What would happen to your business in the event of a power outage? Would it remain productive, or would business grind to a screeching halt? Adding a power generator can prevent lost customers and productivity resulting from short or long-term power losses due to weather, accidents, and more.
What is a power generator?
A power generator independently provides a backup source of power in the event of a power outage. Similar to an automobile, a generator creates mechanical energy with the help of a heavy-duty recharging battery to initiate and maintain energy, a fuel tank to supply fuel (gasoline, diesel, or natural gas), an engine, and an alternator to convert that mechanical power into electrical power.
Generators are useful for your business:
Power generators ensure continued productivity in the event of a power outage, keeping necessary appliances in operation.
A power generator ensures the safety and comfort of your employees during the event of a snow storm, ice storm, or heat wave.
A power generator protects computer data and allows security systems to continue to function.
Standby generators provide an uninterrupted supply of power, despite brownouts and outages, keeping all devices running like normal.
Types of Commercial Power Generators
Portable generators may be wired into a subpanel by an electrician or simply plugged into appliances using extension cords. They power only chosen essentials such as lights, refrigerators and some computers. They are a simple and inexpensive backup power option, but must be started and maintained. They offer a limited supply of electricity, providing enough power for two to four outlets or a few specific circuits when wired in. These generators must be located at least 10 feet away from your business, away from doors and windows, and in a completely open area (not even carports or awnings are safe) to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Standby generators start automatically during power outages, preventing interruptions in electrical service. They are powered by natural gas or propane, are quieter than portable models, and have the ability to power everything in your business. They come at a higher price and also require the professional installation of a transfer switch, a subpanel, and the power generator itself.
- Battery failure: This is the single most common cause for power generator service. Battery failure may be the result of sulfate buildup on terminals, shorts, open cells, a tripped charger breaker, charger failure, or simply due to loose or dirty connections.
- Low coolant: External and internal leaks, clogged radiators, and more can cause a power generator to run hot and shutdown.
- Faulty block heater: Because they run so frequently, block heaters often become faulty resulting in a low coolant temp alarm.
- Wet stacking: Excessive no-load run time can result in an over-fueled engine that becomes damaged due to the accumulation of carbon particles, unburned fuel, oil, condensed water, and acids in the exhaust.
- Controls not in “auto”: This simply means the power generator was not shut off and may not be the main control switch. This can be due to human error, open breakers, alarms or switchgear not properly reset, emergency shutdown, and more.
- Air in the fuel system: This can prevent injectors from firing and is typically due to generators that are not run on a regular basis. It can be prevented with weekly inspections.
- Out of fuel: Generators will automatically shut down when fuel depletion is imminent to prevent the fuel system from drawing in air.
- Breaker trip: If no one has accidentally pushed the emergency shut off, check the status of the automatic transfer switch (ATS). Never try to manually operate this switch if you do not know how to do so, as it could result in severe injury or death.
Warning! Never plug your generator into a wall outlet. This is also known as backfeeding. If you do this without throwing the main breaker to isolate your business from the grid, you could send power back on into the grid, potentially injuring or killing utility repairmen.
Professional Generator Installation
A professional can determine the right size generator for your needs.
Do you know how to properly calculate wattage so that your system isn’t overloaded at startup? This varies depending on the equipment you need to power and the manufacturer of your generator. Our professionals have the skills necessary to calculate power needs for a smooth operation.
Professional installation ensures safety.
A professional electrician can safely set up wiring, plugging your generator into the transfer switch and wiring it directly to your business’s service panel. This disconnects you properly from the grid and ensures the safe delivery of power only to designated circuits, preventing the overloading of you generator, backfeeding, fire, and other safety issues. Proper positioning and installation of your portable generator is also essential in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.
Mr. Electric® arranges for the inspection of your newly installed power generator. This ensures all local codes and regulations are met.
Keep productivity and electricity flowing with the help of a power generator, contact Mr. Electric today. Our professionals can install the perfect generator to meet all of your emergency power needs, getting you back to business as usual.