What do I do if my generator fails during an emergency?
See my Generator Recovery Flowchart.
You can avoid most failures by following NFPA 110 inspection and testing procedures. These are Fire Code requirments almost everywhere. Generator Inspection Checklist
Is a generator required?
See International Building Code.
Whether a generator is required in a building depends upon occupancy type as defined by International Building Code. Check with your builder or architect.
In addition, Healthcare Facilites are governed by NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, if they recieve Medicare and Medicaid funding. See NFPA 99, 2012 edition, chapter 4 and 6.
This is largely up to the discretion of your surveyor. if a facility admits patients who rely on electrically powered life support, a generator is likely to be required.
Should I buy an extended warranty?
Only if you read the warranty closely. Maufacturer’s warranties and extended warranties are filled with back doors that let the provider off the hook. Look for:
Time in which you must notify the provider of a problem.
When the warranty starts and how long it runs.
Warranties require maintenace be provided in accordance with manufacturer’s published schedule. Make sure your provider is capable of compliance with warranty provisions and provides you with signed and dated paperwork.
How should I prepare for State or Federal survey?
See my article: Preparation for Generator Inspection
How do I go about buying a generator?
See my article: Purchasing
How does the Power Grid work and should I worry about failure?
See my article on: Power Grid
Also, see Ted Koppel’s book “Lights Out”.
How do I make sure of my generator’s reliability?
Also follow my instructions about code compliance. NFPA standards are brilliantly writtten. If you follow the NFPA standards I have explained in my website, you will get the best reliability at the lowest cost.
See: Generator Inspection Checklist.
What does a remote annunciator do?
See: Remote Annunciators
Where do I get training for my Emergency Power Supply System? (EPSS = Generator)
Training for your staff is a fire code requirement. This should be provided by your generator vendor. Unfortunately, they are not very good at it. See my article on: Training
Does my generator need a backup fuel supply?
Only if fuel is supplied from an off-site source like natural gas. Diesel and LPG systems usually have on-site tanks and therefore do not require a backup source. See NFPA 110, 2010 edition, chapter 5.1 and NFPA 70, 2017 edition, article 700.12 (3) See my article on: Dual Fuel Systems
Do I need an extended fuel supply in an earthquake zone?
Yup. 96 hours on-site storage. NFPA 110, 2010 edition, chapter 5.
Why do I need to have the fuel tested?
NFPA 110, 2010 edition, chapter 8.3.5 requires the fuel be tested annually to ASTM standards. Interestingly it does not specify which kind of fuel. Standard practice is to test only diesel; however, LPG and NG can also be contaminated. Tests for gaseous fuels is more difficult and expensive. See my article on: Fuel Analysis.
Where can I get a generator inspection/testing checklist?
Right here! Example Emergency Generator Operating Log
Should my automatic transfer switch be serviced?
Yes, annually. NFPA 110, 2010 edition, chapter 8.3.5
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