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Generators


Why Would I Need a Generator? | How Do I Choose the Right Generator? | Basic Generator Information


Why Would I Need a Generator? In the event that utility power is lost for an extended period of time, electric generators are used to power furnaces, home medical equipment, well pumps, sump pumps, refrigerators, freezers, lights, TVs, sewer pumps, microwaves, garage-door openers, computers, burglar/fire alarms, and many other electric appliances.

Sullivan Plumbing Co. has found that, in the Champaign-Urbana area, most homeowners are purchasing generators as a backup power source for sump pumps. If you have ever experienced a flooded basement, you understand the devastating damage it can cause. Apart from the obvious damage to belongings, flooding can also cause plumbing problems, a damaged foundation or rotted wood, all of which are troubles that bring down the value of your home. A sump pump can save you thousands of dollars in the long run by maintaining the value of your home, and by protecting your belongings from water damage, but if the sump pump fails due to a power outage, you will wish that you had protected it with a generator.

How Do I Choose the Right Generator? There are many factors to review when selecting a generator, and all must be thoroughly and carefully considered before the purchase is made.

  1. How do you plan to use your generator?

  2. How quiet does the generator need to be?

  3. Is electric start required or desired?

  4. How much power do you need?

  5. Do you need a portable generator or a stationary generator?

  6. Does it matter which type of fueling system the generator uses?

Basic Generator Information Generators are made in different sizes and price ranges to meet different backup power needs. Generally, a portable generator can handle basic electric power needs (lights, refrigerator, cooking), and requires manual turn-on. A stationary/permanently installed generators can be sized to handle your entire home's power needs. It is connected to your home wiring, and requires installation by an electrical contractor. A stationary generator starts automatically in the unlikely event of a power outage, and this is why this is the right choice for backing up life-safety equipment. After an outage, it can restore power in seconds and support all loads as long as needed.

Generators produce AC voltage, very similar to the voltage available in your home, however while your electric utility company produces sufficient power for all your electric-powered devices, a portable generator is limited in power output directly relational to the engine horsepower. The amount of power that a generator can produce is rated in watts. Rated power is generally 90% of maximum power as certain components lose efficiency as they become heated from use.

Generators are available with engines that run on gasoline, diesel fuel, liquefied propane (LP) gas, or natural gas.


Selecting a generator for your home is an important decision, and should be discussed with an expert. For more information on generators, call Sullivan Plumbing at (217) 355-3789, or contact us using our simple contact form.

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