In this video, This Old House host Kevin O'Connor describes how to combat power outages with a standby generator.
1. Install the generator at least 5 feet from all windows and doors.
2. Set the generator on top of a pre-cast concrete pad that's supported by a compacted gravel bed.
3. Secure the generator to the pad with four stainless-steel bolts.
4. Have a plumber connect a natural-gas line to the generator.
5. Have an electrician run a line-voltage cable to the generator.
6. The generator tests itself automatically by turning on every two weeks and running for about 20 minutes.
7. Each time the generator kicks on, a diagnostic signal is sent via the Internet to the homeowner and electrician.
8. A transfer switch is installed beside the electrical meter; it sends electricity into the house when the power goes out and the generator kicks on.