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Consumer Help, Standby Generators, Uncategorized
Wondering About a Standby Generator Tax Deduction? If you bought a standby generator to support dialysis equipment, chairlift, or specialized wheelchair, it’s considered a medical-related expense that you should discuss with your tax accountant. However, if you’re still weighing the pros and cons of buying a standby generator, here are a few pros you may not have thought about:

First, it gives tremendous peace of mind. Realtors call this the “joy factor”. Backup power from an automatic transfer switch and power management system means that heaters, refrigerators, computers, sump pumps and lights keep running and your family and pets stay safe in emergencies. Second, any home improvement project that increase livability is worthwhile! A standby generator fits this category. Just look around your neighborhood. More and more people work from home, making a standby generator essential for business. Communications, computer programs, telephones, internet, and other vital equipment function without interruption. Customers and co-workers stay happy. Finally, what about financial protection? Your paycheck is at high risk if you struggle and try to live without power even for a few days. Think about the cost to replace all of the things you lose in a disaster? Food in the fridge and freezer thrown away and restocked. Downed trees to be cut and removed by landscapers. Water pumped out and repairs to roof or basement. Expense after expense. It’s a money drain possibly avoided by owning a standby generator as your back up power source in a disaster.

It’s always best to discuss options with a professional.  So, after you check in with your tax advisor, call Northeast Generator at (203) 336-3031 to discuss your needs. Although a tax deduction is always nice to find, buying a standby generator pays off in so many other ways…peace of mind, better livability, and financial protection in post-emergency clean up.

Consumer Help, Standby Generators
You’re happy with your standby generator. It’s an investment that’s giving you, your family or co-workers peace of mind. When you bought your standby generator however, did the salesperson tell you that all models need to be serviced at least every 30 days and after every major use? It only takes minutes, but when maintenance, warranty issues and repairs are needed, these DO take time.

Why risk it?

Here are some things to look out for while checking your Standby Generator:
1. A Gas-powered standby generator has a dip stick similar to a car’s with an oil level fill line. While generator is off and cool, check the level. If oil looks dirty or is low, it’s time to either fill up, or have the oil changed. New generators require full oil replacement at initial 25 hours; 50-60 hours thereafter.
2. Open air filter case by unbolting and inspecting filter for debris and dirt. If all looks okay, put it back by tightening bolts in place. If dirty, order and replace air filter.
3. Test battery voltage. A majority of emergency service calls for standby generators are due to corroded or old batteries. Replace battery every 2 years.
4. Check for leaks to coolant and fuel lines. Cracks in pumps and valves can signal premature failure of a standby generator.
5. Check sensors for any error codes. Turn off power and start up again. If codes don’t re-set investigate further.
6. Lastly, as you re-cover and lock your standby generator, look around the unit for rodent and other animal nests. If you find anything that’s not suppose to be there, take care of it immediately.

Scheduling a local, factory-certified technician from Northeast Generator for an on-site preventative maintenance of your standby generator is as simple as making a phone call to (203) 336-3031. Northeast Generator can also provide repair and warranty service, and factory replacement parts. As an Independent Service Dealer of most major brands, including Generac, Briggs & Stratton and Kohler, Northeast Generator is there to help.

Consumer Help, Portable Generators

You bought your portable generator a couple of years ago, and it’s paid off big time, like when your town was without power for days and it saved you from moving into a hotel, and when you needed extra lights on the terrace for Dad’s big birthday party.  A portable generator is great in emergencies, but requires REGULAR maintenance to stay in top working condition.

Follow these 5 tips to keep your portable generator working at its best:
  1. Change the Oil. Just like a car, oil changes are essential for portable generators. Rule of thumb for an average size generator, change oil at the first 30 hours, and every 100 hours thereafter.
  2. Replace Air Filter and Spark Plug. A clean filter and new spark plug assure a proper air-fuel mixture, and the engine will run better and last longer. See manufacturer’s handbook for frequency of replacement.
  3. Drain Fuel.When storing a portable generator for 30 days or longer, it’s important to keep the carburetor healthy. Acidic gas can damage the fuel system when not in use.
  4. Fully Charge the Battery. If your portable generator has an electric start feature, make sure the battery is charged to capacity prior to each use.
  5. Start Your Generator every 30 days. By performing even this one simple step, you will avoid some common maintenance related problems.

