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Standby Generator FAQs

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  • 1. How does a backup generator work?
     

    An automatic backup generator is a backup electrical system that operates whether you are home or away. Within seconds of an outage, it automatically supplies power directly to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage. It operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit.

  • 2. Can an automatic backup generator replace utility service?
     

    No, standby generators are not designed to run as a replacement to utility power and the fuel costs alone would make this option more expensive than buying power from your local utility. Our automatic generators are produced for use as backup to utility power specifically and should not be used as primary power.

  • 3. What happens if the generator gets overloaded?
     

    This should not occur if the system has been properly sized and installed by Cannondale Generators. However, if by some unusual circumstance this does occur generators are equipped with overload protection. In the rare event of an overload, the generator’s circuit breaker will trip, disconnecting the unit from the load. Simply correct the overload and reset the breaker in the generator. For more information, please consult your owner’s manual or contact us.

  • 4. What is the expected life of the engine?
     

    A properly maintained engine should provide over 20 years of operation under emergency standby conditions. Keep in mind that the units are not intended to provide continuous power (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

  • 5. Should I wait to let my portable standby generator cool down before adding fuel?
     

    Yes, it is always good for safety reasons.

  • 6. Is it ok to run my portable generator in the rain?
     

    No, it needs some type of shelter from the elements, but it needs to be a minimum of three feet away from all sides with one opened end.

  • 7. Can I connect my standby generator into my service box or another location in my house?
     

    No. You need a licensed electrician to set your generator up with an automatic transfer switch.

  • 8. Can I use an extension cord on my generator outlets?
     

    Yes. Use a good heavy gauge cord such as 10 AWG or 12 AWG, no longer than one hundred feet.

  • 9. How long will my portable generator run on a full tank of gas?
     

    This depends on the engine size and gas tank size. Check your Owner’s Manual for run time.

  • 10. What are the decibels on my generator?
     

    Most generators run between 69 DBL-79 DBL. Check your Owner’s Manual for decibels.

  • 11. How do I register my generator’s warranty protection?
     

    To register your warranty, have an authorized service technician complete a post-installation Warranty Start-Up at your home. Then, instead of your warranty beginning on the day the generator is purchased, it begins on the day your service technician submits your generator system’s details to the Warranty Start-Up program.

  • 12. 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 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 of power.

  • 13. If there is a problem with my generator where do I go for help?
     

    You can contact Cannondale Generators who is an authorized sales and service dealer for many brands and can help with any problems you may have.

  • 14. I no longer have my Owner’s Manual, how can I get another copy?
     

    Please contact us for further assistance. Owner’s manuals and other technical / repair information can be replaced once we know what make and model generator you have.

  • 15. Are your technicians certified?
     

    Absolutely. All of the technicians at Cannondale Generators have received extensive hands-on training and are certified by all the manufacturers that we sell and install.

  • 16. Do you offer financing for the purchase of a standby generator?
     

    Yes, financing is offered through Synchrony.

  • 1. How much oil does the engine crankcase hold?
     

    Air-cooled: 7 kW, 12 kW and 15 kW – 1.7 qt.
    Liquid-cooled: 15 kW, 20 kW and 25 kW – 4.0 qt., 45 kW – 4.5 qt.

  • 2. How much oil will my generator consume?
     

    Since variables such as engine hours, load, model, and other factors influence fuel consumption, there is no standard amount of oil being consumed. As long as you check the oil level and change the oil as instructed then your generator should be in good condition.

  • 3. What type of oil do I put in the generator?
     

    The recommended oil for the 7 kW, 12 kW and 15 kW air-cooled units is 10W-30 temperatures above 20° F. Use 5W-20 or 5W-30 for temperatures below 20° F. After the first oil change, all-season 5W-30 synthetic oil may be used. API Service Class SG, SH or SJ should be used in all cases. The recommended oil for the liquid-cooled units is 15W-40. All oil should be SAE rated high detergent oil that meets API Service Class SF requirements for gasoline engines. If the engine has been serviced before and filled with conventional oil, then refill it with conventional. It’s important not to mix the synthetic and conventional oil. It can damage your engine.

  • 4. How long can my standby generator run before I need to check the oil?
     

