Standby Generator Maintenance – Be Prepared For Power Outages

Ever since we as people have depended on machines to do our dirty work, there has always been a call to keep them maintained. A sure fire way to damage your equipment is the lack of maintenance and service interruption. To put it in perspective, normally we are used to tuning up our motor vehicles with frequent checkups, fluids and filters. As usual, parts will lose their integrity over time and fluids will break down and be used up. A part slips some here or wears unevenly there, and soon enough the engine is out of sync. It’s no different for a standby generator. They are powered by internal combustion engines and like cars, they need maintenance. Keep standby generators prepared for power outages by conducting maintenance on schedule. Make sure to look over your owner’s manual and be totally sure that the unit will not start while you are executing your maintenance

Lubrication System

The engine is lubricated by oil. Most standby generators will shut down to avoid damage if there is inadequate oil to lubricate the engine. While the standby generator is in operation it will receive signals to the generators controller if oil pressure is below than the appropriate level. At this time, the controller will deactivate the generator. Every month, be sure to check the level of oil and top up as required. During prolonged operation, check the oil regularly. Change the oil and oil filter as needed by the maintenance schedule―as much as every 100 hours of operation for some standby generators. Always use the correct viscosity oil specified for the temperature range of the generator’s operating environment.

Cooling System

Air-cooled generators have cooling vents that guide air over the engine while it is operating. Keeping these vents clear of any debris or obstruction is most vital to allow the engine to breathe. Be sure that no leaves, grass or any other debris is blocking any cooling vents or air intakes . Make sure that doors, lids, and sides are closed and locked. Examine the cooling system on liquid-cooled generators for correct coolant levels and top off the coolant as necessary. Make sure there are no loose clamps or any leaking hoses. Any parts that have endured obvious damage make sure you replace as soon as possible. Adjust the coolant as necessary according to the maintenance schedule found in the owner’s manual. Examine the fan belt on liquid-cooled standby generators for cracks, wear, and signs of impending failure. Always be sure to replace a belt before it malfunctions and breaks as this can lead to additional damage to the unit.

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Home Disaster Prevention Tips

Be ready to stop a disaster from happening to your home. Thousands and thousands of homeowners file insurance claims to by some means make back their losses which are caused by disasters every year. In some worst cases, a home disaster disaster can leave a home unlivable or at the least cause severe inconvenience. Some items that may be damaged range from spoiled food and mold infestations inside fridges and freezers. Another service interruption source such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other storms, make local travel nearly impossible, and can also lead to other concerns such as polluted water supplies.
It is not doable to stop every disaster, but it is possible to decrease the chance of damage and enhance the safety of the house and the people living within it. Take preventative measures ahead of time that help lessen the likelihood of a home disaster and then follow these home disaster prevention recommendations to help keep your home safe and livable.

As acts of terrorism and other disasters such as acts of Mother Nature. Electrical power keeps our houses livable and supplied with water. When the power goes out for any reason, whether for a neighborhood, an entire town, or across several states, everything that depends on electricity shuts down. Any effective disaster prevention plan really should contain a standby or portable generator to supply power during an outage. A standby generator is permanently set up and requires no human intervention to run and keep operating for days at a time. Portable generators can supply energy where you need to have it, when you need it. 

Not all home floods are triggered by overflowing rivers and streams. Being ready well in advance permits you to combat the numerous disasters waiting to happen in and around your home.

  • Before leaving your home for prolonged time periods, don’t forget to turn off your water.
  • Make sure that your washing machine is employing hoses that will not burst.
  • Make sure your fixture connections are using braided steel hoses that include a flood prevention device.
  • Make sure that if you are using a sump pump, that the circuit that it is running on is driven by the home backup generator and inspect and test the pump at least twice a year. Install extended length rain gutter outlets that discharge water downhill and away from the home.

