Recent large backup generator installation photos show that no job is too big for 1 Stop Generator. This installation behind a local business was quite a job – requiring a crane to lift the unit and its attached fuel storage into place.
The 1 Stop Generator shop team recently volunteered to help out the local charity Light of the World Brigade, donating 36 Christmas trees and decorations to the homeless shelter The Lord’s Place. Find out more, and how to help at – thelordsplace.org
Mike Fatig, founder of Light of the World Brigade wrote:
“Jon and Jess we could not serve the community the way we do if not for your generosity and support. So grateful. For those that don’t know the 1 Stop Generator Shop provides us with a warehouse, we call it our Joy Factory, and their employees wrap gifts, decorate trees, and serve with us in the community.”
Choosing a Home Standby Generator
Choosing a Home Standby Generator is easier than you think and is a great investment:
Safety – No gasoline cans or extension cords, reducing risk of fire, CO poisoning and electrical shock while facilitating the operation of security systems, air conditioning, refrigeration and powering medical devices.
Convenience – Provide peace of mind, even when you’re away. Power will automatically be restored to critical systems or the entire house. Continue watching the game or working on your PC, like nothing ever happened!
Value – A standby generator is an investment that pays for itself and increases the resale value of your home. It delivers the cleanest power possible for sensitive electronics found in today’s homes.
The 3 Steps for Choosing a Home Standby Generator
- Pick a Fuel Source – Standby generators up to 22kW mostly use natural gas (NG) or liquid propane (LP). If you’re looking for a generator that runs on diesel, you’ll need to upgrade to a liquid-cooled whole-house type that may cost more. Both LP and diesel fuels will require tanks large enough to properly run the generator. NG unites will require the natural gas meter and gas lines be the correct size. Your contractor will verify this with you prior to installation and you can find this information in the installation manual.
- Determine Power Needs – Determine exactly how much power you’ll actually need during an outage and whether or not you want to only back up crucial systems like refrigerators and lighting or the entire house. The best way to determine the power needs of your home is to first decide if you want to power your central air conditioner or HVAC equipment during a blackout since it is the most power-hungry appliances in your home. How can you tell what size you need? Look at your air conditioning unit’s data plate and it will tell you the size in either BTUs or Tons. There are 12,000 BTUs for each ton of capacity and 3.517 Kilowatts of energy. So for example, if you have a 3-ton (36,000BTU) air conditioner, it will require a standby generator that is 11kW or larger just to run the AC unit. (3T x 3.517kw = 10.551 or 11kw)
- Choose a Transfer Switch – An automatic transfer switch (ATS) allows your generator to automatically spring into action the moment a power failure is detected. It does this by continuously sensing utility power. After an outage is detected, it starts the engine and disconnects power coming from the utility line, powering your home through generator power. Getting the right switch is just as crucial as getting the right generator as they work together to restore power. You will need to know the amperage of your electrical service panel. You can check this by locating the main breaker in your electrical panel (usually the big pull-out at the top) or ask your installer to verify this for you. The average sized home usually has a 200-amp main breaker, so the maximum amount of electricity your home can consume is 200 amps. Smaller, older homes may have 100 to 150-amp service. It’s very important to get the amp switch to match your homes service panel.
Choosing a Portable Emergency Generator
For Florida residents a backup power source is more than a luxury – after a major storm it’s a necessity! We quickly forget how much we rely on electricity until it’s gone. If a home standby generator is not in your budget, converting a portable generator into an emergency backup power system is a step in the right direction. You can try to calculate your exact wattage requirements, or you can simply select one of four sizes: Small, Medium, Large or X-Large.
Small Emergency Generators
Small, easily portable generators of 1,000-2,500 watts are commonly used during large outages but they have severe limitations. Small generators can typically only power one or two appliances at a time and may not be able to power more than a fan and some lights. Small generators are good for camping but are not good for powering a home.
Medium Emergency Generators
Medium generators of 3,000-5,000 watts may be relatively small, but they will restore power to most of your critical appliances, like the refrigerator, sump pump, ac/furnace fan, lights, etc. But keep in mind; mid-sized generators will not power your entire home, and they will not run a central air conditioner. These require extension cords and the number of outlets are important.
Since medium generators produce limited electricity, you’ll need to manage how many appliances are connected to the generator at one time, so it doesn’t overload. If two appliances start simultaneously the electric surge could pop the generator’s circuit breaker. Your best bet is to rotate the larger appliances or only plug them in as needed. Small window-unit or portable AC’s may sometimes be run (depending on its listed wattage) but only by themselves.
Large Emergency Generators
If you want to do more than just survive, consider a large emergency portable generator (6,000-9,000 watts). You can still string extension cords from this generator, but you won’t be able to tap its full potential without connecting it to your home with a transfer switch.
Large generators work best with manual transfer switches that can restore power up to 10 circuits in your main electrical panel. In other words, they can energize multiple rooms in your home (minus a central air conditioner). If you really need air conditioning, consider buying an X-Large generator, buying a small window-unit or portable AC to run only during power outages, or opting for a home standby generator.
