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Red Deer - Backup Generator Services

Keep safe and comfortable during a power outage. Get a standby generator from The Gentlemen Pros.

When the power goes out a million questions flood our brains. How long will it be out for? Will we lose all the meat in the freezer? How will the kids adapt? Will they freak out if they wake up in the middle of the night in pitch black because there’s no night light? What about the furnace? 

Whole home surge protection

These questions don’t even take into account people who rely on medical devices. What do they do if the power goes out?

There is a solution to all these questions, a standby generator.

A standby generator is permanently attached to your electrical system and its fuel source. They turn on automatically as soon as the generator detects the grid has stopped delivering electricity giving you almost seamless power.

Before buying a generator you will have to decide on a few things including:

  • The size
  • The fuel type
  • Where it will sit – the generator needs to be a safe distance from the house but still have easy access to the house and the fuel source and meet all codes and regulations

We can help you with all of that. Our licensed electricians:

  • Will do a site survey to determine the perfect location for your new generator
  • Help you figure out the power needs of your house and the right generator size to meet those needs
  • Help you determine which fuel (natural gas, propane, or diesel) to use
  • Install the generator so you have safe and reliable electricity when the power is out
  • Answer your questions and teach you how to use your new generator.

Ready to talk about standby generators? We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Select the Chat With Us icon at the bottom of the page or call (403) 755-4914 to speak with us immediately. Or you can fill out our online form and we will get back to you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Standby Generators

How much power should my standby generator produce?

The amount of power your generator can produce is measured in watts (or kilowatts) and is called wattage.

The wattage you need depends on the size of your house and how many appliances and devices you need to run during a power outage. To get a rough estimate of the wattage you will need, list all the appliances and devices you want to run during a power outage. Then list the power requirements (in watts) for each item. And finally, add up all the power requirements to get the total wattage. 

This can be complicated. You might need to convert some of the items’ power needs into watts. Plus you will need to take into consideration the starting and running wattage of each item. When turned on most devices need more power (starting wattage) before dropping down to its running wattage. 

The above will give you a rough idea but you really should get a more accurate estimate. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to consult with your electrician. 

Try and get as accurate an estimate as possible. The wrong-sized generator could lead to damaged appliances and devices and unreliable power. A generator that is too small won’t provide enough electricity for your needs and will be prone to overheating and overloading. If you get a generator with more wattage than you need you are paying for capacity you will never use. Plus an oversized generator has the habit of tripping its own breaker.

Where is the perfect spot to put my standby generator?

Finding the perfect spot for your new standby generator is dependent on a few factors.

First and foremost, standby generators produce exhaust which contains poisonous carbon monoxide. You don’t want the carbon monoxide entering your home, so your generator needs to be located a sufficient distance from your house. Please check the manufacturer’s instructions and the local codes and regulations on installing standby generators.

The generator needs adequate ventilation and air intake and the location will need to take that into account. It can’t be placed too close to anything that can impede its ventilation, air intake, or exhaust.

The generator will also need to be installed in a location near its fuel source; whether it’s a natural gas line or fuel tank.

Another consideration is access to the home’s electrical panel and meter (the farther away the generator the more it will cost to install).

A site survey by a professional is recommended before you decide where to put your generator. The professional such as a licensed electrician, will know all the applicable codes and regulations and the necessary safety precautions.

What type of fuel does a standby generator use?

Standby generators operate on either natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel. 

Remember these generators are permanently hooked up to their fuel source. Handy, you never have to go out and fill it up. But this has an impact on where you locate your generator. It will need to be placed near your natural gas line or in a location where there is room for a propane or diesel tank.

Do standby generators need maintenance?

Yes, your standby generator will need some maintenance. Most standby generators will automatically do weekly self-test cycles where the generator runs for 15 minutes or so.

In addition, you should regularly:

  • Check the oil and do oil changes
  • Repair or replace components that are subject to wear and tear
  • Check that the air intake and exhaust system are clear of debris
  • Inspect the spark plugs and air filter
  • Check and test the generator’s battery

An alternative is to have a professional come in and do an annual check and maintenance. 

Please check your owner’s manual for maintenance requirements for your generator.

Electrical Safety Inspection

This is not a regulatory-mandated inspection. But it is still a great inspection to get done. It will let you know if your electrical system is working properly and safely. It gives you confidence in your system and peace of mind.

An electrical safety inspection can:

  • Prevent dangerous problems by exposing electrical problems that need immediate attention
  • Help you plan for future upgrades
  • Find minor electrical issues before they become big electrical issues

We recommend you have a safety electrical inspection every few years to make sure your home is safe to live in. There are other reasons to get an inspection. 

  • Your insurance provider might require you to get one
  • If you are buying or selling your home, an electrical inspection is always a good idea.
  • Another good time to have an inspection is when your home has been subjected to a major storm

It’s good to make sure everything is in good working order.

Please make sure you hire a journeyperson electrician to conduct the safety electrical inspection and testing for you. Also, make sure you get a completed report and/or signed safety certificate stating the electrical in your home is safe.

What is an automatic transfer switch (ATS)?

The automatic transfer switch (ATS) is a handy device. It connects your generator to your home and is the brain of the operation. 

The ATS switches between the grid and the generator for power supply. Under normal circumstances, electricity flows from the grid into your home and powers all your circuits. When the ATS detects a power outage it automatically switches to the generator to power your home. When it detects that the power has been restored, it switches back to the grid for power.

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