractors that install generators, I made my decision on January 4, 2013. My electrician would order the generator, set a pre-fab slab with gravel under the generator for leveling, dig an 18” deep trench from the tank to the generator with sand and gravel for the gas piping, as well as secure building and electrical permits.
- On April 26th, the generator finally arrived.
- This was followed by the digging of the 30’ long trench, which went from the generator to the gas tank.
- 1,000 gallons of gas filled my 320-gallon tank, which means I’m safe for 4-5 days when the next blackout occurs.
- The final tweaking was to install the regulator vent 5’ from the generator. This ensures that a potential spark won’t ignite the generator.
Note: Each town or city has specific codes so, before you embark on this process, clarify with your town building inspector.
June 19th, six months later, the generator is now completely installed and inspected – ready for the next blackout.
We used Michael Woods of Mikro Electric Co. to install our generator. You can contact him at 914.403.6746 or email him and Halstead Quinn, Bill Nolan – You can contact him at 914.666-3200 or email him.