X-Large Emergency Generators
If you want the strength of a home standby generator with the ability to run a whole house, get an X-Large portable generator of 10,000+ watts. They are large and require a good amount of storage space, but when properly matched, these behemoths can generate enough power to keep your central air conditioner running during a summer outage.
While electric start is standard on most X-Large models, they are NOT automatic. They must be manually started and require a transfer switch of the correct wattage to connect to your home. It is very important you get a generator with the correct wattage if you plan to run your central AC.
If you have a large home or would like to have standby power that will automatically start up and switch over in the event of an outage, you should really consider a home standby generator.
How can you tell what size generator you need? Look at your air conditioning unit’s data plate and it will tell you the size in either BTUs or Tons. There are 12,000 BTUs for each ton of capacity and 3.517 Kilowatts of energy. So, for example, if you have a 3-ton (36,000BTU) air conditioner, it will require a standby generator that is 11kW or larger just to run the AC unit. (3T x 3.517kw = 10.551 or 11kw). Be sure to add-in the power needs of your home as well to calculate the correct generator wattage, plus a little extra to cover power surges.
How to prepare for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm
Before the Storm: What Can You Do To Protect Your Home?
Cover The Windows
If you live in an area vulnerable to hurricanes, consider installing storm shutters. They are available in several different types, and they will go a long way toward keeping the damaging wind and rain from entering through your home’s windows. As a side benefit, they may reduce your homeowner’s insurance premium.
Secure The Doors
Steel entry doors provide the best protection for your home. Double doors and French doors are most vulnerable to high winds. No matter what type of door you have, a hurricane panel is your best option to keep damage at a minimum. These galvanized steel or PVC panels are available at your local hardware store. You can also nail plywood over your doors to help keep out water and debris. Do not nail yourself inside the house, in case you need to evacuate the area on short notice.
If you have double doors that have no structural member in the center between them, you should purchase and install special hardware to secure the doors where they meet. Bolts that secure the door into the framing at both the top and bottom greatly increase the door’s strength. Wedge a dowel or a piece of broom handle into the track of sliding glass doors to prevent them from coming loose when the wind howls.
Provide stiffening support for garage doors. The pressure from wind increases with the door’s size, and wide doors in particular need bracing for stability during high winds. Make your own vertical supports by nailing two 2x4s together and attaching them to the inside of your garage door with “L” brackets.
Keep the Yard Clear of Flying Debris
Flying tree limbs pose a great danger during high winds. Trim trees to avoid the possibility of large limbs doing damage to your house. In addition, selectively thinning out the branches to allow wind to pass through will reduce the potential for damage to the tree itself. Dead or damaged branches should be removed before they become flying missiles aimed straight for your house.
Develop a Family Hurricane Plan
Discuss the types of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
- Secure your home (doors and windows).
- Locate a SAFE ROOM or the SAFE AREAS in the home for each hurricane hazard.
- Determine safe escape routes and meeting places prior to the storm
- Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
- Make arrangements prior to the storm for pets in case of mandatory evacuation.
- Gather all non-emergency phone numbers and discuss the proper use of 911 with all children.
- 7. Prepare a Family First Aid Kit and put it in the SAFE ROOM.
- 8. Have a battery-operated radio for weather and safety updates.
Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit:
- Water (1 gallon per person for 3 to 7 days)
- Food (3 to 7 day supply for each person)
- non-perishable packaged or canned food/juices
- foods for infants or elderly individuals
- snack foods
- non-electric can opener
- cooking tools/fuel
- paper plates/plastic utensils
- Blankets/Pillows, etc.
- First Aid Kit/Medicines/Prescription Drugs
- Special Items
- Toiletries/Hygiene items/Moisture wipes
- Radio (battery operated)
- Toys/Books/Games for children
- Important documents – waterproof container:
- birth certificates
- insurance documents
- medical records
- bank account information
- Vehicle fuel tanks filled
- Pet care items (If not going to shelter)
Despite the best attempts at protecting your home, damage may still occur. Take a look at your insurance policies to make sure you are adequately covered. Keep lists, pictures and video of your belongings as documentation for the insurance company.
Helpful Websites for information and safety
Link to NOAA: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Link to Generac’s Hurricane Preparedness’ Guide: http://www.generac.com/hurricane-prep
Florida’s disaster prep site: www.floridadisaster.org
Get alerts for your county/city: floridadisaster.org/alertflorida
Get a plan! www.floridadisaster.org/getaplan
Florida DOT: www.fdot.gov/emergencymanagement
Florida State Emergency Response team on Twitter: twitter.com/FLSERT
Volunteer Information: www.volunteerflorida.org/emergency-management
Why a Standby Generator, helpful video
With storms Ana and Bill already crossed of this seasons list and the peak season on the way, now is the time to consider backup power solutions.
Hurricane Tips for Horse Owners
Horses should be kept on the owner’s or caretaker’s property, if possible. If you plan to evacuate your animal out of the area, go early.
- In a Category 1 storm, animals may be safe in a sturdy barn. In a Category 2 storm or higher, animals are probably safest in a large pasture with room to move around,allowing them to utilize their best instincts if there are no electrical wires to come down and the fences are in good repair.
