This weeks blog is dedicated to our experience at the 2012 Fall Home and Garden Show in the TD Convention Center. Carolina Heating was present with a booth featuring our Emergency Power Generator line.
We have collected lots of questions and even more answers Here the most often asked questions:
Q: How to determine the right size generator for my house or office?
A: The simplest and obvious way to get started and to find the right size a generator is to make an inventory of all electrical equipment in a home or office. Typical power consumption of each item can be found on the equipment label.
Adding up the power consumption of all equipment will give you the maximum power needed to run all at the same time.
The result will provide the generator size for complete whole house coverage.
Using the inventory you could also add up only those items really needed during a power outage. This sum will tell you what minimum size generator will be needed. This will be the size for essential circuit coverage.
And there is something in between often called a managed whole house coverage where a smaller generator still cover the whole house, but not at the same time. The management is accomplished using a load shedding switch which turns off non essential equipment while essential equipment demands power and reconnects, when the essential equipment does not need power. A good example is a hot water heater which could be interrupted from heating water while the power is needed for heating and air conditioning.
Q: Why should I buy an automatic stand-by generator instead of a portable generator?
A: During a utility power outage automatic stand-by generators have multiple advantages:
1. As the name says, automatic stand-by generators come on automatically with a delay in the seconds to a minute range. Portable Generators need to be brought in from storage or the point of previous use, prepared and hooked up before power is available. And automatic generators turn themselves off when utility power is restored. Not so a portable.
2. Automatic generators offer close to a guarantee to come on as they are self-monitoring according to a programmed schedule of test runs. A portable generator may not have been used for a while and may need more or less maintenance before going on line.
3. Fuel supply for automatic generators is readily available as most run on natural gas.
Portable generators use gasoline and need to be filled and refilled continuously. Also, a supply of fresh(!) gasoline will need to be on hand and handled at all times what adds to the risks and inconveniences of portable generators.
4. And last but not least safety is a concern. Stationary generators are safe as they are installed permanently with safety in mind. An automated transfer switch takes care of switching between utility and generator. And all the wiring and grounding is correctly done.
Portable generators are often considered unsafe due to the non permanent setup by not necessarily trained and educated personnel. A manual transfer switch with the important lock-out mechanism and proper wiring including grounding might have been omitted. Here would be not only a code violation, it could be deadly, as could the fact that the generator might be positioned the way that exhaust gas intrudes the house.
Q: Can I install the generator myself?
A: For safety reasons and to ensure adherence to all local, state and national electrical codes, particularly for non pre-wired or larger systems, it is recommended that you use an authorized dealer and licensed contractor.
Q: Do Stand-by Generators need maintenance?
A: Yes. Generators have combustion engine as power source and require simple but regular maintenance like oil and filter changes. This ensures long lasting performance and reliability. Refer to the owner’s manual for routine maintenance procedures and schedules.
For owner provided maintenance preventative maintenance kits are available. And many companies including our own Carolina Generators offer annual maintenance contracts for a worry-free experience.
More Frequently Asked Questions and their answers are available on page FAQ on www.carolinagenerators.com
And don't hesitate to ask our generator specialists.for any details and to inquire about installing an emergency stand-by generator for you.