Monthly Archives

October 2017

Common Reasons Why Generators Fail

By | Backup power, Generators

We buy backup generators to provide power when we need it most, i.e. when it’s not available through the power grid. The last thing you want to discover at a time like this is that your generator isn’t working properly. Regular maintenance can help prevent problems, but even when a generator is properly maintained problems can arise. Here are some of the most common reasons why generators fail.

4 Reasons Why Generators Fail

  1. Dead Battery. A generator is an engine and it does have a battery, just like your car. In fact, a dead battery is the #1 most common reason why generators fail. You can help avoid a dead battery situation by making sure you install the proper size battery, replacing the battery every 2-3 years, and testing it during every maintenance check.
  1. The Fuel Gauge is Incorrect. A fuel gauge that reads incorrectly can lead to problems if you don’t know when fuel levels are getting too low. Most gensets have built-in alarms that will warn you when fuel is running low, but if you don’t have such a system, make sure your gauge is working correctly to ensure an adequate fuel supply at all times.
  1. You Have a Leak. Oil, fuel, or coolant leaks prevent a generator from starting or can cause it to conk out mid-cycle. Again, regular inspections should uncover any issues, but sometimes, backup generators register leaks even when they don’t have a leak. This is because they aren’t run frequently enough leading to a build-up of carbon, unburned fuel, oil, condensed water, and acids that can choke the system.
  1. There’s Air in the Fuel System. Air in fuel injectors can cause start-up problems. Too much air can prevent combustion and the engine doesn’t start. Sometimes excess air is caused by leaks in the line or build-up in the system. You can clear the air from the system by starting up the generator every week and letting it run for a few minutes.

Critical Power Products & Services Can Help With Your Generator Problems

If your generator isn’t performing like it should, contact Critical Power Products & Services. We can help troubleshoot common problems, set you up with a replacement generator, and install fuel polishing systems to keep your fuel and lines clean. 

Call 1-877-832-7120 or visit www.criticalpower.com for more information.

Industries Most Adversely Affected By Power Loss

By | Backup power

If you think some industries fare worse than others when the power’s out, you’re right. While any business can suffer during a power outage, some can weather the storm, so to speak, better than others. For some businesses a loss of power is annoying, but for others it can be incredibly damaging – for both the business and their customers.

Here are 5 industries that are most adversely affected by power outages.

5 Industries Where Power Loss Is Disastrous

  1. Financial. When you consider how many of our financial transactions occur online or electronically, it’s not hard to see just how damaging a loss of power can be to banks, financial institutions, and even our personal finances. For companies that handle stock market transactions, any loss of power that affects the ability to trade, even for a short period of time, can spell havoc.
  1. Data Centers. Data centers are the backbone of many industries. Power loss at these locations can cripple businesses even when the actual business is conducted hundreds of miles away. Not only can a loss of power prevent organizations from going about their normal operations, downtime can cause losses that are unrecoverable and may even lead to a loss of data and information that will require a heavy investment in recovery efforts, if recovery is possible at all.
  1. Perishables. Beyond grocery stores, warehouses, and food suppliers, perishables can include pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals. These industries all rely on an uninterrupted supply of power to store and preserve their products, many of which are highly temperature-sensitive. Power losses can result in millions of dollars of loss if products must be thrown out due to damage, spoiling, or contamination.
  1. Healthcare and Medical. People’s lives are literally dependent on properly running electrical equipment in hospitals and nursing homes. Even short disruptions can cause loss of life or serious damage to patient health and welfare. Natural gas and diesel generators are common sights at hospitals and medical facilities, ready to power on in seconds to minimize disruption of power.
  1. Government and Military. It may be off the radar of the general public, but our government and military institutions need power to function effectively. Perhaps the times that they need power the most are when it’s out due to a natural disaster or manmade emergency. Equipment, communications, defense systems and weapons all depend on reliable power. Without it, civil society can quickly fall into unrest.

These are just 5 examples of industries that are most heavily affected by power outages. One thing they all have in common is that their business outputs have a strong impact on the average citizens’ lives. When any one of these industries suffers a power loss, people feel it.

