Preparing for a Generator Installation

Preparing for a Generator Installation

  • Generators
generator services by Ryan Gath Electric in Chelmsford, MA

Prepping For a Generator Install

How to Get Your Chelmsford Home Ready

Storms and harsh weather conditions are the usual culprits for a power outage, and unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent them. No homeowner should have to deal with a power outage, especially when your food can spoil and your home is at risk of flooding because the sump pump can’t work. To prepare for spring storms ahead, you may want to consider a generator installation from Ryan Gath Electric. 

Benefits of a Generator Installation in Chelmsford, MA

Power outages happen, but the problem is what can happen to your home once the power goes out. Homes that experience power outages without a generator are subject to power surges, which can harm your appliances, a flooded basement or damaged plumbing, especially during the winter season, and possibly an entire fridge full of spoiled food. Installing a generator to your home may be expensive, but the damage done by power outages can be even more costly. Here’s how a generator can benefit your home.

  • It turns on instantly. Generators like a backup or standby generator work by detecting when the power goes off, generating power immediately. This prevents power surges because there is a constant source of power running in your home. A power surge is a spike in your home’s electrical current and it usually happens when the power is abruptly cut off and turned back on. Although power surges are common, they can destroy sensitive electronics like your computer or entertainment system and even start an electrical fire.
  • It protects your home. On top of preventing fire hazards, a generator makes sure important appliances like your home’s security system keep running. Your safety should always be a top priority, but without power, your security system can’t protect you and your household from intruders.
  • You stay comfortable. A home without power in the dead of winter, or in the hottest month of summer can make anyone miserable. Having a generator installed and ready ensures you stay comfortable no matter when a power outage occurs.

What to Consider Before Installing a Generator

A generator is an appliance that any homeowner can benefit from, but it’s important to make sure you get the right generator for your home. Emergencies happen, but the worst thing you can do is to shop for a generator when you need one. It’s best to plan early, as finding the right generator will require some careful consideration. A generator is another major appliance, which is why you need to consider the following first.

  • Determine your load. Generators aren’t designed to power the entire house, which is why it’s important to prioritize what gets power and what doesn’t. Make sure to run through a list of what needs power, things like your refrigerator, HVAC system, and sump pump, to see which generator will best fit your needs.
  • Make sure to install a transfer switch. A transfer switch is a must have, as you can’t just plug in the generator to your house. Your house needs to be disconnected from the grid before starting the generator; otherwise, the electricity produced can travel beyond your house and enter the grid, potentially killing any utility employees at work. A transfer switch is a safe solution that works by being wired directly to the house and shutting off power before the generator starts, directing any power generated to the designated circuits.
  • Consider the types of generators. Depending on where you live, you may need to consider something more powerful like a standby generator or something just the occasional power outage, like a portable generator. If you live somewhere secluded where a power outage could last days or have life-saving medical equipment, you might want to consider a standby generator.
  • Test it periodically. Once you’ve found the right generator, it’s important to let it run every now and then. Periodic testing ensures your generator runs, and alerts you of any potential problems. Make sure to keep your generator somewhere level and well-ventilated. The best location is where you can easily access it for refueling later.

Stay Prepared With the Ryan Gath Electric

When you need generator services in Chelmsford, MA and the surrounding areas, give us a call. We’re ready to help you today!

By Ryan Gath Electric

Things to Consider When Choosing a Backup Generator

Things to Consider When Choosing a Backup Generator

  • Generators
Generator Installation in Chelmsford, MA by Ryan Gath Electric

When your power goes out, no one wants to be the one sitting around in the darkness. Fear not, as if you purchase a generator than sitting around in the dark is a thing of the past. However, there are some points that you should consider before purchasing the generator that best suits your home.

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Generator in Chelmsford, MA

  • Fuel Tank Capacity: How long the generator will last before having to be refueled. This could also consist of the consumption rate.
  • Power Output: Most portable generators may not have sufficient power output to run everything in a house but most are capable of supporting multiple appliances. Consider the type of engine that is used in different designs and compare with the amount that you need.
  • Weight and Portability: If the generator is going to be carried about, it is important to have true portability. Some may fall under the large category of portable but in reality, they are difficult to tote around. If the generator is for commercial purposes such as renovations and construction, you will require a very light one or if heavier, one with functional wheels.
  • User Convenience: Some models of portable generators are really hard to start. For instance, the starter rope design requires arm strength as well as some skill. For your convenience, choose one that starts with a simple touch starter. This switch should enable you to switch the power output to the most fitting levels for the appliances in the house.
  • Generator’s durability: Get a generator with a solid metal body that is resistant to denting. Denting of the out build will affect the inner delicate items and reduce the efficiency of service. If the generator is to be used in areas where stability of conventional electricity is low, choose a reinforced engine that will not wear out from the frequency of use.
  • Maintenance Requirements: There are models of portable generators that require constant care and maintenance. This is a big inconvenience for the user and this need cannot be ignored. Lack of proper servicing is often very detrimental to the operation of the generator. For instance, alternators with bushes will require more maintenance than those without. Conduct research on the period of time that each system takes before requiring the mandatory oil change then compare.

What are the power requirements in your Chelmsford home?

Your power needs can certainly tie back to your available budget, however, the primary determining factor for generator sizing can be answered with the following question: In the event of a power outage, should the generator run the entire building or just emergency loads? When sizing a generator for an entire building, factors like peak demands during summer months and the amperage of your electrical service are relevant details. When sizing for emergency loads only, the emergency circuits need to be determined. For an existing structure, this may require the electrician to split the emergency circuits from your main electrical panel into a separate emergency panel. For a home standby system, this decision is typically homeowner preference. For a critical application such as a healthcare facility, certain loads may be required to have an emergency back-up in order to meet code compliance.   

Which fuel type?  

The most common fuel types for emergency standby systems are natural gas, propane, and diesel. While gasoline may seem convenient, it’s typically viewed as a poor fuel choice for standby systems due to its relatively short life of stability. Cost can be a factor when choosing between a diesel or natural gas generator (or propane) since the cost difference can vary depending on the size of the generator. The availability of fuel source is another important factor. Diesel and propane provide an ‘on-site’ fuel source but may require a re-fill during an extended power outage, where natural gas is pulled from the local utility. Local code requirements may dictate which fuel types are available to your area; for example, propane may not be an option within city limits in some regions. In addition, the type of facility can sometimes dictate if an on-site fuel source is required. 

Where will the generator be located?

The generator set should be located where it’s readily accessible for maintenance and repair, and high enough to keep rising water from reaching the generator. For outdoor and rooftop installations, comply with code requirements for minimum distance from combustible walls and building openings. For indoor installations, adhere to requirements for fuel supply, ventilation, exhaust ducting, and proximity to combustible materials. Typically the generator should be located as close as possible to the transfer switch and fuel supply. 

By Ryan Gath Electric