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Common Questions Regarding Standby Generators

Generac 72101 24kW Guardian Generator

Many homeowners in Michigan are considering standby generators to provide backup power during outages. Michigan Critical Power, your trusted West Michigan Standby Generator Dealer, is here to answer common questions regarding these imperative home devices. From installation to maintenance, understanding the ins and outs of standby generators is crucial for ensuring your home remains powered and safe during emergencies. Let’s address some of the frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision for your home’s backup power needs.

What You Need to Know About Standby Generators

What is a Standby Generator?

A standby generator is a backup electrical system that operates automatically. It is designed to provide power to your home in case of a power outage. Unlike portable generators, standby generators are permanently installed on a concrete pad and are connected to your home’s electrical system.

How it Works

Standby generators are designed for reliability, using a transfer switch to detect power disruptions and automatically switch on to provide electricity for the home, preventing damage to appliances and maintaining comfort during outages. For example, a standby generator quickly kicks in during a storm to keep essential functions running smoothly, offering peace of mind and security during emergencies. Explicitly designed to ensure reliability, standby generators have a transfer switch that seamlessly senses when the main power source is interrupted.

In a power outage, the generator automatically activates, providing electricity to keep the home running smoothly. This vital process helps safeguard appliances and electronics and ensures continued comfort during unexpected power failures. In scenarios such as storms leading to power cuts, standby generators quickly come to the rescue by activating within seconds to maintain lighting, preserve food, and keep heating or cooling systems running. By offering peace of mind and security, these units guarantee that your household can continue operating efficiently, even in emergencies.

Choosing the Right Standby Generator

Factors to Consider: Size, Type, and Fuel Source

While choosing the right standby generator for your home, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, the size of the generator should be based on your power needs. Next, consider the type of generator – air-cooled or liquid-cooled – based on the size of your home and power requirements. Lastly, decide on the fuel source: diesel, natural gas, or propane, based on availability and cost.

  • Consider the size of the generator based on your power needs.
  • Choose between air-cooled or liquid-cooled generators depending on the size of your home.
  • Select the fuel source depending on availability and cost.

After assessing these factors, you can make an informed decision on the right standby generator for your home.

Importance of Professional Installation

One of the most crucial aspects of owning a standby generator is professional installation. This ensures that the generator is properly set up, connected to your home’s electrical system, and compliant with local building codes. Professional installation also involves regular maintenance and servicing to ensure optimal performance during power outages.

Generator installations done by professionals guarantee safety, reliability, and efficiency in operation. Plus, working with experienced technicians ensures that your standby generator is installed correctly, maximizing its lifespan and performance for years to come.

Common Concerns and Misconceptions

Noise Level and Environmental Impact

In response to criticisms about noise levels, manufacturers have invested in innovative sound-dampening technologies, resulting in standby generators that operate more quietly than ever before. These advancements not only benefit homeowners and businesses by reducing noise pollution but also enhance the overall user experience, making standby generators a more attractive option for those seeking reliable backup power solutions.

Moreover, environmental considerations have spurred the development of standby generators with lower emissions. As society becomes increasingly conscious of the ecological footprint of energy systems, there is a growing demand for cleaner and more sustainable power generation solutions. In line with this trend, modern standby generators incorporate technologies such as advanced fuel injection systems and catalytic converters to minimize emissions of harmful pollutants.

Michigan Critical Power takes pride in offering its customers access to these cutting-edge standby generator solutions. By partnering with leading manufacturers at the forefront of technological innovation, Michigan Critical Power ensures that its clients have access to the most efficient, environmentally friendly, and reliable backup power options available.

Maintenance and Repair Requirements

An important concern for homeowners considering a standby generator is the maintenance and repair requirements. Common misconceptions suggest that these generators are high maintenance and costly to repair. However, with regular maintenance by a professional, standby generators can operate smoothly for many years. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for upkeep and schedule routine maintenance checks to ensure optimal performance.

