Home Generators

I was just checking to see how many of inspectors test home generators?

I do. I do not transfer load but run them in exercise/manual mode if possible.

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Thanks Michael !!!

And what does that tell you other than it will turn on. After you are done running the generator without a load, do you still recommend they get an electrician to test with a load and tell them if its the correct sized generator and wired properly?

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I don’t need a load to tell me any of that. Inspection of the wiring tells me if it is properly wired, I open the transfer switch and inspect that component. As far as sizing, that is a loaded question. That is more based on the type of transfer switch more than anything. A whole house switch could be overloaded on a given day under given conditions and not on a different day. A selective circuit switch can control and shed loads. All of this is well beyond the expectations of the inspection.

The standard procedure followed is that the Generator is manually started. I have found a couple that failed to start due to lack of basic maintenance (dead battery, overcrank error, etc…). I inspect the wiring, the gas piping, and the interconnection of the transfer switch. I advise all of my clients that Generators require yearly maintenance and that they should have it serviced immediately upon closing to ensure it will work when necessary.

Michael is spot on. I am only going to add that I check the oil prior to starting. I personally have owned and installed two systems. Extended running can deplete the oil. If there isn’t a maintenance contract that would monitor the oil level it could be easily overlooked.

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Awesome! That is really a great idea and a great means of limiting liability. Noted and now integrated to my procedure.