ACF Standby Systems Blog

How Much Can a Power Outage Cost?

Technology makes almost every aspect of our lives easier. As technology has evolved, our society has become increasingly dependent upon these tools we use in our everyday lives. Whether at work or at play, we need technology. Just as we are dependent upon technology, most of these innovations are dependent upon electricity. Without electricity to provide power, these tools become obsolete. As a result of technology’s role in our lives, we are dependent upon electricity. In its absence many of our daily activities become impossible until electricity is restored.

When the power goes out, businesses tend to feel the loss in their bottom lines. Even a few hours without power can cost a business a significant amount of money. The losses can be directly measured via lost sales, manufacturing time and, for some businesses, even inventory.

When power is not available, many businesses have to close. They are without lights, computer systems and all of the other things that make doing business easier. Not only is it unfeasible to bring customers into a building that doesn’t have power, it is generally difficult to receive payment and track sales without the assistance of a computer. These examples of lost sales could potentially affect any retailer or restaurant that suffers a blackout. For warehouses and manufacturing facilities, operations tend to cease immediately. Manufacturing equipment and computers that track shipments cannot operate without power, which makes these businesses obsolete in a power outage.

But how much can a power outage cost? The immediate impact is different for every business, but consider these figures:

  • A Massachusetts restaurateur estimated that he lost $3,000 in sales based upon one afternoon without power.
  • A report by the Consortium for Electric Infrastructure to Support Digital Society studied several hundred businesses in the United States concerning monetary losses that are associated with power losses. They estimated that businesses in the Digital Economy (online businesses from financial trading to data storage) and Manufacturing Industry lose $45.7 billion dollars a year due to power outages. This figure is comprised of lost sales, time and damaged equipment.

Realistically no business can go without power. Even short outages can immediately set a business back. If equipment needs to be restarted, data entry needs to be looked over to make sure nothing was missed or any other catch-up type activities need to be performed money is lost. In addition to what can be measured, it is difficult to measure the opportunity cost of blackouts. If you operate in Tampa, Florida but your customers are in Jacksonville, they might not understand that your lack of power supply is the reason that things are not getting done. They might take it out on you by decreasing their business with you.

Whether you can measure your losses precisely or not, you know that lost power means lost money. Some estimates say that just one second of lost power for an industrial facility can cost over $1,000. That is a precise enough number to make buying a standby system a worthwhile investment.

Sources:

ACF Standby Systems

The Eagle Tribune

The Consortium for Electric Infrastructure to Support Digital Society

Related Posts:

Brownouts Happen But They Shouldn’t Stop Business

Hurricane Season Heats Up, Is Your Business Ready

Transfer Switch: Automatic or Manual

When it comes down to it, your generator needs a little help from its friends. One of its best friends is a transfer switch. Transfer switches control the flow of electricity into your facility. They “transfer” the power source for your facility from the utility provider to the standby system. The standby system then takes over your electrical load and makes sure that you weather the storm.

Transfer switches are a good thing to have. Not only do they make changing power sources easy and help kick your generator into action, but they are also helpful to utility workers. Most of the time power is sent from the power lines to your house. Sometimes your standby system can send power back through the power lines, a process called backfeeding. If this happens, a utility worker who comes into contact with the line may be injured by the unexpected electricity. Transfer switches help to alleviate this risk and make things safer for everyone. Think about transfer switches like electrical middle men, they communicate between different sources of electricity and make sure that everything runs smoothly.

You have two options when it comes to transfer switches:

  • Automatic Transfer Switches- This options does all of the work for you. When properly installed, the transfer switch monitors the electrical feed from your utility provider. If the feed drops off for a set amount of time, the switch cues your generator to warm up and take over supplying power. Automatic transfer switches can be set to provide power to selected circuits in the event that your standby system is intended to power particular parts of your facility but not the entire thing.
  • Manual Transfer Switches- Manual switches require a little bit more work. They are set up in advance like an automatic version, but need a person to physically go and change the power source from the utility provider to the generator. Most often these switches are used with portable generators but there are cases where larger standby systems have manual transfer switches.

