Power outages in Dillon, SC, are known to occur more during winter. During these cold months, winter storms are common, taking down power lines and stripping homes of power. Also, these winter storms can freeze electricity lines resulting in power loss.
Even if you are lucky to escape the winter storms, the cold is enough to cause a power outage. While your backup generator can be a lifesaver during winter, it can fail because of the extreme winter weather.
That’s why an annual or semi-annual backup generator maintenance service is recommended to ensure the reliability of your machine during the freezing rain, sleet, or snow. Below are some key things a backup generator maintenance service company can do to keep your generator healthy and ensure your house is well-lit and cozy during inclement weather.
Choose the Correct Fuel Stabilizer
The cold weather does not only affect fuel usage in your motor vehicle but will affect how and if your generator will run in times of emergency. If your unit runs on gasoline, you probably won’t have to worry, as gasoline freezes at -76 degrees Fahrenheit.
You would still need a stabilizer as gasoline tends to evaporate. If it runs on diesel, you’ll need to take extra precautions. Diesel doesn’t freeze; it gels. The paraffin in it starts to stiffen at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, turning the liquid into a thick mush, making it hard for the machine to run.
A backup generator maintenance service will give you several options to avoid that. Cold flow improver (CFI) is mixed with the fuel making it thinner and less likely to fog. Be sure not to add too much thinner because it will compromise the fuel’s performance. Or you can use winter-grade fuel. A tank or fuel line heater will warm the fuel to a working temperature.
Check Your Electric Switch Battery
If your generator has an electric switch, the technicians check the batteries during the backup generator maintenance service. Batteries take longer to charge and drain faster in colder weather. That is because the chemical reaction responsible for making electricity is slowed down.
An old battery that worked fine during summer might fail to start the generator in winter. If you have a backup generator maintenance service, do regular checks, it will recommend that you exchange it for a new one before it becomes a problem.
The company may also advise you to get a battery warmer or a trickle charger that ensures the battery is always fully charged.
Prevents Electrical Shock
Water from melting snow and ice increases the risk of electric shock and short circuits. That’s why the ground around the generator should always be dry. Cables that run from the generator to the house wear out and are prone to freeze. A backup generator maintenance service will properly insulate the lines or install a weatherproof type.
An automatic transfer switch will connect the generator to the house’s electrical wiring. That way, you can avoid manually connecting extension cables. You might not even notice an outage, as this switch automatically turns the generator on when the regular power supply is cut and turns it off once power is back.
Ensure Your Generator Is Sufficiently Protected Against the Weather
Though backup generators are usually made of all-weather covering, keeping them protected from the elements is best. Snow lying on top of air inlets will obstruct the airflow, and water could seep in, damaging the electrical parts. If the water gets in and freezes, it will cause severe damage and cost quite a lot in repairs.
Additionally, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is higher during winter because homes are tightly insulated against the cold. A backup generator maintenance service will ensure the generator placement follows the regulations of the NFPA, power companies, local restrictions in Dillon, SC, and other requirements by the manufacturer.
If possible, the company will recommend that the generator be placed under an open-sided shed or adequately covered. If that is not an option, you will need to regularly clean the unit of snow and debris, remove any obstructions from the air inlet and exhaust, and ensure the path is clear for easy access by service attendants.
Just like fuel, oil can stiffen due to the cold. Maintenance may provide a thinner or winterized oil. A professional generator installation company might recommend an engine warmer if temperatures drop too much.
If you’re not doing so already, you should regularly run your generator to ensure it is always in top working condition. You also want maintenance to conduct regular checks and pay special attention to the oil, fuel, and water filters.
Most backup generator maintenance service includes emergency services when your generator fails to work. In case your unit needs more than just simple repairs, a trusted generator company will have an emergency generator that you can use.
Mister Sparky Generators Will Take Care of All Your Generator Needs
Christmas in Dillon, SC, is the most magical time of the year. But it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not prepared. Simply having a backup generator is not enough to ensure that blackouts won’t affect you and your family or your business.
Planning will save you a lot of money and headaches. That is why you need a backup generator maintenance service. Mister Sparky Generators will keep your backup power supply running smoothly through all seasons.
If you do not have a backup generator yet, we will give you all the assistance you need, from choosing the right generator and installation to regular maintenance service checks. If you already own a unit, you can depend on our professional service to keep it running smoothly. In case of an emergency, you can call our 24/7 hotline, and our team will take care of it swiftly and smoothly.