Installing a Whole House Standby Generator for Your Home

By: Danny Lipford
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.


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16 Comments on “Installing a Whole House Standby Generator for Your Home”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    June 18th, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Hi, Bill,
    Great question! We recommend submitting it to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for an in-depth answer.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • Bill from N Texas Says:
    May 9th, 2019 at 6:29 pm

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

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    January 19th, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    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!

  • Nicoline D. Lyons Says:
    January 19th, 2019 at 12:06 am

    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

  • gary schrubbe Says:
    October 28th, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    how far to I have to keep a 12 w all house generator from m y propane regulator going into my house

  • bob Says:
    September 12th, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    I can’t not get anyone to service it

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    August 14th, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Hi, Randall,
    It’s important to keep enough distance between your home and a gas generator. The National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests 25 feet, at minimum, of distance to help prevent exposure to carbon monoxide. Here’s more information:

  • Randall G Esten Says:
    August 13th, 2018 at 8:17 am

    How far from a mobile home should a gas generator be placed for safety sake?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 29th, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Hi, Robin!
    First, we recommend reading this article:
    Home generators’ costs vary; the key is to balance your electricity needs with your budget.
    That can require a deep assessment that includes your home’s size and electrical demands. A visit to The Home Depot would be beneficial to determine the best options for your individual situation.
    Thanks for writing!

  • robin smallwood Says:
    March 28th, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    interested in the cost of a in home generator.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 7th, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    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!

  • Tom Loeffler Says:
    March 6th, 2018 at 11:34 am

    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?

  • Calvin Simons Says:
    October 29th, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    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

  • Craig Says:
    May 9th, 2011 at 7:20 am

    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!

  • gary grizzle Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    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.

  • kenneth l presgraves Says:
    December 30th, 2010 at 2:36 am

    I am buying land out of power range,iI would like a generator that can run my house full time

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Installing a Whole House Standby Generator for Your Home