How a Backup Generator Differs from a Standby Generator

Are you considering installing an extra source of power for your home? Read on and discover all that you may need to know about backup generators and standby generators. Use this information to help you to choose the most appropriate kind of generator for your needs.

Standby Generators

A standby generator is a generator that is installed so that it can provide power in case power from the grid is disrupted, such as during severe weather. This generator has an automated system that can quickly disconnect your home from the grid before the generator provides power to your home. This is done using the automatic transfer switch. The standby generator immediately disconnects itself and reconnects your home onto the grid once it detects that power from the grid has been restored. Standby generators usually provide power to the entire home. Many can even be programmed to test themselves so that adequate lubrication can be maintained in all components. Diagnostic tests may also be automatically run during that testing period so that needed repairs can be done before an emergency occurs.

The major downside of standby generators is their high cost. This is because the generator has to have sufficient capacity to provide power to all the appliances and outlets in your home. That large capacity also means that the generator may consume large amounts of fuel during its operation. It may be hard to replenish the fuel supply in case there is an extended power emergency, such as after a severe flood.

Backup Generators

A backup generator is also called a portable generator. This generator can't turn itself on once there is an outage. You have to flip the transfer switch manually before you start the generator. This may be challenging in case power goes off during extreme weather, such as during a storm. You also have to install a subpanel so that you can isolate the sections of the house that you would like to receive that backup power. It is your duty to know when power from the grid has been restored so that you can disconnect the backup generator.

Backup generators may be more affordable than standby generators to buy and run. However, they are more demanding to maintain because you have to start them manually in order to confirm that they are in a good working condition.

Weigh your needs carefully and select the kind of generator that will address those needs. Contact a business like Total Generators to learn more about generator options.