Stationary and portable residential generator systems are available for use at home. To install the portable type, one would have to install a receptacle. An interlock kit or a transfer switch can be used for this purpose. A stationary generator will need a fuel tank, exhaust system, wiring, fuel lines and a pad, which each has its own set of installation requirements and considerations. If there is any doubt, one should get residential generator help.
Stationary units can be run using propane, diesel or gasoline. The size of the fuel tank will determine how long the system can run. The tank size will determine the installation, as the tank may be installed underground or in a movable place. However, the installation of the tank has to follow building codes of the local authorities. Additional wiring is required to start the battery charger.
Portable units can be run on propane or gasoline. In the case of gasoline generators, there is usually an on-board tank. The tank will have to be filled to enable extended operation hours. Propane systems work with external tanks. In areas where homes are supplied with propane, portable systems should be installed in a well-ventilated area near the tank for easy connection. Ventilation is required to prevent exposure to the carbon monoxide gas that it emits.
Both portable and stationary devices have to be connected to the home through an interlock kit or a transfer switch to avoid potential injury or fire risk. One should install the transfer device right away, as this will prevent one from trying to start the device without the transfer device. Automatic transfer switches that will have to be installed according to manufacturer instructions that go with some stationary systems.
It is not a good idea to hook the unit up directly to the main breaker panel. Electrical shock and death are two risks that are posed by hooking a generator up directly to the mains. A fire can also be caused if the power returns before the generator is separated. One should consider getting residential generator help if one is unsure about the correct installation methods.