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

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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





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-$16,000

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



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.


How much does it cost?

Average installation package in the Nevada County area is $13,000-$16,000 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 cost. 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 $1,300-$1,500. This total includes engineering, drawings, permit fees, and inspection coordination. 

Our permit packages for residential manual/portable generator systems average $500 per project. This total includes permit fees, application and inspection coordination.


I accept your bid, what’s next?

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


How long does installation take?

From pre-payment to final installation typically takes approximately 8-10 weeks; and depends on current demand. The total on-site 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.



What do the different indicator lights mean on my standby generator?

Solid Green   

Generator is in Standby Mode and Ready to Run


Flashing Green

Generator is Running & Providing Power


Solid Yellow

Alert Detected* or Maintenance Interval Reached

*Generator should still start on Outage

Solid Red

Error Detected**

**Generator will NOT start on Outage


How do I clear an Alert or Error message?

Always note the alert or error message to provide to your service dealer.

To clear an alert or error; try pressing "Enter" two times, "Escape/Off" two times, then "Auto"


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

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


How often should I service my standby generator?   


To TEST your standby generator system, or to run BREAK IN hours:

  1. Turn off the main utility service disconnect breaker (usually the main breaker in the PG&E meter for Generac panel)
  2. Allow generator to start, transfer power and run for desired interval
  3. When finished, turn main utility service disconnect breaker back on. Power will transfer back to PG&E and generator will continue to run while it cools down before shutting itself off.


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

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

Note: If the generator is turned Off during a utility outage, you will likely receive an alert "Battery Problem: A/C Charger Missing". This means that neither the generator nor utility power is currently charging the systems battery. We do not recommend leaving the generator off without utility power for prolonged periods of time. Click HERE for instructions to clear the alert message.


To turn your standby 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


How do I check and fill my oil?

  1. Verify generator system is in the "off" position (see above if in outage)
  2. Wait a couple minutes, allowing engine oil to pool
  3. Carefully remove the dip stick, wipe clean with a lint free towel and fully reinsert
  4. Remove dip stick again and read oil level
  5. Oil should be between the two indicator marks on the dip stick
  6. If oil is needed, add 5W30 Synthetic oil to oil fill port, being careful not to overfill (approximately 1/4 quart)
  7. Wait a couple minutes to allow oil to re-pool and re-check
  8. Once adequate oil levels are reached, safely place generator back into service


How do I safely run on a manual/portable generator system?

Only use a properly sized, 120/240 volt generator with your transfer system.

Always follow the safety guidelines as described in you generator manual.

  1. Turn off your Main service Disconnect/Main Breaker
  2. Plug in the cord to the generator & the inlet (receptacle) on the house
  3. Start the generator
  4. Select the loads to be backed by generator power on the transfer panel/interlock

To turn OFF the generator and transfer BACK TO UTILITY POWER, follow the above instruction in reverse order


Do you offer service?

Yes. We offer a flat rate one time service for standby systems 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.

Note: this is not a service contract with automatic or annual service agreements.


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. Extremely light or heavy loads (even on 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; or shut down


How a Home Standby Generator Works


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