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  • The ABCs of Generator Ownership

    Congratulations! You've made the decision to assure your business or home has uninterrupted power. This will assure continuity in your day-to-day activities regardless of utility availability. 

    Step 1- Call Clifford Power

     

    If this is a new process for you, you will want to contact your area Clifford Power equipment sales representative. The office numbers are located under the Office Locations section of this site. If you are unsure of which area applies to you please contact Clifford Power's Marketing Department for guidance at 1-800-324-0066 or via email at info@cliffordpower.com. Clifford Power is an authorized Generac Industrial Power Dealer. 

    Step 2- Budget

    Generators can range from several hundred to many thousands of dollars depending on the size and complexity of the solution. This determination will be a result of your following the subsequent steps and getting an idea of what you want and the options for meeting that need. There may be some compromises and alternate solutions provided to meet your specific need. That is one of the values of working in consultation with a knowledgeable Clifford Power professional. 

    Step 3- Define Your Power Need

    If you are developing a new facility, the electrical engineer on your project will define your power needs and will define the performance requirements in the building design/specifications. 

    As the owner, know you can specify a provider for your system whether through your architect, engineer or contractor. This can be of great benefit to assure you will have a consistent contact to work with after the project is complete. This is important as the selection of the right generator is only one component of your assurance of consistent backup power. A local, full-service provider like Clifford Power provides the equipment then the service support throughout the lifecycle of your investment. 

    Whether new construction or adding to your existing building, you define power needs by documenting each device/equipment that you want running through the generator and its wattage. You also need to know the level of electrical service currently being provided to your business or home and that square footage of your building. 

    There are two other factors in determining your power needs, your initial start-up power load (higher) and your ongoing power loads. 

    The details of defining exactly what you need can be a complex process. Consultation with a power system expert like a Clifford Power sales professional will help walk you through this process.

    Step 4- Define Your Fuel

    The next step is to determine the fuel type for your generator. There are pluses and minuses with each fuel selection whether gas, propane or diesel or a bi-fuel solution. Gas is readily available to most homes and businesses and can be purchased (for smaller and mobile units) or directly tied in from your utility line. Diesel can be cost effective and is often specified for large engine optimization but may be difficult to obtain depending on your specific locale. Propane may be a good solution for more rural locales. 

    There are a lot of considerations in selecting the right fuel for your generator. If you are not sure the best option for your needs your local Clifford Power equipment sales representative can help you make that determination. 

    Step 5- Define Your Sound Levels

    Know that engines can be noisy so you will need to determine your sound attenuation requirements. You have options on enclosures that will dampen sound depending on your desired level. 

    Step 6- Define Your Code Requirements

    There are many codes affiliated with generators including size and location in relation to your building and for the size of your unit if you fall into a category covered under code (for example, if your business is to provide life safety services like a hospital, nursing home, or you have a public elevator). These codes are constantly changing. Your local Clifford Power equipment sales representative keeps up with all the relevant codes and applications and will knowledgably guide you through this process. 

    Step 7- Determine How to Switch on Your System

    The options for switching your generator on are manual and automatic. Manual switches you activate yourself. Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS) are alerted when the utility source goes off and switch over to your generator without intervention. The right switch varies widely on what generator you have selected and how rapid a response time you desire. Additional options for managing your generator include software solutions that interface with personal digital devices programmed to your specific building power needs. These remote monitoring options allow you to manage your backup power wherever you go. 

    Step 8- Installation

    In addition to selecting the right backup power solution, you will need to determine the best location for installation. This will be based on a variety of considerations including utility access, code compliance and physical accessibility. You will also need a concrete pad to put the generator on. Additionally you will need to have a licensed electrical subcontractor to install and hook it up to your power source. Your Clifford Power Equipment Sales representative will work with you on cost-effective options and provide you with lists of qualified contractors to provide you with these services. Attached are installation guidelines for stationary industrial generators.

    Step 9- Warranty

    To protect your investment you will want to assess what level of warranty you need. Know that manufacturer based warranties are limited in years and coverage. Clifford Power offers extended warranties and more comprehensive parts and repair coverage. These warranties help assure your investment is protected and will work when you need it. 

    Step 10- Setting Up Planned Maintenance

    Many don't realize that a generator needs regular maintenance to assure it stays in working condition. Just like a car that is parked in the driveway, your generator needs to be run occasionally (we recommend you also run it all day at least once a year) and checked at regular intervals to keep it in full operational condition. 

    Clifford Power offers several planned maintenance options based on your specified system. Your area Clifford Power service sales representative can help you in identifying the best plan for your specific needs. You can reach them at the office numbers located under the Office Locations section of this site. If you are unsure of which area applies to you please contact Clifford Power's Marketing Department for guidance at 1-800-324-0066 or via email at info@cliffordpower.com.

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