Inspecting Back-Up Gas Generators

Have an inspection scheduled tomorrow, the house has a back up gas generator that I have been asked to also inspect. The generator is said to be only a few years old. I rarely come across these and generally disclaim them when I do. I’d like to at least give it a shot, can anyone give any advise or procedures that I should follow. Thanks in advance.

Having installed numerous back up gensets and transfer switches in the past and acknowledging that I don’t know enough to properly inspect them then, personally, if asked to ‘give it a shot’ then I would contract with a reputable commercial electrician or the manufactuerer’s local rep that has experience with such systems to assist me with the task. Read the Onan Maintenance Procedureand pay special attention to the “Warning”.

I disclaim all generators. It will require you to shut down all electrical in order to inspect its operation.

My advice…disclaim it.

Now… that is something I know how to do…:mrgreen:

Same here…

From Mike’s link:

WARNING: Automatic startup of the generator while performing maintenance, service or inspection can cause severe personal injury or death. Push the control switch to Off and disconnect the negative (-) battery cable from the battery to keep the generator from starting while working on it.

I think the warning pertains to such activities performed on the generator itself. As a HI (not as a PE) if I am asked to inspect such an installation (by the buyer and the seller), I perform a functional check just as I would for any other appliance. Generally, you will find the instructions for priodic testing (by the homeowner) posted somewhere on the unit. If is starts and serves the emergency circuits when the main breaker is turned off I call it good and comment to that effect. Otherwise, I refer it to a qualified service technician. However, all that said, such activity is outside the SOP, and you should never perfrom any testing that you are not comfortable doing.

My Agreement: “**INSPECTION DOES NOT INCLUDE **– Negotiating issues with the builder/owner/contractor; sewer lines and/or onsite waste disposal systems; water softeners; shower pans, over-flow drains, low voltage electrical systems; backup generators, data and communications systems or other ancillary wiring that is not part of the primary electrical distribution system…”