Why You Need A Backup Generator

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Home Safety & Maintenance

Thursday, January 24th, 2019 @ 9:30am

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Backup Generator At Home?

In the event of a power outage, hydro companies will only be responsible for the lines going to your house–anything after the point of attachment, which is called the clevis, is your responsibility. Having a backup generator (portable or standby) in your house and cottage is very important.

Having a generator at home isn’t just about convenience. It’s not just about the food in your fridge and freezer spoiling, there are so many other issues that can come up due to a power outage.


A reliance on candles is not sufficient enough and more importantly not a safe alternative.


Why you need to be prepared for a power outage

  • Without power, your sump pump may stop working, and you could find your basement flooded.
  • Often homeowners feel desperate after a prolonged power outage and will hire electrical contractors in a rush without doing their research. And you know what happens when you do that!
  • Homeowners may be trying to heat their homes using alternate sources – the threat of CO poisoning increases



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Why a Standby Generator?

In most projects that I work on, we have a standby generator installed. We wanted to make sure the homeowners would have peace of mind knowing that in the event of bad weather, they wouldn’t have to drive out in bad weather conditions. Personally, in the event of a sustained power loss, I want to make sure I’m covered completely, so we decided to install a home standby generator.

A standby generator provides the best coverage because it monitors your home’s electrical supply. In the event of a power interruption, it automatically kicks in and starts to provide power directly to your home’s electrical system through a transfer switch. Isn’t that great for when you are away from home for long periods of time?



Installing a standby generator is not a DIY job! It needs to be installed by a licensed professional. In Ontario, use the contractor lookup tool on the ESA’s website,, where you can locate an LEC close to you.


Standby Generator

Installing a standby generator is not a DIY job! It needs to be installed by a licensed professional.




Avoid Unlicensed Electrical Contractors


How To Choose A Generator For Your Home 

Here are some more things to consider when it comes to choosing a generator:

  • Make sure you have enough space to safely store the generator and fuel
  • Keep the noise factor in mind and be cognisant of you, your family, neighbours and nearby wildlife. Try to choose a generator that is quiet
  • Thoroughly consider your usage requirements and remember the more power you require, the more expensive the generator will be
  • Also, consider the performance – how long can the generator last on one charge or one tank of fuel
  • Consider additional features including automatic starters, wheels for portability on portable units, an economy mode, multiple outlets, and more.
  • Always consider weatherproof storage covers and accessories


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Benefits of a portable generator

Portable generators are also a good option if you only need a few appliances to work during a power outage. If you want to keep the lights going, make some coffee, or use the radio, you can probably make do with a portable generator.

Portable generators are also great for outdoor activities like camping. It’s easy to store and a good portable generator will be easily portable. My son Mike Jr and I carry it around in our trucks when we go to site.


Portable generators are affordable and capable of powering your home’s essential appliances.

Portable generators are affordable and capable of powering your home’s essential appliances.


Whatever your needs are, having a generator just makes sense. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about power outages. Have a backup plan folks! Do your research to see which generator is best suited for you.



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