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What a Site Survey Is and Why It Is Important When Purchasing a Home Standby Generator

March 2, 2022

A site survey takes the confusion out of purchasing a home standby generator.

Knowledge is power. Purchase a Champion site survey now to learn exactly what’s involved with the purchase and installation of a home standby generator. A Champion dealer will walk you through the installation process from start to finish, and you will be equipped with all the details you need, all your questions answered and a customized estimate specifically designed for you, your family, your home and your budget. 

Contact an Authorized Champion Dealer with our Home Standby Generator Selector.

Automatic home standby generators provide peace of mind since they operate whether you are home or not. Your family is your biggest investment, and we understand how important it is to know they are safe and protected during unexpected emergencies.

Champion’s “keep it simple” strategy connects you with the most affordable backup solution for your needs.

Your costs for purchasing and installing a home standby generator system will include:

  • The generator itself
  • An automatic transfer switch
  • Any power management modules needed for high demand appliances (e.g. electric cooking range or electric clothes dryer)
  • Placement and installation of the system by an authorized Champion installer, including materials related to electrical connections and natural gas (NG) or propane (LPG) plumbing, fittings and connections and batteries 

Once purchased and installed, ongoing costs are fuel and maintenance. Your Champion dealer can size your generator to minimize your fuel consumption costs with an efficient Champion home standby generator and support your Champion home standby with scheduled maintenance.

During a site survey: What you will learn

Champion will contact you within 48 hours of your site survey purchase and connect you with a local, authorized dealer. Then, the authorized Champion dealer will schedule a convenient time to meet with you at your home to conduct the site survey.

The Champion dealer:  

  • Walks you through the system installation process 
  • Ensures local codes are met·        
  • Provides a turnkey solution that works for you   

In order to avoid costly mistakes that would need to be corrected in the future, no important details will be overlooked. Your dealer site survey determines the placement, installation and materials needed for your home standby generator system. Your Champion installer will teach you how your system operates, and once installed, will demonstrate the features of your new standby. 

Where can my generator be installed?

The answer to this question isn’t always easy due to the various local codes and proper safety precautions that must be considered. A Champion dealer knows exactly how to answer these questions and make recommendations resulting in an efficient and cost-effective installation. Champion home standby generators are rated for installation as close as 18 inches from the outer wall of your home (where code allows), saving wiring and plumbing costs.  A home standby generator should never be installed closer than 5 feet to an opening in the home, including windows, doors, and vents, and should also never be installed under decking.

Do I need a concrete pad?

Depending on local code, some installations may require a concrete pad, although home standby generators are usually installed on graded landscape rock or pea gravel to allow for drainage.  A Champion dealer can provide a pre-formed pad solution if required.

How much plumbing will I need?

Your Champion generator must be connected to your home’s fuel source (NG or LPG) in order to create electricity. The installer will determine the best standby generator placement based on several factors including the location of your gas meter in order to minimize the fuel pipe required. An optimal installation uses under 20 feet of pipe.

Do I need a meter upgrade?

In order to prevent your generator’s fuel requirements from starving the other appliances in your home, natural gas may require a gas meter upgrade through your gas utility. This will be determined by a Champion dealer.

Where will the transfer switch be installed?

Your Champion generator is connected to your home’s electrical distribution system through an automatic transfer switch. Depending on where your distribution panel is located, your home may need a transfer switch installed either outdoors or indoors. Champion offers switches for either requirement.

How much wiring will I need?

The amount of wire you’ll need depends on what side of the house your electrical meter and main distribution panel are located. This will affect how much wire needs to be run to the generator. The Champion dealer will determine the best standby generator placement in order to help minimize the electrical wire and conduit required. The optimal wire run is under 20 feet.

Do I need a load management module?

For whole house power, with intelligent load management technology, larger electrical demand items that use 240-volt double pole breakers such as electric cooking ranges or electric clothes dryers can be managed with the optional load management module (LMM). Managing these items with an LMM allows you to use a smaller generator by intelligently controlling when each appliance can start, saving you money on fuel consumption and the cost of a generator

Before a site survey: What to know

What are my goals for a home standby generator system?

  •  If you want your generator system to manage your entire home’s electrical demand during a power outage, then you are the perfect match for our most flexible solution a Whole House Standby Generator System.
  • If you want your generator system to manage 12 or 16 select circuits in your home during a power outage, then you are a great fit for our most cost-effective solution a Select Circuit Standby Generator System.

Other helpful items: 

When estimating installation costs, it’s helpful to know the size of your home in square feet, the size of your home’s electrical panel, and whether your home’s fuel supply is natural gas (NG) or propane (LPG). Your home’s electrical service size in Amps can be found at the main circuit breaker in the distribution panel of your home.

  • Whole House: For Champion Whole House managed power systems, if your home is under or around 4000 square feet, typically, it may be managed with a Champion 14kW generator.
  • Select Circuit: Champion’s Select Circuit systems can manage 12 or 16 circuits and requires your preselection of items you want to power during an outage. Sizing requirements are not based on the square footage of your home.

If you’re not sure about any of these items, a Champion Dealer will be happy to answer any questions you might have and offer a personalized recommendation during your site survey.

Get the process started and get connected to an Authorized Champion Dealer with our Home Standby Generator Selector tool.