- Do NOT tranquilize your horse!
- Make sure your animal is well identified by spray painting your phone number on your horse’s body; attach a fetlock band or mare band with your name address and phone numbers in permanent ink; braid a luggage tag into your horses mane or tail close to the body (be sure its water proofed).
- Be sure to have photos of you with your animals, showing any unique markings, to prove ownership.
- Be sure that your horse is wearing a leather halter which will make it easier for someone to catch your horse if it gets loose.
- Plan for water (20 gallons per animal per day) and feed and hay for your horse.
- Have on hand a supply of basic first aid items, i.e., bandages, anesthetics, etc.
- Do not stay with your horse! You cannot help a frightened, thousand pound animal, and you may get hurt.
IF UNDER A FLOOD WATCH, the following reminders are also important:
- Move your large animals to high ground.
- Cleanse feet and hooves with iodine. Once the iodine dries, the feet and hooves should be covered with Vaseline or petroleum jelly for protection from standing water and infection.
- Feed and hay should be moved above ground three feet to avoid water damage and mold.
IN BROWARD COUNTY, caretakers and/or horse owners should contact the Broward County Hurricane Hotline at 3-1-1 or 954-831-4000 if the horse is in standing water up to their knees post-storm.
Strong storms often cause power outages
It doesn’t take a hurricane to knock out power! Strong storms cause power outages in Florida all year long. You should always be prepared. To report and track local power outages in south Florida visit http://www.fplmaps.com/
Top 10 Reasons to purchase a Standby Generator
The team at 1 Stop has put together a list of Top 10 Reasons to Purchase a Standby Generator. While we may love talking wattage, load shedding and motor sizes, you’re probably thinking“will it keep my ice-cream cold in the Freezer”. Well … it will do that and a whole lot more! Check it out!
1) Air! Let’s face it, we live in South Florida and it gets HOT when we don’t have our central A/C. A standby generator can keep you cool and calm under atmospheric pressure!
2) Food! Just because we have a storm does not mean we have a block party. Don’t be that person who whips out their grill right after the storm to get rid of the Porterhouse steak you just purchased at Whole Foods the day before.
3) Lights! A Standby Generator will kick on as soon as the power goes out leaving you in the lap of luxury and bathing in the warm glow of your very own lights.
4) Communication! With power you can make sure your cell, laptops, radio, TV are all ready, willing and able to keep you in the loop during and after a storm.
5) Coffee! Have you ever been in a storm, lost power and were unable to get your caffeine for the day? Keep those headaches away! No one wants to be hot, without coffee and starved after a storm!
6) Home Security! We don’t like to talk about this one much but your house is at risk of burglary when your power goes out. Those central alarm systems are useless unless you have a stash of body guards. Keep your family and possessions safe by keeping your alarm system active.
7) Home Medical Equipment! Most of us take this for granted but we do have a wonderful population of elderly people here in Florida. However, folks of all ages have medical needs as well. Give a thought about who in your family can not go without electricity for more than 5 minutes. If you are a caretaker who is in this situation please call us today to talk about our Generators. We will find one that fits the needs of your household.
8) Water! Many times we see boil water alerts right after a storm has wreaked havoc on our lives. Generators can keep your stove running so you can boil your water for drinking, washing, brushing your teeth and scrubbing behind your ears.
9) Hot Water! Remember Hurricane Wilma? Taking a shower was like jumping into an ice hole!
10) You! Sleep like a baby knowing your food is safe and your power is in check.
*Please note, keeping your Ice-cream frozen is not one of the reasons 🙂
Anyone who owns a generator should be prepared to operate it safely if the need arises. Here are some tips:
- All gas-powered engines emit CO, a colorless, odorless gas that can build up to fatally toxic levels. Generators must only be operated outside of inhabited structures in a well-ventilated area and should never be placed anywhere near windows, doors, vents or other openings.
- If you’re going to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a generator, pitch in the extra twenty or thirty bucks for a CO alarm. That’s a tremendous bargain for the life-safety benefit.
- Never operate a generator on the balcony of a multi-unit structure. The boundaries of most balconies force you to place the generator too close to your own living areas, as well as those of your neighbors.
- Never attempt to refuel a generator while it is running or still hot. Turn it off and allow it to cool before adding fuel.
- Take extreme care not to spill fuel onto the generator or the surrounding area.
- Read your generator’s manual very carefully. Follow all directions and pay close attention to the electrical load rating. Never overload the generator.
- Never attempt to connect a portable generator to the main electrical panel in your home. Not only is this very dangerous for occupants, it is also fatally dangerous for electrical workers who are trying to restore power.
If you haven’t used your generator in a while, or you’re pretty sure you’re done with it, here are some tips for safe storage:
- When you pull your generator out after any storage period, remember to inspect it carefully for broken or missing parts. Wipe off all dust.
- Store the generator in a dry, well-ventilated area with the fuel tank empty.
- Give it a good cleaning before storing. Remove traces of oil, dirt and other foreign matter.
- Do not store near fuel supplies.
- Do not store near appliances such as water heaters or pumps, especially if they are gas-powered.