How much does it cost to install stand by generator

growingadviceNovember 8, 2011

Just wondering if anyone could give me the price to install at natural gas standby generator (just the installation, not the generator itself)

Thanks.

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petey_racer

Considering the glaring lack of details given, I'd say $500-$2500

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 4:34PM
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Ron Natalie

Does the house already stand?
What size generator?
Will it serve the whole house?
Will there be an automatic transfer switch?

I'd put it under $1000 to site the generator and install the gas line, but the amount of electrical work involved varies widely.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 5:09PM
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growingadvice

Tying in to the main box in existing home
Probably 15kw, I'm guessing whether it's 5kw or 25kw, the price physical connection to the box would likely not vary greatly. The size of the generator itself is essentially the same.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:18PM
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growingadvice

Tying in to the main box in existing home
Probably 15kw, I'm guessing whether it's 5kw or 25kw, the price physical connection to the box would likely not vary greatly. The size of the generator itself is essentially the same.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 8:47PM
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Ron Natalie

You didn't answer all the questions.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:35AM
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brickeyee

Unless you get a generator large enough to support the load of everything in the house (and those are very large and very expensive (about 25 kW to 50 kW) only a portion of the house can be backed up.

This means that circuits must be moved to a separate panel the generator feeds.
More circuits, more cost.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 3:56PM
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Ron Natalie

Actually, that's true only if you are going to use an automatic transfer switch. If you have a manual transfer, then it's allowable that you shed the loads before throwing the transfer switch.

I've got an 80KVA with a manual switch. Sort of overkill (I typically only run about 6KVA according to the meter on the generator).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 4:58PM
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growingadvice

Does the house already stand? Yest as mentioned above.

What size generator? As mentioned, not sure. this is part of my research looking into it. I would say in the 14-17kw range. Unlikely it would go over that.

Will it serve the whole house? I'm not sure that the kw range I mentioned is enough for the whole house. preliminary research tends to day no

Will there be an automatic transfer switch?
From what you say above, with the 14-17kw generator, I may only have the manual choice. Which isn't really the end of the world.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 8:45PM
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growingadvice

meant may not have the choice to go with the automatic switch.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:05PM
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petey_racer

You can go with an automatic transfer panel. One with typically 10-16 circuits. This way you can select the loads you want to switch over and stay within the limits of the generator.

Again, without details like what the setting is like, distance from main panel- to transfer panel- to generator, it is hard to say.
I would narrow it down to $800-$1800

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 6:26AM
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stinkytiger

Hi Growing Advice,

The question is sort of like how long a piece of string is. However I will give it a bash. All I know about you is that you live in the US and are looking for a Nautral Gas generator set up.

I also assume that you are on mains gas, as opposed to propane gas because you mentioned "Natural Gas".

I will assume that you will need to have maybe:

1) A new sub panel wired in whith circuts transfered. This panel will house the circuits that are generater backed.
2) A transfer switch with Auto Transfer. This is fairly standard with Natural Gas Gen sets that cost in the $US 4000- $US 6000 range. Note the Transfer switch usually comes with the generater as part of a set.
3) Wire in the Genset to the transfer switch, complete with Genset Battery power booster and sensor and control wires. I will assume you genset is air cooled rather than water cooled. If water cooled there will be additional wires for a coolant heater. Also if water cooled then you will need heavy lift (see point 4).
4) Trucking in the genset and installation. I assume your genset is lightweight in that it does not need a crane to install and can be installed on a gravel base, as opposed to a concrete base. The genset can be lifted by four men.
5) You are on mains gas so no need for a propane tank and propane line installation.
6) genset turn on. Sometimes the genset warrante requires "Turn On" by the genset authorized personel.

I think all in you are looking at $US 3000 to $US 5000 for installation. Generator is extra.

A neighbour of mine was quoted $US 14,000 turn key installation for a propane genset, + propane tank + all wiring, permits etc. in New York State. Maybe 14kw sized set.

Best, Mike.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:36AM
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brickeyee

"Actually, that's true only if you are going to use an automatic transfer switch. If you have a manual transfer, then it's allowable that you shed the loads before throwing the transfer switch. "

Not a good installation.

Someone IS going to screw up the changeover.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:54AM
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growingadvice

I live in western MA. The water line, gas line and electrical line all come in on the other side of the wall where the generator would be.
the house was built in 1991, so the wiring is all updated to code.
I said natural gas bc believe or not I was trying to be descriptive LOL. There is always a distinction between LP and city gas, which of course is in turn is referred to as "natural gas".