So which one is best for you? While either option can work and ensure that you have access to power when you need it, we will make a case for automatic transfer switches. They have some distinct advantages:

  • Ease of use: once properly installed the automatic switch will continually monitor the utility providers feed for you and then turn the generator on when it is needed. A manual transfer switch requires more effort so ease of use is a definite plus for automatic switches.
  • Accessibility: Accessibility–or lack thereof–for manual switches is a concern. When power goes out, you will have to go to a manual switch in order to regain electricity. If the switch is outside, that means you are going outside, even if a severe storm is the cause of the electrical outage. Even if it is just a blown transformer, it may happen at night and you will be sent out into the dark to flip the switch.
  • Reduced risk of overloading your generator: While many manual switches today are wired into your facility to provide electricity to particular areas, not all are. If you have an older, or lesser quality manual transfer switch you will have to locate breakers and choose which ones to turn off or keep on. If your original analysis revealed that your generator only needed enough capacity to keep necessary functions intact (computer servers, emergency lights, etc), then you likely do not have a system capable of powering the whole facility. Without turning off breakers, that is exactly what your generator will try to do which can lead directly to a broken generator. You don’t want a broken generator any more than you will want to hunt for breakers during a power outage.
  • Constant Analysis: We mentioned that an automatic transfer switch would monitor the utility and transfer your electrical supply from it to a generator as needed. Imagine a power outage at 2 AM, you are the facility manager, you live 20 miles from work and someone calls you in the middle of the night telling you to drive over and manually turn on a switch. At that point you will wish that you had opted for the automatic transfer switch.

The type of switch that you use is a matter of personal preference. While automatic transfer switches can make things a little easier, a manual one will do the job if used correctly. If you are making a purchase we would recommend that you go with an automatic switch. If you have an older system, you can have a manual switch replaced with a newer automatic version. If you have more questions about switches we address them here.

Sources:

Generator Joe

EC&M

Related Posts:

Tips for Facility Managers to Test Your Generator

ACF Standby Systems is Hiring in Florida

We are happy to say that our business is alive and well despite the current economy. As a result of that success, we are in need of some new team members. We are currently hiring for positions in the state of Florida. Two of our positions will work in South Florida. Both positions will require the ability to travel in and around South Florida so if you are familiar with Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines, Kendall, Homestead and all surrounding areas then you might be a great fit for our company.

At ACF Standby Systems we sell, install, maintain and repair standby systems and portable generators. We focus on commercial customers and provide backup power for facilities of all sizes. One of the great things about joining our team is the ability to get out into the field and provide peace of mind for customers who, quite frankly, have issues to worry about that do not include power. Our customers focus on their business, and we focus on making sure that they have the power they need to keep that business up and running. Regardless of what complications their electrical infrastructure or our Florida weather might throw at them, our products and services help facility managers ensure that things run smoothly.

We are looking for new team members who will work both in sales and as service technicians for the standby systems and generators we provide. Regardless of which position you think you would best fit we do have a few requirements. We want team members who:

  • Come to work every day with a “can do” attitude
  • Are prepared to work as part of a team toward common goals that make our customers happy every time they interact with us
  • Are focused on the needs of our customers and how they can fulfill them while adhering to all company policies
  • Are willing to be flexible with both travel and scheduling to make sure that we provide the best backup power products and service in all of the markets where we do business.

If this sounds like you, and we hope it does, then read over our position listings and decide which one you are best suited for. We have job listings for: New Product Salespeople in the greater Orlando area, Aftermarket Salespeople who will work throughout South Florida and Service Technicians who will focus on our customer needs in South Florida.

