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  • Prior to contracting with Electro-Motion, we did our own maintenance, which was very little due to lack of qualified staff and budget concerns. We have four diesel units at our various high schools and none were in great operating condition. Electro-Motion came in and provided us with professional services and brought our generators up to full operational capability. We are also considered emergency shelters due to unforseen natural disasters; and we need our generators to support this type of operation.

    John Schultz
    Director of Operations/Maintenance/Health-Safety & Transportation
    Jefferson Union High School District

    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.


    The Weakest Link in Your Emergency Power System

    April 2, 2015

    The #1 reason for service calls is because the generator did not start.

    The #1 reason the generator did not start is due to a battery system failure.

    And simply put, if your unit doesn't start, it can't perform. Therefore, your starting system (consisting of the battery, battery charger, starter, starter solenoid, cables, etc.) is of critical importance to maintaining dependable and reliable performance. And among these starting system elements, the battery is the most important. It also happens to be the item most likely to cause trouble.

    Under ideal conditions, a battery can last 4-5 years or longer. Unfortunately most starting batteries work under average-to-poor environmental, application, and maintenance conditions. This shortens their life considerably. NFPA110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, 2013 edition states that "it is recommended that lead-acid batteries be replaced every 24 to 30 months." Based on our experience, we recommend replacing small batteries every 2 years and large batteries every 3 years, using an industrial-grade battery specifically designed for standby generator duty. Remember, this isn't like waiting to replace your car battery until it fails. Wait that long and you risk not having emergency power when you desperately need it. Replacing your batteries every 2-3 years is the "cheapest insurance" you can buy to make sure your emergency generator is dependable and starts when needed.


    Common Maintenance Mistakes: Not Performing a Load Bank Test Every Year

    March 4, 2015

    What is a Load Bank test?
    A Load Bank test is run to determine the ability of the engine to perform properly and to remove unburned fuel deposits from the combustion chambers and the exhaust system.

    How is it performed?
    Because providing sufficient load from the building may not be practical, an electrical load (usually portable) is connected to the generator set so the engine can be run at its rated capacity (100% load).

    Why are Load bank tests important?
    Engines -- particularly diesel engines -- run "dirty," leaving behind unburned carbon deposits that can damage the engine and degrade performance. This is known as "Wet Stacking." More importantly, wet stacking can create a significant fire hazard. Therefore, these deposits must be removed periodically. In addition, the Load Bank test also verifies the engine and its components can still produce 100% of its rated load and can take a full power transfer without pause or delay.

    Why does this test have to be done every year?
    Deposits can build up rapidly when engines are run under light to no-load conditions. Also, degradation of performance capability can happen very quickly under certain conditions. An annual Load Bank test confirms your equipment is in peak condition, ready to support you during the next power outage.


    Electro-Motion Now Performs LIVE Power Analysis and Load Monitoring for Your Buildings

    January 26, 2015

    Energy monitoring is important. Whether you're thinking about adding loads or reducing energy consumption, identifying electrical issues or assessing a building's power usage; if you want to manage your building's electrical capabilities, you need to measure it first.

    Electro-Motion now offers LIVE power analysis and load monitoring, providing you with a detailed report showing volts, amps, hertz and power factor per phase so you have a clear understanding of how your electrical power is being utilized. We can test everything ranging from an individual panel to an entire building. This electrical analysis service is available in 7-Day or 30-Day tests for any building or property from 100 amps to 1200 amps and is performed to NFPA 70E standards by a C-10 licensed electrician.


    Are You Getting TRUE Automatic Transfer Switch Maintenance?

    December 17, 2014

    Automatic Transfer Switch Maintenance may just be another line item on your service contract, but are you getting what you think you're getting? Some service companies just press the "test" button or visually inspect the switch and clean the exterior cabinet. But are they:

    • Isolating the switch from all live power sources so that the switch itself can be thoroughly inspected for carbon tracking, cracks, and corrosion?
    • Disassembling the switch all the way down to the contact level for cleaning, lubricating, and inspecting?
    • Checking all power and control connections for deterioration?
    • Re-torquing the switch according to manufacturer's specifications?

    If they're not, what they're selling you isn't really maintenance, and not something you should be satisfied with when it comes to an important piece of equipment like your transfer switch - especially if you want to adhere to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 110) standards. This is the standard Electro-Motion uses when it comes to transfer switch maintenance, the end result of which is a transfer switch that is as good as new and can be relied upon to do its job in the event of a power disruption.


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