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Getting Started
Before buying a generator there are a number of things to consider. Using this tutorial, you can get the basics down and determine your power needs to be sure your generator best suits your needs.

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Packages
Our three generator packages combine our portable generators, a manual transfer switch, and ABC's quality service packages so you can conveniently purchase everything you need all for one price.

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1. What is the difference between portable and automatic Standby Generator Systems?
2. What size standby generator do I need to run electric items in my house during a power outage?
3. Does motor starting require different wattage?
4. What does a Standby Generator System typically cost?
5. What happens in a typical installation?
6. Is financing available?
7. OK, I want to buy...who do I call?
8. Can I run a computer or other sensitive electronic equipment off the generator during a power outage?
9. Can I install the unit myself or does someone else need to?
10. What does Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) do for me?
11. Who makes your transfer switches?
12. What is the warranty?
13. What's the difference between running and starting watts?
14. Do I need to start the generator frequently when it is not being used?
15. How long will a unit run before I have to let it cool down or refill it with fuel?
16. Do I have to worry about "back feed" if the generator is running when the power comes back on?
17. How often do I have to change the oil?
18. Who do I call if I have any questions or maintenance issues?
19. Can I vent exhaust out of an enclosed area?
20. Can I run the generator inside my home?

1. What is the difference between portable and automatic Standby Generator Systems?
The differences really have to do with the steps needed to have emergency power flowing into your house in the event of a power outage. Portable systems are wheeled units that require you to roll the generator outside, start it up, and hook it up to a power inlet box. From there you must go to the transfer switch panel installed near your circuit breakers and switch the power coming into your house from the main line to the generator running outside (this applies to the manual switch only, as the semi-automatic is set up so you only need to turn on and plug in the generator). After the power from your local utility is restored, you are required to reverse the setup process.

One of the clear advantages with an Automatic Standby Generator System is that the unit turns itself on and off automatically without you ever having to leave the safety of your home. Our automatic Standby Generator Systems also exercise themselves once a week. You can even set the time when the unit will perform this diagnostics check. The generator will then be ready to run whenever needed. See our website for more information about the three options available.

2. What size standby generator do I need to run electric items in my house during a power outage?
Most average homes of 1200 to 3000 sq. ft. can run critical items in the home by using a 5000 - 7000 watt generator. The most common items that need emergency power during a blackout would be the furnace blower motor, refrigerator, freezer, lights, TV, sump pump, and water pumps. Larger Standby Generator Systems in the 10kW - 12kW range will quietly supplies as much as 15,000 watts of starting power to your home automatically, giving your family the power, freedom & comfort of their usual lifestyle, uninterrupted by power failure.

3. Does motor starting require different wattage?
Induction motors require larger amounts of electricity for initial start-up than when they are running. Some appliances and tools, such as your refrigerator/freezer, furnace fan, air conditioner, electric chain saw, weed trimmer, etc. may require more watts than normal running wattage for motor starting. This must be considered when sizing a generator to meet your needs.

4. What does a Standby Generator System typically cost?
When you choose the safety, reliability and automatic operation of a Standby Generator System, there are several items that contribute to the total cost. The cost of the system itself, a power transfer switch, and installation charges. Optional maintenance contracts can also add to cost if you choose one.

A completely installed Generator System will cost between $5,000 and $7,000 installed depending on the unit you choose and your particular property layout (installation costs may vary depending on the location you choose for installation). Materials and final installation pricing is determined after the installer has the opportunity to inspect the property site. The dealer will work with you and an electrician to obtain local permits for installation.


5. What happens in a typical installation?
A basic installation includes:

Delivery of the system to dealer. Additional charges for drop ship to consumer.
1. Installation of the 50, 100 or 200 amp transfer switch is then hardwired into your home or business.
2. The transfer switch is installed within 2 feet of the main distribution panel and 30 feet of the generator inlet box.
3. Final start up inspection of system and completion of start up form.
4. Clean-up of installation debris after installation is completed.
5. Consumer is responsible for making arrangements to provide all necessary gas service and connections.
*Should you ever need service, you can count on Briggs & Stratton. With a network of 3,000 + North American generator dealers and 30,000 authorized servicing dealers worldwide, support is never far away.

6. Is financing available?
Yes! In most cases, our customers choose to finance a part of, or all of the cost. Financing is available to our customers for our standby generator program.

7. OK, I want to buy...who do I call?
ABC Hardware & Rental
3336 Bailey Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14215
716-803-7000
Brett Begley: 716-570-0258

8. Can I run a computer or other sensitive electronic equipment off the generator during a power outage?
Yes, the power coming from your generator is just as safe as what you normally have coming out of the wall socket. The spikes or surges that accompany power generation (also known as "harmonic distortion") are just a normal aspect of electricity. However, when considering sensitive or expensive electronic equipment running off a wall outlet, you should use a good surge protector to guard against small influxes in power.

