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Generator Buying Guide: What You Need to Know (2023)

Generators provide peace of mind by giving your home a backup power source in the event of a blackout. We’ve compiled this detailed buyer’s guide to give you all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

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How to Install Track Lights and Speakers

Scott Caron, master electrician for Ask This Old House, installs LED track lights and LED track lights with Bluetooth speaker technology to brighten up a loft bedroom

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How to Repair a Three-Way Light Switch

Ask This Old House host Kevin O'Connor helps a homeowner fix a faulty three-way switch

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How to Install an Automatic Standby Generator

This Old House host Kevin O'Connor describes how to combat power outages with a standby generator

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How to Select Electrical Testers

Ask This Old House lighting expert Scott Caron gives Kevin a tutorial on electrical testers to make sure you never work on live wires

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How to Install Surge Protection

Electrician Scott Caron installs several types of surge protection

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How to Hang a Flat-Panel TV with Concealed Wiring

Electrician Scott Caron hangs a flat-screen TV on the wall and conceals all the wiring

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How to Run Underground Wiring to a Garage

Electrician Scott Caron shows a homeowner how to bring power to a detached garage

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How to Add Task Lighting to a Kitchen

This Old House host Kevin O'Connor works with an electrician to help a couple add task lighting to their dark kitchen

Dealing With Leaking Stray Voltage

Avoid danger and sky-high electric bills by contacting a pro

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How to Install a Front Entry Intercom

Upgrading to a convenient front-door intercom with This Old House host Kevin O'Connor and electrician Scott Matthews

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How to Install an Outdoor Electrical Outlet

Bringing power to a deck with electrician Keith Diemer

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How to Connect a 220-Volt Receptacle to a 20-Amp Breaker

Providing an outlet for high-powered tools and appliances with master electrician Allen Gallant

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How to Install a Transfer Switch for a Portable Generator

This Old House host Kevin O'Connor shows how to keep the electricity flowing during power outages

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How to Install Track Lighting With Ease

Master electrician Allen Gallant shows how to install a ceiling-mounted track lighting system. We show you the costs involved and offer a step-by-step process.

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How to Mark for Electrical Boxes When Hanging Drywall

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares some tricks-of-the-trade for accurately marking drywall cutouts

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How to Add an Electrical Outlet

Master electrician Allen Gallant powers up a new outlet

How to Hang a Flat-Screen TV

Hide unsightly electrical cords the right way

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How to Monitor Electricity Use

Saving electricity—and loads of money—with energy efficiency expert Paul Scheckel

How to Rewire a Vintage Entry Lantern

Hung in a front entry or a cozy corner indoors, these pendant-style fixtures cast a soft ambient light that's both charming and inviting

How to Rewire a Lamp

A few inexpensive supplies and the right connections can make an old lamp new again

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How to Replace a Three-Way Switch

Pro tips for finding—and replacing—a faulty three-way light switch

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How to Install a Stand-by Generator

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

Hiding Speaker Wires

How to snake speaker wires through walls

From the Ground Up: Electrical Wiring

Setting up an electrical system for maximum safety and convenience

Backup Power

When the electricity goes out, standby generators keep the household running

How GFCI Receptacles Keep You Safe

Two-thirds of all electrocutions in U.S. homes could be prevented if people installed the receptacles.

Electrical Upgrades, Part 2

The second home wiring project in our series can make your workshop projects a lot easier. Add outlets in the garage to get the power where you need it.

Future-proof Wiring

Feeding your home's ever-growing need for information-carrying capacity

Transfer of Power

A portable gas-fired generator and a transfer switch will keep your house up and running while your neighbors remain in the dark.