Job Listing: Aftermarket Sales

This job will require that you not only know about generators and how gasoline and diesel engines work, but also about your customers. You will need to know which products and additional service lines will best fit their needs. Your job will be to maintain a relationship with your clients and sell them additional products and services as needed. In most cases you will evaluate the client’s needs and develop sales proposal. You will be selling to plant engineers, maintenance personnel, contractors and company executives. You will have to know how each individual client thinks about their business and be able to relate to these needs as they can be fulfilled by our products and services. Other job requirements include:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree (preferably in engineering)
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Software
  • Basic Marketing Knowledge
  • Ability to travel within your assigned geographic territory to meet with customers
  • The ability to pitch our products and accommodate changes in the market

We are posting this job listing for sales representatives who will work in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Kendall, Pembroke Pines, Homestead, and Boca Raton.

Job Listing: Generator Service Technician

This job requires knowledge of both mechanical and electrical operations. You will be working on engines and on the components of the generators that produce electricity. In many cases you will provide scheduled maintenance but repair work may come up from time to time. You will need to be able to move up to 100 pounds, use tools necessary for servicing engines and be comfortable working in conditions that are sometimes hot and humid. We will consider hiring candidates who have: work experience, education or a combination that has prepared them to service our products. Other requirements include:

  • A clean driving record
  • The ability to travel and work onsite
  • Basic mathematics skills
  • Physical endurance that allows you to stand, sit and bend for extended periods of time
  • A High School Diploma or Equivalent (GED)

We are posting this job listing for service technicians who will work in: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Kendall, Pembroke Pines, Homestead, Boca Raton

Job Listing: New Product Sales

Employees in this position will be responsible for selling new standby systems, generators and complementary products in Central Florida. This assigned territory will be the Orlando market. This position requires travel and the ability to prospect customers and pitch our products. You will have to have knowledge of basic mechanics as it relates to engines and electricity and the equipment that we sell. You will also need the ability to close sales to maintenance personnel, contractors, executives, plant engineers and anyone else who is responsible for purchasing equipment for facilities.

If you feel that you would be a good fit for one of our positions fax your resume to (813) 621-6980 or email it to our HR department at careers@acfpower.com. ACF is an equal opportunity employer and provides a very competitive benefits package.

Brown Outs Happen but They Shouldn’t Stop Business

A quality standby system will ensure that your facility remains up and running, no matter what happens with your utility provider. In some cases it is not an all-out blackout or total loss of power that sets your operations back; instead it is a brownout. A brownout is a time period in which a utility provider cannot supply electricity due to high demand. High demand can be exactly what it sounds like–an instance where too many people are using too much power–or it can be caused by the electrical supply going down due to damaged equipment. As Floridians we know that it doesn’t matter whether you live in Jacksonville or Miami–either scenario can happen.

Sometimes the problem is that too much power is being used. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that Florida is among the states with the highest per capita energy usage in the country. This is largely due to our need for air conditioning the majority of the year. On top of air conditioning, businesses have other electrical needs: lights, computer, printers, copiers and a variety of other electrical equipment. Combine this with residential needs and you might just have a recipe for a brownout.

Strangely, some of our largest need for electricity in a single day has come in the winter months. The winter of 2010 was one of the coldest for Florida. In January of 2010 the Tampa Electric Company reported single day usage of 4,742 watts. Considering that Progress Energy, a neighboring utility provider, was dealing with similar usage, brownouts occurred all over West Central Florida. Schools in both Hillsborough and Pasco Counties went without power for several hours. Had the schools had proper generator setups, students would not have endured outside temperatures inside classrooms on a day where lows in some affected areas were in the 20’s.

In other cases storms can cause brownouts. Fallen limbs and even lighting strikes can disable individual transformers, causing particular areas to go without power. Frequent storms involving lightning and wind affect every area of Florida. Business owners in Sarasota have just as much need for a standby generator as their counterparts in Port St. Lucie. Regardless of the storm, or the location, a good generator will keep your A/C running and your computer network intact. Customers out of state might not understand when you tell them that you cannot operate due to rain, unless of course you happen to be a baseball team.

