Standby Generator, Should You Buy One?


If you run a business in Pinellas County, you know how critical it is to have a reliable power source, like a standby generator, to keep your operations running. However, following the power isn’t always in your control; sometimes Mother Nature has her plans.

Florida is the most ravaged state in the continental US when it comes to damages sustained by hurricanes, leading to countless power outages all over the state. Power surges from external forces are one of the most common reasons why this occurs.

You definitely can’t control Mother Nature, but what you can do is be prepared when she strikes with reliable power from a standby generator.

What Is a Standby Generator?

Standby generators offer a fast solution to extended outages. They are installed permanently on a concrete pad outside your business and will provide uninterrupted backup for days. That’s because they’re connected directly to your business’s electrical panel and powered by an external fuel supply, such as natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel.

How Standby Generators Work

The real magic comes from an automatic transfer switch that disconnects you from the utility after detecting an interruption of the service. Once your business is safely off the grid, the switch starts up the generator before transferring its power to the electrical panel. At the core of the system is an internal combustion engine, which is usually fueled by the local natural gas supply.

Keep in mind these generators rely on a finite amount of fuel that could run dry if storm damage prevents the delivery or increase demand shortens the supply.

When power returns, the switch automatically shuts down the generator and reconnects you to the grid. This seamless operation makes standby generators ideal for your business, whether is open or closed. As a result, you will never have to worry about the loss of power disrupting your operations.

Installing A Commercial Generator

A commercial generator installation is a relatively large project and requires several trade skills; therefore, you should always hire a professional electrician. A professional electrician will come to your business and access the number of appliances you will need to keep operations going when you lose power.

A generator installation will require connecting the generator to your electrical panel at your business. It also requires your natural gas or propane provider to connect the generator to your fuel source.

Choosing The Right Standby Generator for Your Business

Let’s go through the various factors you’ll want to consider when selecting the appropriate commercial generator for your facility.

Determine Your Voltage Needs

It’s important to consider your facility’s voltage needs, which will largely depend on the type of facility you have. There are several voltage categories available, and that will determine if you need a single-phase or three-phase generator.

Don’t worry your electrician will help determine which one is best suited for you.

Single-Phase Generators

Single-phase generators are ideal for small businesses, they produce a maximum of 240 volts of power. These are most typically used for smaller-scale operations, like powering electronics.

Three-Phase Generators

These are more commonly used for large-scale operations, like in major manufacturing companies. Although, these larger facilities generally require an engineering plan and professional supervision during installation to ensure compliance with National Electric Code (NEC) requirements.

Fuel Source

Generators use different types of fuel sources to keep them running. Natural gas and propane are the top contenders for commercial power needs, but natural gas is the most cost-effective.

However, propane is known for its long shelf-life and is preferred by many as a clean-burning solution.

The Benefits of Standby Generators For Commercial Operations

Automatic standby generator systems may be required by building codes for critical safety systems such as elevators in high-rise buildings, fire protection systems, standby lighting, or medical and life support equipment.

For commercial operations, standby generators are the preferred choice. They will begin running the moment power is interrupted and continue running until power is restored. Having this automatic fail-safe is critical for your commercial operations. They eliminate any risk of power failure resulting in lost time, lost revenue, or health-related accidents.

Backup Generator Installation Contractors in Clearwater, FL

Storms don’t have to leave you in the dark. No matter what’s going on outside, our generators keep the power on in your home at all times. At East-West Electric, our expert electricians will help you with your standby generator needs to keep your business operating smoothly.

Give us a call now at (727) 771-9403 to speak to a Clearwater electrician about your standby generator needs.

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