Keep Your Holiday Lights Shining Bright – Benefits to Investing in a Winter Backup Generator

Keep Your Holiday Lights Shining Bright – Benefits to Investing in a Winter Backup Generator

  • Electrical
  • Generators
Benefits to Investing in a Winter Backup Generator

Keep Your Holiday Lights Shining Bright – Benefits to Investing in a Winter Backup Generator

The winter season is here which means it’s time to insulate your plumbing, shovel your driveway, and keep your roof clear of ice dams. The holidays can put a lot of strain on your home. It’s the time of the year when your furnace and water heater work the hardest, keeping your home warm and comfortable. Preparing for the upcoming snow and frigid temperatures, however, requires more than just routine maintenance, but a backup generator. So keep your holiday lights shining bright – Ryan Gath Electric presents you these benefits to investing in a winter backup generator

How a Backup Generator Can Help Keep Your Holidays Warm & Festive

While there is plenty of home maintenance to concern with during the winter season, such as your heating system and plumbing, potential power outages are another problem. Heavy snow and ice can weigh down power lines or knock down trees, causing massive power outages. No homeowner wants to deal with no power in the dead of winter, especially when important appliances such as your furnace, water heater, and sump pump rely on electricity to function. A backup generator is another important appliance to have in your home, and here’s why.

  • Protects Your Home From Power Surges – Power surges can be common, but they’re very destructive for your electronics and can be caused by power outages. A power surge is a spike in your home’s electrical current which can happen when the power is cut off and then abruptly back on. A backup generator instantly kicks on when the power goes off, helping to prevent harmful power surges. A power surge can not only damage sensitive electronics, but start an electrical fire.
  • Provides Instant Power – When properly installed, your backup generator will be connected to your home’s gas lines and wired to the subpanel. Unlike a portable generator where you manually have to start up the engine, a backup generator will instantly turn on and generate power when there’s a power outage.
  • Food Won’t Spoil – Important appliances like your refrigerator need constant power to prevent your food from spoiling. When the power goes out, the clock starts ticking, despite keeping your fridge closed. A backup generator can provide power to your important appliances, ensuring you don’t have to throw out an entire fridge of food.
  • Overall Safety – Unlike portable generators, you don’t have to worry about potential safety hazards with a backup generator such as a carbon monoxide leak or an electrocution risk.
  • No Frozen Pipes or Flooded Basements – The winter season is generally the worst time of year for your plumbing. If your home isn’t properly insulated and heated, your pipes are risk of freezing and bursting. Without power, your heating system can run and keep your home and pipes warm. No power also means your sump pump can work to prevent a flooded basement. A backup generator ensures your house stays warm and dry this holiday season.
  • Powers Your Security System – Safety is an important priority, but when the power goes out, your home’s security system can’t do its job. Installing a backup generator ensures you and your household stay safe even the power goes out.

How to Maintain Your Backup Generator

A backup generator is a handy appliance to have, but it requires routine maintenance in order to keep you warm and prepared for every power outage. A typical backup generator can last 1-3 years, but they can break down sooner from a lack of use. Routine maintenance is the best way to ensure your backup generator lasts long and works effectively. To keep your backup generator up and running, make sure to do the following.

  • Clean Regularly – Your backup generator needs proper ventilation in order to generate power. Over time dust and debris can clog up vents and filters which can hurt the generator’s efficiency. Make sure to clear enough space around the generator so it can vent, and frequently clean it of dust and debris.
  • Replacing Oil – Just like your car, a backup generator needs its oil changed. Check the oil level when the generator isn’t running, and change the oil and oil filter when necessary. A good rule of thumb is to change the oil after every 50-60 hours of use.
  • Check Coolant –On top of replacing oil when necessary, your backup generator needs enough coolant to run properly. Make sure to frequently check the generator’s coolant and refill when necessary.
  • Watch For Electrical Problems or Corrosion – Keep an eye out for any visible damages such as loose clamps, wire connections, or signs of electrical corrosion.
  • Change Air Filter – Just like your furnace, a backup generator has an air filter that needs to be changed routinely. Changing the air filter once a year helps to ensure your backup generator works efficiently.

