Technical Terms

Air-Cooled Generators

rely on airflow to cool the engine. They can be portable or permanently installed ranging in size from .7kW to 22kW.

Ampere (amps)

a unit of electric current. Most household circuits are 15 or 20 amps. Appliance or equipment circuits are typically 20 amps and higher.


 Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter – An AFCI circuit breaker or receptacle protects the branch circuit wiring (supplying receptacles and lighting) from dangerous arcing faults that could initiate an electrical fire. 

Automatic Standby Generator

a back-up electrical system that operates whether you are at home or away. It automatically supplies power to the essential circuits of your home within seconds of a utility outage. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and awaits the next outage. It operates on natural gas and is located outside just like a central air conditioning unit.

Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)

an electrical device that automatically switches the electrical load from a utility (normal) power source to an emergency (standby) power source and vice versa. The transfer switch prevents electrical feedback between the two power sources.


an intentional or unintentional drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system. If you think of a power surge as a tsunami, consider a brown–out as low–tide.

BTU (British Thermal Unit)

a measure of natural gas (volume) a generator or appliance requires to operate as designed.

Circuit breaker (CB)

an electrical device acting as a switch; automatically protecting an electric circuit from an overload or a short circuit. Most household circuits are single pole, rated 15 or 20 amps, and are 120 volts. Double pole circuit breakers are used for higher capacity, 240 volt circuits, such as well pumps, electric dryer, oven, and air conditioners. Typically the circuit breaker ampere capacity is noted on the handle or surface of the circuit breaker.

Circuit breaker panel (load center)

an electrical enclosure that contains circuit breakers.

Decibel (dB)

a unit of measure for sound. It allows for the comparison of known values for different levels of noise generated by various sources.


an approximate cost. The actual cost is unknown until completion of a project, which is a disadvantage to the consumer. We offer our customers a detailed written quotation, when accepted, it becomes our promise to you.


Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter –  A GFCI circuit breaker or receptacle protects people from the deadly effects of electric shock that could occur if parts of an electrical appliance or tool become energized due to a ground fault (live wire touching a normally un-energized housing or enclosure). 

Kilowatt (kW)

a watt is a basic unit of power, whereas a kilowatt is 1000 watts (equal to 10-100 watt light bulbs). Generators are rated in kW as an industry standard for sizing and comparison.

Liquid- Cooled Generator

a class of generators 22kW and larger that utilize an automotive type engine due to the increased horsepower required. These engines produce more heat and require liquid cooling just like your automobile does.

Liquid Propane (LPG- LP)

a compressed gas in the form of a liquid, for easy transport. The liquid vaporizes as it is released from the pressurized tank or bottle. It is heavier than air or natural gas. It also has higher energy content than natural gas, as evidenced by the higher power (kW) rating of a generator.

Load Shedding

disconnecting electrical loads to prevent overloading of a generator. A Load Shed Controller performs this function automatically.

Manual Transfer Switch

a mechanical device that requires a person to manually switch the electrical load from a utility (normal) power source to an emergency (standby) power source and vice versa. The transfer switch prevents electrical feedback between the two power sources.

Mobile Link™

Generac’s new cellular-based remote monitoring system. It permits users to receive email or text notifications of their generator status.

Natural Gas

is a gaseous fossil fuel consisting primary of methane. It is delivered to homes and businesses through a distribution network of underground pipelines. It is sold in units called therms; 1 therm = 100,000 BTU. Nicor is the local gas supplier in the suburban Chicago area.

Smart Switch™

a managed whole-house automatic transfer switch having the ability to manage 4 ac units and up to 4 other electrical loads.

Portable Generator

transportable generators that are flexible in meeting temporary power needs. They are more affordable than a standby generator and range in sizes from .8kW to 15kW. They are louder than a permanently installed generator (since they are not in an enclosure), require refueling during operation, and extension cords to connect to electrical appliances.

Power Surge

a sudden spike or substantial rise in voltage in an electrical power supply system. It typically damages electronics, appliances and computers. Think of a power surge as a tsunami.


on time, intentional effort, no return trips required. This is the standard level of service you can expect from us.

Quotation (proposal)

a firm price for a specific scope of work, it becomes our promise to you. This is an advantage to the customer, since the full cost is known before approving the work.

Surge Amps

the starting amperes that a motor or appliance requires during the first few seconds of start-up. When sizing a generator, the generator surge capacity must be greater than the surge amperes of the load.

True Power™

Generac’s electrical

technology providing utility grade power for sensitive electronics and appliances.

Whole-house surge protector

an electrical device installed at the point of electric service supply to protect the entire home from power surges (higher than normal levels of voltage). Power surges can be caused by lightning, utility system faults, storms, etc. When encountering extremely high surges, the device may be sacrificed during the process of protecting your home.  Surges entering the home from cable TV, Satellite or telephone cabling are not protected with a surge protector.