How backup generators work
Backup generators use advanced technology to keep power flowing to your home in case of a power outage. These systems are stationary, permanently installed devices that resemble an outdoor air conditioning unit. They run on a variety of fuels (natural gas or propane) and connect directly to your home's wiring.
If your home loses power, your generator will automatically kick in, powering parts of your home or even specific appliances based on the settings you have chosen. The generators we offer vary in capacity — from small generators that power a limited number of essential circuits and appliances to generators that can power every circuit in your home for extended periods of time. They shut off on their own when power is restored.
Why you need a backup generator
Power outages can disrupt your life and even be disastrous if you have critical electric appliances and equipment in your home. A permanently-installed generator can automatically keep your home powered during short or long outages. If you live in an area with frequent storms or outages, you can avoid lengthy hotel stays, sweltering summer days without AC, spoiled food or temporary relocations by installing a generator on your property.
Power outages can occur for a variety of reasons.
Get started with our free assessment
Request a free assessment, and we will come to your home to determine the best generator for your needs, installation location, power source and budget.
We make it easy to install and maintain your generator with reliable, professional services.
Generator Installation FAQs
Is my home eligible for generator installation?You must own the home and have natural gas line access in the house. Propane tanks are an acceptable alternative, but they are not recommended due to cost.
Where do you install the generator unit?We try to place the unit near the breaker panel, assuming there aren't any easement or underground hazards. If it cannot be installed near the breaker panel, we will work with you to find a desirable location.
Will any construction be needed at my home?
A concrete slab will be poured, similar to what an outside air conditioning unit sits on.
A licensed plumber and electrician will run piping and wiring to connect the generator to the gas and electrical meters. Sometimes these are below ground; sometimes they are attached to the house.
All work is completed to comply with building code standards.
Who will perform the construction and install the generator?Professional technicians who are licensed, insured and background-checked will perform all construction, installation and maintenance.
How long does it take to install a generator?From start to finish, it usually takes an average of 5 to 7 business days.
Do I need to contact the city about permits for my generator installation?No. We will handle all permitting with the city for you. Reliant will notify both the city and the TDSP on your behalf.
If I have to reschedule or cancel my appointment, who do I call?
Call 1-832-369-7800 if you are a new customer.
Call 1-832-369-3344 for service related questions.
How much power can a generator provide?Depending on the model you select, the generators we offer can deliver 8kW to 24kW of power.
What size of generator do I need?
The size you need depends on several factors, which a Reliant representative will evaluate and discuss with you. Before your appointment, decide if you want your entire house to have electricity during an outage or if you only want to power specific areas or appliances. The more items you want to power, the more powerful your generator will need to be.
In general, 10kW to 14kW are enough to run survival appliances (refrigerator, HVAC, sump pump and some lights). A 15kW to 20kW generator can run a small home (no air conditioning), and 21kW to 25kW can run a small to medium-sized home, with the higher kW generators able to support an air conditioning system.
Which generator brands does Reliant offer?
What is a smart transfer switch?A smart transfer switch is programmed to deliver electricity to certain high-priority areas or appliances in the house before others during an outage.
Who do I call if I have technical questions about my generator before or after installation?Call us at 1-855-457-5700 for expert answers to technical questions.
Is it beneficial to have an automatic transfer switch?
Absolutely. An Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) handles the entire operation of the generator back-up of your home. It starts the generator, then transfers your house, or selected loads, to the generator as the source of power; then, back to the power company when the service is restored.
If you choose to transfer your circuits or home manually to a whole home generator, the entire sequence of operation will fall on you. In situations where you are not home, or there are people in the home that cannot perform the necessary steps to run the generator, there will be no power available.
It does add additional cost to the installation of the generator, but the peace of mind provided may be what your situation needs. A discussion with your salesman or technician about this can provide you with the best information to make your decision.
What are the general maintenance requirements for my home back-up generator?
Just like any piece of machinery, generators require maintenance to ensure proper operation when the power goes out. Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil and oil filter once a year or every 100 hours, as well as inspecting the battery, air filter, and condition of the generator in general. The Owners Manual that came with your generator can provide specific instructions for your particular unit.
If you live in a region where extended outages occur, you may need to keep spare oil and oil filters on hand for servicing your generator.
Be sure to reach out to your generator salesman or technician for maintenance services and replacement parts you might need for your generator in order to ensure it runs properly and extend the life of your generator.
How can I test my generator to make sure it works prior to a power outage?
Home standby generators are designed to perform a test run anywhere from once a week to once a month, depending on the manufacturer, to ensure proper operation. Your generator salesman or technician can instruct you in performing a test transfer of your particular system. If you notice anything unusual when the generator is performing its weekly run, or while you are testing it, call your technician and have it inspected.
How much does generator installation cost?
The cost varies due to several factors:
- The size of the generator
- Where the generator is installed and whether or not additional piping and wiring work is needed
- Whether or not special permitting is required by your city
We will send out a licensed plumber or electrician to walk you through all of your options and provide a final estimate.
Can I get a quote over the phone?No. It's not possible to give an accurate quote over the phone because every house is constructed and laid out differently.
Are payment plans or financing available? Do I have to pay in full?We have financing options available. Financing is very flexible and is determined on a case-by-case basis with payment plans up to 10 years. If you pay outright, 50% is usually due at the beginning of the installation, and the rest is due upon completion.