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Power outages in the US are on the rise, and electric generators can keep business running smoothly and protect homes. Keeping the generator in good repair requires an expert to ensure it works when needed
DENVER, CO – For many businesses, and even many homes, an electrical outage of more than a few minutes could present a severe problem, including downtime from operations, overheating or a too-cold environment, security breaches, personal safety issues, spoilage of food stuffs, and a variety of other issues.
Imagine being a hospital, day care center or long-term care facility; if a power outage hit for any length of time, lives could be in the balance. Retail outlets and office environments losing power would be virtually shut down for the duration, and even in homes where people work, or in winter during severe cold snaps, and where refrigerators and freezers protect valuable food stores, a major power outage could be a major inconvenience or a costly and potentially dangerous situation.
Wide varieties of commercial and industrial properties, and a growing number of American homes, have installed automatic generators that can seamlessly provide all of the power necessary, or at the very least enough power for essential services within the property, in the event of an electrical service interruption. Since a generator is like an insurance policy – there for an emergency situation – it is highly important that when called upon, an electrical generator performs as advertised. Most of these units contain regular automatic testing cycles that go a long way to ensure a property owner that the generator will work when the power goes down, but it’s important to observe a regular maintenance program to keep a generator system ship-shape, and to have an expert on call to make necessary repairs in the event of a failure.
Allstar Electrical Services is just such an expert. As licensed, professional electrical contractors in Colorado for commercial and industrial properties, and well as residential service and repair, we have installed hundreds of electrical generators for all types of properties, and we are fully versed in the necessary maintenance programs and generator repairs. And since we specialize in 24-hour emergency service, an electric generator on the fritz in most cases can be repaired before the power is restored.
The issue of power outages is, in fact, a growing concern. They are associated with such natural disasters as floods, hurricanes and other storms, of course, but power failures not associated with such events are on the rise nationwide. According to a report in an online4 edition of CNN Tech from a year ago, there has been a “frighteningly steep increase in non-disaster-related outages affecting at least 50,000 residents“ recently. In fact, the story noted, from the beginning of the 1990s to the end of the first decades of the 2000’s, such blackouts have increased 124 percent. From just 41 blackouts nationwide over the 5-year period 1991-95, and 92 such incidents between 2001 and 2005, utilities across the country reported 36 such outages in 2006 alone.
The reason for the increase in non-disaster power outages is ascribed to two main factors: 1) the aging infrastructure grid in the United States electrical system that is, essentially, operating on 1960’s and ‘70’s technology; and, 2) the concomitant growth in the U.S. population over the period (the estimated US population in 1980, for instance, was 226.5 million people, while the 2010 Census showed that 308.7 million lived in the country – an increase of a whopping 36%.)
So, obviously, having a back-up source of electrical generation in case of an electrical emergency is not just possible, but highly probable.
Electric generators come in a variety of forms and sizes. There are, of course, portable generators, usually operated by gasoline that depending on the size can handle the emergency needs for electrical power for a few electrical devices.
For most buildings, however, electricians install generator units capable of handling whole-building electrical needs. They can run on natural gas, gasoline, diesel, or propane or LPG, liquefied petroleum gas. These units typically require a transfer switch, sold separately, that automatically switches on the generator in the event of a power outage to the building’s main circuit box(es), that maintains a nearly seamless supply of power. The transfer switch also shuts down the generator and returns the power supply to traditional channels when power from the utility is restored, again in a fairly seamless manner. In other words, the building operator or homeowner really doesn’t need to do anything if the power goes out – which is a good thing if it happens in the middle of the night on a very cold period of time.
These switches can also be programmed, along with the power supply generator itself, to perform periodic test – generally weekly – to ensure the system is working properly.
As with any piece of complex equipment, however, particularly one located outdoors and subject to the weather, deterioration, blockages, freeze-ups, and unexpected service issues arise. Like air conditioners, furnaces, swamp coolers, and automobile engines (which generators most resemble), regular maintenance is required to make sure the machine will operate properly when needed. Just as car owners take in their cars periodically for a tune-up, check-up and winterization, having a trained technician check out a generator each year will offer peace of mind.
If there is a failure, having a generator technician with immediate access to the required parts and the necessary expertise to do the repair now is also a necessity. After all, the generator is there to perform in case of an emergency; if it fails when called upon, it is an expensive – and unnecessary – power outage.
Our clients with generators on their properties know Allstar Electrical Services will be there with expert maintenance and timely repair services should the need arise. Call 303-399-7420 for complete details.
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