Best Standby Generator

Briggs & Stratton 40445

Briggs & Stratton 40445

Briggs & Stratton 40532

Briggs & Stratton 40532

Briggs & Stratton 40396

Briggs & Stratton 40396

Standby generators are automatic back-up electrical systems. You might wonder how the generator works. So, how does it work?

There is an automatic transfer switch that senses the utility outage. This switch sends a command to the generator to start, then shift the electrical load to the generator.

We may also want to look at the benefits of a standby generator. So, how does a standby generator benefit you as a consumer?

The generators are fast since they are automatic; therefore, there is immediate delivery of emergency power when there is a power outage. The generator enables you to keep your business running normally.

It also ensures that your electrical appliances are protected from violent power surges when it disconnects the house from the utility lines.

As if that is not enough, standby generators ensure that your house gets connected back to the utility lines when the voltage power has stabilized. There are usually dangerous surges when power returns. But standby generators ensure that your electronic devices, as well as your house, are protected from the highly hazardous voltage.

Despite all the benefits, there are probably specific questions disturbing you. What are the power and voltage requirements? What type of generator should I use? And which is the best standby generator? Why don’t we have a look at the following top products?

Best Standby Generator List

Briggs & Stratton 40445

Briggs & Stratton 40445

If you are looking for a budget standby generator, then this is your go-to generator. The Briggs & Stratton 40445 ensures that all the essential appliances are kept running during outages. A 50-amp start-up switch is part of this lucrative deal.

This product, however, only deals with essentials. It does not keep your house lit up in case of a power outage. Regardless of being an “essentials only” type of generator, it serves the purpose well. The product has an 8000-watt rating when using propane and 6000-watt score when you tap into natural gas.

It is relatively quiet and has a long lifespan because it is a high-quality motor. The product has a good alternator, as well. Generally, it stands on its own despite the restrictions on its use.


  • 4-year limited warranty
  • High build quality
  • Rust-resistant exterior
  • Square inch to power ratio is excellent
  • The package comes with a transfer switch


  • Cables are not provided
  • Relatively low powered

Briggs & Stratton 40532

Briggs & Stratton 40532

When you are looking for something a lit bit bigger, this 12,000-watt standby generator is the best choice. This product can manage quite a tangible bit of your home without breaking down. Even though we are not talking about total functionality in case of an outage, the amount of power it produces is substantial.

This product, just like other Briggs and Stratton generators, is an excellent engine and a well-engineered box that gives you an easy time when cleaning it. When making your purchase, it gives you the pleasure of selecting between four transfer switches depending on your preferences.

If you are planning on keeping the AC on the generator, go for higher amperage. But for temperate climates, a 100A switch will work for you just fine. 


  • 12kW of power
  • 5-year warranty
  • Corrosion-resistant body
  • Easy maintenance
  • Multiple transfer switches available


  • No cables provided
  • Not designed to power the whole house

Briggs & Stratton 40396

Briggs & Stratton 40396

A 20,0000-watt Briggs and Stratton 40396 ensures that your lifestyle is not interrupted by a mere power outage. It is a splendid machine. The product will cost you quite a considerable amount of money, but you will be glad to have when the need arises.

This product has a variety of transfer switches. The 200A or 200/400A switches will suit you well if you have multiple air conditions. However, the 150A switch suits most people as a start-up.

This product has higher amp loads that might prove to be suitable even for small businesses. It is well-engineered to keep you consistently comfortable with long-lasting power when there is an outage. Nonetheless, Briggs & Stratton 40396 is a large and heavy-duty machine that will keep your large home powered continuously.


  • The case is corrosion resistant
  • Low maintenance required
  • Massive wattage
  • Runs on propane or natural gas
  • Wide variety in transfer switches


  • Heavy and massive
  • Requires heating kit for oil

Generac Guardian Series 5871

Generac Guardian Series 5871

Instead of going for more expensive brands, Generac generators offer you a pleasant and cheaper alternative. When it comes to slouches, the engines have none even though the generators do not match the Briggs & Stratton quality. It is a low-priced generator that provides a good amount of power.

