FAQ on Generators

A severe winter is not the time for you to tough it out in freezing cold when the power goes out. A generator can help you power up critical appliances and heating so you can manage without too much trouble. However, buying a generator or maintaining one in good repair is often fraught with complexity for first-time users. Here are some FAQs that should help:


What are the various types of generators?

Natural gas

The green option to power your home in the event of outages is natural gas generators which are growing popular. However, they may not be ideal for a large business or for power outages that last several hours.


A relatively cleaner option, this is affordable too. The downside is the fuel availability, which may not be as consistent as you would prefer.


A cost-effective and low-maintenance option, the diesel generator is also a resilient, long-lasting appliance that can handle significant loads. Be it your home or office, the diesel generator, with its fuel-efficient performance, is a great choice.


A variant of the diesel generator, this combines biological fuels to make it a greener option to use this generator. The cons are that these are less power efficient than the diesel version and may be short-lasting.


Another affordable option to purchase, this one does handle your power requirements well; however, in the event of a gasoline price peak, you could end up with substantial running costs.


What is the power factor vs. service factor?

The service factor indicates the load the generator can bear. The power factor gives you the ratio between real power and apparent power. (Note: Real power = actual power output from the generator used by the appliances. Apparent power = real power plus reactive power that’s drawn by a device like a transformer.)


How often should one test their generator?

Test it once every month by letting it run for about half an hour at 50% of the maximum load—call in professionals for thorough maintenance annually.


What is a standby generator?

The standby generator typically runs on propane or natural gas. These are heavy-duty and can power your entire home with ease. Businesses often use these to keep their premises powered on through outages. This generator switches on automatically when the power goes out, so you have a seamless power flow.


Why do I need an electrician to install a generator?

Your generator is linked to your home/ office electrical system. Faulty generator installation can result in tripping the circuit breakers and damaging the appliances connected to them. The electrician ensures that your unit can handle all your needs and give the required power output. Suppose any of the connections between the generator and your home’s electric system are installed incorrectly. In that case, the generator just won’t work. There are safety regulations to adhere to as well, which is why you need a qualified professional to do the generator installation.


What is the life expectancy of a backup generator?

At least 20 years or 12000 hours of power output is what you should expect.


Do I need a generator pad before installation?

Some locations have guidelines requiring concrete generator pads, in which case you should have the professionals address this since they understand the requirements well. For example, heavier generators may need a four-inch concrete pad. You can look for a generator with a composite pad so it can be installed on the soil.



Generator installation is a must if lengthy power outages are common in your area, especially during the worst of winter. Call in the experts to get the task done quickly with safety guidelines and performance getting due priority. The professional can help even earlier in figuring out what kind of generator you need and what capacity will work best for your needs. Need more information? Contact Von Power today.