How Long Can a Generac Generator Run Uninterruptedly?

Generac Generator Powering a House
Generac Generator Powering a House

Most power outages are brief. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average energy consumer must be without power for four hours yearly.

However, other people have far longer outages, prompting them to ask how long Generac generators can run continuously. What if they have to wait days or weeks for the utility company to restore power? Finding out what to do in this situation is critical in maintaining your generator power source. 

Run Times for a Generac Generator

If your generator is in good working order, it will continue to run as long as the fuel lasts, similar to a car. The running time is proportional to the amount of diesel or gas fed into it.

You may be able to provide your Generac with fuel indefinitely if you have a gas generator and receive natural gas through the main pipes to your home. The fuel that your generator uses is constantly replenished by gas from the main lines, so the unit may be able to run for weeks at a time. That is, if there are no mechanical issues that pop up.

When propane stored in a tank is used, the running times are not infinite, but they are still significant. You can usually get a couple of weeks of use out of the generator before you will need to refill the propane tank. 

Whatever the type, if there is fuel and the engine is maintained properly, it will continue to run. Some are hardwired into the fuel lines, while others are portable and will need fuel fed to them.

Problems with Maintenance

Whole-house generators, like automobile engines, require regular maintenance to be in good working order. Wear and tear, as with any equipment with moving parts, can be severe.

These machines use oil, as with any motor, and will need this oil changed every couple of days with continuous use. For every fifty hours of continuous use, you need to replace the oil in your generator. This equates to about once every couple of days. This seems to be something that many people miss or forget. However, this is very important in keeping your generator running properly.

Generators, Both Portable and Standby

Generac generators are classified into two types: standby and portable. This influences how long they can provide power.

Standby generators connect directly to the main lines or established fuel sources on your property. Generac workers, for example, will connect your unit to the main natural gas pipelines feeding your property. As previously stated, this type of generator can provide power indefinitely with proper maintenance. Don’t forget to replace the oil every couple of days when this happens.

Portable units are easier to move. These generators must be constantly fed fuel while in use. Therefore, they can only provide electricity for a short duration. However, they will continue to run if you keep fuel in them. Again, don’t forget to replace the oil during long durations of running.

Considerations for Wattage

The length of time your Generac generator runs continuously is also determined by the wattage requirements of your home. You will need to purchase a generator that will meet the demands of your home. Haley Mechanical would be happy to discuss this with you and determine the size that would best suit your needs.

Obviously, the power you utilize and if you have a limited fuel supply, the shorter the time your Generac generator will run. If you connect your generator to the main lines, wattage issues are irrelevant. On the other hand, extending your unit’s maximum rated power output is unsafe and may decrease its life.

Protect Your Ann Arbor Area Home From Lightning Damage

Lightning striking near a home

As a Southeast Michigan home or business owner, you may have heard of lightning protection systems, and wonder how they work. While these systems help prevent a lightning strike to your home/business, what else should you know?

Lightning generally follows a path to the ground, whether that path is electrical lines, gas or water lines, telephone, cable, or even a structure such as your home or business. As you know, lightning strikes are dangerous and can result in extensive damage.

What are the most common hazards of lightning strikes?

  • Damage to appliances or building materials
  • Side strikes
  • Fire

Can a lightning strike be prevented by having a lightning protection system installed? Nothing can prevent a lightning strike, but adding a protection system will keep your home or business safe from potential damage to the materials or structure.

FAQ about lightning protection systems

By having a lightning protection system installed at your home or business, could you potentially attract lightning? Absolutely not. Yet, these systems have no influence on where lightning strikes and are incapable of “directing” it to another area.

Is this a DIY project? No. Home lightning protection systems should be installed only by an electrical professional.

Can I choose the protection system I want and know it will be effective for my home or business? No. These systems are designed specifically for your home or business structure.

What can a lightning protection system protect?

These systems are designed to protect the structure and prevent or reduce lightning strikes directly to your home or business. Because of this, the risk of damage to building materials or fire during an electrical storm is lessened substantially.

