Frequently Asked Questions

What size generator do I need? How do I correctly size a generator for my home?

Generators offer a solution for homeowners to keep everything running, from essential appliances and systems to the entire home. The generator size you need depends on what you want to keep powered when your regular electricity supply is interrupted.

When talking about generator size, it usually means the electrical capacity rather than the physical dimensions of the unit. To figure out the capacity you need, consider what you want to power at the same time, like your fridge, air conditioning, and TV. Just add up the total watts each of these uses to know the electrical capacity required.

How much will a generator cost?

The price of generators can differ based on their electrical power (watts) and specific features. We will help you choose a generator that suits both your needs and budget. Beyond just the cost, consider the invaluable security and dependability a generator brings, keeping your family safe and prepared during emergencies.

What is a standby / automatic back-up / fixed generator?

Standby generators are permanently installed outside your home on a concrete pad. They usually operate on natural gas or liquid propane and will automatically activate within seconds of detecting a power outage, whether you're at home or not. These generators also shut off by themselves once the regular utility power is restored.

Can I install a standby generator myself?

A professional must install a standby generator. They will connect the transfer switch correctly and ensure your warranty is protected and valid.

Do generators need maintenance?

Like car engines, generators need regular oil changes and filter replacements. Our expert service technicians offer round-the-clock emergency response and generator maintenance services. Contact us to learn more about our preventive maintenance.

Do I have to push a button to turn the generator on?

No! A standby generator equipped with an automatic transfer switch operates automatically. It keeps an eye on the utility company's electrical supply, and if your home loses power, the backup generator will turn on by itself.

What do I have to do to make the generator work?

In short, nothing once your generator is installed. Regular maintenance would include having the oil changed once a year by one of our certified technicians.

How do I know the generator is working?

The generator runs a self-diagnostic test and runs briefly once a week, depending on the make and model of the machine.

How much does a backup generator cost to operate?

A standby generator runs on either natural gas or propane. Its operating cost depends on how many home appliances, lights, heating, or cooling systems you use, along with the price of propane or gas.

How long will my generator run?

A properly maintained backup generator will continue to operate as long as there's a steady supply of natural gas or propane. For instance, if the generator uses propane from a 500-gallon tank, it can run continuously, 24 hours a day, for more than a week.

How loud are whole-house generators?

The majority of home generators are relatively quiet, averaging around 66 decibels at a distance of three meters (or approximately ten feet). This level of noise is similar to an air conditioner running or a telephone ringing. If your generator is louder than this, it's time to contact BNK Services.

How much maintenance will my generator need?

It's important to schedule regular maintenance for your generator, just as you would for your air conditioner or furnace. We suggest getting a service check-up every six months and changing the oil annually. Remember, a generator is an engine, and for best performance, it needs regular maintenance.

Do you offer maintenance contracts?

Yes! Our 15-point backup generator maintenance checklist checks all of the boxes to keep your generator running at peak performance.

Can a backup generator run the whole house?

Absolutely. We will even help you determine the best generator for your needs so you do not end up in an emergency where you need your generator but it is not big enough to handle your needs.

Can I just run specific items?

Yes, you can select specific electrical circuits to run essential appliances and items you and your family need during a power outage.

How long will my generator last?

The lifespan of a generator depends on several factors, including its type, quality, usage, and how well it's maintained. With regular maintenance, such as oil changes, filter replacements, and general servicing, you can extend the life of your generator. The more diligently you maintain it, the longer it's likely to last. Remember, the actual lifespan can vary based on how often you use the generator and the conditions it operates in.

Can an automatic backup generator replace utility service?

Definitely not! Using a generator as your main power source would be far costlier than getting electricity from the utility company, which spreads its production costs across many customers. Our automatic generators are designed to serve as a backup for utility power and are not intended for primary power use.

If I have a problem with my generator, where do I go for help?

BNK Services is here for your repair/warranty service. Contact our team of professionals for the maintenance and repair of your home generator.

How does an automatic transfer switch work?

The transfer switch plays a crucial role in your home's backup system. Its main job is to make sure your home isn't powered by both the utility and the generator simultaneously. When the utility power goes out, the generator's control panel detects this loss and signals the transfer switch to disconnect from the utility and connect to the generator instead. Once this happens, your home starts receiving power from the generator.