As the population grows, our power needs will increase. Hopefully our infrastructure will develop along with the population, but that is not guaranteed. Certain areas, especially densely populated ones, may experience more and more brownouts in the future. It is our responsibility to be prepared for the future, whatever it may bring.

Sources:
ACF Standby Systems
TBO.com
U.S. Energy Information Administration

TBO.com

Related Posts:
Are Generators Worth it? Just Ask the State

Hand-Me-Down Generators

We know that when people go to buy something, they generally prefer to look at brand-new items. Sometimes it just feels like you have more ownership of something if you are the first and only one to ever own it.

When it comes to generators, or anything with an engine for that matter, it would be careless not to consider possible repercussions of buying a used product. No one wants to end up putting money into a lemon. However, just as some used cars offer great value, if you do your research and make an informed decision, you can end up with a great used generator that will back up your power supply for years.

Let’s quickly recap the benefits of buying a new generator:

  • Reliability and sustainability of an engine that has zero hours (car engine usage is measured in miles driven, while generator engine usage is measured by the amount of hours that the system is turned on and running )
  • Likely chance that the unit has an extended warranty
  • Broader selection of generators to choose from on the market
  • Brand-new models may have features that older used models do not

Now it is time to talk about used generators. Like we said, you will have to do some research and plan accordingly when making your purchase. Having harped on that point long enough, there are benefits to buying a used generator. The price alone is a major benefit. Used products sell for less than new products in every industry, outside of, say, art, so a used generator will save you money up front. Considering we all have budgets, saving money is a huge benefit. Here’s what you need to look at to make sure that you buy a quality used generator.

  • Age and usage– Age refers to how many years old the generator is. Usage refers to how many hours the engine has on it. Remember that the older a unit is, the more trouble you may have locating replacement parts down the road. The more hours that a unit has on it (most generators have odometers like cars), the more likely you are to need to make repairs sooner than later.
  • Brand and model- A used generator can be a great bargain, but beware a deal that is “too good.” Some manufacturers make better products than others and some individual models are also more durable than others. Research the brand and model of any used generator that you are looking to purchase. Find out life expectancy and look for reviews from actual users.
  • Condition of the Unit- While the above factors will directly affect the condition of a used generator, take some time to find out about the mechanical state of the unit you are looking at. You may be able to find a refurbished unit. If not ask:
    • Has the unit received proper maintenance?
    • Did the dealer perform a load test on the unit to assess exactly where it stands capability- wise? If so, what were the results? A quality used generator dealer should be able to answer this question.
    • How many owners has the generator had?
    • How was the generator stored? Kept uncovered, a generator might have gone through more wear and tear in a rainy climate like Miami, than an uncovered generator in Jacksonville.
  • Warranty- Although the unit is used, it can still have a warranty. Expect this if the unit is refurbished, but ask for one even if it is not. A “great deal” on an as-is unit may end up costing you a lot later in repairs. Most reputable dealers will work with you on a warranty.

We hope that you find the generator that you need. Used models are not necessarily bad and can be used to effectively provide your facility with power. Just remember, researching a used generator is key.

Sources:
ACF Standby Systems- Used Inventory
360 Generators.com
Surplus Generator Equipment (Sirgen.com)
Powered Generators.com

Related Posts:
My Standby Generator Failed, What Happened?
What to Look for When Choosing a Generator
When to Replace Your Generator
Seven Things you Need to Know Before You Buy a Generator

Are Portable Generators an Effective Purchase for Business?

In many instances, the standby systems that we discuss are not portable. They are large, immobile and can provide large amounts of energy when your utility provider can’t. When it comes to running a business, or powering any large facility, this is generally the kind of generator that people think of. This does not necessarily mean that their smaller counterparts are not useful for commercial purposes; you just need to know what you are getting into.