Even with a system installed you should be sure that appliances, electronics, and other items are unplugged to prevent damage; also consider using surge protectors for computers, TVs, and other equipment for at least some protection when a storm occurs and you’re away from home.

Home lightning protection systems in Ann Arbor Michigan

Whether you live in Ann Arbor or any other area it’s impossible to predict when a lightning strike will occur; it is best to protect your home or business by having a lightning protection system installed by a professional. Having a system installed not only protects the structure from damage to the building or fire but could also result in lower insurance rates not to mention the money saved on damage caused by a strike.

The professional, licensed electricians at Haley Mechanical are dedicated to outstanding service, quality, and customer satisfaction. Protect your Southeast Michigan home during electrical storms – call Haley Mechanical today!

Save Money on Christmas Lights This Holiday Season

Strands of Christmas Lights

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and many people will begin decorating their homes for Christmas if they haven’t done so already. As a southeast Michigan homeowner, you probably want to save as much as possible on energy costs, but who knew you could save on lighting up the tree and other areas of your home? You may not be aware of how much it does cost using old-style bulbs, but it can cost a small fortune. Whether you’re checking out those strands of lights you’ve stored and used for years to make sure they all work or are considering new lights, you’ll be interested in finding out the cost of old-style bulbs vs. LED bulbs below!

Before you go to all of the effort to put lights on the Christmas tree, string them on your house or in the trees, or even around the fireplace mantle or along the stairway handrail, consider this:

The figures below are based on ten strings of each type of light, lit for six hours each day, with 30 days in the month.

Old Style Mini Bulbs

100 lights per string, 40 watts per string – average cost per month $12.96

Old Style Large Bulbs (C7, C9)

25 lights per string, 175 watts per string – average cost per month $56.70

LED Mini Bulbs

70 lights per strong, 4.2 watts per string – average cost per month $1.36

LED Large Bulbs

25 lights per string, 2 watts per string – average cost per month $0.65

As you can see, choosing LED bulbs to light up your holiday will save you a bundle! Learn more about residential Holiday lighting at NSTAR.

The folks at Haley Mechanical thought you would find this information helpful for lighting up your SE Michigan home this holiday season.

All You Need to Know About Your SE Michigan Home’s Electrical System

Utility Meters

Ann Arbor homeowners know their electrical systems provide countless conveniences and comforts; However, most are completely in the dark when it comes to how this essential system works.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know how this complex system functions, considering it is a big part of your life daily?  We have provided the basics for Southeast Michigan homeowners below.

Residential Electrical Systems 101

The power company supplies electricity to your home through a central line that’s strung from roadside poles, or in some cases buried underground.  From this point, electricity is delivered through your household via components including:

Meter box.  This box is placed on the exterior of your home and contains the electric company’s wire which allows it to track electricity consumption for billing purposes each month.

Main breaker panel.  From the meter box, the electrical line comes into the main breaker panel located inside your home.  Homes commonly have the maximum allowable electricity available for residential use, which is 200 amps.  Smaller breakers are wired from the main breaker, making it possible to distribute power to the various rooms of your home via individual circuits.  If any specific circuit becomes overloaded or there is a short, the breaker trips which essentially halts electricity flow immediately, preventing a possible fire.

Circuits.  Certain equipment and/or appliances such as a refrigerator or air conditioner require a dedicated circuit.  Individual circuits have bundled wires running to electrical outlets, light fixture boxes, and more.

Light switches.  Turning the light on works via electrical wires running to the light switch from a light fixture box; when you switch the light off, the circuit running from the main panel to the fixture is broken or terminated.

Sockets or receptacles.  You plug in the television, microwave, lamps, and other equipment or appliances that operate using electricity.  With sockets or outlets, electricity flows from the main panel to power these items.  In most cases, the bath or kitchen use GFCI outlets (ground fault circuit interrupt) due to the presence of water, as these types of outlets prevent potential shocks by stopping the flow of electricity.

Electricity is fairly basic; however, it can be dangerous or even deadly when you attempt DIY projects that involve any of these components.  Want to learn more about your Ann Arbor home’s electrical system?  Give the experts at Haley Mechanical a call today.

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