Frequently Asked Questions

How loud is a standby generator?

Depending on which manufacturer you select, noise levels vary, but they all sound very similar to a riding lawn mower, but quieter. They are much quieter than a portable generator. We like to compare them to a few air conditioners running at once as they produce a steady, white noise.

How does a standby generator work?

A standby generator sits outside of your home, or business, and monitors the power. Once power is lost, the generator turns on and supplies voltage to your transfer switch. The transfer switch then switches over to the generator source and supplies your electrical loads. Standby generators are equipped with an engine and an alternator. They are available to run on natural gas, propane, or diesel. 

What size standby generator do I need?

That’s a great question. It depends on many factors. Although knowing the square footage of your home will help point you in the right direction, it really depends on the size of the electrical load you have. The amount of large appliances such as pumps, heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and even lights will determine what size generator you need.

Where does a standby generator get located?

Outside! Following local, state, and federal regulations is very important. Please refer to the manufacturer spec sheets as a starting point. There are specific distances required to remain away from windows, doors, vents, easements, property lines and other objects. Heat and emissions need to be considered. After you follow the guidelines, you can essentially locate a generator anywhere. Keep in mind; you’ll save money on labor and material if you locate the generator closest to the gas supply and electrical panel.

Note: Commercial and Industrial generators can be located in a “garage” type enclosure that is specifically engineered and approved for its application. Proper venting and cooling structures are required. Check your local and state codes and regulations for further information.

Can I use my HVAC with a generator?

Yes, of course. It is very important to determine the size of your Air Conditioning system (2 Ton, 2.5 Ton, 3 Ton, etc.) and relay that information to one of our experts. This information is critical in selecting the proper size generator system to power all of your needs. There is a system out there for everyone.

Do generators work in negative temperatures?

Yes. All manufacturers offer basic “cold weather” options that include engine heaters, battery heaters, and filter heaters. Talk to a power expert to discuss the best solution for your region.

Trusted Power Systems offers custom heating kits to satisfy your cold climate situations to ensure your generator will start even in the cold climates.

How much does a backup power system cost?

You will be surprised how affordable a whole house backup generator system is. Please refer to our selection tool (link here) and begin the sizing process to determine what size generator will fit your needs. Contact a power expert for more information.

How much will my gas bill go up every month from owning a backup generator?

Depending on your generator size and self-test frequency, you can expect your monthly fuel cost to increase approximately $5-10. During a power outage, you can expect it will cost between $10-$25 per day to run your generator. An automatic backup generator systems is much more affordable and convenient than gasoline.

What is a transfer switch?

A transfer switch is the electrical connection point that selects between utility power and generator source. The transfer switch then supplies your electrical loads. Transfer switches are available in many different configurations including manual and automatic operation.

Do I need a transfer Switch?

If you are looking into an automatic generator system, you will also need to purchase an automatic transfer switch.

What size gas line do I need for my generator?

Most natural gas (NG) applications require at least a 1” minimum gas line directly from the fuel supply. Propane (LP) applications are very dependent on having the correct fuel pressure set at the generator’s fuel regulator. Confirm with the specific product specifications from the manufacturer for the correct fuel pressure and volume required to allow proper operation. An improperly installed fuel line is the number one cause of failure for backup generator systems. Starving a generator system for fuel can be catastrophic to your system immediately. Take the time to design and install the fuel system properly!

What kind of warranty is included with a backup generator system?

All backup generator systems come standard with the MFG warranty. Please review the warranty sheet included on each product page.

How long can a standby generator run?

24/7, as long as it is being supplied fuel and operating within manufacturers specifications. Standby systems are to be used for emergency purposes only, not for prime power. Most generator systems can run approximately 200-500 hours straight without any maintenance. At those run hours, you may be required to complete an oil change. We do suggest turning your generator system off every 24 hours during a power outage to complete a visual inspection and check the fluids. This helps you spot any potential problems or hazards before they happen.

How long can standby generators last?

A standby generator system can last for as long as up to 30 years, if proper routine maintenance is conducted. Life longevity depends on the environment, climate, usage, and care of the system.

What if my generator doesn’t start when I need it to during a storm?