Contact Ryan Gath Electric  For Backup Generator Installation

No homeowner wants to deal with a power outage in the dead of winter, especially when your comfort and safety are at stake. Power outages can happen at any time, but luckily you don’t have to deal with a home completely out of power. Picking your own backup generator can be exciting, but it’s best to have a helpful opinion. The licensed electricians at Ryan Gath Electric can help you pick the generator that will best serve your home, and ensure a safe installation. Don’t wait until the lights go out. Call Ryan Gath Electric to get started today.

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By Ryan Gath Electric

5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System in Good Health Over the Holidays

5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System in Good Health Over the Holidays

  • Electrical
  • Generators
5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System In Good Health Over the Holidays

5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System In Good Health Over the Holidays

Can your home’s electrical system safely handle your holiday lighting? The holiday season is quickly approaching, and you may be thinking about how you want to decorate your home this year. An important part of your planning is with your electrical system to make sure everything is in top shape to handle the extra load put on the system.  You should be able celebrate with the peace of mind that your home and guests will be safe.  Here are some things that can happen if your system is not in top shape, the benefits of maintaining your electrical system, and 5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System in Good Health Over the Holidays.

Risks Posed Without Electrical System Maintenance

Here are some electrical setback pains you could experience if your system is not maintained:

  • Power Surges – High electrical activity in your home can cause power surges.  Therefor, if there are many electrical appliances, lights and other devices continuously cycling off and on, it puts a strain on the system that may lead to a power surge.  Adding electric holiday decorations will only add to the strain and may guarantee a power surge, which can cause damage to appliances and electronics.
  • Electric Bill – The winter season is often a time for higher electric bills, and adding electric holiday decorations will increase the cost of your electricity.  So making sure your electrical system is running in top shape will help decrease any wasted power.  Another way to help reduce the costs during the holidays is by using LED holiday lights.
    For example, Annual Energy Outlook reports the cost of running a Standard C-7 4 watt lights at 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour is $25.13.  The cost of LED lights is .56 cents.  In conclusion, there is a huge difference in cost, so it is worth upgrading to LED holiday lights.
  • House Fire and Injuries – Unfortunately, electrical systems that are not maintained can cause house fires and injuries.  The Red Cross reports nearly 47,000 fires happen during the winter holiday season.  Many of these fires are due to outdated and older outlets that are not properly grounded and unable to protect the system against sparks, shocks, or electrocution.  Oftentimes, people that have older systems will use plug strips for additional outlet needs instead of contacting an electrician to add additional outlets.  Power strips can add to an overloaded system, which can end in disaster. 

Benefits of Maintaining Your Electrical System

Your home electrical system will benefit from maintenance, which means you and your loved ones will also benefit from the safety it brings.

  • Cost Efficiency – Keeping your system running in top shape and switching to LED lights will help increase your electrical efficiency and decrease your electrical costs.
  • Power Surges – With your electrical system running in top shape, you will be less likely to have power surges that can damage your electronics or appliances.
  • Safety – You will have the peace of mind that your property is protected and your friends and family will be safe from accidental fire or electrocution. 

5 Tips for Electrical System Maintenance

  • Scheduled Inspection – The best way you can prevent problems with your electrical system is to have an expert check it out.  It’s best to have a regularly scheduled inspection by your local electrical company.  This way, you will have an expert assess your system for any concerns or problem areas that need attention.
  • Upgrade Outlets – If you own an older home, the outlets may not be updated.  An outlet with the two-prong openings and no third opening for a ground is outdated.  These outlets are not sufficiently grounded and will not protect against sparks, shocks, or electrocution.  Above all, having an electrician replace old outlets will help prevent power surges, fires, and electrocution. 
  • Install Additional Outlets – If you find yourself out of outlet space often, it may be time to add some additional outlets.  While power strips are handy to add additional outlets, they can easily become overloaded and are a leading cause of electrical house fires.  To be sure, contact your local electrician to evaluate your home for additional outlets to reduce the number of plug strips or extension cords you use.
  • Inspect Holiday Light Strings and Decorations – Before you hook-up the holiday lights and decorations, be sure to inspect them to make sure the electrical cords are in good shape.  Do not use any that have frayed or any other type of damage to the power cord.  These can cause someone to be shocked or lead to a fire.
  • Install Surge Protection Devices – To prevent power surges that can damage electronics and appliances or start a fire, contact an electrician to install your home with surge protection devices. 

