Fall Generator Care Updates

As leaves continue to fall, keeping your generator clear from obstruction is essential.

fall season

  • As leaves continue to fall this season, now is a great time to make sure your generator has proper air flow.
  • This season, leaves can develop around the sides of the generator which can inhibit the generators ability to run properly.
  • It is recommended to keep the surrounding area of the generator clear from debris.
This is a Generator where the leaves are piled to close to the intake side.

This is a Generator where the leaves are piled to close to the intake side.

This is a Generator that displays the leaves piled away from the Generator at a safe distance.

This is a Generator that displays the leaves piled away from the Generator at a safe distance.

Avoid the Dangers of a Winter Power Outage

With temperatures in the single digits and predictions of snow in the weather forecast, owning a generator during the winter season can keep you and your family warm and safe during a winter power outage. If your power goes out, your automatic backup generator will turn on immediately, keeping your lights and heat on during the storm. Here are some other ways you can protect your home with a generator:

  • Ice, snow and freezing rain can often cause hazardous traveling conditions for you as well as emergency responders and utility companies. You could experience a long delay if you call them for help during bad weather. Your generator helps you prepare for emergencies in advance by providing you with power to run necessary appliances to keep your home and family safe and protected before the snow starts.
  • A generator can also help you avoid the risk of frozen pipes, which may occur when the heat goes out. A frozen pipe can cause water damage in your home and lead to costly repairs. It can also cut off your access to running water.
  • A generator eliminates the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and fires that can occur with kerosene heaters and other items that people use as alternative ways to heat their home.
  • There isn’t a need to worry about spoiled food when you have backup power available. You won’t have to throw out your groceries or worry about becoming ill from spoiled food. Your refrigerator and food will be safe!

Automatic standby generators are an important investment for your home. Avoid the inconvenience and weatherproof your home in advance. Contact us today to find out how a generator can make a difference in keeping you and your family safe during this cold and snowy winter season and beyond.

snowstorm

 

Fall in Line with Your Generator Maintenance

fall season

From the colorful leaves on the trees to the crisp mornings and chilly nights, the fall season is officially here and that means winter is soon to follow.

As the temperature drops, you’ll want to make sure your home is prepared for the colder months. You may have experienced power outages in the summer, but harsh winter weather can also cause a blackout, leaving you stuck at home without electricity. The fall season is the perfect time to ensure that your generator is ready. Start preparing your generator today for the cold weather, freezing temperatures and snow guaranteed to come in the near future.

fall generator

If you do own a generator, you may notice that your generator may have a difficult time starting and running during cold weather. Get your generator ready during the fall season with these maintenance tips below:

  • You may spend some time raking leaves and cleaning your yard, but make sure to clear all leaves from around your automatic generator. The accumulation of snow, leaves and other debris must not be allowed to obstruct the air flow into or the exhaust out of the generator enclosure.  Obstruction of proper air flow can cause overheating and shutdown the generator.
  • Stay on top of the scheduled maintenance and keep an extra quart of oil on hand.
  • Contact us for cold weather accessories.
    • Engine Crankcase Warmer – the thermostatically controlled 40 watt heater maintains optimal engine oil temperature for more reliable generator starting in extreme cold conditions. It also reduces wear & tear on the starter, by promoting faster and easier engine starting.
    • Engine Crankcase Warmer and Battery Warmer (Cold weather kit) – a thermostatically controlled 50 watt battery warmer maintains optimal battery temperature along with the crankcase warmer described above, help ensure easier and more reliable generator starting in extreme cold conditions.

You don’t want to wait until a winter storm hits to find out you’re not prepared. A standby generator is convenient and will give you peace of mind knowing that you’ll still have heat and electricity if the power goes out. If you need a generator installed or you have maintenance questions, give us a call.

 

 

 

Exercising Your Generator for Peak Performance

Automatic Standby Generator

Automatic Standby Generator

Your generator needs to exercise, just as we do, to perform at optimum levels! The question is, do you know how much exercise is best for your automatic standby or portable Generac generator?

Fortunately, automatic standby generators are programmed to do their own “exercise” and maintain top operating condition. Most Generac generators operate for 12 minutes each week, except the 2015 and newer 16/20/22kW models operate for 5 minutes. All 2015 and newer models have a user selectable exercise cycle – weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

Which days are best to exercise my automatic standby generator?
We recommend generator owners schedule the exercise for a time when they are at home, allowing them to witness the operation of their generator and gain peace of mind. From a practical standpoint, it is best to schedule the exercise time on Sunday through Thursday. In the event the generator needs service, it can be performed the following workday, without incurring overtime charges on a Saturday or Sunday.

