Emergency Power with Standby or Portable Generators

In this week’s blog post we are talking emergency power generators again and want to take a look at how portable generators compare to permanently installed standby generators.

So let’s start with another Generac video …

Advantages of permanently installed generators over portable:

  • Starts and stops automatically in case of a power outage.
  • No fuel handling, permanent installed generators typically run on natural gas or propane
  • No extension cords and hookup hassle, your installed generator is wired to the power panel in the house with an automated transfer switch.
  • Less noise due to lower RPM design and noise dampening protective case.
  • Less or easier maintenance, automated test runs programmed in the control unit.
  • Whole house energy supply possible depending on size.

Advantages of portable generators:

  • Portability for use at any place where power is not available.
    Their use as emergency power generator is a welcome but not primary purpose.
  • Portable generators typically cost much less.
    They are smaller, 2kVA – 8kVA for example, compared to whole house generators delivering power starting at 8KVA or so.
  • Hook-up to house wiring is possible with manual transfer switch.
    –>> Consult your electrician for local code and requirements.
  • Caution:
    • Never operate portable generators in enclosed locations as deadly exhaust gases can accumulate unnoticed.
    • Never use male-male jumper cables, aka suicide cables, to feed the wiring of your house.
      It’s illegal and leads to severe damage, injury and death.


A permanent installed standby generator is the solution for automated, worry-free and secure emergency power.
A portable generator has a different purpose but can be very well by used in emergencies. However they requires more efforts to set up and maintain, and special precaution is required for safe operation.

And contact our emergency power specialists for your specific application and needs at 864-232-5684 or by email