Emergency Backup Generators & Transfer Switches
With so much of our daily lives dependent on electricity, backup generators are the best option to provide a seamless flow of electricity when power is down. Generators work by converting mechanical power into electricity, thereby producing its own usable energy. Generators are fueled in order to work, such as: gasoline, propane, natural gas, diesel, or batteries. Generators provide peace-of-mind and safety during unexpected power outages that could last for days or weeks.
Cummins Authorized Install and Service Dealer
Tri-County Water Services is an authorized dealer for Cummins products, which means we have in-depth knowledge of these generators and have met the rigorous standards required to be licensed to perform installations and repair services. We’re here for you throughout the purchasing, installing and maintenance phases of your generator ownership. We believe we sell a superior product and provide a better overall experience than our competition.
Backup Generators: Types
Standby Generator: A standby generator is permanently installed and is typically used supply large amounts of energy to fully operate homes, hospitals, businesses, etc.
This type of generator requires an ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) that automatically senses the power outage, starts the generator, and then safely transfers the electrical load to the generator. The standby generator then begins supplying power to the circuits in your home or business.
Once the power returns, the ATS safely transfers the electrical load back to the utility and shuts down the standby generator to “standby” mode where it stands ready for the next power outage. Many of these units run on diesel, natural gas, or liquid propane gas.
Characteristics of Standby Generators:
- When not operational, it is on standby mode and has automatic start during power outages.
- Has two components consisting of a standby generator and an automatic transfer switch.
- Can operate on liquid propane or natural gas.
- Will operate using the fuel type already in use in the business or home.
- Generator automatically self-tests on a weekly basis to ensure it will function properly during a power outage.
- Constantly monitors utility power.
Portable Generator: A portable generator is powered by gas or diesel fuel and can be moved to the location where power is needed. Portable generators are not meant to run for days or weeks at a time continuously, and, therefore, will need to cycle through periodic rest periods and refueling before starting again.
Characteristics of Portable Generators:
- Are best used in remote sites and applications, such as: camping, home, mobile homes, construction sites, power tools/machinery, lights, etc.
- The number of appliances or devices it can power at one time is dependent on the number of kW of electricity it produces. The higher the kW it produces, the more load it can handle to supply power. Generally, at the lower end, it can handle your “survival” appliances only, but at the higher end, it can power most everything in your home.
- All of the appliances or devices being supplied power by the generator should not exceed its wattage (kW).
- Installation of a Transfer Switch will be necessary if you wish to power those items that are directly wired to your electric panel.
Transfer Switches – Types
The transfer switch moves your home or business’s power supply from the utility company to a backup generator. The only type of generator that does not require a transfer switch is a small portable back-up generator that relies on an extension cord to provide power to appliances and equipment.
A transfer switch connects directly to your electric service panel and feeds the electricity generated from your generator directly to your home. From there, you determine which circuits you would like to have power and which you would like to remain off. This is an important step, since you cannot add more load than the generator is capable of producing.
There are two types of transfer switches:
Automatic Transfer Switch
This type is best used in permanent standby generator installations where you want the power to transfer from the utility company to the standby generator automatically without interruption.
Manual Transfer Switch
This type is best used for portable generator applications where you need to set up the generator first before transferring the power from the utility company to the portable generator.
Benefits of a Backup Generator
- Delivers power automatically following a power outage.
- Homeowners and businesses will not lose functionality of their appliances or equipment. All heating and cooling systems, televisions, computers, and other applications will function as normal.
- Business productivity will not suffer during power outages.
- You will stay safe and comfortable during emergencies.
- Offers protection to the home or business during dangerous electrical surges when the power returns.
- Offers peace-of-mind knowing everyone is safe and their needs are supplied during times of emergency.