The biggest benefit of a portable generator is obvious: they are portable. You can keep them in one place if need be, but you can move them to a different part of your campus or an entirely different work site if circumstances change.

After severe weather, the ability to be flexible will be invaluable. You may very well need a portable generator in addition to you main standby system. If you have several buildings on your campus, then you likely do not have backup power in all of them. You may need power in one of your smaller building after the storm; your planned base of operations may be flooded or damaged.

If you work in construction, catering or another industry that requires you to change worksites frequently, a portable generator (or three) is a must-have. You do not want to get to a job site and not have lighting for your construction crew or find out that you cannot plug your plate warmer in before a big client’s wedding. In cases like these portable generators are worth every penny and should be at your disposal.

Some things to consider when choosing your portable generator are:

  • Continuous Rating- The amount of power that your generator will be able supply for a period of a few hours. If you only need to plug in a couple of things, then you can select a unit with a lower rating. Decide what you will need powered in advance, so you know how much capacity you need.
  • Maximum Rating- The amount of power that your unit can supply for a few minutes or less. This will be useful if you have overlap between different appliances, but do not intend for your generator to hold up at this level for long.
  • Wheels- While this sounds a bit basic, you will want to consider how mobile your portable generator is. Not all units have wheels and you may want to be able to move your generator around easily.
  • Voltmeter- This is a device on the generator itself that measures how much power the unit is producing. This will help you to ensure that you stay within your continuous rating in general and warn you as you approach maximum rating.
  • Fuel- Portable generators can be fueled by a variety of sources. You will want to make sure that you have easy access to the fuel that you need or your generator may be obsolete when you need it. Fuel sources for portable generators include:
    • Diesel
    • Gasoline
    • Natural Gas
    • Propane


In Florida, having a generator is a good idea. A portable generator is something that will be worth having bought in advance when you need it. If you are in the market for one you can find a great selection here.

SOURCES

Find Generators.net
Consumer Reports
Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs Canada
Portable Generators.com

Related Posts

What to Look for When Choosing a Generator
Top Seven Generator Problems

Are Generators Worth it? Just ask the State

We have spent a lot of time talking about disaster plans and how you need to be prepared. But what about the community, service providers, property managers and the like? What happens with them when disaster strikes? It seems like a lot of people don’t know, but the state of Florida put together a plan a few years ago. Now they are making sure that the plan is ready in the event that something does happen.

What we are talking about is F.S. 526.143(2). Granted it doesn’t look like much in this form, but it is one way that the state of Florida is making sure that generators are around to back us all up if a hurricane passes through. The law requires certain gas stations and buildings to have standby systems in place.

  • If a gas station is within a half of a mile of an interstate or evacuation route, it must have a backup generator that is capable of running the service station for consecutive 72 hour periods.
  • If a building is more than 75 feet tall and has an elevator, it must also have a generator that would allow the elevator to work for limited time periods during the day.
  • All of these generators have to be hooked up to a working transfer switch and receive regular maintenance.

Yes, the actual law is a little more specific and not every single station is required to have a generator, but you get the point. And don’t worry, the state gives tax incentives that make up for the cost of the equipment.

Think about it. If gas stations maintain power, our emergency infrastructure can still function. Fire trucks, ambulances and police cars will be able to get where they need to be to save lives. With working elevators everyone will be able to get out of a building, even those who have trouble with stairs. Rescue efforts will be easier and the loss of lives will be reduced. We like to think that some of our work could be responsible for saving our neighbors in the face of disaster. We also like living in a state where there is a plan in place in case something does happen. Peace of mind is worth far more than a generator costs.

SOURCES
ACF Standby Systems
Florida State Motor Fuel Supply Program PDF
WPTV.com West Palm Beach

Hurricane Season Heats Up. Is Your Business Ready?

