EMERGENCY BACKUP GENERATOR SYSTEMS – SALES, SERVICE, RENTAL, GENERATOR INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is an automatic standby generator?
An automatic standby generator is a back-up electrical system that operates whether you are home or away. Within seconds of an outage, it automatically supplies power directly to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage. It operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit.
2. How does a home standby system work?
Generac - http://www.generac.com/Residential/How_does_it_work/
Briggs & Stratton - http://www.homegeneratorsystems.com/buying_guide/works/index.cfm
GE Generator Systems - http://www.homestandbygeneratorsystems.com/buying-guide/power-more-for-less/
3. Why should I buy an automatic standby generator instead of a portable generator?
During a utility power outage, an automatic standby generator provides numerous advantages over a portable 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..
- With an automatic standby generator installation properly installed outside, your home is protected from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning that is a much greater risk with portable generators.
- Running on the home’s natural gas or LP fuel supply, it is less expensive to run than gasoline and does not need to be refilled.
- 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.
- They provide protection 24/7, whether you're home or away, and they turn themselves off when utility power returns, so there is no need to monitor the unit during an outage.
4. What is the difference between an automatic air-cooled generator and an automatic liquid-cooled generator?
The engines! Air cooled generators come with engines that use fans to force air across the engine for cooling, while liquid cooled generators use enclosed radiator systems for cooling, similar to an automobile. Generally, liquid cooled engines are used on larger kW generators due to the larger engines required for the higher power output.
5. How long can I expect an automatic standby generator to last?
The engines are developed specifically for generators and designed to provide approximately 3,000 hours of use, with typical usage and proper maintenance an automatic standby generator can provide in excess of 30 years of service. Example: Weekly exercise time (11 hours per year) plus four 20 hr. outages (80 hrs/year) equals 91 hours of operation per year OR over 30 years.
6. Can an automatic standby generator replace utility service?
No...the generator fuel costs would be much more expensive than buying power from the utility company since their cost to produce electricity is divided among thousands of customers.
7. How do I correctly size a generator for my home?
The most logical way to determine your needs is to envision your home without power! Some outages may be short in duration, while others could last for days or weeks. What would you like your living conditions to be?
Generac - http://www.generac.com/Residential/Sizer/
Briggs & Stratton - http://www.homegeneratorsystems.com/buying_guide/select/index.cfm
GE Generator Systems - http://www.homestandbygeneratorsystems.com/buying-guide/
8. Can I install the generator myself?
For safety reasons and to ensure adherence to all local, state and national electrical codes, it is recommended that you use an authorized dealer or licensed contractor for installation.
9. Do they have to be maintained?
Yes, simple maintenance is required. All generators require periodic oil and filter changes to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service.
10. What type of oil should I use?
An SAE rated high detergent oil that meets API Service Class SF requirements for gasoline engines, similar to your car. Refer to your owner’s manual for details.
HOW TO POWER DOWN YOUR GENERAC AIR COOLED UNIT - CLICK HERE
HOW TO CHECK OIL IN YOUR GENERAC GENERATOR - CLICK HERE
HOW TO FILL YOUR OIL - STEP BY STEP
11. What happens if the generator gets over loaded?
Generators are equipped with overload protection. In the rare event of an overload, the generator’s circuit breaker will trip, disconnecting the unit from the load. Simply correct the overload and reset the breaker in the generator.
12. If I have a problem with my generator where do I go for help?
Oak Electric Service is an authorized Generac, Briggs & Stratton & GE dealer for generator parts and service, offering 24-hour emergency service.