A Guide to Backup Power Sources

It's always better to be prepared. Backup power supplies can help you combat outages and interruptions, and keep your most important equipment functional.

But anyone who's looked into it knows the difficulty of finding the right power source. Where do you even begin?

We want to help you out. Read on for a crash course in portable power.

Before You Get Started: Read This First

A generator can be a dangerous tool if not installed properly.

“Backfeeding” is a term that describes what happens when electricity flows in the reverse direction from its normal flow. It can happen when an improperly installed generator fires up and re-energizes our lines, resulting in a dangerous, and potentially deadly, situation for our crews restoring power.  

To prevent dangerous backfeeding, purchase a GenerLink and we will install it for you. Visit generlink.com to get started. Otherwise, a qualified electrician must install a transfer switch.

Finally, generators are carbon monoxide factories – never run one indoors. Always make sure it’s at least 20 feet away from your home, with the exhaust pointed away. Portable generators must be kept dry and off wet surfaces, and make sure you use a grounded outlet with the proper extension cord.

As with any equipment, read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Never cut corners when it comes to safety.

Meet the Candidates

Which One is Right for You?

First, determine what you want to keep using when the power goes out. Then, check the wattages for each of those devices or appliances. Adding these up will give you an idea of what kind of output to look for in a generator.

Don’t forget that some appliances use more power as they’re turning back on, which can be too much for your generator if you’re not careful.

Where to Shop

Talk to an electrician for recommendations on whole-home generators. Search online retailers for other backup power sources. 

Please let us know you have a generator

If you recently installed a generator or if you’ve had one for a while and haven’t notified us, please call us at 800.492.5989. We will add a note to your account that will make our crews aware of your equipment prior to making repairs.