Every year we all hear about hurricane preparedness. Everyone seems to focus on houses, but what about businesses? Sure, we all need to make sure that our homes are in order if a storm rolls through, but businesses are big parts of our lives and our society as well. If they shut down we won’t be as organized as a community to receive emergency supplies or to get back to normal life once the cleanup efforts are done. While we want you to always be prepared, now is the time to make a plan if you aren’t ready. Between August and October Florida sees 78% of its tropical storms and over 90% of its Category 3 and 4 hurricanes. Statistically speaking, if we are going to get hit this year it is coming soon.

Protect Your Employees

People make your business run. Without your staff you would not get very much done. Plan for them when a hurricane is coming. Do you have an employee hurricane policy? You need to let your staff know what constitutes a required work day when inclement weather strikes and what does not. Also, who will be responsible to oversee clean-up efforts at your place of business after a storm passes? Will you have power available for these people to get back to work? If not, is there any point in coming back to work until the utility company gets it together?

Safeguard Your Building

Hurricanes damage buildings. Both wind and water damage can destroy your office. In rented spaces, talk to the property manager about getting routine maintenance, like roof inspections or tree trimming, done before a major storm threatens. If your company owns the building, you’ll be responsible for hurricane preparations.

  • Make sure trees are trimmed. If you don’t you may return to work and find that part of that majestic oak tree out front is now a decoration in your office. Either trim the trees yourself or call your landlord.
  • Move important files and electronics to interior rooms that are elevated (if possible). Windows break and wind makes sure that water gets inside. Plan to protect your documents, computers and servers.
  • If your building is in a flood zone you may also want to locate a temporary work space. It can be anywhere that you and your staff can work from. Having planned this in advance will pay off if hurricane damage is severe.

Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run; customers will need service regardless of weather. Make sure that you will be prepared to communicate with them before and after the storm. Let them know in advance that severe weather may slow you down a bit, but that you will be there for them. You might even want to tell them how you have an emergency standby system that will let you operate after the storm passes. Not only will you show them that you know how to plan, but you will also prove that you are dedicated to getting the job done. After the storm update them on your status as soon as you can accurately do so. Let them know that you will be getting back to work and that they are not forgotten. While many will understand that you are dealing with a natural disaster, the truth is that they all won’t.

Prepare Your Generator

You know we had to do it; after all, this is a generator blog. Think about it, though.  How will you get anything done after the storm without power? The utility company will have a mess on their hands with knocked down power lines and blown transformers. Their first priority will be restoring power to emergency service providers and residences, and not necessarily your business. You will likely be on your own for a couple days, that is unless you call us.

  • Give your generator a dry run to make sure it’s working.
  • Ensure that the automatic transfer switch is set to turn the generator on when the utility power goes out.  If you are at the office when the storm strikes, you won’t want to head to work to flip the generator switch.
  • Have you been keeping up with service? If not there’s still time to have an expert come get things in order for you.

Hopefully we have a hurricane-free season. No one wants a storm to disrupt our lives. Regardless, make sure that your business is ready for the worst. If you don’t it will surely cost you later.

My Standby Generator Failed! What Happened?

Of course you want your standby system to be there for you when the power goes out–after all that is the only reason you bought it. But every once in a while we find that people have trouble getting what they need from their generator. Power goes down and the generator fails to do its job. As frustrating as this is, there is always a reason for the failure. Generally speaking, there are some reasons that come up more than others when we are talking about generator failure.