Think About Fuel When Choosing An Emergency Generator

By | Emergency Preparedness, Generators

The biggest concern for most people who need to source an emergency generator is how much power it can supply. That’s definitely a legitimate concern and is the best way to make sure you get a generator that meets your needs, but it’s not the only thing you need to think about.

Whether you buy a standby generator or rent one during an emergency power outage, you also need to consider the type of fuel it requires. More importantly, what kind of access do you have to the fuel your generator needs and what kind of access will you have in the event of an emergency?

Sourcing Generator Fuel

If you buy an emergency generator, you’re on your own for fuel. You’ll have to work with a fuel supplier to source it, store it, and replenish it when the fuel runs out. If you rent a generator, the rental agreement may include a certain specified amount of fuel, perhaps a full tank at delivery. After that, you will probably have to replenish the fuel yourself.

This all begs the question, “What kind of fuel is and will be available in your area during and after an emergency?”

Types Of Fuel

Diesel and natural gas are the two most common types of generator fuels with natural gas being more common for permanently installed standby generators than portable models. If you run a business or need to have power in your home no matter what, a permanently installed natural-gas powered generator is a good choice. The generator is connected right into your electrical system and the natural gas line coming into the building. This ensures a dedicated supply of fuel – so long as the gas lines remain intact.

Diesel powered generators are extremely common. They can be permanent installations or portable. Fuel may be stored in a large tank and always connected to the generator, ready for use when needed. Smaller, portable generators use diesel fuel that is stored in external tanks and poured into the generator’s tank as needed. These types of tanks will have to be refilled more frequently than larger tanks and, in an extended emergency situation, there’s a chance fuel providers won’t be able to get to you.

Planning For Emergency Generator Usage

The best way to plan for emergency generator usage is to research fuel providers, talk to generator rental services, and friends and colleagues who have emergency generators to learn more about what kinds of fuel options are available in your area and how available the resource is likely to be during an emergency situation. Utility companies and generator providers can also help you determine what kind of generator would be best in your situation and if there are any local building or use codes you need to worry about concerning fuel and generator placement.

It’s difficult to know ahead of time just how long you’ll have to use the generator and, as a result, how much fuel you will need, but taking some time to research fuel providers in your area and how and where to store your emergency generator fuel will save you headaches when the time comes that you actually need to use the generator.

Plan Ahead For Generator Rental

By | Emergency Preparedness, Generators

Whew! The Atlantic hurricane season has been a doozy so far this year! Between Harvey and Irma, those of us at Critical Power Products & Services have been kept very busy! By far, our biggest demand has been for post-hurricane generator rentals.

That makes now the perfect time to share information about renting a generator, whether it’s for a planned or an unplanned power outage.

Planning For Rentals Is A Must

No one likes to think about disasters happening to them, let alone take active steps to plan for making it through one and its aftermath, but as we’ve said over and over again, disaster planning is a must for home and business owners if they want to return to business as usual quickly after a disaster or emergency situation – or if they simply want A/C and lights after an event. A week and a half after the hurricane hit, some FL residents were still without power. That is a long time to suffer through the heat and humidity.

Fortunately, you can make arrangements for general rental well ahead of the situation. Many generator rental providers offer this type of service. Simply work with a provider when you’re not in an emergency situation (such as when developing a disaster response plan) to determine what size and type of generator you’d like and sign a contract that guarantees you a generator when you most need it. This saves you from the frustration of trying to find an available generator when it will be nearly impossible to do so and provides you a guaranteed price – likely much lower than what you’d pay for an emergency generator rental on the ground.

Even if you don’t have generator rental as part of your disaster plan and did not sign a service contract well ahead of an emergency, you can still take steps to get a generator to your location if a situation arises. Once you know a hurricane is going to hit, for example, call up generator rental companies and reserve a generator to be delivered after the event. You might pay morefor this service than you would with a long-term contract, but it’s still better than trying to find a generator in the aftermath of a disaster.

Learn more about renting a generator by calling Critical Power Products & Services at 1-877-364-6655 or email us at info@criticalpower.com.