15 May Tools of the Trade: Generators
Josh Smith is an innovative home product enthusiast and has produced our In the House radio show for over 11 years. Josh regularly attends the annual International Builders Show, Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, Coverings, and many other industry trade shows, always keeping up with the latest in building, trends, tools and technology.
Many homeowners have considered a generator back up system, especially if they’ve endured power outages during intense summer storms or hurricanes. Traditionally, if you wanted a standby generator for your home, you would reach out to a licensed electrical contractor who would spec out the requirements, deliver and install the system. It would be powered by gasoline, propane or diesel fuel. A standby system operates with an automatic transfer switch that is connected to your home; when the power is interrupted the generator turns on, and the switch flips from utility to generator to power your home. This type of system is automatic and it prevents back-feeding power from your generator into the electrical grid, a major safety concern for utility workers when they are working on lines that are thought to be disconnected.
In January, I was able to attend the International Builders Show, and I visited the Generac exhibit. Through their research, Generac came to the conclusion that not everyone needs a traditional standby generator system, hardwired and non-portable. Enter the new for this year “Home Link System.” The Home Link System is comprised of two components; an automatic transfer switch on the outside of your home and a model 6500 E generator. How it works – the transfer switch is professionally installed by a licensed electrician and connects via a special cable to the 6500 E generator, which is portable. When the power goes out you bring the generator outside and connect it to the transfer switch, start the generator and presto, power! So for the homeowner it’s virtually error-proof to connect, is a portable generator solution with the added benefit of a standby system when needed. Now it’s not going to run every single appliance in your home but it will help make the best of a not so desirable situation. Another added benefit of this system is that the automatic transfer switch can be upgraded at a later time to connect to a fully automatic standby generator system, saving from needing to rewire.
In conclusion, this is a highly versatile generator system for any home, especially when anticipating strong summer storms, with the benefit of being portable for those situations when power is needed away from home like camping or tailgating.
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