In some cases, choosing the location for a standby generator can be easy and other times it can be difficult. The proper location is going to allow the generator to operate as efficiently as possible without being a danger to those inside the structure.
One of the first factors to look at when trying to figure out where to put a standby generator is that the desired location has stable ground that isn’t subject to flooding. You also need to consider that the gases that the generator produces contain carbon monoxide, so people should not be exposed.
The local building code authority can provide information on the needed permits and requirements. However, a professional standby generator seller and installer will know this for your location so all of the legalities are covered.
You can save money when the generator is placed as close as possible to the electrical service entrance as possible. However, the gas and utility companies require that there be a specific distance between the equipment owned by the homeowner and the companies. This is where the local code authority can provide some insight to make sure the generator is placed correctly. If the generator operates on liquid propane (LP), there is a minimum distance that is required from the fill valve of the tank. This distance can vary based on the city you live in.
Some General Guidelines
Here are some general guidelines to help you:
- Place the generator where the wind will blow exhaust away from the home or business.
- Keep the generator away from living areas and bedrooms and where noise could be an issue.
- The location must be at least five feet away from soffit vents, windows, and doorways. The generator shouldn’t be put under an overhang or breezeway.
- Standard required clearance is five feet from any structural opening or three feet from any wall.
- Let your generator installer know what areas are prone to snow drifts.
- The generator should be protected from pets, people, animal, and traffic.
- The generator needs to be at least three feet from any flammable materials.
- The location needs to be one where exhaust gasses will not accumulate.
Some localities require generator pads. This is a concrete pad that the standby generator is installed on. Some localities may allow the generator to sit on a bed of gravel. You may be able to obtain a generator enclosure that has the base that you need for your generator. The pad, whether it is concrete or gravel, also ensures that the generator is sitting on a level surface. It also looks nice.