What if I have a Generac portable generator?
Portable generator owners should manually operate their generator each season, to maintain their generator in top operating condition. Generac recommends draining the fuel from the tank and running the carburetor dry. As an alternative, you can add a fuel stabilizer to prevent stale fuel issues.

Contact Saturn Electrical Services at 630-980-0300 for service and maintenance of your Generac generator.

How You Can Maintain Your Home Standby Generator

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Did you know that a generator’s required maintenance is the replacement of the engine oil, oil filter and a complete tune-up at every 200 hours or 2 years, (or whichever occurs first)? Staying on top of your generator’s maintenance can help you prepare for power outages and guarantee a longer operating life span.

Here are some essential requirements to remember about your maintenance plan.

Oil

It’s important to change your standby generator’s oil on a regular basis. To perform an oil change, empty the old oil and replace it with 2 quarts of new oil (don’t forget to replace your old, dirty oil filter). We use a full-synthetic, 5W-30, All-Season automotive oil for all Generac generators we service. Generac recommends checking the oil level monthly and every 24 hours of continuous operation.
Spark Plugs
It’s time to change out your old spark plugs for new ones after a year of use. Installing the new spark plugs can ensure that your generator runs smoothly.

Air Filter

Replacing the air filter is a really easy step in your generator maintenance plan. A new air filter will help your generator perform at full capacity during the next power outage.

A Standby Generator Maintenance Checklist

*ASNE recommends the following checklist to help homeowners maintain their standby generators:

Weekly Maintenance

  • Run the generator (typically no-load, automatic transfer switch exercise cycle).
  • Verify that the unit ran and has no alarms or warnings.
  • Ensure adequate fuel levels.
  • Ensure that the generator is in “Auto” mode.
  • Check that the circuit breaker is closed.
  • Make sure there are no fluid leaks.

Monthly Maintenance

  • Check engine coolant level.
  • Check engine oil level.
  • Check the battery charger.

Bi-Annual Maintenance 

  • Inspect the enclosure.
  • Check the battery electrolyte level and specific gravity.
  • Check battery cables and connections.
  • Inspect drive belts.
  • Inspect the coolant heater.
  • Check coolant lines and connections.
  • Check for oil leaks and inspect lubrication system hoses and connectors.
  • Check for fuel leaks and inspect fuel system hoses and connectors.
  • Inspect the exhaust system, muffler and exhaust pipe.
  • Check and clean air cleaner units.
  • Inspect air induction piping and connections.
  • Inspect the DC electrical system, control panel and accessories.
  • Inspect the AC wiring and accessories.

Annual Maintenance 

  • Change oil and filter.
  • Change the fuel filter.
  • Change the air filter.
  • Clean the crankcase breather.
  • Change spark plugs.
  • Check coolant concentration.
  • Flush the cooling system (as needed).
  • Perform load bank testing.
  • Fuel testing & reconditioning (diesel-fueled units only).
  • Remove water from fuel tank (diesel-fueled units only)

Call us today to schedule your bi-annual and annual maintenance with one of our certified technicians!

*This checklist was retrieved from http://www.asne.com/standby-generator-maintenance-prepared-power-outages/

Weatherproof Your Business

business

Does your business have a plan in place in case of a severe storm and power outage? Prepare in advance by developing a plan that ensures your business will still function during an emergency. Consumer’s Energy recommends that business owners implement the following tips to prepare their company for a storm:

1. Understand your businesses’ priorities following a power outage or disaster and make plans that address immediate, near-term and long-term needs and actions.

2. Develop plans to ensure critical business processes can continue during a power outage or emergency.

3. If you have equipment that cannot be disrupted even for short periods, such as a computer or sump pump, install a battery back-up system or generator.

4. When using a generator, make sure it is properly installed by a licensed electrician, for the safety of lineworkers and other emergency responders who may come near power lines. Never use your generator in a basement, breezeway, and attached garage or near any fresh-air intakes, windows or doors to prevent deadly carbon monoxide from entering your home or business.