Don’t wait for an emergency to happen to maintain and repair your portable generator.

If you encounter problems while troubleshooting, or have questions about parts or service issues, please call Northeast Generator – independent authorized service provider of major brands, including Cummins, Generac, Kohler, Winco, Briggs & Stratton. Our team is ready to help you with over 50 years of industry knowledge! (203) 336-3031.


Consumer Help, Generator Rentals, Standby Generators

Is burying electrical lines really the answer to our blackouts?  A Wall Street Journal article, “Outages Rattle the Suburbs” published Monday, March 19, 2018, debates this hot topic.

People are on edge after four nor’easters in a row caused blackouts throughout our cities and towns. Are we blaming this vulnerability on our trees? While undergrounding can enhance the scenic beauty of our natural landscape, what’s the cost to residents? Years of annoying road closures, disruptions, and escalating utility bills? According to a report published by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, “The estimated cost for constructing underground transmission lines ranges from 4 to 14 times more expensive than overhead lines of the same voltage and same distance.”

heavy snow and ice will continue to pound our weakened power lines while sensible solutions continue to be urgently needed.

Generators are today’s solution for homes, offices, fire stations, hospitals, schools and government buildings. Generators are a proven, reliable back up power source in emergencies. And, when properly and professionally designed, installed, and maintained, generators greatly enhance our quality of life. Not to mention peace of mind.
Just think how many times a day you:
  • charge your phone
  • flip on a light
  • close the garage door
  • activate your building’s security system
Simple tasks, all taken for granted until the power shuts off! 

Instead of looking at buying a generator, you’re at the store, buying bread and milk again!
Honestly, you can do so much more to prepare for a disaster. Call the professionals at Northeast Generator and receive an estimate for installing and servicing a generator for your residential or commercial property at (203) 336-3031. Don’t go through another big storm feeling helpless. Get the process started today.


Consumer Help, Standby Generators

When the power goes out, is your health at risk? The answer is yes!

Three weeks in a row, three major Nor’easters later. And, another storm looming in the forecast. If you are like thousands of people who endured a blackout, you felt incredibly stressed out. Trying to cook, stay warm and keep kids safe with little or no communication to the outside world take its toll. Anxiety, isolation and frustration are common complaints. When will the power company show up? How many times must you dial the 1-800 number and report your problem? 

It’s true, living without power affects our health. In a 2016 study, experts report a spike in emergency room visits as a direct result of prolonged blackouts. Common sense goes out the window, and this leaves the door wide open for accidents, like falling off ladders, cuts, burns and possibly worse. Owning a professionally installed and serviced generator mitigates risk of injury. One phone call to Northeast Generator – the company who’s been helping customers like you for over 50 years is all it takes. 

The first question people ask is, how long will it take to get a generator installed?

“While every customer is unique, an average residential installation takes about 3-4 weeks, from permit to electrical hook up” says Mark Holzner, company owner. Since Northeast Generator is a licensed dealer for top brands, Cummins, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Generac and Winco, the process is streamline. That means, less waiting time for generator products and parts.  It also helps that Northeast Generator has 50 full-time staff, in-house electricians, service technicians, factory trained repair specialists and customer service representatives centrally located in a 30,000 square-foot facility in Southern Connecticut. 

Preventative maintenance contracts and preferred emergency service available 24-7 reduce any burden on you and your family, possibly sparing you that emergency room visit when the next big storm hits. 

Call Northeast Generator today at (203) 336-3031

Consumer Help
kohler home power Having a generator available at your home in case of a power failure (or another power need) is a nice luxury. Most people are forced to sit in the dark when the power goes down, so being able to run at least some of the basic functions in and around your home is great – especially in areas where power failures are common. Of course, having backup power is only going to be helpful if your home generator system is able to meet the demands that you have in mind. If you are trying to pick out a unit for your own home, be sure to review the following tips.

Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room

One of the first things you should do when thinking about a purchase is to figure out how much power you are going to need to run the items that you have in mind. Once you have figured out exactly how many watts will be required, you can then set about looking for a system capable of that kind of power. However, it is important that you pick a model with a slightly higher output than what you are going to be using. You don’t want to run your unit right up to the ‘red line’, or you will run burning out the motor prematurely. Pick a model that gives you a little bit of extra power and you should be in good shape.

