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Dec 01

Is Your Standby Generator Ready For a Winter Storm?

By: Patti Dinneen


Major winter storms do more than give your snow blower a reason to live; Heavy snow and extreme cold can last for several days and your family should have a plan to remain safe during dangerous times.

When storms dominate the forecast, there are a few steps every family should take but may not come to mind immediately. Stocking up on non-perishables and minimizing outdoor travel should seem like no-brainers, but beyond finding a matched set of mittens, many families forget some of the other simple steps required to keep safe and warm.

If possible, you should develop a winter weather readiness program to establish an operational framework to ensure that your standby generator is ready for service in the event of a winter weather power outage. Your standby generator should be ready to operate consistently and efficiently during seasonable winter weather. As you know, the results of a freezing weather and winter storm backup power failure can lead to catastrophic consequences. Depending on your installation and housing situation, broken pipes may be the least of your worries. For additional information on planning and preparation we have outlined several primary details below.

During Severe Winter Weather:

Access - For an outdoor installation, be sure to keep a clear path to your generator.

Inspections - Keep an eye on your backup generator sets. Consider increasing the frequency of the standby generator maintenance checks.

Documentation - Keep a record of starts and run durations of your standby generators, if they are started. Document any issues that occur or repairs that have to be made.

Generator Operation - Use the following options to keep the machine warm:
• Safely use portable heaters for enclosures and compartments.  
• Running the engine at idle will keep the engine compartment warm.

Determine a Backup Plan For Longer Power Outages

The plan doesn’t have to include impractical detail; in fact, some backup plans may include: A backpack or bucket filled with the essentials to help you get through an outage, along with a portable or standby generator system.

For our own homes, we have standby generator systems that are permanently installed. These systems turn on automatically, and can help to keep all the other important systems in our houses, including the sump pump, heat and electronics, operating during a short or long power outage. 

Bottom Line: As a home improvement expert, you learn quickly that if you invest in the proper backup equipment, you’ll have the confidence you need in your home to help you make it through a big storm. I want that same confidence in my home and yours.

Kinsley Power Systems

If you rent from Kinsley, you receive power systems expertise and knowledge along with an A-class product. We handle a multitude of jobs, from complex high-voltage applications to one-day special events. We also stock thousands of feet of camlocked cable and auxiliary fuel tanks. We offer unique Emergency Power Planning (EPP) services, which ensure the quickest response in emergency situations. There is no obligation necessary for this service, simply provide your information on our  EPP Worksheet and return it to us. The details of your site will then be entered into our database and you will be in line to receive the fastest possible response when you need it most.

As the exclusive distributor of Kohler Power Systems solutions in the Western New England, Kinsley focuses on the specification, sales and service of permanently installed generators, transfer switches, and switchgear (from 8.5kW home systems to 3.25MW industrial generators).

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