Installing a Whole House Standby Generator for Your Home

Generac standby generator in yard next to house.
Generac Guardian whole house standby generator.

To prevent extreme weather from disrupting electrical power to your home, many homeowners install a whole house backup generator.

Whole house generators are wired into your home’s electrical system to take over automatically when there is a power outage. Since whole house generators run on natural gas or propane, they require no maintenance from homeowners in the event of an emergency.


  1. Kenneth l presgraves
    Generac now has available a generator designed for being the primary source of electrical power. Go to, and you can contact me from their website if you type in zip 60477.

  2. I am trying to sell a “whole house” Quite Sourece Generac generator. Only 75 hours on it, 3.5 years old. Like new. Used as automatic back up power. I put it on Crags list, but do you have other suggestions?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks in advance for any advice yo can give me.

    God bless!

  3. What is the noise level
    How long will the fuel last with whole house running for a week
    What is the size of the unit
    Will it run the air condition the water heater, water pump

  4. I am considering installing a ~22 kw whole house generator. I have 100 amp service to my house which is marginally OK. I also want to install a 200 amp panel (requires new utility meter/ mods, but underground wire is OK). I want to put a new 200 amp panel, plus the AC circuits a sub panel circuit and hot tub circuit in the new panel, and then feed a 100 amp circuit to my original panel. This would all be in the basement on the other side of the wall from the electric feed. The natural gas feed is about 6 feet away.

    Is there any advantage to installing the panel first…. or is it better to do the generator and panel at the same time. That is, do I save something?

    • Hi, Tom,

      Danny says, “I would certainly recommend that you do all of the electrical panel work, transfer switch for the generator and generator all at the same time.”

      Good luck!

  5. I would like to know how much it would cost for me to get my whole house cover with a generator . Please contact me by phone I am not to good with the computer.

    Thanks ,

    Nicoline D. Lyone

    • Hi, Nicoline, features home improvement advice from the nationally syndicated TV show “Today’s Homeowner” and its experts.
      We don’t sell construction products on this website, but we encourage checking your local home center for these materials.
      Good luck!

  6. Can a whole house generator be installed right after the meter, or does it have to be at the house?

  7. I’m thinking about installing the 22,000 W propane generator on the side of my house with no windows around it at all what is the distance from the house to the generator do you recommend

    • Hi, Troy,
      A good rule of thumb is to keep whole-house generators 5 feet from windows and doors, 1 1/2 feet from the house and have at least 3 feet in front of the generator for maintenance.
      However, every situation is different. We recommend getting a home consultation for the best recommendation.
      Good luck!

  8. At times we lose power for days, driveway is 1/2 mile long & trees get blown down, can;t get in or out. Trees still down at times when power comes back on. Have one person living here on SSD, on oxegen 24 hrs a day, has to use others eqpt. to run other breathing machines. Been without power so long food in freeze melts & rots, no power to cook anyway. Should not SSD pay for this need expense or part of it? I am a 100% disabled Vet but am not on anything needing power, so I do not rate to have this. Have called SSI & received no help or answers. Am I just supposed to pay this out of my own money? WHY!!!


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