Hot, humid air is the perfect environment for mold growth. Air that does not flow freely magnifies the issue. Today, homes are sealed up tight to help with energy efficiency but in turn this stops air flow. Air conditioners take away humidity from the air and prevent mold growth. On the opposite side of things, during the winter months bursting pipes is an area for concern when temperatures drop. Make sure that the appliances that control the environment of your home such as, furnaces, air conditioner, and dehumidifier are working on the circuits that are being powered by your generator. A refrigerator can keep food cold for about a day without power. A freezer might last two days, or three at the outside, without power. After that, food thaws and spoils rapidly. On the circuit that is powered by your generator, make sure you include your refrigerator and freezer to be sure of continuous operation. 

The trees close to your home should be trimmed so that no branches are touching or overhanging the house. Make sure that trees on your land are not too close as their roots can protrude into sewer lines and weaken your foundation. Your landscape grading on your property should move water away and downhill from your home and doesn’t stand in puddles or ponds. By keeping the siding and roof in good repair, you prevent really serious problems in high winds and heavy rains. Don’t shovel snow up towards the house. Make sure the area you clear the snow into is away from sump pumps or openings to your home in case of unexpected melting, you do not want water overflow. Performing regular upkeep and maintenance on your generator according to its user manual and instructions will assure its safe and smooth operation when it is needed. Remember to maintain and rotate fuel supplies for portable generators to keep the supply fresh. Remember that older fuel may go stale causing problems if you use this fuel in your generator, such as preventing it from running efficiently, or even running at all.

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Don’t Go Powerless Again

Each and every year, millions of people experience prolonged power outages. Interruption of utility service is normally brought on by weather events like strong thunderstorms with high winds. Hurricanes, micro-bursts, and tornadoes also harm electric-utility infrastructure. Some power outages are known to last a few hours or even days at a time depending on the severity of the storm. From time to time it can take up to multiple weeks for utility workers to restore power after widespread damage from a serious event. In the meantime, homes are left without the power and they need to remain livable and maintain refrigerators cold and pumps operating.

Power Outage Problems

It is quite possible that the power outage you encounter only spans hours instead of days. When the power went out, you called the electric utility and learned that crews would have power restored the same day. It was inconvenient to live devoid of power for a short time, but consider what was going on in your home at that time. During a heavy rainstorm, houses with basements kept dry by sump pumps can begin to flood in as little as an hour. Without power the temperature of your freezers and refrigerators will raise. Without power, temperature extremes can make a house unlivable in a very brief time. In chilly weather, pipes can freeze without having heat.

Generators Keep The Power On

Standby generators for emergency power and portable generators can keep a home supplied with electricity. With a standby generator, you can set up and without anymore intervention other than some upkeep time to time you can rest assured you are protected. Sensing the power outage automatically, the generator will initiate and detach the house from the utility lines and connect it to the generator instead. Standby generators for home use run on either liquefied petroleum gas (LP Gas or Propane) or natural gas (NG). Using NG or LPG eliminates the need for steady refueling. A portable generator works in a similar fashion, but needs the homeowner to set it up, connect it to the house and get it started, and then throw a manual transfer switch to power up the home. If the home is not outfitted with a manual transfer switch, extension cords join certain appliances directly to the generator. Normally smaller portable generators will run on gasoline there are some alternatives and models that use liquid propane as well. Generators that are marked as tri-fuel can run on all three types, gasoline, LPG, and natural gas.

Portable Vs. Standby

A standby generator is truly a backup power source. It runs and provides power for days without human intervention. If an outage occurs when no one is at your home, the only thing that will be obvious when you come back is the clocks have reset. Any food that was left in any freezers or refrigerators will not be disturbed. In general, portable generators cost less than standby units and the electrical connections to a house are also more economical. Portable generators are also a choice for someone who is wanting a cheaper answer then both a standby generator and transfer switch. Keeping a portable generator for use during a power outage also means keeping fuel on hand and sustaining that fuel supply by adding stabilizers and rotating the stock as it grows old.

Be Ready

Don’t be caught without power during the next big storm. Start planning now and make your decision of a portable or standby backup generator for your home so that when the next power outage hits, you’re not left wondering when the power will come back on, if the food will spoil in the fridge, or if the pipes will freeze from sub-freezing temperatures. Enjoy your comfortable home in peace as others flee to hotels and overseas to escape the heat or cold. guarding your property ahead of time is much cheaper than fixing or changing it.

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