9. Can I install the unit myself or does someone else need to?
It is recommended that you have your Standby Generator System (generator and transfer switch) installed by a licensed contractor. Failure to do so could be dangerous for both family members as well as outside repair workers trying to fix downed power lines. In addition, professional installation is required to maintain the warranty. Most Briggs & Stratton Power Product dealers are capable of not only performing the necessary installation, but can also offer maintenance agreements that ensures that the generator is being serviced on a regular basis. See our Where to Get Service page for the dealer nearest you.

10. What does Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) do for me?
AVR maintains steady voltage. This is important for running sensitive electronics such as computers, microwaves and televisions.

11. Who makes your transfer switches?
Briggs & Stratton Power Products and Eaton's Cutler-Hammer have combined their innovative technologies to create a family of custom-made Automatic Transfer Switches designed exclusively for the Standby Generator Systems program. All switches are light-weight and easy to install, feature built-in, advanced electronics, and offer tremendous price/value in residential and small business applications.

12. What is the warranty?
Briggs & Stratton Power Products is proud to offer a complete three (3)year/1500 hour warranty on all Automatic Standby Generator Systems. The transfer switches have a separate warranty through Eaton's Cutler-Hammer with a five (5) year warranty.

13. What's the difference between running and starting watts?
The running watts of a generator equals the amount of power the unit can produce continuously, while the starting wattage is the additional power that the generator can produce for short rentalperiods of time to start items in your home that require larger amounts of electricity for initial start-up than when they are running.

14. Do I need to start the generator frequently when it is not being used?
One of the advantages of the 10kW - 12kW Standby Generator Systems is that they are designed to run once a week for twenty minutes. Our 7kW unit is also designed to exercise every two weeks. All you have to do is program when you want this task to be performed and it will start up automatically. During this time it will not only lubricate the engine and charge up the included battery, but it will also run a diagnostics check. If there are any problems with this process, an LED display located inside the front access panel will alert you.

15. How long will a unit run before I have to let it cool down or refill it with fuel?
One of the clear advantages of the 10kW & 12kW Standby Generator System is that they do not need to be refueled as often, if at all, because they run off LP (Propane) or NG (Natural Gas). Additionally, rest rentalperiods to allow cooling are not necessary. All Briggs & Stratton Standby Generator Systems generators are air-cooled and do not require you to turn them off after extended run times. However, you will need to turn off the unit before refueling (if applicable) or when checking the oil levels which should be done on a regular basis after extended use. (Refer to your owners guide for instructions.)

16. Do I have to worry about "back feed" if the generator is running when the power comes back on?
No. All of our transfer switches are designed to keep generator back-feed from occurring. When the contractor installs the transfer system into a house or small business, they will also hard wire the switch directly into the circuit breaker. When the home is running off of the generator, it automatically separates the power coming in from the utilities and the generator, preventing damage to your house. Only when the system switches back to power will the appliances assigned to the generator then receive power from the homeowner's utility. With the Automatic Standby Generator System, the unit senses when the power has been restored and automatically switches back to utility power before shutting down. Briggs & Stratton Power Products along with Eaton's Cutler-Hammer has taken great care in the design of each system to ensure maximum safety.

17. How often do I have to change the oil?
Synthetic oil is required when an oil change is needed. An oil change is recommended every 50 hours and the oil filter every 100 hours. Note: the 570cc and the 627cc V-Twin Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engines on the 10kW & 12kW Home Standby Systems are shipped with a pre-filled crankcase and a pre-run engine, effectively eliminating the need for you to 'break in' the system. There is an hour meter located inside the front access door that will help you gauge when maintenance is needed. The 10kW system is also equipped with remote status alerting you to any maintenance needs.

18. Who do I call if I have any questions or maintenance issues?
ABC Hardware & Rental
3336 Bailey Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14215
716-803-7000
Brett Begley: 716-570-0258

19. Can I vent exhaust out of an enclosed area?
NO. Carbon monoxide gases produced by the engine can be deadly. Briggs & Stratton Portable Products are designed to be run outside where there is plenty of ventilation. Never run these units inside a home or enclosed area. Fortunately, all Briggs & Stratton Standby Generator Systems are permanently installed outside your home.

20. Can I run the generator inside my home?
NO! A generator has an internal combustion engine and uses gas and oil. The exhaust from running the generator contains lethal carbon monoxide. Therefore, this unit should always be placed in a well-ventilated area.


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