Generators FAQ

What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone - an organized rotating weather system that develops in the tropics. Hurricanes rotate counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Tropical cyclones are classified as follows:

Tropical Depression - An organized system of persistent clouds and thunderstorms with a closed low-level circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38mph (33 knots) or less.

Tropical Storm - An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73mph (34-63 knots)

Hurricane - An intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and sustained winds of 74mph (64 knots) or higher.

Who is Dion Generator Solutions?

Dion Generator Solutions is a unique and focused company specializing in sales, installation, service and maintenance of stand by generators and all your electrical needs. Our company philosophy is quality, integrity and trust. We are focused on long term relationships with our customers and offer turn-key service with each installation. We have the expertise to meet all your needs, residential, commercial, industrial and for condominiums.

What is an Automatic Standby Generator?

An Automatic Standby Generator is a back-up electrical system that operates weather you are home or away. Within seconds of an outage, it automatically supplies power directly to your home's electrical circuit breaker box. After the utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage. It operates on natural gas, propane or diesel and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit.

What are the Basic Components of a Home Standby Generator?

A Home Standby Generator system will include a generator and an automatic transfer switch. Both are needed for the generator to work. The automatic transfer switch determines when to turn on the generator and switches power between utility and generator during a power outage.

What is the difference between standby and portable generators?

Standby generators are permanently installed and automatically supply electricity to selected circuits during an outage whether you are home or away. Fueled by your home's natural gas, propane or diesel supply, standby generators don't require extension cords, messy gasoline or prior planning.

Portable generators supply electricity to selected appliances through extension cords. They are fueled by gasoline, which can be difficult to obtain, store and transport during a blackout. Carbon monoxide is always a concern in the safe use of portable generators as are the weather conditions in which the owner must operate in order to hook up the portable generator to selected appliances.

How does a standby generator work?

Standby generators are designed to automatically provide electricity to your home during a power outage. The automatic system constantly monitors utility power 24 hours a day. When power from the utility line fails, the automatic transfer switch (ATS) will safely disconnect the utility feed wires and connect the generator feed. This eliminates the harmful back-feeding of electricity from the house's generator power to the utility lines. A signal is sent, starting the generator and powering up your home's circuits. Automatic generators continue to monitor utility power and reverse the "switch" when the power outage ends. They return to standby mode, waiting for the next outage.

Unlike a portable generator, you do not need to activate any switches since the process is completely automated. And because they run on propane, natural gas or diesel you don't need to find and transport gasoline on a daily basis.

Most standby generators are designed to exercise themselves once a week, a function that can be set/adjusted by the owner. During this exercise period (approximately twelve minutes) the engine is lubricated, the battery charged and a diagnostics check is run. Generator monitoring is also offered for diagnostic reporting inside the home to alert the owner to any potential programs associated with the generator's operation.

How should you choose your standby generator's correct size/wattage?

Whether you are planning for a power outage that lasts several hours or several days, the most important factor in choosing a standby generator is that it will provide enough energy for your safety and comfort. The more circuits and appliances you want to power, the more wattage you will need. Homes are different and personal needs are different.

An average home's essential appliances will operate on an air-cooled standby generator with 7,000 - 13,000 watts of power. High wattage "comfort" appliances such as central air conditioners, pool heaters and dryers require a lot of electricity when they first start up, so that may influence the size of the generator you need or how many appliances you will be able to power. Also, living in a warmer climate can mean a larger air conditioner that will require more dedicated circuits to the generator.

Most appliances are rated for running wattage (the amount of electricity necessary to run the appliance) and surge wattage (the higher amount of electricity needed to start electric motors commonly found in household appliances such as central air conditioning or refrigerators). To accurately tabulate your wattage requirements, check the appliances' user manuals or the data plate on the back of the appliance. A certified electrician can easily provide an accurate reading of what your needs will be based on the appliances and circuits you want routed to the generator during an outage. The only real answer is to have Dion Generator Solutions provide a complimentary site assessment to recommend a proper solution to fit your specific requirements.

Where should you locate your standby generator?

Most standby generators don't take up any more space than a large central air-conditioning system. In most cases, customers have them installed in close proximity to their central air unit outside their home. If you choose a standby model, keep a few things in mind when placing it. A standby generator should always be positioned in a well-ventilated outdoor space. You should also check with local codes to see if there are setback guidelines in your area.

How much service do the generators need once it is installed?

A commitment must be made to properly maintain this electrical generating device. This is not an air-conditioning unit or furnace that can go years without service. You are generating electricity! Dion Generator Solutions has on staff, factory certified and trained technicians that service, repair and maintain generators. All generators require periodic oil and filter changes to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service. See our preventative maintenance agreement outline for details and call us today for a free quote.

Why am I getting so many diverse answers on what is needed to install a generator? It’s called a “spectrum of competence." Most “generator guys” are deficient in experience, training and commitment to the industry. They are looking for the sale and install only. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. This is true for this industry as well. If you are looking for the cheapest price, please do not call Dion Generator Solutions. If you are looking for the best value for your money, long term commitment, certified trained technicians and the peace of mind that your generator will start during the most important time for you and your family, Dion Generator Solutions is the only company for you.

If I have a problem with my Generator where do I go for help?

Dion Generator Solutions provide the professional services and peace of mind that you deserve. With over 25 years of electrical, mechanical and technical experience, we service and repair all brands, sizes, makes and models of generators, including transfer switches and all other generator equipment and accessories. 24 hour, 7-days a week emergency service is available-call us today! 305-450-8787

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