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  • I have had the pleasure of working closely with Electro-Motion on my fire pumps and emergency generator. They correct problems on the spot and report on anything which may need to be corrected in the future, keeping equipment in top working order saves us all in emergency repairs and costly down time.

    Scott W. Varady
    Director of Engineering
    San Ramon Marriott Hotel

    Preserving Your Emergency Standby Power Generator Asset After Your Tenant Moves Out

    December 23, 2015

    Tenants come and go, but a building and its mechanicals remain. And as a property manager, you need to ensure your building is ready for the next tenant. If your tenant was responsible for the maintenance of the emergency standby power generator, it should be left in good working order upon moving out. If it is not in as good a condition as when they moved in, identifying and completing any deferred maintenance is an important and potentially costly step, which you should pro-actively manage. Once they're gone, it's up to you to keep it a viable asset until a new tenant moves in, and Electro-Motion can help.

    Although it seems counter-intuitive to maintain an asset in a vacant building, please remember that equipment like an emergency generator and automatic transfer switch (the two components on any emergency standby power system) can deteriorate rapidly if left neglected for an extended period of time - which can lead to expensive replacement costs much sooner in the equipment's life cycle than if it was on a regular preventive maintenance schedule. An emergency standby power system in working order may be an asset a prospective tenant deems essential, and you definitely don't want to neglect a potential selling point.

    Electro-Motion can offer you a flexible program to address deferred maintenance and to maintain your emergency standby power equipment at as minimal a cost as possible, giving you piece of mind that your asset is in proper working condition while saving money in the long run.


    Don't Exercise Your Unit on Friday

    August 18, 2015

    The work week can be stressful. Departmental meetings, fast-approaching deadlines, and endless phone calls interrupting you all day. We all have to deal with it, so who wants to add a noisy emergency generator chugging away in the background on top of all that? Procedures require you to exercise that equipment, but why not push it off until Friday afternoon to avoid inconveniencing your fellow employees or neighbors for 15 minutes during the week? Well, there's one REALLY good reason.

    If it turns out that there's a problem with your generator on a Friday afternoon, you're looking at OVERTIME costs to diagnose and repair the unit, not to mention the costs involved in renting a portable generator for the weekend (or longer) if your building needs it. That's a lot more stress to risk versus a few minutes of background noise during the week.

    Be smart and exercise your emergency generator on Mondays through Thursdays so that you have an additional work day to address any complications.


    It Can Even Happen to Us

    June 24, 2015

    Power outages don't care what you do for a living. So when the PG&E transformer on our street corner blew a couple of weeks ago, we and several of our neighbors suddenly found ourselves without power - no computers, servers, lights, or telephone service - effectively shutting us down. Fortunately, we have a backup generator and were quickly back in business - no waiting around for PG&E to dispatch a team to determine the cause of the outage, make the appropriate repairs, and get the power back up and running. Unfortunately for some of our neighbors, they were without power and sent their workers home, losing a day of productivity.

    Being an emergency generator maintenance company doesn't mean we're immune to power outages. But what it DOES mean is that we're ready to take action to bring our company - and yours - back into business when an outage occurs.


    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.


    Does Your Emergency Generator Have a Remote Manual Stop Station?

    April 24, 2015

    Fire marshals have recently stepped up enforcement of the NFPA110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems requirement for a remote manual stop station for all emergency generators.

    NFPA110, 5.6.5.6 states: "All installations shall have a remote manual stop station of a type to prevent inadvertent or unintentional operation located outside the room housing the prime mover, where so installed, or elsewhere on the premises where the prime mover is located outside the building." This is a requirement for ALL generators.

    Electro-Motion has experience in installing remote manual stop stations for our customers upon request. Be proactive, get one installed now, before your next fire inspection visit. Call Electro-Motion today at 650-321-6169 for a quote.


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