Q: I’ve never considered having a standby generator installed — until now. I’m stressed out after losing power due to recent storms. Can you please refresh me on standby generator installations?

A: For those new to this topic, a standby generator is different from a portable generator.

Residential standby generators are professionally installed as part of a home’s electrical system. Most run on natural or propane gas and come on automatically when the home loses power.

There are five basic steps to follow for a standby generator installation.

1. Contact a licensed standby generator dealer/installer in your area for a site visit and estimate.

2. After permits and site work, the generator and transfer switch are set in place.

3. Electrical connections/controls are installed and connected.

4. Natural gas or propane lines are connected.

5. Your dealer/installer tests the new standby system, and hopefully future power outages won’t generate any more stress.

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Ed Del Grande is a master plumber, contractor and author. Send questions to eadelg@cs.com.