Since it involves both gas and electrical, would an HVAC guy install it? around here the ones I've dealt with are licensed electrician and can connect gas lines (at least once in the home, down know about actually piping it from outside. maybe some code thing

Or would it be a an electrician and a plumber?

If it's much over 1k for installation, then I probably would go with a portable one. We don't loose power that often at all, but with a 2 and 4 year old, it kinda sucked not having power for a week.

Dont know if I should start a separate thread, but is there a safe way to attactch a portable generator so the furnace will work, not water heater, stove and the like?
I know I wouldn't be able to run all of them at once, but to use it on the appliance on an "as needed" basis.

thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 12:18PM
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ionized_gw

Yes, you need an electrician and a plumber. There are two ways to run the furnace with a portable. The first is more costly, you install a manual transfer switch for the whole panel and turn off everything, via the circuit breakers, that you can't power all at once with that generator. Alternatively, you install a manual transfer switch for just the furnace. The latter is going to cost a lot less, but the former will allow you to power other stuff as well.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 12:43PM
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weedmeister

The third alternative, already mentioned, is to install a subpanel with the furnace on the subpanel. You would then also select circuits like the fridge, freezer, microwave, lights and so on and put them on the subpanel as well. Then during a power outage you use your manual transfer switch to let the generator power that subpanel.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 2:24PM
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growingadvice

Weedmietser, are you talking with a standby or a portable?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 2:49PM
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stinkytiger

Hi,

It is nice that you have your gas line installed and near your genset site. That can be an expensive item because of trench digging etc. It looks like you can avoid most of that.

I am guessing that if you are thinking about a natural gas genset you are looking at maybe a 12-14kw generator set. The way I have my genset hooked up is to have one panel which is the "genset backed" panel. My house has two 200 amp panels. When I installed the genset the electrician moved circuits around so that all the genset-backed circuits was on one panel. That panel is powered with a transfer switch feed. The other panel has circuits that are not getset backed.

Looks likeyou have an oil furnace. If you look there is no plug for the oil furnace. This is by code. The oil furnace is wired directly into a panel. So what you need to do is to put those circuits onto the genset panel.

So what I would do is:

1) Make sure you have two panels. You may have two panels already in which case that is a "head" start. If not you will have to install another one.

2) One panel will be genset backed one will not. On the getset backed one you will put: the essensials for MA where you live. In approx order of importance:

basement sump pump (if you have one)
Well (if you have one)
ejector pump (if you have one)
Furnace
Air Handler
Fridge
Lights
TV

At about 12kw to 15kw that is about the limit for a genset. Air conditioning and electric ovens may be too much usual for a genset of 15kw size so I would not put those on.

Hope this give you some idea of what a set up may look like.

best, Mike.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 7:42AM
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growingadvice

Thanks mike.
I have a gas furnace. Let me know if that changes anything.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 12:34PM
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stinkytiger

Hi GrowingAdvice,

I think that you have a "gas" furnace probablly does not change things that much. The furnace, oil or gas uses electricity for timer, monitor, controls and most importantly the ignition spark. All these are low power requirements.

Well pumps, and forced air blowers, basically anything with a big motor, e.g. Air Conditioning Compressors, they are the things which will use alot of power, or more importantly need alot of surge start current.

Best, Mike.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 3:25PM
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wirenut37

Where in MA do you live? I am a liscensed, insured electrician and would be happy to give you an estimate and discuss options with you (cost engineering), if you would like.
-Chris

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 11:22PM
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steve5757

I have a question I am hoping someone could help me out with. I am in the process of having my block converted to natural gas by National Grid on Long Island. I wanted the natural gas for the cost but also the gas fireplace and stove etc.

Since Sandy occurred I am also looking into a NG standby generator. When the burner company installs my new boiler I am going to have him add a gas line for a NG BBQ. I was also thinking of having them install the gas line so it would be close to where I would place the generator.

