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Old 07-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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Generator standoff from house?


No, I am not in Iraq but sometimes it feels like it with our power system grid lack of reliability. Anyway, the most recent spate of multi-day power outages here in MD, this time arguably not that out of line with the exceptional storm system we had Friday night, has many of us thinking again about backup power solutions.

Aside from the electrical connection, disconnect switch and load calulation issues, I was wondering if there is a code for minimum standoff between an occupied structure and a permanently installed generator, like a Generac system for carbon monoxide and/or fire prevention reasons? Several of us here live in townhomes that have limited distance between the houses and rear property lines that border common areas. I know, we need to check the covenants and all that. Just wondering if there is a minimum standoff in the code that would make it futile to look into this in more detail.


Last edited by raylo32; 07-02-2012 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:40 PM   #2
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Generator standoff from house?


i've seen differing answers on this, your local code may have something to say about it as well. Best answer i can tell you is that you need to use your discretion and not mount it close enough to the house that the exhaust will enter the house and there's no risk of fire from the generator overheating

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Old 07-02-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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Generator standoff from house?


I believe the newer Generac units only need 18" from the house and something like five feet away from any openings such as doors and windows etc. However, the city where you live or the state of MD may have local ordinaces that are more restrictive.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:31 PM   #4
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Generator standoff from house?


http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/build09/PDF/b09009.pdf

The above link will give you the recommended safe distances for gas powered generators. I'm not sure what the standards are for natural gas generators.

I have a gas powered generator that is about 20 feet from the house, and we keep the windows on the generator side of the house closed when running it.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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Generator standoff from house?


Check with your local county zoning office. Most can't be within 4' of an openable window, this to avoid carbon monoxide fumes from drifting back into the house and killing you. Then there's the property line setback, around here you cannot put one within the existing setback areas. This often means the unit can't be on the side of the house (where the electrical panel is located) but has to be in the backyard instead.
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