Wilson Electric technicians are factory-authorized dealers for Guardian, Briggs & Stratton, and GE standby generators. Whether you need a generator to protect your family from winter power failure or a backup power unit to keep your entire business up and running during a blackout, we are your one-stop resource for all your residential and commercial generator needs.
Wilson Electric has experience with a range of standby generators:
- Natural Gas
- Air Cooled
- Water Cooled
At Wilson Electric, we provide you with a turn-key installation-we will furnish, install, wire and connect your new generator to your preferred fuel source, ready to protect you when the next power failure hits. We can recommend smaller units that will keep your essential services and systems running and provide emergency lighting, or larger ones that have the capacity to run virtually all systems in your home so smoothly that you will barely notice you are experiencing a power problem.
When a power failure strikes, you don’t have to do a thing – you don’t even have to be home. Your generator system constantly monitors your utility power. The system will immediately sense the problem, start up your generator, shift your electrical system over to emergency power, and get your lights, heat, pumps, appliances, air conditioning, security system, and all other electrical systems functioning at FULL POWER, all within 15 seconds! When power is restored, your system will power down the generator, and reset itself, ready to handle the next power problem – all automatically.
At Wilson Electric, we service what we sell. Our factory-trained service technicians will perform regularly-scheduled maintenance to your entire system in the spring and fall – keeping your emergency power system in top shape – always standing guard for you against power interruptions and problems. We are available 24/7 for emergencies. We get many calls during severe storms and other weather emergencies -– but you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that as a Wilson Electric generator customer – you are at the top of our priority list.
The new generation of generators we feature are smaller, sleeker, quieter and more durable than older units-most feature all-electronic transfer switches which will sense a power problem, start up your generator in seconds, switch your household wiring to emergency power and then switch you back when power is restored from the utility company, ready to handle the next power failure. Some can even be set to prioritize your electrical needs, and to turn themselves on for their weekly "exercise" routine on a schedule you select!
Schedule regular maintenance of standby generators to prevent backup power failure.
Our company stands behind everything we do with a full, one-year warranty against defects in material and workmanship, and if you prefer, we can arrange to provide regularly-scheduled maintenance for your new generator.
1. What is a generator system?
A generator system (sometimes called an emergency generator or backup generator) provides temporary emergency power to your home when a power failure or “brownout” occurs.
2. How does a generator system work?
A generator system works in much the same way that your utility’s system works: an engine, powered by some fuel, produces electricity to run the appliances and systems in your home.
3. Why do I need a standby generator?
Our customers have found that the power “grid” which supplies electricity to their home is becoming less and less reliable. This results from a number of factors -
Weather experts have predicted that this will be the worst hurricane season in the last ten years. You should be congratulated for having the foresight to explore emergency power systems now, before you experience an extended power failure.
- the aging of the power transmission system (generally referred to as “the grid”)
- the fact that as a result of deregulation of the industry, there is no single company responsible to maintain the power grid to the extent that it used to be done
- increasingly unpredictable and severe weather systems – ice storms, hurricanes and tornadoes, which either directly affect the power grid, or blow down trees which fall on power lines, disrupting the system
- increasing demand for a limited amount of power – particularly during hot summer days when everyone demands power for air conditioning at the same time
4. Will a generator system solve my problem?
A properly sized and installed generator system from a reliable manufacturer will ensure that any time you experience a power failure or summer “brownout,” your system will start up immediately and provide clean, constant power to run all of your necessary electrical systems and appliances – heat, lights, hot water, kitchen appliances, TVs, computers, and anything else that runs on electric power. If properly configured, your backup power system can even run your air conditioning.
5. Will my system provide enough electricity to run everything in my house?
Our customers make choices across an entire spectrum of possibilities. Some decide that they want only a minimal and inexpensive installation, sufficient to operate their heat, a few lights, their sump and/or water pumps, and perhaps a computer or TV. Others want a more robust system that will run nearly everything during a power failure that they would be using if there were no power failure, and we can provide that as well. Air conditioning during hot summer days is important to some, less so to others. As might be expected, bigger systems that are more powerful cost more to purchase and install, and consume more fuel when they are running. The decision is yours, but we can save you money by making sure that:
- Your generator system is properly sized
- The systems & appliances in your home which consume the most power are effectively managed.
