Generators – Don’t be left in the dark –

Being from the New England I know how rough winters can treat our residents. A bad storm can bring hours, days, or even weeks of no power where you live or work. Last years record Ice Storm is a prime example. Throughout that storm there was a mad dash to get generators setup and running, driving up the costs due to demand. Even since that storm many of my customers have been getting new generators for their homes or businesses to be prepared in the future. Power outages don’t only happen during the winter but the summer too with its high energy demand can result in black-outs leaving people stranded in the harsh heat climate. Potential problems caused by losing power for extended periods of time : food spoilage, heat or cooling system failure, safety of the resident  in extreme darkness, freezing pipes if heat failure is prolonged, medical equipment failure for the elderly, water pump failure, and that is just naming a few.

 

      Many questions have come up from my customers regarding the best setup and the differences between different types of generators. Caron Electric prides itself in helping owners make a wise decision and assure they are making the right choice. We will take a few moments out to discuss the benefits of generators and some things to consider prior to making your decision.

 

     Since Caron Electric is a certified installation and service provider for Kohler generators I may reference direct benefits of their product which can be seen here:  http://www.caronelectric.com/CEKohlerGenerators.html

 

Factors to think about when purchasing a generator:

 

1)      Sizing of the generator is a big factor on assuring all the equipment you need to have powered will be. I always recommend having a qualified electrician do a load calculation to get the correct size generator for your home or business. Sizes can start as small as 1,000 Watts for a small portable all the way to a large 30KW generator for a stand-alone. Most common size for a portable is 5KW and most common size stand-alone is 8.5 to 12 KW for a residence.

2)      Portable or Stand-Alone; either will restore power to your home or business but a portable will not handle as much equipment and must be setup each time you need to start it. You will have to continue to put fuel in it as its run time is limited without a direct fuel source. You must also manually transfer items you want powered onto the portable generator panel. Stand-Alone generators meaning a generator hard piped with either a direct gas or propane supply and automatic transfer switch and panel. The benefit of an automatic transfer switch is the power is switched over to the generator within seconds of power being lost automatically – assuring no need for someone to be there when the power is lost. The peace of mind that you get to know your protected even when your not home, and the security of knowing the fuel will continue to power the unit is the greatest. The transfer switch will automatically detect power being restored and switch back over to standard power, shutting off the generator itself.

3)      Fuel Source – as discussed above you will need to figure out how best to fuel the generator. The two most common fuel sources will be either natural gas or liquid propane. If you have a natural gas line already coming into your home or business this is the preferred source to be piped directly into a Stand Alone generator. You also have the choice of having a fuel tank put in for a direct feed to the generator. If using a Portable generator you will have to continue to re-fill the tank; standard runtime can be anywhere from a couple to twelve hours depending on the load on the unit.

4)      Location; A few things to remember when picking a location for your generator. Generators should never be placed/run indoors or in a garage, they should be placed in well ventilated area with minimum exposure to rain and snow. Stand-Alone units will be placed in a preferred location outside and have protective housing and padding to allow for outdoor location installation.

5)      Installation; as with any new equipment we always recommend getting a licensed qualified electrician to do any wiring to a portable or stand-alone generator. Also since a stand-alone requires a fuel source you again should only get a licensed qualified installer for the connections to the generator. All work like this should follow not only the manufacturer’s specs but also the local codes to assure compliance. Permits with the city or town should be taken out on any equipment installation of this type.

     I hope you have found this article helpful and any additional questions or concerns feel free to leave a comment here or contact me direct service@caronelectric.com

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One Response to “Generators – Don’t be left in the dark –”

  1. Generator Purchase Be Prepared – Sept. 2011 « Caron Electric's Blog Says:

    […] https://caronelectric.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/generators-dont-be-left-in-the-dark/ […]

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