Picking the right generator power capacity is essential. Generators range from 800 watts to 500,000 watts capacity. And it would be best if you bought the smallest generator that meets your power needs. These machines run on fuel or diesel, so an oversized generator can be costly. In this article, you’ll learn how to pick the right generator size for your needs.
Determining Generator Capacity
The best option is to consult an experienced and certified electrician to assess your needs (more on this later). However, you can probably do it yourself by using the following steps.
- List all the items in your household that will need power during an electrical outage.
- Determine the amount of wattage required to turn on each device and to keep each equipment running. These numbers are typically located somewhere on the equipment or in the owner’s manual.
- Calculate the total power requirement by adding up kW (kilowatt) or KVA (volt-ampere) requirements.
Working with an Electrician to Pick a Generator Capacity
As previously noted, consulting with a certified electrician is the best route. These people have the experience required to determine your power capacity needs and install the generator too.
However, while many electricians know how to wire buildings or troubleshoot problem circuits, not everyone has experience with generators. Even Master Electricians are a risky gamble if the person lacks experience with generators.
So here’s what to look for when considering an electrician to work with – thanks to the team at Virginia Power Solutions, a generator installation service in Richmond, VA.
Years of Experience
How many years has the company or individual been in business? The longer, the better.
Familiarity with Generator Types
Most manufacturers automatically void a generator’s warranty if it’s improperly installed or serviced. So to avoid any complications, the electrician should be able to follow manufacturer specifications. An invalid warranty means you cannot replace or return your generator if it fails prematurely.
“Improper generator handling or installation is a huge safety concern. It can harm you, cause fires, destroy or damage appliances, and even lead to carbon monoxide poisoning” – Virginia Power Solutions, generator installation service in Richmond, VA.
Licensed, Bonded, and Insured
Ensure your electrician is licensed, bonded, and insured. These things protect you as a customer of the electrical contractor.
Licensed – You don’t have to worry about a licensed electrician’s competence because the license indicates qualification in the professional role.
Bonded – A bond is something the contractor pays to a surety to cover mishaps (also called an Electrical Contractor Bond). Many states require electricians to be bonded before getting licensed. Working with a bonded electrician ensures any damage caused by the contractor is covered at no cost to you.
Insured – Insurance typically covers all work that’s performed, including incidents, while on a customer’s property (e.g., the electrician or client is hurt during the job).
A generator needs proper maintenance to perform at its best. That means it has to be looked after or regularly serviced, depending on usage levels. So it’s best if you had an electrician that offers maintenance programs. These programs can ensure your generator continues to work efficiently.
Choosing a generator that’s too big can become expensive fast due to fuel or diesel consumption. And something too small for your needs can lead to appliance and generator damage. If you decide to work with an electrician, consider a company instead of independent contractors. Electrical and generator companies typically mandate high-level training on installations, services, and repairs of different generator types. So you’re most likely to be in good hands.