Automatic Generator Services in Los Gatos, CA

Generators are becoming a staple in American homes. They can be a costly investment but will also increase the value of a home. As popular as they have become, there are still homeowners who do not understand what they are or how they work. Below is essential information regarding this type of generator.

What is a Standby Generator?

An automatic or standby generator is a backup system for electrical outages. It can work regardless of whether the homeowner is away or at home. In the case of an electrical power outage, this generator will automatically supply power to the home within seconds of detecting the outage. Once the power returns, the generator will shut off, standing by for the next outage. The generator is powered by natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel. The generator is stored outside of the home, much like the outside unit of the HVAC system. Standby generators are the most useful for areas that experience severe weather, hurricanes, and tornadoes that often cause power outages.

Types of Generators

There are three main types of generators. The most significant difference between them is the type of fuel used for power. The three types are described below.

    • Gas Generator. Natural gas or liquid propane fuel this type of generator. Regardless of which one it uses, the system will need to be connected to a gas line for a continuous fuel source. This connection will enable the generator to operate for a longer amount of time versus being limited to one tank of fuel. There are downfalls to this type of system. Natural gas can be extremely flammable, which makes this type a possible fire hazard in the case of a disaster. Automatic gas generators usually have a shorter life span than the other types, but their life can be extended with proper maintenance.
    • Diesel Generator. The diesel generator is the most widely used type. They do not require any hook-ups and are completely self-sufficient for fuel storage. This means that the owner will be responsible for refilling the fuel tank because it will not be connected to a continuous source. Diesel generators are considered reliable and durable and have a long life expectancy will very little maintenance. The volume of the generator is considered one of its drawbacks. They are very loud and will need to be in an enclosure to minimize the sound.
    • Bi-Fuel Generator. Bi-fuel generators can use either fuel source. They can be installed into an ongoing fuel line, or the owner can utilize a tank for fuel.

Homeowners who require assistance in determining the correct type should contact Automatic Generators services in Campbell, CA.

How to Find the Correct Size

One of the most crucial steps to purchasing this type of generator is determining the correct size. Some homeowners choose to purchase a generator that will support the entire house in an outage. This can be accomplished, but the backup system will have to be large and expensive. For those who wish to have a more affordable option, some decisions will need to be made. What appliances are the most important to power? For instance, the refrigerator is the top priority. Many would also consider the HVAC unit and water heater’s a necessity. Smaller items, like food preparation appliances such as microwaves and slow cookers, do not require a lot of power but should still be considered. Once all of the essentials have been determined, it is easier to determine the number of watts the generator will need to support in order to purchase the correct size.

Possible Problems

As with any mechanical system, some problems can arise with these generators. The most common are listed and described below.

    • Battery failure. The most common issue with the generator system is battery failure. This is often caused by loose connections and corrosion of the components of the battery. If the battery begins to overheat, the system will automatically shut off. If this problem occurs, an Electrician in Campbell, CA should be called for necessary repairs.
    • Low coolant levels. As with most machines, this problem indicates a leak. As mentioned above, if the system begins to overheat, it will shut down to prevent further damage.
    • Air in the fuel system. The generator does not have to operate daily; therefore, it increases the chances of air entering the fuel line. This air will prevent proper fuel flow and prevent the generator from functioning properly.
    • Low fuel level. This is a common problem with diesel and bi-fuel models. If the fuel levels are too low, the generator will shut down to prevent air from entering the fuel system.

Automatic generators are quickly being considered important appliances for all homes. By installing them, the homeowner can ensure that the family will be comfortable in the case of a power outage.