What’s the True Cost of a Power Outage?

Did you know that power outages cost American households $150 billion annually with weather-related outages accounting for $25-$75 billion per year? Eight-seven percent of power outages are caused by severe weather.

New research from Johns Hopkins shows that New York City and other metro areas could see a 40 to 50 percent increase in power outages, due to the nation’s aging power grid and worsening weather patterns. Emergency backup power is essential for homeowners to prevent destruction. Generators provide power to run necessary household items and can save homeowners from spending thousands of dollars on home repairs.

Respondents of a Briggs & Stratton survey reported the following common costs during a power outage:

  • 40% had to replace spoiled food
  • 29% incurred costs for emergency supply purchases to protect their home and family during the power outage (including candles, flashlights, firewood, etc.)
  • 16% invested in a portable generator
  • 13% lost wages from having to take time off work
  • 11% reported property damage
  • 8% reported having to pay for a hotel room during the power outage

Other research reported the following costly repairs:

  • $10K – burst or frozen pipes
  • $21K – flooded finished basement
  • $30K-$300K – mold remediation/removal
  • $250-$500 – spoiled food
  • $110/night (average) – alternative shelter (hotel stay)

Not only do power outages cause a major inconvenience, but they can also impact your funds, especially if you are not prepared. Owning a generator can give you peace of mind during a blackout. Contact us today to learn how you can protect your home with the proper backup power during a storm, whether it is with a portable generator or an automatic standby generator.

 

Photo Credit: www.popularmechanics.com

Photo Credit: www.popularmechanics.com

Resource:

http://greathurricaneblowout.org/kohlersweeps/pdf/The_Cost_of_Power_Outages_Infographic.pdf

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/

3 Reasons to Consider Mobile Link for Your Generator

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Picture this scenario:

You’re finally leaving for vacation and you’re so excited to finally have a chance to relax. You’re glad to know that you’ll be enjoying the beach by the time the weather turns in a few days. If a big storm hits back home, your generator should switch on, but how can you be sure?

One glance at Mobile Link tells you that your generator is running and protecting your home— even if the power goes out!

What is Mobile Link?

Mobile Link cellular remote monitoring lets you get and share information about your home standby generator no matter where you are, using your computer, smart phone, or mobile device. View your generator’s status and maintenance needs. Set its exercise schedule. Review its running and maintenance history. And get notified of status changes.

Mobile Link’s cellular-based technology offers significant advantages over existing alternatives:

1. Lowest cost of any cellular monitoring solution

During that long business meeting, you can check the stats of your Mobile Link monitor via a free smartphone app! This app tells you that your generator is ready to protect your family at home if the power goes out.

2. Cellular technology provides broad coverage nationwide
Because it sends data via cellular network, Mobile Link is easier to configure and more reliable than the Ethernet and telephone connections found in many competitive remote monitoring solutions. Best of all, the Mobile Link device can be installed in minutes.

3. Cellular network self-configuration eliminates complicated set-up and maintenance
It’s super easy to set up the Mobile Link app on your cell phone or tablet to get specific, accurate data on the status of your generator. Simply select which notifications you wish to receive and how often you would like to receive them. Finally, you can opt to send maintenance alerts to your dealer so they can provide professional support, as needed.

Don’t forget your parents and the elderly!
You can designate up to 4 different accounts to receive email and text notifications, which is a great way to stay in contact with older parents or elderly loved ones.  Contact Saturn Electrical Services to have Mobile Link installed on your generator.