When we’re in the middle of storm season, we usually notice an increased demand for generators. When a storm approaches, everyone rushes to get one, but I suggest preparing in advance and thinking about what you actually want to achieve by purchasing one. Generators are a nice luxury to have, because as we all know, power interruptions can happen any time of year with some of the storms we get here in SW Florida. First of all, determine what you need it to power in your home – a fridge, extra freezer, medical equipment, cooling systems, etc. This will help narrow your focus and determine what type and size is best for your needs. Since generators vary in size and power, they can be either portable or stand-alone. Portable generators require you to constantly add fuel to them, manually connect the items you want it to power and can’t handle a large amount of equipment. Stand-alone generators have a direct source that powers them – usually propane or gas. They are also wired to switch on automatically once the power goes. Naturally, these can cost more to purchase and install, but the value in having a peace of mind can easily outweigh the cost. If you’re considering purchasing, or have purchased a manual one and aren’t sure how to wire it, I recommend consulting with your electrician before operating them. The stand-alone units require quite a bit more work and should definitely be installed by a qualified service provider. The City of Sanibel also has specific permitting requirements for installing stand-alone generators. And last but not least, you should never operate stand-alone or portable generators without first understanding the safety procedures. You can visit lcec.net to learn all about the portable electric generator safety tips.
As always, thanks for reading,
Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com