Whole House Generators

Whole house generators are within reach for Memphis-area homeowners. Standby generator solutions offer homeowners uninterrupted standby power throughout any power outage.

Our goal at Benchmark Electric is to help homeowners make an informed decision about standby power for their home.

Homeowners have plenty of choices when it comes to standby power. Some generators are budget-friendly and ideal for short-term outages. Other generators offer endurance during extended power outages and, as a result, perform flawlessly for decades.

One common theme among all home standby generators is the automatic response when a power outage is detected. Standby power energizes connected circuits within 10-seconds or less. When utility power is restored, the generator shuts down automatically.

The operation of a standby generator is completely automatic. Standby generators simply work when a loss of power is detected.

True Whole House Generators + Generator Sizing

The term "Whole House Generator" is misunderstood by consumers and the generator industry shares some blame.

Consider the plight of a local customer browsing generators in a big box store. After spotting a box marked "Whole House Generator", just like the image to the right, the customer bought the unit before calling us for an installation quote.

Upon arrival, we surveyed the power demands for the 3500 SF home and found that the generator just purchased was too small. Inside the box marked "Whole House Generator" was a 14kW generator and a 150-Amp Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS).

The transfer switch was also too small. The customer needed a 200-Amp switch to match the home's 200-Amp Main Breaker Panel. Connected to the ATS should be an appropriately sized whole house generator.

Generator box indicates whole house coverage

Unfortunately, a 14kW generator is too small to cover all house loads. The lesson learned is don't for fooled by boxes marked "whole house generator".

While the ATS might connect the "whole house", proper generator sizing by a professional is a necessity to ensure the desired end result.

Managed Whole House Generators

Managed whole house generators refer to air-cooled generators and, typically, are used on homes up to 3000 square feet. Built-in load management capabilities enable homeowners to use a smaller, undersized generator to run the entire house when budget is a consideration.

High energy appliances like air conditioning systems, ovens, clothes dryers, electric water heaters, and pumps are managed by the generator to prevent overloading.

Let's assume a 2500-3000 square foot home has two 5-ton air conditioners, a kitchen oven, and clothes dryer in addition to other common electrical circuits.

Built-in load management capabilities manage the operation of the two 5-ton A/Cs allowing just one A/C to run at a time. When the A/C completes its cycle, the second 5-ton A/C is free to operate.

Optional load management modules may be required to manage the operation of the kitchen oven and clothes dryer.

Image of a Cummins Load Management Module used on air-cooled generators providing manage whole house generators coverage for homes up to 3000SF.

For true whole house coverage, the same home will likely require a larger 30kW liquid-cooled generator. All electrical circuits will operate on demand and without load management.

Liquid-cooled generators are sized according to house loads. As a result, these generators do not have load management capabilities.

Online Generator Sizing Calculators

Online generator sizing calculators are useful as a guide. Benchmark Electric recommends an evaluation by an industry professional.

Benchmark Electric offers free turnkey installation estimates and include proper generator sizing based upon a homeowner's unique needs. To get started, call us at 901-590-4968 or send us an online message here.

Consider reading our article explaining how Benchmark Electric rates and ranks standby generators. It is a must read article for any buyer of standby power.

Cummins Air-Cooled Generator

Image of Cummins RS20A 20kW air-cooled whole house standby generator for homes up to 2000SF.

Cummins Liquid-Cooled NG/LP

Image of a Cummins RS125 whole house standby generator

Cummins Liquid-Cooled Diesel

Image of a Cummins C30D6 diesel whole house standby generator

frequently asked questions

Standby generators fueled by natural gas (NG) have an unlimited supply of fuel from the gas meter. No fuel storage or refilling.

Generators fueled by liquid-propane (LP) or diesel require a fuel storage tank. LP gas suppliers offer fuel tanks in various sizes. Diesel generators have a fuel storage tank mounted subbase and are also available in different sizes.