There could be countless scenarios as to why your generator may not start when you need it. It is extremely important to check on your generator system weekly to ensure all systems are ready. If your system fails to start during a power outage, check the status of the unit and address any error codes you may encounter. Attempt to restart the unit. If it still doesn’t start, call your nearest technician or support for help and advice.

Remote monitoring is a nice feature that will notify you at anytime there is a status change with the generator. This includes self-tests, power outages, and even failures. This helps you address the problems immediately instead of waiting until the next power outage when you truly need the generator system to work flawlessly.

Do these things really work?

Yes! You will be surprised how simple they truly are when they are installed correctly. The automatic systems work hands free. There is no need to run extensions cords, pull start, or run out to get fuel. During a power outage, sit back and let the automatic backup generator system do its job. When the utility power returns, the generator system will automatically transfer power back and turn itself off.

Can I specify what items I want to be powered by my generator?

Yes. Selecting what you want to be powered up by your generator is part of the proper sizing process. Let us know exactly what you want to be on your generator system, and we’ll pair you up with the perfect system. The circuits on a backup generator system can range from 1 simple circuit up to everything. Contact us to get the most out of a power system that will fit your needs and meet your goals.

Why should I buy from Trusted Power Systems?

Trusted Power Systems has a team of experts that know the products inside and out. We only offer products that we are positive will get the job done.

Do you offer special pricing for buying more than one generator?

Yes. We always have promotions and coupon campaigns being updated daily. Contact us for large quantity special pricing. We even offer special contractor pricing.

What information should I gather to properly size and select a generator?

Make a list of circuits with power ratings.
It is helpful to make a list of circuits that you would like included on your backup generator system. Then, if you look on each appliance, you should see a tag listing the continuous current rating. For example, your furnace may read 8.0 Amps Continuous Load. Write the load ratings next to each circuit. If you cannot determine the current rating of each load, we can help estimate those numbers based on average sizes.

Know your house’s square footage.
Know your electrical panel size.
Do you have natural gas (NG) or propane (LP) available to fuel your generator?
Do you have an acceptable generator location that will accommodate a generator following all the precautions and regulations?
What are the major differences between the brands that Trusted Power Systems offer?

Each manufacturer has their unique features that may suit each individually differently. We suggest reviewing all of your possible options before making a decision. We are here to answer any questions you may have.

When looking for someone to install my backup generator system, what should I look for?

It is important to make sure you have someone qualified installing your power system. Here are some key characteristics you want to look for when choosing an installer:
 

  • You feel comfortable with having him/her in your home. If you have a bad vibe about someone, it’s probably a good sign not to do business with him/her.
  • Are they a qualified Electrician?
  • Are they a qualified Plumber?
  • Are they fully insured?
  • Do they have good reviews and are recognized publicly in his/her field of work?
  • Knows and follows all of the following:
  1. Local codes and regulations.
  2. State codes and regulations.
  3. Federal codes and regulations.
  4. Industry practices and regulations.
  5. Understands all of the features and possible install options for the specific manufacturer to optimize your system.
  6. Has good communication skills and practices.
  7. Offers service with mobile service truck for maintenance and repairs
  8. Is factory trained and certified per manufacturer.
  9. The majority of their work is generator system related.


What is the maintenance required on a backup generator system?

Preventative maintenance should be completed at least once a year, or at the run-time intervals specified by the manufacturer.
 

  • Standard maintenance includes the following, but is not limited to:
  • Oil Change with premium oil
  • Oil filter replacement
  • Spark plug(s) replacement
  • Air filter replacement
  • Battery check.
  • Voltage calibration.
  • Visual Inspection of all wiring, fuel lines, components, and enclosure.
  • Check for leaks.
  • Power outage simulation.


What is a power outage simulation?

A power outage simulation is simply turning power off at your house, or business, to trick the generator system into thinking there is a power outage! This will allow the generator system to do a complete test of all the systems to ensure it is working properly. If everything is working properly during this test, you know it will work flawlessly during your next power outage.

What is load bank testing?

Load bank testing is a specialized test completed by generator technicians to verify the generator is capable of operating at its maximum capabilities. It puts a selected load on the generator to test its output, power performance, cooling system, and fuel consumption, ensuring your system is working as intended. If done correctly, the test will allow the engine to get up to full operating temperature and burn off any excess carbon build up in the engine. This test clears up wet stacking in engines. Load bank testing is ideal for commercial generators, especially diesels. A qualified technician should complete a load bank test annually.