Contrary to popular belief, standby generators are designed to be reliable and durable, requiring minimal maintenance when properly cared for. By investing in regular servicing and addressing any issues promptly, homeowners can rest assured that their standby generator will be ready to kick in when needed most.

Installation and Maintenance FAQs

How Long Does Installation Take?

The installation of a standby generator typically takes around 1-2 days, depending on the size of the unit and the complexity of the installation. Our team of experts at Michigan Critical Power is dedicated to completing the installation efficiently and effectively, ensuring your home is prepared for any power outages.

What Kind of Maintenance is Required?

Ensuring the proper functioning of a standby generator when it’s needed most requires diligent maintenance. At Michigan Critical Power, we understand the critical role maintenance plays in keeping your generator in optimal condition. Regular upkeep tasks are essential to guaranteeing reliability during power outages.

Routine maintenance encompasses several key tasks. Firstly, checking oil levels is vital to ensure the engine operates smoothly and efficiently. Low oil levels can lead to engine damage, compromising the generator’s performance. Additionally, inspecting the air filter is crucial as a clogged filter can impede airflow, affecting the generator’s efficiency. Regular filter checks help maintain optimal engine performance and prolong its lifespan.

Testing the battery is another critical maintenance step. A fully functional battery is essential for starting the generator during a power outage. Regular battery tests ensure it’s ready to perform when needed, minimizing the risk of unexpected failures.

Running monthly self-tests is recommended to verify the generator’s operational readiness. These tests simulate power outages, allowing the generator to start automatically and assess its performance. Identifying any issues promptly through self-tests enables timely repairs, ensuring the generator is always prepared for emergencies.

While homeowners can perform some maintenance tasks themselves, scheduling annual maintenance with our professionals is highly recommended. Our trained technicians have the expertise and tools to conduct comprehensive inspections and address any underlying issues. Annual maintenance not only ensures the generator remains in top condition but also provides peace of mind, knowing that it’s ready to safeguard your home or business during power disruptions.

In addition to internal maintenance, it’s essential to clear any debris or foliage around the generator regularly. Overheating can occur if the generator’s ventilation is obstructed, compromising its performance and potentially causing damage. By keeping the area around the generator clear, you help maintain proper airflow and prevent overheating issues.

By staying proactive with routine maintenance, homeowners and businesses can extend the life of their standby generators and ensure reliable backup power during critical times. Michigan Critical Power is dedicated to assisting customers in West Michigan with expert maintenance services, ensuring their generators are always prepared to provide uninterrupted power when needed most.

Troubleshooting and Repair

Troubleshooting common issues with standby generators is essential for ensuring reliable backup power during emergencies. At Michigan Critical Power, we understand the importance of promptly addressing any problems that may arise. Here are some common issues and troubleshooting steps to help you keep your standby generator operating smoothly:

  • Fuel Levels: Start by checking the fuel levels in the generator’s tank. Low fuel levels can prevent the generator from starting or cause it to shut down unexpectedly during operation. Ensure that the generator has an adequate supply of fuel, especially before severe weather events or extended power outages.
  • Battery Connections: Faulty battery connections can prevent the generator from starting when needed. Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion or loose connections and tighten them if necessary. If the battery is old or weak, consider replacing it to ensure reliable starting power.
  • Air Filters: Clogged air filters can restrict airflow to the engine, leading to performance issues or engine damage. Regularly inspect and clean or replace the air filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This simple maintenance task can prevent costly repairs and ensure optimal generator performance.
  • Oil Levels: Low oil levels can cause engine damage or prevent the generator from starting. Check the oil level using the dipstick and add oil if necessary to maintain the proper level. Be sure to use the type of oil recommended by the manufacturer for optimal engine performance.
  • Coolant Levels: Insufficient coolant levels can cause the generator to overheat and shut down. Check the coolant reservoir and add coolant as needed to maintain the proper level. Be cautious when handling coolant, as it can be hot and potentially harmful if ingested or inhaled.
  • Electrical Connections: Inspect the electrical connections for signs of corrosion, loose wires, or damage. Tighten any loose connections and replace any damaged wires or connectors. Proper electrical connections are crucial for the safe and reliable operation of the generator.
  • Scheduled Maintenance: Regular maintenance is key to preventing common issues with standby generators. Schedule annual maintenance checks with our professionals to ensure that all components are in good working condition and address any potential issues before they escalate.