Enjoy peace of mind keeping your home and everyone safe by maintaining your electrical system, instead of worrying about electrical hazards or the burden of costly repairs,

Why is Ryan Gath My Best Choice For Electrical Maintenance?

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Here at Ryan Gath Electric, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones can enjoy holiday cheer without having to worry about blown fuses, power surges, or even electrical fires. When you call us for electrical system maintenance this season, we will work with you every step of the way to get your home’s electrical system operating safely to accommodate all your holiday lights decorations. So don’t let the power go out in the middle of your celebration – Call Ryan Gath today!

By Ryan Gath Electric

6 Benefits of a Standby Generator in Chelmsford

6 Benefits of a Standby Generator in Chelmsford

  • Electrical
  • Generators
standby generator in Chelmsford by Ryan Gath

Winter will be here soon enough, and homeowners are thinking about the possibility of losing electricity in a storm. With so many of us relying on electrical equipment, it’s becoming more important to have a backup source of power, like a standby generator. Just think about all of the things that you use that require electricity! If you don’t want to be kept in the dark, consider calling us so we can install a standby generator in Chelmsford. By having one of these installed, your home can stay powered when everyone else is in the dark.

Here are 6 benefits of having a standby generator on your Chelmsford property:

Seamless switching

For most of their life, standby generators sit on your property, doing little. However, when the main power grid goes down, an automatic transfer switch in the generator activates. It cuts you from the main grid, switches your power to the generator, and turns on the generator. This happens in a very short amount of time, so you only lose power for a moment.

Maintain electrical power

Unsurprisingly, having a generator lets your electronics stay active during a blackout. This provides a variety of benefits. Whether you have food that needs to stay in the fridge or you have medical equipment that relies on electricity, you can keep using it.

Stay safe during emergencies

Having power at your home means you don’t need to leave for any power-related issues. Let’s say you have someone who needs to stay hooked on some powered medical equipment. If the power went out from a storm, you might have to bring them to a hospital or somewhere else with electricity. You don’t want to have to go out during a torrential storm. Having power means you and your family can stay safe at home.

Protection from electrical damage

Just because the power is out doesn’t mean your electronics are safe from damage. When you’re connected to the grid, there’s the possibility of violent power surges, spikes, and brownouts. These can all cause damage to anything connected to the grid. Fortunately, the generator keeps you off the grid and safe from electrical dangers. It’ll only switch you back to the grid when it has power and has stabilized.

Protection against other damage

It’s not just electrical damage you have to worry about when the power goes out. If the electricity isn’t working, that means your sump pump isn’t working as well. That means your home is vulnerable to flooding during a rainstorm. Similarly, losing out on your electric heat during the winter can cause your pipes to freeze. If you have a standby generator, all of these systems will stay functioning.

Increases home value

When you have a generator on your lot, it’s a major consideration for home buyers. A generator on your lot says “peace of mind” to potential buyers, and that’s something so many of us want. You can likely get a higher price on your home if you have one installed.

Why is Ryan Gath my best choice for a generator installation?

Ryan Gath Electric is one of Chelmsford’s most trusted electrical companies. Generator installation is a serious task that can be very risky, which is why we employ some of the best in the industry. We also offer a one-year warranty on all of our work. That means if something goes wrong with your newly-installed generator, you’ll be covered. Call Ryan Gath today to learn more about installing a standby generator in Chelmsford!

By Ryan Gath Electric

Why a Standby Generator Will Be Your Saving Grace This Winter

Why a Standby Generator Will Be Your Saving Grace This Winter

  • Electrical
  • Generators
Generator Maintenance by Ryan Gath Electric in Chelmsford, MA

It’s always a good idea to have a backup, especially when you’re not sure when the power will come back. A standby generator works by detecting when your home has a power outage and starts generating power. If well maintained, a standby will be able to operate consistently throughout a power outage and even the most severe winter weather until the power comes back. If you’re unsure about investing in a standby generator, here’s how installing one can benefit you.