I will be renovating the kitchen this summer and was going to have the electrician put in a new box anyway. should I have him install a sub panel and move certain circuts to the subpanel? I would imagine I would want most of the kitchen/laundry room hooked to the subpanle along with few other circuts.

any thoughts on this? I am seeing prices of close to $10,000 to install a 14kw generator I could get from home depot for $3,200. at that cost I won;t be getting one. is there anything I could do my self? BTW I would like to think the boiler company would help me out with the plumbing

thanks
steve

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Ron Natalie

$10,000? I installed an 80KVA generator and automatic transfer switch for not much more than that.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 2:16PM
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RockWood13

A standby model may cost as little as $1,500 or as much as $15,000 or more--the greater the power capacity, the higher the cost.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 3:14AM
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stinkytiger

Wow this is a bit of an old thread. But I guess well worth a revisit after Sandy.

In New York State, $US 10,000 for a NG Auto Transfer Turn-Key install is about right. About 5 years ago I was quoted $US 14k all in for a 10Kw gen set. Mind you I needed a propane tank installed as well.

As a very rough guide, which I did post a while ago I would budget very roughly:

1) Petrol Powered + Transfer switch $US 3,000 to $US 6,000 all in, up to 7Kw
2) Propane / Nautral Gas, lawn mower engine based air cooled 3,600 rpm. 8kw to 15kw, have seen as high as 20kw but that is pushing it. $US 8K to 16k all in.
3) Truck engine based. Water cooled, 1,800 rpm gen set. Auto trans switch. Propane / BG. 20kw and up. $US 20k and up.

Best, Mike.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Ecomensolar

Hi,

I have installed Generac Guardian Series 5871 10,000 / 9,000 Watt (LP/NG) Automatic Standby Steel Generator for my home at cost $3000. The major features are:

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:21AM
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tonedeaf-2000

You cannot have a stand by generator professionally installed for 3000...,,,,, the scope of work involves a plumber and an electrician.

For a 8-14kw NG, air cooled with load shed install only cost $5-7k is more realistic.
Units with transfer switch typically cost 2800-4000.

Permits electric and plumbing
Site prep
Handling a 250-500lb price of equipment
Electric work
Gas work
It adds up quick

This s not a typical DIY project.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 8:09AM
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machiner

As it turns out, We are having a propane generator installed (16KW) and the total cost will be somewhere around 11G for everything. So the cost of the generator itself is nothing compared to them installing everything needed. It is a per foot cost and the more wattage the generator, the higher the price tag. If you want air cooled is less than water cooled. The further away from the house, the more money for running pipes and electricity.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 8:45PM
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vithdude

Old thread but still good points,

This is a big job and people with a sump pump that cannot lose power without risking water in the basement need to get an automatic instead of manual so it will turn on if you are gone.

If you dont need it automatic, and you want to be budget friendly then you can get a manual transfer switch kit that powers about 6-8 breakers and get a 5000w portable generator that you plug into the outlet that would be installed outside.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2015 at 9:43AM
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Ron Natalie

That's about what I paid, a dollar per VA.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2015 at 10:11AM
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ionized_gw

Right now in rural NYS, I have a contract to install a 16 kW Generac (air cooled) genset for $3000. Nat gas is in the house already. It has to be extended inside and brought down the foundation wall closer to the genset location. Genset is located between where the gas will emerge and the existing meter pan outside. Main panel is just inside the meter pan in the basement.

Our precise location choice was influenced by cost. A less visually obtrusive, and lower noise annoyance spot was rejected because of higher cost. (Dad does not hear so well and he says that he'll sleep somewhere else if it bothers him in a power outage. I smile and say that it will sound like security.)

Hardware prices are rounded and I bought on-line:

Genset $3000
Generac Genready Panel $391
Assorted parts, remote monitor, some routine service parts, cold weather kit (heater for battery and oil filter), They threw in, as lagniappe, a 5-yr umbrella warranty covering all parts/labor and brought total hardware for me up to $4000.

$3000 includes a new electrical service because the existing service is 125 A. The smallest breaker available for the Genready panel is 150A, drat.

Went with Genready panel rather then relocate a bunch of circuits to the other end of the finished basement because there is no room near the existing Fed Pac, Stab-Loc panel for a sub. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and get rid of controversial panel for marginally higher cost.

Got a sewerage ejector pump that serves the WHOLE HOUSE and a primary reason for installing. Got a hand-full of sump pumps to keep the basement dry and 3 coolers. 16 KW should be enough to run the whole house if someone is home to make judgement about the electric range etc, but that and some more stuff will not be backed up because we have to put SOMETHING on the upper breakers on that panel.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2015 at 3:58PM
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