  1. The Battery- The number one reason that generators fail is the battery. Just like your car’s engine, your generator’s engine cannot start up without a boost from its battery. Sulfate build-up on the connecting components causes most battery failure. This build-up happens because chemicals in the battery acid discharge sulfate. The sulfate cakes up on the battery, ruining connections and ultimately the battery itself. Another common reason is that the battery loses its charge. Often after maintenance or use, people forget to make sure the battery is set to charge during down time. If the battery does not charge, it loses power and will not be ready to work when you need it.
  2. Coolant Levels- Leaks are usually the culprit when it comes to low coolant levels. Without enough coolant your generator engine will overheat and fail. Ensuring that coolant levels are correct is an important step in the maintenance process.
  3. Fuel Leaks- Aside from coolant, your generator needs fuel to run. Fuel can leak in a couple of ways. The most obvious way is a crack somewhere in the fuel tank or fuel system. Fuel system leaks are generally caused by hoses that are too old and need to be replaced. When it comes to generators, there may be a different type of leak. “Wet stacking” happens when your generator provides itself too much fuel when it is working at a low output level. The extra fuel ends up in the exhaust system. After this happens for a while, the exhaust system has too much fuel in it to properly do its job. The excess fuel will cause the generator to fail. Once again, maintenance can make sure you avoid these issues.
  4. Air in the Fuel System- Just like fuel in the exhaust is bad, air in the fuel will also leave you in a bad spot. There are several types of generator fuel; air is not one of them. If air ends up in your fuel system, your generator will not have what it needs to run. Regularly making sure that fuel is changed or added to will help you avoid this problem.
  5. Human Error- As people, we sometimes make mistakes. When it comes to generators, human errors can complicate things easily. Forgetfulness is the number-one cause of human error. People forget to add fuel or to make sure that the breaker is set to provide power. They also forget to set the transfer switch so that the generator automatically takes over when power goes down. Any of these basic mistakes will cause generators to fail. In a power outage your staff will likely not think about these basic factors and will think that the failed generator is broken. Remembering to cover the basics in advance will pay off when you need backup power.

Hopefully you never experience generator failure. A little knowledge and proper maintenance will usually make sure that you don’t. If you do the advice of an experienced professional is the best way to go.

SOURCES
ACF Standby Systems
Electrical Construction and Maintenance
Association for Facilities Engineering

Finding a commercial generator service provider

At this point you know that you need to service your generator. There are plenty of options out there for service providers, so who do you go with? We have some suggestions that will help you make your generator service provider decision. Making sure that you choose a capable service provider is important; after all if your generator doesn’t work when you need it, you might as well not have it.

Do they know what they are doing?

Granted the technician who shows up likely knows more than you about generators, but how knowledgeable is he, really? Generator knowledge comes from two basic areas: certification and experience. At ACF Standby Systems, all of our technicians are certified to repair and maintain generators. They have undergone training to prepare them to work in the field. As far as experience is concerned, we have been in the generator business for over twenty years. We have worked on multiple types of generators and formed relationships with many happy customers.

Will they be there when I need them?

Some companies look to be extremely “organized.” They are so “organized” that they will only come out according to your service plan. The fact is, power outages do not follow a schedule. You need a service provider who is willing to fix your generator at any time. At ACF Standby Systems, we can send a trained technician twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We can get computer servers back up and operating or make sure that the perishable inventory in your walk-in freezer does not thaw out, even if it’s two o’clock in the morning. Our customers who sign service agreements with us are our top priority when an emergency situation arises. We get them back up and running first.

Are they willing to work with you?

All service agreements will involve you entering into a contract. Make sure that the contract you sign is the one you need. We offer a variety of terms, and so should any service provider you hire. If you want a basic service plan then that is what you should get. You should not be forced into a plan that involves more than you want. Don’t get us wrong, we will tell you that you need an annual load bank test to make sure that your equipment can handle a full electrical workload, but we won’t be pushy when it comes to finer points. If you don’t want a full service contract that is fine– we will taper a contract to meet your basic service needs and then add in the other services that you want. We believe in working with our customers and we recommend that whoever you choose for service does as well.

At ACF Standby Systems, we believe in quality workmanship and respecting the customer. We carry these principles in everything that we do including generator servicing. We would love for you to consider us if you are currently looking for a service provider for your generator. Visit us online or call us if you have any questions that we can answer.

SOURCES
ACF Standby Systems
Grounds Maintenance Magazine