• In this video, This Old House host Kevin O'Connor explains how to install a stand-by generator.


    1 Install electrical sub-panel with transfer switch beside the main electrical panel.
    2 Redirect critical circuits from main panel to sub-panel.
    3 Prepare a level stone or concrete base for the generator.
    4 Set generator on base.
    5 Dig trench from generator to new high-pressure gas meter.
    6 Run new natural gas line and tracing wire from generator to gas meter; connect gas line to meter.
    7 Pull electrical cable from generator to house.
    8 Make gas and electrical connection to rear of generator.
    • Difficulty: Hard
      Hire a licensed electrician for this installation

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      Tools List

      • wire strippers
        Wire strippers
      • lineman's pliers
        Lineman's pliers
      • fish tape
        Fish tape, used to pull wires through conduit
      • trenching machine
        Backhoe or deep trenching machine, used to dig trench from generator to gas meter
      • trenching shovel

      Shopping List

      1. Stand-by generator

      2. Plastic gas line

      Provides natural gas to generator

      3. Electrical conduit

      Houses wires run from house to generator

      4. Electrical cable

      5. Crushed stone or concrete

      Used to create stable base for generator