LESLIE: Linda in Rhode Island, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
LINDA: I’m looking and getting quotations on installing a natural-gas generator for my home, which would cover the entire house. However, my problem is in my yard, there are three different locations where every year, after the snow and you are in spring, there is an indentation in the ground which is round, approximately 36 inches in diameter, where it completely sinks. And every year, I just fill it in with topsoil and cover it with grass seed and that takes care of it for the summer. But in the spring – and this has gone on to the last 10 years anyway.
So my concern is I was informed that it would – oh, the weight of the base of the generator would go anywhere from 1,200 to 1,400 pounds. And I don’t want to have a base and then it just disappear into the ground if there were any other spots in that location or that would cause it …
TOM: OK. So a couple of things to consider here. One thing I would do is when you choose the best location, because of the plumbing connections and that sort of thing, I would excavate out some of that soil, especially if you’ve been piling topsoil upon – on top of topsoil for years. Because topsoil is very organic and it’s going to decay and settle.
I would install a stone base, just like I would if I was building a paver patio. And so I would put a 6-inch stone base in there of crushed gravel stone. I’d tamp it really well, pack it down nice and solid. When you do this, it becomes really, really durable, almost like a concrete slab. And then you can basically do this so it gets up to the level where the generator pad will sit just over it. And in this way, you’re creating a good support structure where the weight can be spread out evenly across that entire surface.
I just wouldn’t drop the pad on the soil and put the machine on it, because that could be an issue. But if you create a bit of a stone base there and do it really well, I don’t think you’re going to have any problems. And by the way, installing a generator is a really smart thing to do these days. The costs have come down and it’s just super convenient to be able to say you’re never going to run out of power again.
LINDA: Well, thank you ever so much. I certainly will do that.
TOM: Alright, Linda. Good luck.