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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Select a Back-Up Power Source

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

A power outlet on a blue wall Got storm damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

A backup generator or inverter is a great investment for rolling blackouts during the summer or random winter storm loss of power.  The hardest part is figuring which one to get. 

Figure Out What Type Will Fit Your Needs

 A recreational (up to 2000 watts) or midsize inverter (up to 3500 watts) can range anywhere from $400-$2000 and is great for keeping your refrigerator running, a light or two, a TV and a laptop but wouldn’t sustain a full household for a longer period of time.  

A large invertor or portable generator can run up to 7500 watts and cost anywhere from $700-$4000. They’re great for a short term hold over and can run an estimate 5-10 lights, refrigerator, electric range and dishwasher as well as a window unit air conditioner. 

A standby generator can handle up to 20,000 watts but can run anywhere from $2000-$5000 plus the cost of instillation and they can’t be moved once installed. They do however automatically power on in the event of a power outage

Calculate Your Needed Wattage

Check your owner’s manual for each appliance you plan to run.  You’ll need the running wattage and highest starting wattage.  In general: Running Wattage + Starting Wattage= Wattage Needed

Next, you’ll want to make sure you have a circuit breaker set up for a power back-up system, otherwise it can overload and overheat.

Additional Needs to Consider

Keep in mind that most of these systems run on gas, so they can’t be run inside a home due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and it’s recommended that they are kept 10 feet away from a home. You’ll also need to prepare beforehand to refill and have fuel on hand.

For storage, it’s recommended on most models, to store without fuel.  If your system allows it to be stored with fuel, you’ll most likely need to add fuel stabilizer.  With any piece of machinery, make sure to check your owner’s manual for the best ways to store your system and any maintenance that may need to be done before storing it.  You’ll also need to consider a generator cover or horizontal resin storage shed for a budget friendly option or a mini shed, to store your generator.

Got storm damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

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