Q: I’ve been thinking about installing a standby home generator, but I have a small yard. I want to know if residential standby generator can be installed in tight area.

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

Permits from your local building inspector’s office are required before starting a standby generator job. Town or city officials can decide if your lot meets 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.


Ed Del Grande: eadelg@cs.com. Ed Del Grande is a master plumber and contractor and is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call.”