By following these troubleshooting steps and staying proactive with maintenance, you can ensure that your standby generator is ready to provide reliable backup power when needed most. If you encounter any persistent issues or need assistance with troubleshooting, don’t hesitate to contact Michigan Critical Power for expert support. We’re here to help keep your generator running smoothly and your home or business protected during power outages.

When to Call a Professional for Repair

Knowing when to call a professional for standby generator repair is crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of your backup power system. While minor maintenance tasks can often be performed by homeowners, certain issues require the expertise of a qualified technician. At Michigan Critical Power, our team of professionals is here to assist you with any generator repair needs. Here are some situations when it’s best to call us for assistance:

  • Major Malfunctions: If your standby generator experiences major malfunctions such as engine failure, electrical issues, or system errors, it’s essential to seek professional help. Attempting to diagnose or repair complex problems without the necessary expertise can lead to further damage or safety risks.
  • Strange Noises: Unusual sounds coming from the generator, such as grinding, knocking, or rattling noises, may indicate underlying mechanical issues. These issues require careful inspection and diagnosis by a qualified technician to determine the cause and perform necessary repairs.
  • Smoke Emission: Smoke or unusual exhaust emissions from the generator can be signs of serious problems, such as engine overheating, fuel leaks, or combustion issues. These issues pose safety risks and should be addressed promptly by a professional to prevent further damage or hazards.
  • Failure to Start: If your standby generator fails to start during a power outage or regular self-tests, it indicates a potential problem with the starting system, fuel supply, or electrical components. A professional technician can diagnose the issue accurately and perform the necessary repairs to restore the generator’s functionality.
  • Safety Concerns: Any concerns related to the safety of your standby generator, such as exposed wiring, fuel leaks, or overheating components, should be addressed immediately by a qualified technician. Ignoring safety issues can lead to serious accidents or damage to your property.

At Michigan Critical Power, we prioritize the safety and satisfaction of our customers. Our experienced technicians are trained to diagnose and repair a wide range of standby generator issues efficiently and effectively. Whether you’re experiencing major malfunctions, unusual noises, or other concerns with your generator, you can rely on us for prompt and professional assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us for expert repair services to keep your standby generator running smoothly and your home or business protected during power outages.


Q: What exactly is a standby generator? A: A standby generator is a backup power system designed to automatically provide electricity to your home during a power outage. It operates independently of the local power grid, ensuring uninterrupted power supply to essential appliances and systems.

Q: How does a standby generator differ from a portable generator? A: Unlike portable generators, which require manual setup and refueling, standby generators are permanently installed outside your home and connected to your existing fuel supply (natural gas or propane). They start automatically when they detect a power outage and can power your entire home for extended periods.

Q: What size standby generator do I need for my home? A: The size of the standby generator you need depends on factors such as the size of your home, the number of essential appliances you want to power, and your specific power requirements. Our team can conduct a thorough assessment of your home’s power needs to recommend the right size generator for you.

Q: How long does it take to install a standby generator? A: The installation time for a standby generator can vary depending on factors such as the size of the generator, the complexity of the installation, and any necessary permits or approvals. Our professional installation team works efficiently to minimize downtime and ensure a seamless installation process.

Q: What maintenance is required for a standby generator? A: Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the reliable operation of your standby generator. This includes tasks such as checking oil levels, inspecting air filters, testing the battery, and running monthly self-tests. We offer annual maintenance services to keep your generator in top condition.

Q: Will a standby generator increase my home’s value? A: Yes, installing a standby generator can increase the value of your home, as it is considered a valuable amenity that enhances safety and convenience. Additionally, having a backup power system in place may make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

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