How do I know what accessories I will need with my generator?

Each product will briefly list a few of the recommended accessories that are suggested to be paired with your system. Contact us for specific product questions to optimize your equipment. View our site for more information on suggested accessories for your application.

Are there any benefits, other than power outage protection, that I should know about when owning a backup generator system?

A backup generator system is there to protect you from power outages. It is also an excellent piece of mind and can even be considered a unique insurance policy. When you lose power without a backup generator system, you can’t power your refrigerator, freezer, sump pump, furnace, air conditioner, heater, well pump, ejector pump, computer, television, security system; and the list goes on. Without power, you lose all of your critical systems in your house or business.

Do certain extreme warm and cool temperatures affect generators?

Yes. Generators start having a hard time starting in below freezing climates. Cold weather kits are offered by each manufacturer and are product specific. Warmer climates are less to worry about but you should still be aware about the effects. Most generator systems come with a high oil (and water) temperature sensor and will shut the unit down upon detecting dangerous temperature levels. The systems are designed to cool themselves efficiently without any additional cooling features. If your generator shuts down for over heating, you may have to check your cooling system, such as the oil cooler, fan, or radiator. Overloading your generator system beyond the manufacturer specifications also creates high temperatures.

Trusted Power Systems offers custom designed cold weather kits for specific products that out perform the competition. Contact us for more information.

Why should I choose natural gas (NG) vs. propane (LP)?

It is very convenient that most generator systems come in natural gas (NG) and propane (Liquid Petroleum Gas Vapor / LP). There are pros and cons to both fuels. Natural gas is attractive to have because the user never has to fill up their generator, as it is hard piped to the natural gas system at your site. Propane is attractive because it is more efficient than natural gas, and you can easily locate a remote propane tank almost anywhere, within regulations. If you are not sure which fuel best fits your needs, contact a power expert and we can help you select the right system.

Can I power my neighbors’ sump pumps and refrigerators if they do not have a generator?

Yes, but be cautious! You do not want to overload your generator. If your system gets properly sized for your site, you can most likely power up your neighbors sump pump(s) and refrigerators if needed. We like to size our generators to be able to power up 20% over the desired load to describe. This gives the customer some breathing room and allows for future expansion. Most sump pumps use approximately 8 Amps of running power. Check the power consumption of the sump pumps in question, and consult with a power expert to confirm if your system would handle the additional load.

Do I have to do anything when I lose power?

No. Sit back and relax. These systems are all fully automatic and hands free. The only thing you have to do is listen for the weekly self test. We suggest checking on the unit’s control panel weekly to ensure all systems are ready without any fault codes.

What is power management and load shedding?

Most backup generator systems offer different forms of power management that allow load shedding. Load shedding is the function that allows you to disable, or disconnect, specified loads to prevent the generator system from being over loaded. The technology of this concept is being improved upon rapidly. Each manufacturer offers different unique systems for power management. Review the features offered by each manufacturer for more information. Contact a power expert to discuss the correct solution for your needs.

What can we do for fun when we lose power?

Go about your lives as if you haven’t lost power. That’s why you have a backup generator system. Having a backup generator system allows you to go on with life without disruptions that you ultimately do not have much control over.

Can I use the water without power?

If you have a backup generator system, you can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.

Can I flush the toilet without power?

If you have a backup generator system, you can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.

Can I take a shower without power?

If you have a backup generator system, you can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.

How long will my refrigerator and freezer stay cold without power?

If you have a backup generator system, you can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.

Will my hot water tank work without power?

If you have a backup generator system, you can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.

How do I open my garage door without power?

If you have a backup generator system, you can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.

How long does a battery backup sump pump last?

If you have a backup generator system, you can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.

How long will my alarm batteries last without power?

If you have a backup generator system, you can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.

Will I make new friends if I own a generator?

YES! When the power is out in the neighborhood, you’ll be amazed how popular you become. Get ready to share some power for your neighbors’ refrigerators and sump pumps.

What can my kids do when we lose power?

Let them keep playing, if you have a backup generator system. You can move on with your life without disruption. Everything will operate as if you haven’t lost power with a backup generator system.