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Precision Electric | Nevada County Electricians, Generators, & Smart Home Systems

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GENERATOR INFO

GENERATOR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 


SAFETY FIRST

Can I house my generator inside of an outdoor structure? 

No. ANY generator (manual or standby) will produce poisonous exhaust and needs to be run in the open.

 

What are best safety practices?

We suggest using the same precautions for a portable/manual generator as you would an open burn pile: 

  • Keep a clear distance around it
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Never leave a running manual generator unattended
  • Store reserve fuel a safe distance from the generator

Whether using a standby or manual generator, keep good operating carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home

 


PORTABLE/MANUAL vs. AUTOMATIC/STANDBY SYSTEMS

PORTABLE / MANUAL

AUTOMATIC / STANDBY

Fuel = Gasoline, Diesel, Propane Bottle

Fuel = Propane or Natural Gas

Manual start/stop required

Automatic startup/shutdown on utility loss/restoration

Total investment average $2,000-$3,500

Total investment average $13,000-$15,000

Good for smaller loads only (NO large/heavy loads; i.e. A/C, electric range, electric dryer etc)

Good for larger loads including A/C, electric ranges, electric dryers etc. (possibly with load shed)

“Dirty” power / voltage fluctuations

“Cleaner” power / less fluctuations

Load management required

Automatic load management / overload protections

 

 

*assumes newer, properly installed systems

 


ESTIMATES & INSTALLATION

What kind of generators to you install?

We install manual generator transfer panels for use with any properly sized manual generator.

We install exclusively Generac brand home standby systems.

 

What kind of generators do you work on?

We repair and service exclusively Generac home standby equipment. We have multiple certified Generac repair technicians on staff to assist with Generac repairs; both in and out of warranty.

            Unfortunately, we do NOT service or repair manual generators of any brand.

 

How much does it cost?

Average installation package in the Nevada County area is $11,000-$13,000 and includes all equipment and labor for a complete system;

  • Equipment
  • Electrical Installation
  • All materials including wire, conduit, connectors, and misc. other parts
  • Plumbing for gas line installation
  • Concrete pad
  • Trenching (if necessary)
  • Coordination

 

Can I provide my own equipment?

You can. We will install self-purchased Generac equipment, though it usually does not save money. We will schedule installation of self-purchased equipment only after verification that the equipment has been received. 

Note: We find that equipment recommended by various websites and self-assessment is often inaccurate and can delay proper installation.

 

Are permits required?

Yes. Alterations or additions to permanent structures and buildings require a permit by the proper authority (County or City Building department).

 

What do permits cost?

Our permit packages for residential standby generator systems average a total of $1,100-$1,500. This total includes engineering, drawings, permit fees, and inspection coordination. 

 

I accept your bid, what’s next?

Upon acceptance, we will bill you for a non-refundable deposit. Once payment is received, we will order your equipment, begin coordination and calendar your installation. 

 

How long does installation take?

The total installation process usually takes a total of 1-2 weeks between coordination, installation and inspections. 1-2 days will be electrical installation. One of those days will require power interruption while we tie into the existing electrical system.

 


MAINTENANCE & OPERATION

What type of oil should I add to my automatic/standby generator?

Always consult your owners manual, but most home standby Generac generators require 5-30 Full Synthetic oil.

 

How often should I service my standby generator?   

To turn OFF your generator, while under load, during an outage:

  1. Turn off the breaker(s) on the generator
  2. Allow generator to run 1-5 minutes to cool down
  3. Turn generator off, using the controls on the generator control panel

To turn your generator back ON during an outage:

  1. Turn generator back to the auto position, it should start after a brief moment
  2. Allow generator to run for 30 seconds
  3. Flip generator breakers back to the "on" position

 

Do you offer service?

Yes. We offer a flat rate one time service when needed. During our service we will change the oil and oil filter, check and change the spark plugs & air filter if necessary, check the health of the battery and replace if required (extra charge), check the valves and adjust if required (extra charge).

Note: this is not a service contract with automatic or annual service agreements, nor are we able to offer 24/7 service.

What is the average fuel consumption for standby generators?

 

My Lights Flicker / Dim While on Generator Power?

It is not unusual for lights to flicker or dim slightly while running on generator power, especially when a generator is under load. The more load that is added to a generator (even a properly sized system) may cause more flickering/dimming.

 

How do I know if my generator is overloaded?

Signs of generator overload are:

     A portable generator may “bog down” or produce a lower pitched/laboring sound

     A standby generator may “rev up” or become higher pitched

 

How a Home Standby Generator Works

SERVICE LOCATIONS


Grass Valley

Alta Sierra

Lake of the Pines

Auburn

Nevada City

North San Juan

Camptonville

Brownsville

Lake Wildwood

Penn Valley

Smartsville

Lincoln

Rocklin

Roseville

Newcastle

Penryn

Granite Bay

Colfax

Meadow Vista

Weimar

Applegate

 

 

Why a Standby Generac Generator?

Testimonials