5. Develop a communications plan for employees, customers and suppliers. Determine how you would serve your customers and coordinate with your employees and suppliers even if your facilities were closed or you cannot get to work.

6. Have adequate emergency supplies on hand, such as battery powered flashlights, radios, extra batteries and first aid kits.

7. Encourage your employees to be prepared at home.

 

Saturn Electrical Services can help you determine the right generator to weatherproof your business during a storm. Contact us today!

Choosing the Right Generator

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The summer season is  a great time to invest in a generator for your home. Buying a generator for the first time may be overwhelming, and homeowners often ask us if they should purchase an automatic standby generator or a portable generator?

Before you make a decision and invest in a generator, determine the priorities for you and your family. For example, if your first priority is having backup household power in instances such as a storm, you will want to opt for an automatic standby generator. The American Red Cross recommends permanently installed standby generators as a safer way to provide backup power to a home than a portable generator.

If you and your family go on camping trips frequently or if you want a generator for basic home use, you may find that portable generators can come in handy. However, we recommend automatic standby generators, especially during storms and utility power outages, because they have the following advantages:

  • They start automatically within seconds of a power outage, and eliminate the need to haul a portable generator outside or run extension cords throughout your home.
  • If you are away from home, you don’t have to worry. They provide protection 24/7, and they turn themselves off when utility power returns, so there is no need to monitor the unit during an outage.
  • With an automatic standby generator properly installed outside, your building is protected from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning that is a much greater risk with portable generators.

Contact us today to find out how an automatic standby generator can be a great investment for your home during the summer season.

 

 

Safety First: How to Protect Your Home

Generator owners can find it reassuring to know they’ll have backup power in case of an outage during a storm. They can use their portable generators to power essential equipment such as portable heating units, computers, water pumps, freezers, refrigerators and lighting. If you are using a portable generator for temporary power, you have to use caution and take the necessary safety measures. Portable generators can be dangerous if used improperly, which can lead to injury.

The National Safety Council recommends the following tips for safe generator use:

  • Read the manufacturer’s safety and operating manual before using your generator.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space or other enclosed areas.
  • Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents or doors.
  • Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the area you are running a generator.
  • Allow the generator engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline. (Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable.)
  • Maintain your generator according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for peak performance and safety.
  • Never operate the generator near combustible materials.
  • Use caution when touching your generator. Many areas become hot and can burn you.
  • Never leave your generator running when you are away from your home.
  • Check your generator regularly during operation.
  • Generators produce powerful voltage, so never operate under wet conditions.
  • Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain and snow.

For more than 20 years, Saturn Electrical Services is your top-rated local expert for complete turnkey installations and reliable service of Generac generators. Your safety is our top priority. Contact us today for more information on how you can protect your home and family without any worry of power interruptions.

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Severe Weather Preparedness: How to Create a Customized Disaster Plan

Flashlight

Do you have a plan in place for your family in the event of an emergency? It’s not always possible to know when a disaster will happen but it’s important to be prepared for severe weather and other events. Your backup generator can provide power and keep the lights on in your home during an outage, but there are other important safety measures to consider.

Make sure every family member knows the safe spots in your home and where to go during a severe storm, such as the basement or lower level room without windows during a tornado.

Create an emergency supply list and check your supplies throughout the year to make sure you are fully stocked. Your home emergency kit should be located in a storage area that is easily accessible. Your kit should include the following:

  • batteries
  • a three-day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • can opener (non-electrical)
  • flashlights
  • radio
  • first aid kit with any prescriptions
  • blankets

Once you have your emergency kit in place, you’ll also want to make sure your generator is working properly before severe weather hits. Contact us today for assistance with testing your generator!

Protection from the Storm

It’s almost that time of the year again!

The weather is heating up and the sun is shining, but as the seasons change and summer draws near, the forecast for severe storms increases. Protect your home before severe storm season hits by investing in a generator today.

Our automatic standby generators will give you peace of mind during a power outage, especially if you are not at home. Without the generator, you can subject your home to flooding, mold, uncomfortable heat, humidity, allergies and more.

Once you own a generator, you’ll find comfort in knowing that your generator will automatically start immediately after a power outage, so you won’t have to return home to toss out spoiled food from your refrigerator or sit around the house in the dark without the Internet or television.

Get a jumpstart on protecting your home with a Generac generator installation by scheduling a free in-home consultation so that we can discuss the right option for you.

Click here to contact Saturn Electrical Services today.