Robert Lamoureux | Take care with indoor generator installation

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]
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Question No. 1 

Hello Robert, 

I have gotten your advice in the past and now have a new question. I am going to have a backup generator installed at our house due to the increased number of power outages here. It will be kept in the garage (furthest corner from anything). Is there a way to safely operate it while it stays in the garage with the door closed? I am aware of CO issues. Is there a way to enclose it and run an exhaust line to the outside? I am hoping not to drag it outside especially if it rains or in the middle of the night for use. Enclosing it somehow would be ideal. Your thoughts and your opinion are always welcome. Thank you. 

Rick M. 

Answer No. 1 

Rick, 

Thank you for writing in again and being a loyal Signal reader. I would talk to the installers you mentioned in the email that is going to install the generator to see if there is a factory attachment that can be added to the exhaust of the generator. I’m a stickler about altering equipment like this that is designed to be used outdoors. If this is something the installer says can be done then I would rely on them to do it for you, just for safety reasons. Please be sure if the transfer switch is not built into the generator and they are wiring one in externally that is UL approved. The aftermarket switches are potentially dangerous for the line men if not certified equipment. The voltage can back feed to the lines and hurt and or kill someone. Best of luck. 

Robert 

Question No. 2 

Robert,

In response to the second question of July 18 article: Do you use household bleach in your kitchen sink trap that has a disposal? 

Jimmie 

Answer No. 2 

Jimmie, 

No, not necessary, as the trap is after the disposal outlet arm. For the disposal I recommend using a few ice cubes and running them in the disposal to break off any food stuck to the blades. Do not overdo the ice cubes as they can lock up the blades temporarily. If it does happen, just run water to loosen them up. I’ve put too many in the disposal and had to run water to melt and dislodge them. Thank you for being a reader of The Signal.

Robert

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