The Issue of Cost

Sure – you could purchase a huge generator that could power just about everything in your home, but at what cost? You need to think about how often this unit will be used, and how much you are willing to invest in the purchase. If you are only going to use the generator from time to time, and you really don’t need to turn on everything in your home when you do, it might make sense to buy a smaller, more affordable model. Also, bigger models require more fuel to run, so they will be more expensive in operation as well as in terms of upfront cost.

The Issue of Noise

If you have neighbors living close by, you should keep their interests in mind by purchasing a system that only produces a reasonable amount of noise as it runs. Some models – especially larger ones – can be quite noisy while in operation. Look for the decibel rating on any model that you are thinking of purchasing, and try to balance your need for power with a moderate noise level. When you have made your selection and your generator is ready and waiting to help when needed, you will feel a sense of comfort knowing you can produce power with just a moment’s notice. Once the time comes to put your backup power system into action, be sure to never operate it inside of a closed space. Carbon monoxide will be emitted from the unit as it runs, so you always need to have it working in an open air space where the gas can dissipate safely. As long as you follow that crucial tip, you should be able to enjoy many hours of reliable power from your new generator.

Consumer Help, Winter Weather Generators
The Hersam Acorn Newspaper talks about Northeast Generator company located in Ct offering Preventive Maintenance Agreement.

“Irene. Alfred. Sandy… shorthand names of storms that had devastating effects, including massive and long-lasting power outages, on Fairfield County and beyond in a span of 14 months. After experiencing the inconveniences of power outages of these and several lesser storms during the same period, and fearing such storms may become more frequent, many homeowners have already purchased or are considering purchasing home generators. For those contemplating a generator purchase, there two primary decisions to make: The first is whether to purchase a standby — a permanent installation that runs on propane or natural gas, and comes on and shuts off automatically — or a portable generator, which has to be moved into position either during a storm or after it passes, manually started and stopped, and runs on gasoline. The second is how many systems, either whole house or partial, a homeowner wants the generator to run. In either case, a transfer panel or switch, an electrical device that transfers power from your generator to your home, is required by the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). The switch eliminates the risk of backfeeding into the electric utility when power is restored, which can cause injury or death to utility workers and property damage; for portables, it also eliminates the need to run extension cords around your home or office. Economics, age and lifestyle tend to drive those decisions, with portable purchase and proper electric panel installation generally beginning at around $2,000, and standbys at $5,500, but averaging closer to $10,000- $15,000. For most homes, 8 kW is basic, and going up to 20 kW for homes with 200 amp service. While standbys are more expensive, they are also automatic (including self-testing weekly), much quieter, and the fuel is delivered. In addition to requiring manual testing on a regular basis and being quite noisy, gasoline has to kept on hand for portables, and is generally good for only a couple months before it begins to break down (it can, however, be safely added to your vehicle gas tank). And you need passable roads to find a gas station with power to replenish your supply. Standbys are considered an accessory building in most communities, requiring a permit subject to setback regulations, as well as licensed electricians and heating/plumbing professions for installation, and an inspection upon completion.

Learning Curve
There are four options for transfer panel installation, depending on home configuration and needs, according to Jason Aletto of Aletto Electric, with recommendations made depending on how a house was built and the homeowners’ requirements. • Interlock, mounted on electric panel, prevents generator feedback • General panel, provides six to 20 circuits that can be feed power • Transfer switch, whole circuit panel, runs everything • A meter socket transfer switch behind the electric meter As for fuel use, standbys go through about 1.5 gallons of propane an hour, which, depending on demand, could go through 200-300 gallons a week, while portables use about three-quarters of a gallon an hour and generally need to be refilled every seven hours. “A generator is an engine,” Jason reminds users, “Make sure you have a maintenance program to check fuel and oil levels regularly. If you have a standby, it is a good idea to have a service contract.” Sarah Scott of Ridgefield Hardware agrees. “Whether a portable or a standby, many people looking to purchase a generator are often surprised to learn of the maintenance involved. Generators have electrical and mechanical components that need to be exercised and maintained on a regular basis,” she says. “Especially with the portable generators, people often put them away and forget about them, then discover they don’t work when needed.” Homeowners interested in a standby need an onsite evaluation to determine size of equipment needed and location options. Installation costs vary depending on location and trenching required for electric and gas pipes.

