Backup generators are a great solution to prevent power outages. Especially for commercial operations, power outages can result in massive economic losses. For patients in a hospital, lives are at risk whenever there is a loss of power. Residential property owners also need to be prepared for an event that may lead to long-term loss of electricity to ensure the proper working order of their properties. Whenever there is an event that results in a disruption to the electricity supply, backup generators and power systems can ensure the power supply isn’t interrupted. 

The installation of backup generators is a more complex process than many believe it to be. Before installing your backup generator for a commercial, residential or government property there are a number of considerations:

Choosing the right backup generator

We recommend consulting with a licensed electrician to choose which backup generator or power supply will best suit your needs. There are a number of considerations to determine which one will work for your property including the size and placement of the generator. In addition how will it be powered? Natural gas, gasoline, propane, etc? Consulting with your Ottawa electrician will help save you time, money and headaches to ensure you choose the proper backup generator. 

Automatic vs. Manual transfer switches for your generator: 

Automatic transfer switch generator:  Automatic transfer switches continuously monitor the voltage from the utility line. If there is an interruption to the utility power then the transfer switch will instantly know there is an issue and the generator will kick-in. It only takes a second or two for the generator to begin the electrical supply while the transfer switch continues to monitor the utility line. Once it recognizes that the utility line is back-up and running smoothly it will switch the back to the utility line while cooling down the generator engine to be ready for the next power outage. 

Manual transfer switch generator: Manual transfer switches do not monitor the power supply. If there is a power outage, you will need to manually switch the power supply to the generator. Once the utility line is back up and running you then need to manually switch back the power and then power down your generator. 

If your business or home is located in an area that is known to have more frequent power outages, the automatic transfer switch may be the right choice and worth the additional investment. If your business cannot afford a power outage of any kind due to your operations then an automatic transfer switch would be recommended. The pros of having a manual transfer switch is that the investment is lower both for the equipment, maintenance and installation. 

Portable generator: A great alternative if you’re looking for a lower-priced option to keep the power supply running in an emergency. Portable generators can likely carry a load to ensure you can keep your heater, water pump, some lights and fridge running. If you want anything that requires more power like central air conditioners, hot tub, etc. then portable generators may not be the way to go. Portable generators typically connect within extension cord range and give off a decent amount of noise and fumes so it requires some monitoring to ensure complete safety. 

Choosing where to install your backup generator

Licensed electricians can also aid in the placement and deciding where on your property you should locate your backup generator. Considerations to take into account are the design of the generator itself, fuel accessibility, ventilation, noise and more. 

Load restrictions 

The equipment itself has a power backup rating. These ratings are very important to ensure the proper load capacity. In order for the backup generator to run smoothly and fuel efficiently a thorough understanding of the ratings is essential. 

If you are located in Ottawa, call Floodlight Electric for a consultation to ensure a safe and proper installation of your backup generator.