6. Why can’t I just buy one of those inexpensive portable generators I see advertised at the "big box" chain stores?
You can, but you must understand the differences between a portable generator and a permanently-installed standby generator, to be sure that a portable generator will fulfill your requirements.
Portable generators were developed for use by contractors working at a job-site that doesn’t have electricity, so that they can operate their power tools. It is not as user-friendly as a permanent "standby" generator system, and has certain drawbacks that are important to understand.
Among these is the fact that portable generators run on gasoline. This fuel is of course readily available, but you have to go get it, and then store it. Gasoline (especially gasoline with additives like ethanol or performance enhancers) actually begins to deteriorate in a rather short period of time – generally a much shorter period of time than you are going to experience between major power failures. Because of this, you cannot store gasoline for long periods of time in your garage, and doing so may affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage, because most insurance policies prohibit storage of flammable substances within your home or garage. As a result, you will have to find a gas station that is open during a long storm, and they may be out of power just as you are, and not able to operate. And most portables run only for 8 to 10 hours before having to be refilled.
All portable generators are entirely manual. You can use it out of the box by plugging extension cords into the generator to run your appliances, but you cannot connect that way to things that are “hardwired” like your heating and air conditioning and often, stoves, washers and dryers and other appliances.
So to make things minimally convenient, you will have to hire us or another electrician to install a manual transfer switch. By doing this, you can plug your portable generator into your manual transfer switch, which will be wired into your heating system and other lights and appliances, and turn each circuit on manually at the switch. Even then, most manual transfer switches are limited in the number of circuits they will accommodate, so only certain things in your home will be operable on emergency power.
This may be a perfect solution for you, and it is certainly less expensive than the alternatives. But most of our customers feel that the added convenience, safety and peace-of-mind afforded by a permanently-installed backup generator is worth the difference in cost. All "standby" generator systems sold and installed by Wilson Electric are hooked up to a permanent fuel supply and are fully automatic. There is nothing for you to do when a storm hits and you lose your power, except sit back and enjoy virtually all of the electrical lights and appliances in your home as though you were not even experiencing a power failure.
Whether a portable generator is appropriate for your particular needs is a personal decision, and we are here to help you decide.
7. What do I have to do during a power failure to get my generator system running?
Not a thing. Your system is fully automatic. It will detect a power failure or brownout immediately, and start the generator automatically. Within seconds of your losing power, all of your electrical appliances and systems that have been wired to your transfer switch will be up and running. When power is restored, your system will switch you back to the utility grid, and then power down and reset itself, ready for the next emergency.
8. What kind of fuel does a home generator run on?
Although some generators run on other fuels, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, or steam, virtually all permanently-installed home generators run on either propane (sometimes called liquefied petroleum or LP gas) or natural gas.
9. How do I determine what fuel my generator should run on?
In almost all cases, if you already have natural gas present at your home, you will use that source; if you do not have natural gas already, you will use propane.
10. Will I have to run to the filling station repeatedly to fill up those small propane tanks?
No. You will make arrangements with a propane delivery company, which will provide and install a propane tank, and will refill your tank on a schedule you and they will determine.
11. How do I find a company which will provide my propane?
Propane companies are listed in the telephone directory, and can also be found online. If you prefer, we can recommend to you propane suppliers who have done excellent installation work for us.
12. Can I bury my propane tank underground?
Yes, unlike oil tanks, propane tanks may be buried underground.
13. How big is a generator unit?
Actually, a generator system consists of two main components. The generator unit itself, which generates the electrical current, is approximately 2 feet by 4 feet, and about 30” high. Photographs of the generators we offer can be found on the generator page on our website. The other necessary component of your system is the transfer switch, which looks like, and will be slightly bigger than your electrical panel.
14. What does the automatic transfer switch do?
The automatic transfer switch is actually the heart of your generator system. It contains the circuitry that will constantly monitor the power grid, sensing when there is a blackout or brownout, and immediately switch you over to emergency power for the duration of the problem. It will continue to monitor your home’s electrical system and your utility, sensing the return of utility power and returning you to it, after which it will shut down your generator and reset everything, ready for the next power emergency.
