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Generator – Helpful Generator Resources FAQ

Why would I need a home generator?

These days, due to extreme weather, construction, and other unforeseen complications, extended power outages can mean real problems for daily living.

When an ice storm knocks down a tree, which then falls on the power line that supplies your neighborhood’s electricity, you are left waiting for the electric company to come restore your power.

This could mean days of waiting. Days without heat. Days without internet. Days that food in your refrigerator is going bad.

When you have a backup generator, the automatic transfer switch (which is installed along with the generator) recognizes that you are no longer receiving power from the power grid, and within seconds, it switches the generator on as your power source, and voila! Life goes on, uninterrupted.

Today’s standby power generators are fully automatic, self-contained, and built to be permanently installed outside the living area, just like an air conditioning unit. You would almost never know it was there, until you needed it.

To determine which Standby Generator best meets your needs please call, we will gladly answer any questions or offer support in finding the right person.

Should I install a backup generator at my house?

We believe the answer to this question is a definite YES.

Y2K started the home standby generator revolution. Then it snowballed. The California Energy Crisis. The Ice Storm of 2001. The Great Northeast Blackout. Hurricanes Isabel, Charley, Ivan, Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

Just a few years ago, the thought of owning a standby generator seemed absurd. Now, living without electricity is all too common. Electricity is a vital resourcewe often take for granted. Until a power outage occurs. Then we are quickly reminded of how much we rely on electricity.

Are you prepared to handle an extended power outage? If not, we can help you. Wesell the complete line of Home Standby Generators to keep you up and running, even during extended power outages.

Residential emergency home standby generators are permanently installed outside (similar to an air-conditioning unit), supply electrical power to all pre-selected lights and appliances, and are powered by either natural gas or LPG. Models range from 7,000 to 40,000 watts. They work with a matched automatic transfer switch that responds within seconds when utility power shuts down, even when no one is home!

To determine which Standby Generator best meets your needs please call, we will gladly answer any questions or offer support in finding the right person.

Why should I purchase a residential standby generator and not just a portable generator?

Portable generators may be less expensive initially, but they present many limitations, inconveniences, hidden costs…and even potential hazards. With a portable generator, you must turn it on, plug in extension cords, and constantly replenish the supply of gasoline—which is especially problematic when gas station pumps quit working in a power outage.

Portable generators can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, a threat clearly stated on the government–mandated warning label every portable unit must carry. In addition, portable generators—and even some standby generators—produce unstable, low–quality power that can damage sensitive home electronics. Our standby residential generators produce a safe, stable power supply.

To determine which Standby Generator best meets your needs please call, we will gladly answer any questions or offer support in finding the right person.

How does a home generator work?

You might be thinking that a power generator is a complicated piece of equipment, but there’s really not much to understanding how they work.

Four important components of a generator are:
The motor, which burns fuel—usually propane, natural gas, gasoline, or diesel—to supply power. The generator head, which turns that power into electricity.

Most residential generators require a transfer switch, which acts as the interface between utility power and generator power. The switch recognizes an absence of utility power, and switches your electrical circuits to the generator as their source of power. The time it takes for this process to happen is generally less than 30 seconds. The process is simply reversed as soon as utility power is restored.

The size of a generator is measured in kilowatts (the wattage it produces). Sizes range from 1 kW for the smallest, gasoline-powered, portable generators, to 500 kW for large, industrial generators. The typical range for a residential generator is 7 kW to 45kW.

To determine which Standby Generator best meets your needs please call, we will gladly answer any questions or offer support in finding the right person.

How much power do I need from a Home Generator?

So how do you know what size generator you will need?

Wattage is the amount of power that is required to operate an electrical appliance or device, expressed in watts or kilowatts.

Startup Requirements vs. Running Power. Many appliances with a motor or compressor, such as your refrigerator or air conditioner, require as much as three times more electricity to start up than they do to continue running. Your generator will need to be able to accommodate this startup surge of power.

Determining Wattage Requirements. To gauge what size generator you will need, you’ll need to decide which devices in your home you’ll want to power during an outage, and what their startup requirements are. It is possible to do the measuring yourself, but for a precise, accurate measurement, hire an electrician. This way you can be sure it’s done right, and more importantly, done safely.

What Size Generator to Buy. Once you (or your electrician) have figured out the startup requirements for your desired appliances and equipment, you’ll have an idea of what size generator to look at. It’s a good idea to add about 20% to your number as to avoid overloading your generator and give you room to add a few small appliances, because you might decide that you just have to blow dry your hair during the next power outage.

Don’t Get Left in the Dark. The right size generator should provide just enough wattage to operate your essential equipment. Too few watts and you can overwork the generator, damaging anything plugged into it. Too many and you will waste money.

To determine which Standby Generator best meets your needsplease call, we will gladly answer any questions or offer support in findingthe right person.

Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

Don't Max It Out. The rated capacity of a generator is the level of power it can deliver on an ongoing basis. It is usually about 90% of its maximum power. An electric generator can deliver its maximum capacity for no more than 30 minutes before starting to overheat. So keep this in mind when you are tallying up your wattage requirements.

Expect Regular Exercise. Standby power generators will automatically perform regular monthly or weekly test exercises to make sure they are up to par when they are actually needed. Many models have a quiet function for the exercise “sessions.”

Should I Notify My Utility Company That I Have a Generator? Yes. Most utilities maintain this type of information and make it available to the line workers that will be working in the area. Having this information can reduce delays in power restoration.

What Should I Include? Keep in mind that each device you add increases the wattage needed, which increases the cost of the generator, so limit your choices to those appliances that are truly necessary during an outage. Some of the most common are refrigerators, security systems, sump pumps, lights, electric gates or garage doors, well pumps, septic systems, and medical equipment.

To determine which Standby Generator best meets your needs please call, we will gladly answer any questions or offer support in finding the right person.

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