Not every power outage is a regional one or even citywide, though the area has seen some serious ones in recent years. More often, power outages are localized, affecting a few dozen or a few hundred customers and the result of problems at a transformer or substation where power is distributed to several neighborhoods. Your home is still dark, though, and repairs can take some time. At Tioga Plumbing & Electric, our electrical service customers in Hurst, TX and other local areas can have a generator on standby in their backyard, ready to automatically switch on and provide power to keep their homes comfortable and running normally whether the outage is for hours or days. With the growing popularity of automatic backup generators for homeowners across the country, manufacturers have been adding remote monitoring, self-testing, and other features to make these small power plants more usable by homeowners whether or not they’re the hands-on types.
A Range of Generator Capacities
Generator capacities are measured in kilowatts or kW. Home-based models that our electrical service installs can be as little as 5 to 7.5 kW for essential residential needs, up to 20 or 22 kW and beyond for full replacement of your home’s incoming power lines, including your AC. These are units that are permanently installed and connected for automatic operation, there are manual units generally designed for portable use, supplying less than 1 kW. They can be used, but with different connection arrangements and important safety concerns to consider such as not running generator engines in or near your home or garage, and using only approved home wiring connection methods or weatherproof extension cords.
Using a transfer switch to substitute your backup generator for commercial power is the safest and most common way to connect backup power. Our electrical service provides the proper wiring and manual or automatic transfer switch device, allowing you to make the switch to generator power manually, or sit back and relax as the automatic switch identifies the loss of power, starts the generator, and switches your home over to backup power. With automatic power transfer and modern generator systems, you often have access to a rich assortment of features including status monitoring, repair and maintenance scheduling based on the calendar or identified unit needs, and smartphone app access to the monitoring information. Our electricians can help you take advantage of these generator features in addition to installing your system and automatic transfer switch.
Permanent installation of your backup generator requires the experience that our electrical service offers because once the footing is placed and the unit installed, it can be costly to address installation issues such as proper placement to limit engine exhaust risks, sound and vibration reduction, and neighborhood or community requirements. Better to get it done right the first time, and our electrical service has installed backup generators in many communities around the DFW area, so we know how to get the design, placement, and paperwork correct as well as take care of the technical details. Installation usually involves a concrete pedestal where the unit is mounted, along with wiring to your home’s electrical service and the transfer switch, because the unit will require power to keep the battery charged and ready to start the engine. You’ll probably want to run a network connection for some models that have hardwired networking capability, otherwise wireless is common. Then there’s your fuel supply.
While small generators can run on gasoline or even their own set of batteries, most units that supply your home or small business use diesel, propane, or natural gas. Natural gas, when available, is convenient because there’s no tank that needs to be refilled. Diesel also has concerns about long-term storage and degradation of the product. Our electrical service team can provide information on local options for fuel sources, and during maintenance visits, the fuel system is part of the overall status check.
In most cases, your backup generator system will be configured by our electrical service team to start automatically and provide the power your home needs until commercial power returns. If your generator is designed to handle only part of your home’s electrical needs, we’ll either provide appropriate wiring to separate the loads, that is the equipment, lighting, and other devices that need power during an outage, and make sure that only they are connected to backup power. Some generator manufacturers are providing new ways to manage loads using controllers connected to individual devices such as the refrigerator and stove to connect and disconnect them according to your priorities. While your system is operating, if you have monitoring capabilities, you can check on your system’s status from indoors, an advantage during, particularly stormy weather. When commercial power returns, your system will disconnect and shut down.
The key to backup power is a well-maintained generator system. Our electrical service team performs expert maintenance, testing, and periodic checkups for your backup generator. They check and replace items as required, including filters, oil, spark plugs, and starting battery, make sure the internals of the unit are clean and in good shape, and your fuel supply is clean and flowing correctly. They’ll check engine operation, including occasional full runs to ensure it reaches the proper temperature and operates smoothly for a period of time. Some generators now include a self-test option that performs a short activation, starting the engine and monitoring operation for ten minutes once a week or some similar schedule. Maintenance is for the longevity and mechanical and electrical reliability of your generator, giving you peace of mind when power fails.
Backup Power for Your Family’s Lifestyle in Hurst, TX
At Tioga Plumbing & Electric in Hurst, TX, our electrical service team has you covered for backup power. Ask us about our generator installation, maintenance, and repair services and the right units to meet your family’s power needs when your area has lost commercial power. Call us and learn more.
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