Emergency Standby Generators
Every year, thousands of Ontario homes are without power due to downed power-lines, fallen tree limbs and an accumulation of ice and snow, but power outages aren’t limited to the winter months. The Toronto Ice Storm of 2013 left thousands of homes without power for days, and in some cases, weeks. You can expect an outage at any time which is why thousands of Canadians purchase standby generators every year. In a world where we rely heavily on a constant and reliable source of power, here is the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to installing a generator.
What will I lose in the event of an outage?
Here is a short list of some typical things you may lose in an outage:
Refrigerator / freezer
for food and / or medicines
inside & out
for drinking and bathing
and other appliances
Contact with the outside world
(internet, radio, TV, etc)
washing & drying clothes
Garage door opener
Charging power tools
for use during emergency & post-outage cleanup
from temporary relocation, hotels, dining out, property damage, etc.
What types of generators are available?
There are two types of generators homeowners can invest in, depending on their needs. These are: Standby Generators and Portable Generators.
- This generator is installed permanently beside the home and provides uninterrupted backup power for days at a time.
- A standby generator is installed directly to the home’s electrical panel and is fueled by natural gas, liquid propane or diesel.
- A standby generator consists of a generator unit and an automatic transfer switch. The two work together to ensure that the backup power starts right away in the event of an outage.
- The automatic transfer switch is disconnected from the utility power after detecting an interruption in service. The switch tells the generator to turn on and transfer power to the home’s electrical panel.
- The standby generator is powered from an internal combustion engine, which is fueled by the local natural gas supply. If natural gas is not available, liquid propane or diesel generators are available but will require re-fueling.
- Once power is restored, the transfer switch will turn off the generator and reconnect the home to its utility power.
- Like any mechanical device, a standby generator requires maintenance. After 24-48 hours of continuous use, a technician is required to change the oil and ﬁlter. Otherwise, this service should be performed 1-2 times (Spring & Fall) every year.
- A portable generator is a gas or diesel-powered device that provides temporary electrical power.
- Homeowners can plug electrical appliances directly into the generator’s sockets or, the generator can be wired to a sub-panel, which must be installed by a certiﬁed and licensed electrician.
- Portable generators offer a limited supply of electricity, ranging from two to four outlets or a few speciﬁc circuits, when plugged into the panel (Typically 40Amps)
- This type of generator is designed for temporary use only. A portable generator requires manual operation and close monitoring when in use. This means there is no electrical backup if no one is home.
What does HOME SAFE prefer?
The reliability of a standby generator is priceless. A standby generator is a long-term solution that keeps your home running like normal when the power goes out. This is especially important for families powering medical equipment or home businesses.
Five Reasons to Invest in a Standby Generator
Fast, automatic delivery of emergency power after power line failure.
Maintains the same comfort level, at home or at work, during an outage.
Keeps an adequate food and water supply during extended power outages.
Provides a permanent solution.
Remain at home, in familiar surroundings during a storm or extended power outage. Ever try getting a hotel with the rest of Ontario during an outage?
How to Install and Maintain a Standby Generator
The ﬁrst step to installing a standby generator is a preliminary consultation from one of our experts.
All of our technicians are both licensed electricians and certified air cooled generator maintainers and installers through Generac.
Request a free preliminary assessment to determine if your home is right for this service.