Q: Ed: Aside from plumbing issues, I enjoy your bonus columns about installing standby generators. I lost my electrical power for days earlier this year due to heavy snowstorms. Now that hurricane weather is here I want to have my own generator installed. Can you please repeat your famous five steps for standby generator installations?

— Kevin, Rhode Island

A: I get a request for my standby generator install checklist every hurricane season. Quick note that a standby generator is not a portable generator. It runs on natural gas or propane and is permanently installed to your home’s electrical system.

Here’s my basic checklist to follow:

1. Standby generators are professionally installed with permits pulled, so contact your local dealer for proper size and equipment needed.

2. After the location visit by the dealer and/or installer, the transfer panel switch and standby generator are set into place.

3. Any trenching holes (if needed) are dug and electrical lines, gas lines and controls are connected.

4. All gas lines and electrical connections are inspected and any trenching holes are backfilled.

5. Finally, your installer starts and tests the system and your new standby generator is ready to light up your life.


Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit or write


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