Case Studies
Lynn and Kevin have lived in their 3,000- square-foot Redding home for 17 years, and until Tropical Storm Irene in late August 2011, “I could count on one hand the number of times we lost power for more than a day, and we never lost trees,” said Kevin. “When Irene struck, we lost power for a week and we thought ‘never again.’ When you lose power here, you lose everything, including water.” The couple ordered a two-cylinder, 10 kW unit that runs everything except the dishwasher, washer and dryer, hot tub and air conditioner, and replaced their electric water heater with a propane one. “We got the wheels in motion, pulled the permits and wrote checks all within two weeks, but two months later we were still waiting; everything else was done, but the generator was on back order – then the October snowstorm hit and we lost trees and power for another eight days. The generator finally arrived right after we finished the tree cleanup and the installation was completed a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving.” Less than a year later Superstorm Sandy struck, and their neighborhood was without power for another week, but their generator kicked in within a minute. “I cannot tell you how glad we were to have the generator,” Kevin said. “With my charged laptop and an air card, I was able to work from my home. That generator was worth every dime we spent on it, and when we eventually sell our home, I know it will make our home more attractive to perspective buyers.” Tropical Storm Irene was also the turning point in the decision to get a generator for Sally and Jack of Ridgefield. Having lived in their 250-year-old, 2,000-square-foot home for some 40 years, “we remember the ice storm in 1973, which knocked out power for a week and temperatures were below freezing; we’d been discussing that if we are going to stay here, maybe we should get a generator — just in case,” said Sally. They decided to get a standby generator as their Christmas present to each other, but were in no rush. “We talked to Jerry Rabin, owner of Ridgefield Hardware, and he came out to do an assessment to determine how large of a generator we needed — we do have municipal water, but wanted it to run everything else – and where to best place it. “We placed our order, for a 10 kW, and were told it would take at least a month for the generator to arrive, and arranged to get the transfer panel installed, as well as propane through Casey Oil. Then the October snowstorm hit and we were without power for another eight days,” said Sally. “But we used a portable generator; having the refrigerator and lights seemed like such a luxury. With all the new damage and backups, everything got delayed and it was the end of December before everything was ready. We tested the generator New Year’s Day (2012)… it was the best sound. When Sandy hit, we were all prepared; the power went out, there was a pause and the power came back on. It is very comforting to have during the last storm.”

Power Hungry
In contrast to many others, Reddingites Nancy and Charles consider themselves something of generator veterans, having done their installation nearly a decade ago, after living in their all-electric, 4,000-square-foot home since 1997. “Home generators were not that common then,” noted Charles, “and there weren’t that many places to get them.” Their decision to install one was driven by the fact that Charles works from home and his business is computer and Internet dependent, and power outages, whether for a half hour or six to eight hours, were frequent enough to be disruptive. After consulting with a contractor, Steve, and calculating a “Murphy’s Law scenario of all of the draws in an all-electric home,” the two went to Home Depot and ordered the largest residential generator available at the time — 45 kW. Steve poured a heavy-duty concrete slab to support it and dug the hole for a 500-gallon propane tank, then brought in a licensed electrician to install the transfer panel and a licensed plumber to do the gas hook-up.” “We have a service contract with Northeast Generators; they come twice a year to review everything, change the oil, check the battery, be sure it is outputting as it should. To us, the generator was worth its weight in gold.”

Northeast Generator stands apart from their competition with their 23-Point Service Contract. This maintenance agreement ensures the units are in proper working order around the clock. Maintenance is provided by the best technicians in the field-technically qualified, licensed and factory trained. Northeast also stocks a vast variety of parts, so if replacement is necessary, it won’t mean downtime.

Consumer Help, Portable Generators, Standby Generators
Town Vibe in Ridgefield quotes Joel Yencho from Northeast Generator on how homeowners who want a virtually turnkey system can consider investing in a stand-by generator which runs on propane or natural gas. “The stand-by-system monitors the voltage coming from the street. Once that voltage drops by a certain percent, and stays there for a certain length of time, the system kicks in.”

Read the full article online: http://westport.dailyvoice.com/news/generator-sales-surge-after-big-storms/460461/