My Power is Out, Now What?

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What should I do in case of a power outage?

Most of us rely on energy for our everyday life. Water heaters, refrigerators, heating and cooling equipment, appliances, and household electronics require electricity to function. Some people even require life-saving devices that run on power. Colorado has experienced outages from snow, wind, fire, and hot days where the increased power use creates a strain on the transmission lines.

So, what do we do when the power goes out?

Utility workers can fix a minor incident, such as a fallen power line, in around 2-3 hours. When the cause of a blackout is severe weather or a natural disaster, the power could be out for several days and even months in extreme cases. For short durations, we can often wait for the power to come back on. For longer outages and for those with emergency medical needs, backup generators are often the answer.

Backup generator

What is a backup generator?

A backup generator is a device that can provide electrical power in the event of a power outage. These generators are typically powered by natural gas or diesel fuel and can be installed either permanently or temporarily, depending on the situation. While many people might think that a backup generator is an unnecessary luxury, there are a number of benefits to having one.

  1. Peace of Mind – Perhaps the most obvious benefit of having a backup generator is the peace of mind that it provides. Power outages can be incredibly disruptive, and can leave you without the ability to cook, clean, or even charge your phone. By having a backup generator, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to keep your lights on, your food fresh, and your electronics charged, no matter what.
  2. Increased Comfort – In addition to providing peace of mind, a backup generator can also increase your comfort level during a power outage. Depending on the time of year, a power outage can mean that you’re left without heat or air conditioning. With a backup generator, you can keep your HVAC system running, ensuring that you stay comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside.
  3. Protection for Your Home – Power outages can also be damaging to your home. For example, if you have a sump pump that keeps your basement dry, a power outage can leave your basement vulnerable to flooding. Similarly, a power outage can cause your pipes to freeze in the winter, which can lead to costly repairs. By having a backup generator, you can prevent these kinds of problems and protect your home.

Do I have to be home for my generator to kick in?

If you have a generator or are considering one, you’ll also want a generator transfer switch. A generator transfer switch will let you power things on your circuit breaker panel, including hardwired appliances. The switch is installed by an electrician who can help you figure out which circuits you’ll want to power in an outage. An automatic transfer switch will detect a utility failure and send a signal to the generator to start up. As soon as the utility power is detected, the switch will signal the generator to shut down and switch back to the utility power source.

The best time to purchase a generator and install a transfer switch is before you need one. If you would like assistance installing a generator transfer switch, contact the licensed electricians at Bell Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. Call us at 720-481-3284.

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