This product is a 10,000-watt generator that will keep the lights on and the fridge running during an outage. So long as you are not planning on powering the whole house, Generac 5871 provides sufficient power for your needs.

However, it is more suitable for people dealing with intermittent outages of a few hours or occasional outages. It is not the kind of generators that you would want to keep running for days at a time.


  • 10,000kW
  • Cheap
  • The package comes with a transfer switch
  • Requires low maintenance
  • Runs on natural gas or propane


  • Not designed for extended run times
  • Transfer switch only runs ten circuits

Generac 6551 Guardian Series

Generac 6551 Guardian Series

This product is a large standby generator that is designed to keep your home fully powered in case of a power outage. It is a 22,000-watts powered generator with a 200amp transfer switch that I am sure is quite sufficient to satisfy a lot of people’s needs.

It is necessary to note that, just like older Generac generators, this is not the most suitable generator where power outage is imminent. It is mostly ideal where people experience intermittent power outages or where you want to save money.

Generally, Generac 6551 works well for those who want to keep the whole house fully powered at a cheaper cost, and they experience intermittent outages.


  • 20,000 watts
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • The case is made of aluminum and is wind resistant
  • Includes a 200-amp transfer switch
  • Mobile link compatible


  • Large and heavy
  • Not designed for extended running

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Standby Generators

You will be looking for something that looks handy. However, you must do your research before spending your money. You need to consider certain factors when purchasing a standby generator.

Best Standby Generators


What Are Your Power Requirements (Voltage)?

Your power needs can undoubtedly tie back to your available budget. Nonetheless, the primary determining aspect for generator sizing can be responded to with the following question: Should the generator run the whole building or handle emergency loads during power outages?

Peak demands during summer months and your electrical service amperage are relevant details in the sizing of a generator for an entire building. The emergency circuits need to be determined when sizing for emergency loads only.

The process may require the electrician to split the emergency circuits from your main electrical panel into a separate emergency panel for existing structures. This decision is characteristically homeowner preference for a home standby system. Some loads may be required to have an emergency back-up to meet code compliance for critical applications such as healthcare institutions. 


Which Type of Fuel Can You Use?

Natural gas, propane, and diesel are the most common types of fuel for emergency standby generators. Gasoline is typically viewed as an inappropriate fuel choice for standby systems even though it is deemed convenient due to its relatively short life of stability.

The cost can be a factor when choosing whether to use diesel or natural gas generator (or propane) since the cost difference varies depending on the size of the generator. The availability of fuel sources is another critical factor.

Diesel and propane may require a re-fill during an extended power outage. The process involves natural gas being pulled from the local utility. However, they provide an 'on-site' fuel source. Local code requirements may prescribe which fuel types are to be used in your area; for instance, propane may not be allowed within city limits in some regions.

Also, the type of facility can sometimes decree if an on-site fuel source is required. 


Who Installs the Generator?

The general answer for this is a licensed electrician and a licensed plumber. The choice is most often up to you as a buyer. You need to choose a decent company with a rich history of standby generator systems’ installation.

Sometimes you may have a firm in mind when deciding to buy a generator, while other times, you may benefit from a referral. 


Where Should the Generator Be Located?

The generator should be set where it is readily accessible for maintenance and repair. You should set it high enough to keep rising water from reaching the generator. Comply with code standards for minimum distance from flammable walls and building openings for outdoor and rooftop installations.

You should adhere to requirements for exhaust ducting, fuel supply, proximity to combustible materials, and ventilation for indoor installations. Ideally, the generator should be located close enough to the fuel supply and transfer switch. 


Which Enclosure Type for Outdoor Set-ups?

Is there a local noise regulation? Some areas need the sound level of the standby system to be within a specific decibel rating at the nearest property line. The target sound level will govern the type of generator enclosure if you have a particular sound requirement.

Most residential or light commercial generators include standard features with an attenuated sound enclosure. Industrial-grade generators may offer numerous enclosure types ranging from an average weather enclosure to a custom package to satisfy strict requirements.


What is the Voltage Requirement?

