Dear Ed: I’ve been thinking about installing a standby home generator ever since I read one of your columns on the topic. But, I have a small yard and want to know if residential standby generator can be installed in tight area.

— Bill, Florida

Dear Bill: A residential standby home generator is not the same as a portable generator. Standby generators are professionally installed to a home’s electrical system, run on natural gas or propane and turn on automatically in the event of a power failure. They’re available in different sizes and can power up selected circuits or even the entire home.

Permits need to be pulled with your local building inspector’s office before starting a standby generator job. Town or city officials can decide if your lot meets local approval codes.

For tight areas, manufacturers do offer corrosion-resistant aluminum enclosures that usually can be installed closer to the home to save space. Contacting a professional installer/dealer up front to walk the property can generate additional information on whether or not a standby generator is a good fit for your home.

Hi Ed, I plan to upgrade my kitchen faucet to a touch-less model. I create a lot of in-home meals and this faucet will get a workout. On top of a heavy-duty model, what are some other working features to include in a touch-less kitchen faucet?

— Pam, Texas

Dear Pam: Many new kitchen faucets fall into the “semi-professional” category. Semi-pro faucets are a great choice for serious home chefs. As far as touchless kitchen faucets, I like a faucet that includes operating features like:

— Control. Look for a quick response on/off flow sensor that doesn’t slow down your routine. Also, a faucet that lets you set your desired temperature.

— Hands off. The goal is to install a touchless faucet. Once set you want to have as little contact as possible with the faucet.

— A/C power. Plug in-type faucets do require a code-approved outlet under the sink, but no battery changes are needed. However, in case of a power failure look for a touchless faucet with a manual override, so you can still prepare a nice candlelight dinner!

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the 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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