Posts Tagged ‘generator’

Simple Generator Maintenance Can make the Difference

November 8, 2012

Storm season is back and plenty of generator interest comes with it. Most recently this past October Sandy caused massive destruction and left thousands without power, many still yet to have it turned back on well over a week later. For those that had prepared for the worst by purchasing a generator you may very well have gotten through the outage without any problem. For others just purchasing the generator and having it there is not enough because when they went to start it nothing happened. Consumers may not realize how vital it is to properly maintain and service their generators so they are assured proper function when it is called upon. We received many calls throughout the storm and days afterwards of generators not starting or failing during the power outage.

Many of our customers that had installed a Kohler whole house automatic generator got to see the benefits first hand during this last storm. Of course Kohler has the added advantage of a weekly/bi-weekly test cycle that makes sure its ready when it’s needed. In fact many of our installations include an added feature of the “OnCue” monitoring software allowing both the customer and ourselves to see if there is any issues during its test cycle, and emails are sent each time the utility power was lost and the back-up power took over. Each one of our installations also include the first year of service within the cost of the job. Too many people do not realize how important some simple maintenance services on the generator will keep them from having a failure to start when it’s needed most. At Caron Electric our customers do not have to worry about these sorts of things because of our yearly service maintenance contracts assuring a working generator each and every time.

So what do I mean by simple generator maintenance you ask. Well first off as a consumer you must understand that a generator is just like a big motor for your home. Would you drive around in your car for a year or more without checking its oil levels or replacing your filters as required by the manufacturer? Well a generator is no different and requires that you service it to assure its stays operating at its best performance. These things include oil, oil and fuel filters, spark plugs, battery and heater to name a few. Being that any one of those can cause a problem with the proper operation of the generator it is a must that you stay on a schedule. As I am most familiar with the Kohler product line I will talk about that, Kohler recommends once a year or every 100 hours for service. Kohler units have a run time odometer so you can see how many hours of operation has been logged on it. Different generator manufacturers may have similar requirements on the time interval or hours on the unit or exactly what should be checked and replaced during the service but all require this type of care to guarantee it in good working order.

During the last storm we saw everything from batteries that had gone dead, heaters that had malfunctioned, oil levels that were not maintained, all of these things resulted in generator failure for the customer. Getting somebody out for a service or repair during these busy times cost the consumer more then the annual service would have to start with. For example Caron Electric charges an annual service maintenance contract of $395 and you don’t have to remember as it’s on an automatic service rotation. While many of the repairs, service and replacement part installations cost over $500 during the storm and days after because of the emergency nature and quick response time necessary. Add in the extra loss of time at work to be at home, food that would spoil, and the unhappy family members that came with the outage and you have certainly exceeded the value of a simple service maintenance to your generator.

So if you have a generator and you are considering yourself covered for the next storm or power outage time to reconsider. Ask yourself when was the last time it was serviced? If you don’t know start a log and keep it updated in your kitchen drawer or another place of safe keeping. This is good not only for your generator but any vital piece of equipment in your home from the boiler to furnace, air conditioning system, etc. If you have a Kohler brand generator and are living in Massachusetts you can even sign up for the yearly maintenance through Caron Electric…I will be glad to hear from you. Remember you made the right decision getting back-up power for your home, don’t make a bad decision and let it go unattended.

Generator Purchase Be Prepared – Sept. 2011

September 8, 2011

With the summer of 2011 winding down I thought what better time than now to touch base on the hottest topic in the trade. As we all know the recent storm damage from Irene left many people without power for hours if not days. Some may have prepared for this with having a portable/manual generator or others with a whole house/automatic generator both being great when your power has been knocked out. With the automatic start standby generator having the greatest benefit of not having to start manually and not having to refuel on a 3-4 hour basis. We had many requests before, during, and after the storm for providing or setting up a generator as you could expect.

You can read my blog post here for more information about generators themselves:

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

The 3 biggest questions you should ask yourself when you’re looking to add backup power to your home are the following:

1) What items in your home are vital to your needs. Some may answer this with the simple necessities like the fridge, stove, heat/ac, and one or two rooms would suffice. Others may have Critical Care equipment in the home or a home based business that at any point in time can not disrupted and in those instances the entire home may be required to be on the backup power. As with many homes in New England you may have a sump pump or well system that must be powered during an outage. Consider all of these things when reviewing your home. The amount of power you will need will directly affect the size of the generator that will be required. Prepare a list of your required equipment to be powered so the sizing can be done properly.

2) What fuel source do you expect to power the generator with? Your choices for standby/automatic start generators are either Natural Gas (preferred by most due to direct connection) or Propane (requires installation of a tank on site done by your fuel company) finally the last option used on most portable manual start generators is Gasoline. When the generator is tied into your existing natural gas connection its a hands free fuel source you will never have to worry about it running dry, if tied into a Propane tank you must check to assure your tank is full and ready if the generator is called upon. Lastly if gasoline is used you must go out every few hours and refill the generator tank to keep it operational. Know what fuel source you expect to use and if your prepared to have to manually start it or if you would prefer an automatic start hands free generator.

3) The cost of course and what is your budget? If you answered the 2 questions above first it will allow you to understand better what you should budget for the project. The more items you need powered the larger generator required to do so. The fuel source you decided will dictate what options are available and if you want to be responsible for fueling and starting the unit yourself. Obviously the portable manual start generators are going to be the cheapest route but come with the least amount of hands free operations and are usually sized smaller with less ability to run larger loads. The automatic standby generators come at a higher cost but the benefits of an automatic transfer within seconds of an outage with no need to manually refuel it is the best option for most.

At Caron Electric we provide the Kohler generator product line to our customers but we have the ability to wire and install any generator that a consumer is interested in using. We have found Kohler to be the best equipment on the market and we provide a full maintenance program as well as the companies Superior 5 year limited warranty to assure its proper operation when you need it. The question is not if you will need backup power for your home the question is when will you need it next. Be prepared and if Irene was not a reminder then remember back to the Ice Storms of last year when many were without power for a week and longer. I hope you have found this blog post useful and feel free to comment.

If you have any questions about generators or would like to have a free estimate provided for your home or business in MA feel free to reach out to 800.440.9940 or service@caronelectric.com

2010 Bring it ON!

January 25, 2010

Well it’s been months since I have made an entry into the Caron Blog.  Which can only mean the phones are ringing and customers are getting service 🙂

I am excited for what the New Year will bring.

Caron is happy to introduce our newest apprentices – Jeff, Kevin and Jimmy. We are proud to work with our local Trade schools and are glad to know such great quality employees coming from Minuteman Tech and Shawsheen. Caron takes pride in helping mold these fine young men into high quality tradesmen for the future of our industry.

Our Generator installation and service division has been busy setting up customers with “Emergency Power” at their fingertips. Knowing what happened last year during the ice storm our customers have taken the stance BRING IT ON and prepared themselves with hands free automatic backup power from a Kohler Generator. I could write a book about all the benefits a home backup generator can bring to your life – instead get a free consultation by calling 800.440.9940 or service@caronelectric.com

Many customers still have questions about what rebates and tax credits are out there for home owners in 2010. Since we are not experts in this area I answer questions on a case to case basis. If you have a question regarding work in your home and what discounts, credits, etc. may be available take a moment and respond here or by email at max@caronelectric.com  I will respond with 48 hours or sooner.