    We recommend checking the oil level after every 36 hours of operation, depending on the size and model of the generator. Oil change and filter change frequency and other routine maintenance vary per model, especially during periods of extended power outage. Check the Operation Manual included with your generator for a complete list of required maintenance procedures and schedules.

  • 5. Do generators have to be maintained?
     

    Yes, maintenance is required to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service. A commitment must be made to properly maintain this electrical generating device. This is not an air-conditioning unit or furnace that can go years without service. Cannondale Generators has on staff factory certified and trained Generac, Kohler and Briggs & Stratton technicians that service and repair all standby generators for a worry-free ownership experience.

  • 6. What happens if the generator gets overloaded?
     

    This should not occur if the system has been properly sized and installed by Cannondale Generators. However, if by some unusual circumstance this does occur generators are equipped with overload protection. In the rare event of an overload, the generator’s circuit breaker will trip, disconnecting the unit from the load. Simply correct the overload and reset the breaker in the generator. For more information, please consult your owner’s manual or contact us.

  • 7. How long will my permanent standby generator run on a full tank of fuel?
     

    This depends on the engine size and fuel tank size. Check your Owner’s Manual for run time.

  • 8. Should I wait to let my portable standby generator cool down before adding fuel?
     

    Yes, it is always good for safety reasons.

  • 9. Can I connect my standby generator into my service box or another location in my house?
     

    No. You need a licensed electrician to set your generator up with an automatic transfer switch.

  • 10. How long will my portable generator run on a full tank of gas?
     

    This depends on the engine size and gas tank size. Check your Owner’s Manual for run time.

  • 11. What are the decibels on my generator?
     

    Most generators run between 69 DBL-79 DBL. Check your Owner’s Manual for decibels.

  • 12. How do I manually “power off” the generator set?
     

    Open the generator hood or access door and flip the circuit breaker to the “off” position (you’ll find the breaker near the digital controller). This shuts off power to the house (the load). It’s a good idea to run the generator with no load for 2-5 minutes. Then press the “off” button on the controller.

    What do I do when the water rises above the generator?Water and electricity are a very dangerous mix. If you can safely access it, power off the generator. If it continues to run when submerged, internal damage to both engine and generator will be significant. If you can’t safely access the generator or the main-line disconnect, do not make any attempt to turn it off.

  • 13. Are your technicians certified?
     

    Absolutely. All of the technicians at Cannondale Generators have received extensive hands-on training and are certified by all the manufacturers that we sell and install.

  • 1. What size generator do I need to get to run my house?
     

    That depends on how many items you need to run at once and what amps they pull.

  • 2. What is the expected life of the engine?
     

    A properly maintained engine should provide over 20 years of operation under emergency standby conditions. Keep in mind that the units are not intended to provide continuous power (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

  • 3. Can I install my generator myself?
     

    For safety reasons and to ensure adherence to all local, state and national electrical codes, particularly for non-pre-wired or larger systems, Generac/Kohler recommends you use an authorized Generac/Kohler dealer or licensed contractor. Call Cannondale for information.

  • 4. How do I learn about local installation codes?
     

    Code requirements for installing standby generator systems vary nationwide. That’s why we recommend having a factory-authorized dealer install your system since they will be familiar with local and national codes, make sure the generator is properly sized, and avoid code issues with local inspectors.

POWER IT ALL

Made installation of our generator extremely easy. Took care of all permitting with the town and made the process very simple. After a major power outage, they sent their service team in a snowstorm to service the generator and ensure it would keep us going throughout the snowstorm. Excellent service. Very pleased with this company.

Blair J.
Rating: 5

Cannondale has been maintaining our 20KW Generac Guardian Series generator (first installed in 2012) for 2 years now. During the recent power outage, the generator ran flawlessly for 130 hours straight. We added 16 ounces of motor oil after the first 75 hours of run time, as would be expected during a period of extended usage. The professionals at Cannondale were reachable, and provided helpful advice on lubricant selection, among other things. If you own a generator and live in Westchester or Fairfield counties, you must become a Cannondale client. They are the absolute best!

William W.
Rating: 5

Charged me a fraction of a competitors quote and was very pleasant throughout.

Paolo S.
Rating: 5
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