How a Standby Generator Can Help You

  • It ensures you stay warm and comfortable. Installing a standby generator ensures that your furnace stays on and continues heating your home. If it’s below freezing outside, it won’t take long for your home to drop to frigid temperatures. Fireplaces provide ambiance and some warmth, but it can’t keep your entire house heated. A standby not only keeps your furnace running, but it also keeps you and your household warm and comfortable.
  • It keeps the essential appliances running. Some appliances should always be running, like your refrigerator and sump pump. The food inside your refrigerator is sensitive to temperatures, and when the power goes out, the clock starts ticking until you have an entire fridge full of spoiled food. Your sump pump also requires constant power to prevent a flooded basement. A standby generator can potentially save a life if you live with someone who has a medical condition and relies on medical equipment.
  • It protects your plumbing. Your plumbing is already susceptible to the frigid temperatures, but when the power goes out; your pipes are at risk of bursting. When the inside of your home isn’t properly heated, your pipes can freeze, and the ice inside the pipes expands until the pipe bursts. Not only will you deal with malfunctioning plumbing, but a pipe flooding thousands of gallons of water inside your home. A standby ensures your plumbing is protected and functioning.
  • It turns on automatically. Unlike some power backup power systems that need to be manually started, a standby backup generator will automatically turn on when the power goes out. This is particularly helpful if you’re away from home or out of town when the power goes out.

How to Maintain Your Standby Generator

A standby generator can protect your home, plumbing, and comfort this winter, but like any other appliance, it requires routine maintenance. Generally, a standby generator can last up to 10,000 – 30,000 hours, depending on how well maintained the generator is and the number of power outages. If you don’t anticipate too many power outages a year, your standby generator can last up to 20-30 years. Whether your standby generator lasts a few years or 30 years, it needs routine maintenance to function effectively and live out its lifespan. To make sure you stay warm this winter, here are a few ways you can maintain your standby generator.

  • Routinely inspect your standby generator. Your backup power system is complicated, and ideally should be inspected annually. Throughout most of the year, your standby generator will sit unused and is prone to damages. An annual inspection ensures it functions properly when there’s a power outage.
  • Keep your generator clean and clear of debris. A standby system needs proper ventilation in order to function. Keeping your standby generator clear of grass clipping, leaves, and other debris ensures it won’t overheat and work effectively.
  • Give your generator a test run. It’s a good idea to give your standby generator a test run before the winter season to ensure its working. A good test run also determines fuel quantity and quality.
  • Invest in a cold-weather kit. Depending on where you live, you might need a cold-weather kit before you can even rely on your standby generator. Cold weather kits work to keep the battery and other essential parts warm so that the engine can start.
  • Replace old batteries. On top of keeping your standby battery warm, it’s also important to replace an old battery in need of replacement. Even when your system is not in use, it’s a good idea to periodically check the battery.
  • Change the oil. Dirty or clogged oil can be detrimental to your standby generator as it doesn’t lubricate properly. Colder temperatures usually require a lower viscosity while hotter temperatures require a higher viscosity, or depending on the model, you might be able to use dual viscosity oil.

Don’t let your home get stuck without power this year. For all of your backup power needs, call Ryan Gath Electric today! 

By Ryan Gath Electric

Benefits of a Standby Generator Installation

Benefits of a Standby Generator Installation

  • Generators

Here in New England, we’re used to storms year round. Whether it’s a blizzard, nor’easter, a hurricane or just a heavy rains, power outages are always a possibility. An outage is not only a major inconvenience, it can lead to damages as well as potential safety hazards. Here at Ryan Gath Electric, we want to help you stay comfortable and safe in the event of an outage. Here are the benefits of a standby generator installation done by us:

Instant Power

Perhaps the best use of a standby generator is the fact that it turns on within seconds in the event of an outage. Instant power generation not only allows you to keep the lights on, but keeps appliances and systems running like normal throughout your home. Not only does it keep important home features on and functioning, a standby generator greatly reduces the risk of harmful power surges that can damage electronics or even start a fire.

Prevents Loss and Damage

Think about all the food in your refrigerator and freezer right now – now consider how fast most of it would go bad if your power were to go out. While the food inside your fridge can stay cool, the clock starts ticking as soon as the power goes off.  Some appliances, such as your refrigerator, need to be running constantly. A standby generator spares you the grief of having to throw away perishables. A standby generator is also a must have for households that use medical equipment or work from home.

