Standby Generators

Portable (gasoline) generators
Portable (gasoline-powered) generators are often used during power outages are allowed to be placed anywhere on the lot after a power outage and the noise generated from these generators are exempt from the noise limitations due to the emergency. No permit from the City is required for the use of these portable generators.

Permanent (natural gas or diesel fuel) Standby generators
This guideline has been developed to assist you in your efforts to install a permanent standby generator. A standby regenerator is one that is permanently installed and its sole purpose is for providing electricity when the dwelling primary source of electricity (Com Ed.) is discontinued typically due to storms

Since gasoline-powered generators emit noxious contaminants there are minimum clearances to building intake openings as specified in “Significant Codes” below. The manufactures Use and Operating manual may list additional restrictions on locations and usage. Portable generators, when operating, shall not be placed in any enclosed building such as the home, garage or shed.

Prior to installation of any standby generator, a permit must be obtained from the City of Wheaton Building Department. Provided below is information that addresses what needs to be submitted to the City, pertinent building codes, permit fees and required inspections. These guidelines are by no means all-inclusive, but they do identify the most critical requirements that are involved in this type of project. Please review this information and call the City of Wheaton Building Department with questions.

Required Submittals
The following documents need to be submitted to initiate a review of your project:

  1. Building Application for Permit: Provide a Building Application for Permit that includes: site address, description of work, contractor(s), the total cost of work to be performed, permit applicant contact information, etc.
  2. Contractor Requirements: The Electrical Contractor installing the generator is required to be registered with the City of Wheaton, please see Contractor Requirements.
  3. Product Installation Specifications: Provide two (2) copies of the manufacturer’s product installation specifications for the generator, fuel tank if larger than 110 gallons, transfer switch as well as associated equipment information.
  4. OSFM Approval: Provide a copy of OSFM fuel storage tank permit if standby generator fuel tank is in excess of 110 gallons. See below for OSFM contact information.
  5. Wiring & Piping diagram: Provide wiring diagram to show how generator ties-in to existing electrical service and circuits and provide a diagram of natural gas piping.
  6. Plat of Survey: Provide two (2) copies of the legal plat of survey marked to identify the location of the generator to include the dimensions of the generator pad and distance from the home where the generator is to be installed.
  7. Screening: Provide details of screening for any commercial use generator if it will be seen from any public way or adjacent residential property. Screening shall be tall enough to conceal all equipment.

Applicable Codes
The City of Wheaton has adopted, either by City ordinance or by code reference, the following codes for all residential construction within the City limits:

  • International Residential Code 2018 (for one and two-family dwellings)
  • International Mechanical Code 2018
  • International Fuel Gas Code 2018

All code modifications by local ordinance are available for viewing at, within the applicable section headings of the Municipal Code (Chapter 22, Buildings and Building Regulations). Copies of these modifications and of the Codes listed above are also available at the Wheaton Public Library as reference materials.

Significant Codes

  • Gasoline & natural gas generators emit noxious contaminants and require those building intake openings (mechanical and gravity) to be a minimum of 10’ from such hazards. The 10’ distance can be eliminated if the intake is 3’ below the contamination source. Intake openings include windows, doors, gravity intakes, soffit vents, combustion air intake openings, outside air intakes for air handlers, makeup air intakes and similar openings that naturally or mechanically draw in air from the building exterior. If the manufacturer’s installation requirements are more stringent than minimum code requirements the more stringent code applies (R-303.5).
  • Individual lines to appliances shall be installed at a depth as required per code below finished grade, provided that such installation is approved and is installed in locations not susceptible to physical damage. If installed below ground in areas susceptible to damage minimum depth shall be 12” below grade.
  • Stationary generator to be located anywhere on a single-family residential lot provided that no such equipment shall be located within a required front or corner side yard. If in a side yard, adjacent to a street, screening is required. Article 24.5.6 of the Zoning Ordinance
  • Sounds created by stationary generators when there is no electrical service available from the primary supplier due to natural disaster power outage and during weekly testing periods are exempt from the noise provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Article 25.4.3A5 of the Zoning Ordinance

The inspection listed below is required for all permanent standby Generators. Additional inspections may be needed based upon the scope of work. If additional inspections are required, they will be identified at the time of permit issuance. To schedule an inspection, please call 630-260-2050 a minimum of 24 hours in advance, between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Type of Inspection
When to Call
Foundation Slab
Prior to pouring concrete, rebar, and conduits, for commercial generators.
Underground Inspections
Any piping to be buried must be inspected once installed but prior to concealment.
Electrical Final
After equipment has been installed and tested.
Zoning Final
To confirm setbacks.

Permit Fees
For associated Building fees, please refer to Appendix B7 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - Building Fee Schedule. See Standby generator and (Underground) Storage Tank.

To Contact Us
City of Wheaton Building & Code Enforcement Department
303 W. Wesley Street
Wheaton, IL 60187-0727
Phone: 630-260-2050
Phone Calls:

  • Inspection Scheduling - 630-260-2050
  • Mechanical Code Questions - 630-260-2050
  • Fax - 630-260-2195

Business hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Other Contacts
Office of the State Fire Marshal (when a fuel tank is 110 gallons or more)
Division of Technical Services
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph Street Suite 4-600
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Revised 3/12/2020