How to Install a Generator

Installing a generator correctly is imperative. When the installation is not done correctly it could endanger lives and put property at risk. A generator should always be installed by a qualified and registered electrician. Please insist on an ECBSA or Department of Labour certified electrician. Installing the generator without a legal Certificate of Compliance issued by a qualified electrician will void the warranty as well as your building insurance.

Follow this check-list to make sure that all the correct procedures are followed. This is not a definitive guide to installing a generator but will guide you during the process.


  1. The Generator must be placed on level concrete surface
  2. 150mm thick with reinforcing
  3. The exhaust and hot air must be directed to the outside if installed in a room.Should the generator be installed in a room it is imperative that the exhaust gases and hot air are vented out of the room. The generator produces toxic gases which must be expelled from the area and directed away from humans. In addition the room should be well ventilated so that the generator has cool air to cool it down when in operation.
  4. If installed outside it is recommended that the generator is placed under a roof. Installing the generator under a roof is optional but is recommended to avoid any adverse weather damaging the generator. Due to the generator being outside and often in direct sunlight for parts of the day the paint is prone to fade over time. In addition to this the possibility of water damage from cloud bursts or hail damage is greatly reduced by installing the roof over the generator.
  5. Choose an area that is easy accesible for a truck to offload the generator.This will save you money on rigging costs that can increase your installation price significantly.
  6. Leave at least one meter (1m) space around the generator for service access.The service technician will require access to both sides of the generator when servicing and inspecting the generator. A service should be performed every 12 months or at the required intervals as per the user manual.


  1. Install surge protection (recommended). This will protect your generator from surge damage.
  2. Connect generator and ATS to main incoming earth connection from mains.
  3. Check Voltage between neutral and earth. (There should be no residual voltage) Any residual voltage found between the neutral and earth will increase the voltage supplied which will eventually have adverse effects on electrical items.
  4. As per the electrical regulation of South Africa you need to comply with a Bonded neutral earth.
  5. If any communications cable is extended the AC and DC should be separated to avoid harmonics
  6. Check all nuts are tight on mains and generator connectors in ATS or Manual change over. The connections inside the ATS or manual change over switch should all be double checked and tightened by the electrician prior to signing off. Transportation of the ATS and generator can often cause these nuts and bolts to become loose as a result of vibration
  7. A certificate of compliance (COC) to be issued by a registered electrician. A Certificate of Compliance (COC) is required by law to be issued by the installing electrician. This certificate will be needed for your insurance as well as by Turner Morris should there be an issue with the installation of the generator at a later date. This is compulsary and necessary to validate the warranty.