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  • Our system is maintained in top working order and is ready to go at a moment's notice thanks to Electro-Motion.

    Scott W. Varady
    Director of Engineering
    San Ramon Marriott Hotel

    Preventive Maintenance: Be Proactive (NFPA 110 Recommended), Not Reactive

    June 2, 2015

    Picture yourself working in an office building. The air is stale and stuffy because of a lack of proper air circulation and it's stifling hot in the summer and freezing in the winter due to non-functioning heating and air-conditioning. Not the most pleasant of working conditions, right? If you think those things are inconvenient, now imagine if your office suffered from a power outage and the emergency power system didn't come online? What impact would it have on your company if you were without computers, email, servers, or other essential equipment for an extended period of time - especially if these systems are the lifeblood of your business? That's why putting your emergency power system (just like your HVAC system) on a preventive maintenance program is a MUST.

    Unfortunately, like HVAC services, the emergency power system (consisting of the generator set and the automatic transfer switch) is out-of-sight and out-of-mind - you're only aware of it when it's needed - and by then it's too late. It's tempting to think of maintenance as an overhead cost and simply address problems on an "as-needed" basis, but that's the wrong mind set and actually the MOST costly way to maintain equipment. Compared to the costs you have to spend on a system if it degrades or fails completely, preventive maintenance isn't that expensive. Preventive maintenance is just that: preventive. By keeping your emergency generator and automatic transfer switch in good working order by implementing a proactive maintenance program, you avoid costly problems down the road. As with any piece of equipment, the better it is maintained, the more likely you'll get a significant lifespan out of it. Without proper maintenance, it will deteriorate and you'll be facing expensive repairs or perhaps a hefty price tag to replace the equipment entirely - far earlier than you would have had to otherwise.

    Maintenance doesn't just mean changing the oil and filters, though. Proper preventive maintenance is a much more pervasive program that includes such things as regularly checking levels and taking readings to identify problems early, an annual load bank test to burn off carbon deposits that can potentially cause fires, and thoroughly cleaning and testing the Automatic Transfer Switch (after all, what good will a fully-functioning generator do you if the transfer switch malfunctions?). Other events that do not occur annually - like battery changes, cooling system services, etc. - should be tracked and kept on a routine performance schedule so they are not overlooked.

    A comprehensive preventive maintenance plan (performed by technicians with knowledgeable eyes, hands, and ears) for your emergency power system required planning and forward-thinking, but the benefits in equipment reliability and cost-savings pay off in the long-run.




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