Standard low voltages are 120/240 volts single phase, 120/208 volts three-phase, 120/240 volts three-phase, and 277/480 volts three-phase. Your electrician can provide this information if you are not sure.


Which Type of Transfer Switch Should I Use?

Transfer switches are usually automatically controlled type. Manual transfer switches can be supplied for specific systems if preferred, although this lack of automation often doesn’t come with much of a cost-savings.

Your electrician should determine the amperage rating where the installation should be done. It may also depend on whether it is an entire building or just emergency loads. The transfer switch may need to be service-entrance rated if the system is sized to power the whole building. It will incorporate a utility disconnect in the transfer switch cabinet.

Several other transfer switch features exist for industrial applications. They include bypass isolation, closed transition, and programmed development. 


Are There Specific Accessory Needs?

Accessory options will vary depending on your generator type. Residential or light commercial systems classically offer an optional remote annunciator panel. The panel provides generator status and is situated in your preferred indoor location.

Cold-weather kits and remote monitoring are available for many residential and commercial systems. For industrial operations, the number of available options is much higher. It includes an alternator strip heater, enclosure lighting, an extended list of communication options, and load centers.


What is the Warranty Duration?

The warranty duration for most generators ranges between one year to five years. It depends on the generator type. A commercial generator comes standard with a warranty ranging from two to five years, whereas an industrial generator comes standard with a one- or two-year warranty with optional upgrades.

It is suitable for you to understand the warranty duration and coverage of your standby system and ask for costs pf upgrade if you prefer an increased coverage.


Who Will Maintain the Equipment?

Just like any other motor you own, your generator needs to be appropriately maintained to help ensure the gear will start and run as anticipated during your subsequent power outages. Unlike your car, generators tend to be neglected for extended periods between power outages. This negligence can result in equipment failure when you critically need it.

Keeping your equipment maintained adequately is highly essential to ensure reliable operation whether you choose to do it yourself or get insurance for a maintenance program.


Permits and Licensing

You may also need to ensure that you have the building permits and other legal necessities when you are getting ready to set things up. It depends on the local laws. You can check with the contractor you are planning on using to ensure everything is put in place.
Fines will make your project quite expensive.

Who Needs to Get a Standby Generator?

Whether you live in a storm-prone area or you are just trying to make sure that you are prepared for anything. Anyone can consider a home standby generator in case the regular power grid shuts off.

Most people keep generators around for those instances where some more power might be warranted, but a home standby generator is not just a little piece for handling a couple of additional rooms.

The generators often tie directly into gas lines, commonly work on propane, and are intended to get in place as soon as there is a power outage. A good generator will have your appliances back online within just a couple of seconds. This reaction lessens the damage that an impromptu power outage might cause.

Standby generators have become quite popular among certain circles. The most significant consumers are those who live in areas where massive storms are a real possibility. You might be forced to use candles for a night, or end up losing all the food in your fridge depending on how long there is power shutoff.

The loss of air conditioning or heating service in extreme climates can be very uncomfortable.

Standby generators represent a significant investment since they are massive units. The simple answer is: if you think you will need one, they are a sound investment. All you need to do is find out which generator works for you and get it.


Home standby generators prove to be essential for you in case of an outage. The generators are fast since they are automatic; thus, there is immediate delivery of emergency power when there is a power outage.

Getting the best standby generators may not be easy at all. We have looked at some of these products and even factors to consider before purchasing them; but do you feel ready to make the right and thus best choice for you? Why don’t we take you through this final step!

Indeed, all the five standby generators that we have looked at are top of the league in providing you with continual supply of power during outage.

The Briggs & Stratton 40445, however, has proven to have what it takes. If you are looking for a budget standby generator, therefore, then Briggs & Stratton 40445 should be your go-to generator. 

You shouldn’t be disappointed that this product may not keep your house lit up in case of power outage because it makes up for this by keeping your essentials running. This means that your appliances will have an uninterrupted power supply for some time during such times.

It also has a 50-amp start-up switch and is powered by 8000W with propane or 6000W with natural gas.

Visit any electronic appliances’ shop and get yourself a standby generator.

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