15. Does the generator just plug in?
A generator is not like any other appliance in your home. It cannot be “plugged in” to your existing electrical system, but must be wired into that system, changing the configuration of your existing system. This work is too complicated and potentially dangerous for “do-it-yourselfers.” It has to be done by a licensed electrician – one who is experienced in generator installations, who is responsible for the safe integration of the system into your home’s electrical system. The installer also has to program the generator and transfer switch and to thoroughly test these devices before putting your system into service.
At Wilson Electric, all generator installations are performed by experienced factory-trained technicians and supervised by a master electrician holding an “E-1” license from the state – the highest designation that an electrician can hold. Our company is fully insured. We stand behind our work with an unconditional warranty against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of installation. We have been in business for more than twenty years, and will be here whenever you need us. Each manufacturer provides additional periods of warranty which vary depending upon the unit selected.
16. How long does all this take?
From the moment you instruct us to go ahead with your new generator system, your unit and its Automatic Transfer Switch will generally arrive at your home within a week to ten days. The physical installation of the generator and the transfer switch will take our installation team most of a day to complete, including the rewiring and integration of your existing system.
17. Will my power be out during the installation of my generator system?
We will not need to shut off your electricity during most of the installation of your system; however, there will be a short period (generally about an hour or less) when your electricity will need to be turned off.
18. Where will the generator and transfer switch be installed?
There are several considerations regarding placement of the generator system components. It is best to place the generator unit fairly close to your electric meter. However, there are certain minimum distances from combustible materials, and from windows and doors in your home that must be observed. There may also be zoning requirements imposed by the town in which you live. And then you may have your own feelings about where you would like to see the generator placed. The unit is not unattractive (a lot of people think it looks something like their central air-conditioner compressors) but you may want the unit to be at least partially shielded from view. We recently did an installation for a customer who wanted the generator unit to be installed off in the woods, one hundred feet from the residence. Our installation team will discuss the siting of the generator unit with you in detail when we come to your home to do a free evaluation of your emergency power needs and together you and we will reach consensus regarding the best location for the generator.
The transfer switch needs to be installed near your electric meter and/or electric panel. Some transfer switches are completely weatherproof and can be installed on an outside wall of your home. Some need to be installed inside.
19. What if the generator isn’t used for long periods of time – how do we know it will start when we need it to?
Today’s generator systems are designed with built-in “exercise” programs – your generator will start up once a week at a time you select and exercise itself for 12 to 15 minutes. It does this a half speed, and does not switch over the power inside your home to the generator, so many of our customers tell us they do not even notice the weekly exercise program. In colder locations, we can install a battery warmer and/or an engine oil warmer so that the unit will start up as if it were always springtime. All systems come equipped with a system which will keep the starting battery at full charge.
20. What about service?
Your generator is an engine with a lot of similarities to your car engine. It has spark plugs, oil, a fuel system, etc. which must be maintained, just like those in your car. The manufacturers recommend having your generator system serviced at least twice a year (more frequently if the generator has seen some hard or extended use). If you prefer, you can have us add you to our regularly-scheduled maintenance program so that your unit will automatically receive the care that it needs in the fall and the spring, performed by factory-trained service personnel.
21. How much noise does the generator unit make when it runs?
Although there are slight differences among the various units, the 20kW units (to pick one example) produce about 63 decibels of noise when running at full speed. This noise level is comparable to your car engine running faster than an idle, but not racing. During their exercise periods, most generators are designed to run at half speed, and thus produce considerably less noise.
22. How much does all this cost?
A complete generator system furnished and installed by Wilson Electric can run as little as a few thousand dollars, or as much as several times that, depending upon the size and the features of the system you choose to have installed. We can give you an exact price after we see the electrical system in your home and hear from you what you would like to accomplish with your emergency power system.
23. So how do we get started?
You can call us at (203) 359-1200 or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can send you information via email, fax or postal mail, or can answer your questions by phone. But the best way is to have us visit you at your home so that we can do an evaluation of your emergency power needs, and make a recommendation to you, with absolutely no obligation and no pressure.
Free consultations available. Call 203-359-1200, or contact us online.
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Serving Fairfield County, CT and Westchester County, NY. Service areas include but aren't limited to Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Conn., and Armonk, New York.