For Floridians, a residential generator is a smart investment. You never know how long the power will be out after a hurricane or major storm hits and a backup power source means you’ll have running water and can keep the lights on.

As you explore your options, you may be tempted to purchase your generator online, especially if you find a deal on a site like eBay or Amazon. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. That quick, easy, money-saving click can quickly turn into a costly headache as you deal with multiple contractors and unexpected issues.

Here are just a few of the potential problems and factors you need to consider before buying a generator online:

Permits, Prep Work, and Delivery


Prior to having the generator installed, you need to secure all the necessary permits. Cities and counties may have specific regulations that you need to follow. If the contractor you hire doesn’t assist with this process, you’ll be navigating these requirements on your own.

Prep Work

Before the generator is delivered, you need to have a concrete pad poured. This is where you will place the generator when it arrives. You need to ensure it is the correct size and thickness for the generator you ordered. When choosing a location for the pad, keep in mind that you’ll need to be able to hook the generator up and wire it.


Once the generator does arrive, it won’t be delivered to the concrete pad. Instead, it will be up to you to figure out how to get this 500-pound machine from the road to where it will be installed.


To properly install your generator, you’ll need at least three contractors:

  • One who can pour the concrete pad where your generator will be located.
  • An electrician for the wiring and transfer switch.
  • A gas contractor to hook the generator up to the power supply.

To ensure both aspects are handled correctly, you’ll need to hire professionals who have experience in working with generators.

HomeAdvisor estimates that generator installations in Florida typically run $1,570 to $6,328 with the average coming in at $3,766.

Potential Issues

All of the steps above may go perfectly, or you could encounter a hiccup along the way causing the generator to not work. Unless the cause is obvious (ex: the electrician wired something incorrectly), there are plenty of opportunities for people to blame others.

The electrician might say the gas contractor is at fault, while the gas contractor tells you it is a problem with the generator itself. In the end, you’d have no other option but to call the generator manufacturer who will dispatch a dealer, like GenerX. 9 times out of 10, the issue is an installation failure and it is up to you to pay for it to be fixed.

This can cost between $1,000 and $5,000. That “great deal” you scored online looks more and more like a money pit. And that is just the out-of-pocket cost. You’ll also need to consider the amount of time you lose researching, hiring, and working with at least three contractors and potentially the manufacturer and a dealer.

To avoid this, always buy a generator from a certified dealer who does not rely on contractors and will manage the entire process for you.

Benefits of Choosing a Generac Dealer

Instead of buying a generator online from an e-commerce store, when you use a dealer, everything will be taken care of for you. A licensed professional will:

  • determine what size generator you need.
  • take care of permits.
  • handle all aspects of installing the generator.
  • activate the warranty.

After installation, they will also service, repair, and maintain your generator.

GenerX is a Generac premier dealer providing generator-related services to the areas around Clearwater, Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. Contact us today to discuss your needs.