 Plumbing Protection

 As temperatures drop outside, it’s important to make sure that your home stays heated and insulated. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, so if your power goes out during the winter months, your pipes could be in trouble. Frozen plumbing is no joke, as the pressure caused by water expanding can crack and bust your pipes. This can lead to costly repairs and water damage, but a generator helps to prevent it. If your basement is prone to flooding, standby generators will keep your sump pump working problem free to keep the water out.


Being without power for an extended period can be rough! Having a standby generator in place can save you from having to stay in a hotel or make other accommodations during an outage. You will be able to save money while staying safe and comfortable in your own home.

Protection for Electronics

A standby generator protects your electronics from power surges that can happen when the power comes back on. While power surges are a common occurrence, and most can be relatively harmless, power surges caused by major power outages are more likely to damage your electronic appliances. A standby generator protects your electronics by waiting until the voltage is stabilized before the generator transfers power generation back to the utility line.

Why Choose Ryan Gath Electric for Generator Installation?

Whether it’s because of inclement weather or a different reason, power outages are always a possibility. If you’re in the market for some emergency power, look no further than Gath Electric. We offer a wide range of different generator models, each suited to a different situation. We’re sure that we can find a backup generator that will meet your needs perfectly. We’re also an authorized Generac dealer, so you know that we sell quality hardware.

We are a turn-key generator installation contractor. Most people don’t realize how much of a process a standby generator installation can be. We take care of everything for you, so you can have peace of mind without any hassle at all. Permits, plumbing, contracts, inspections, and installation – we cover all the bases for you.

If you need generator installation or maintenance in the Chelmsford, MA area, call Ryan Gath Electric today to schedule your service!

By Ryan Gath Electric

5 Signs Your Generator Needs Repair Work

5 Signs Your Generator Needs Repair Work

  • Generators
standby generator in Chelmsford by Ryan Gath

Getting a backup or standby generator for your home is a great way to protect your home from power outages and surges. However, owning one also means you’ll have to take good care of it. Keeping your generator healthy is key to keeping your home powered during bad weather. The last thing you want during a winter storm is to discover that your generator is broken. We often suggest generator owners get inspections for their generator at least once or twice a year. However, it’s also a good idea to know when you should call us for some generator repair work.

Here are five symptoms of a generator that needs repair:


Damaged electrical components

When you look over your generator, ensure every electrical component is working properly. A single component can prevent your generator from working if it needs replacing.


Slow starting

Standby generators should have little to no delay from when the power goes out to it starting up. If there’s a delay or it doesn’t turn on at all, there’s likely a problem with the engine and/or battery. Both of these are big problems, but the battery can be especially nasty. Battery problems can cause further damage to your generator’s engine.


General alerts

Odds are you don’t work with your generator regularly, so you might have trouble noticing issues with it. Luckily, some modern generators run weekly automatic self-tests and inform you of any problems. You’ll have to do the tests yourself if you don’t get automatic tests. Manufacturer instructions usually advise on when to inspect their products, but you can tweak it from there based on your usage and needs.


Visible damage

Visible damage is an obvious sign your generator needs repairs. For the first several years of your generator’s life, you likely won’t see much wear and tear. However, they can still take damage from bad weather, falling branches, and more. If you see any cracks, dents, water damage, or damaged wiring, give us a call. Even minor surface damage can hint at worse damage on the inside.


Leaking and puddles

Generators can face a variety of problems after long periods of use. Older, worn down generators may start leaking gas or fluids. As well as being bad for your generator, the leaks can cause some safety hazards. If you see leaks or strange puddles during your inspections, let us know as soon as possible.


Why call Ryan Gath Electric to get your electronics fixed up?

If you need a backup generator installed, call Ryan Gath Electric. All of our technicians have years of professional experience in the installation of backup generators. We’ll make sure that your generator is installed correctly and safely. When you activate your generator for the first time, you can do it secure in the knowledge that it was installed by some of the best in the industry. Call Ryan Gath Electric today to learn more about our generator services!

By Ryan Gath Electric

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