New Jersey is known for a lot of things, not the least of which is its diversity of weather. From the blistering hot days of summer to the wet and wild hurricane season to the ice storms and frigid blasts of winter air, the Garden State’s weather can vary dramatically. And while diversity can keep life a little more interesting, it can also bring with it plenty of challenges. For most of the year, New Jersey is prone to power outages, whether they occur as a result of summer’s thunder-and-lighting deluges, winter’s frigid ice storms or the six-month-long hurricane season which officially extends from June 1 through November 30.
If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you know how important it is to take steps to prepare for a hurricane or other weather-related issues before a storm hits. Here are five things you should do to make sure you, your home and your family are prepared the next time those lights flicker into darkness:
- If you have a generator, make sure you know how to use it. Read the manual and make sure it starts and operates the way it’s supposed to. Schedule a maintenance appointment to make sure the components of your unit are functioning properly, and consider learning how to do simple maintenance tasks yourself in case your unit malfunctions or needs a simple repair during an outage. Check out this list of generator safety tips courtesy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you don’t have a generator but you’re interested in adding one to your home, call Corbin Electric at (732) 410-7695 to learn more about units that can suit your needs.
- Put together a power outage “kit” that contains flashlights, fresh batteries, bottled water and a can opener. Also include some blankets, and don’t forget pet food. Place everything in a sturdy, waterproof container that can be grabbed in a moment’s notice in case you need to evacuate.
- Use candles safely. Candles can be a good source of low-level lighting, but it’s important to ensure they are constantly monitored. Even leaving a room with candles lit for a few minutes can result in a devastating fire. Be sure candles are in stable containers and located away from small children and pets – especially those with tails which can easily drift into open flames.
- When an outage does occur, consider unplugging major appliances that aren’t being powered by a generator. Sometimes when power returns after an outage, it can create a surge that can damage appliances that are connected to the electrical system in your home. Unplugging appliances that aren’t being powered by a generator can prevent surge-related damage.
- Finally, have a plan. As they say, the time to plan is before the storm hits, so take some time to sit down with your family members and discuss your needs to decide what action you need to take to be prepared, including a list of possible places you can go to recharge phones and other portable electronics and to connect with the Internet. If you have a home-based business, be sure you have a backup plan to continue operations or at least notify your clients of any potential delays.
Taking steps to prepare for a storm takes some effort, but it’s time well spent. To learn more about how a home generator can help you, your family and your business avoid disruptions during a power outage, call Corbin at (732) 410-7695.
There no doubt about it, having a home generator can provide you with considerable peace of mind, providing you with plenty of much-needed electricity when the power goes out due to storms or other causes. But when it comes to deciding which type of generator is best for your needs – a professionally installed backup generator or a portable generator – many homeowners get stumped trying to determine which option is best for their needs.
Actually, the answer is pretty simple: While a portable generator can be a great choice for a camper or RV, or even if you own a vacation cabin or boat, for your home, the best option – hands down – is a professionally installed home backup generator. Here’s why:
- A home backup generator is directly attached to your electrical system and designed to “power on” at the first indication of a power outage. That means you don’t have to worry about rolling out your portable generator from the shed or garage when it’s pouring rain, sleeting, snowing or blowing outdoors. Plus, because a home backup generator is designed to work with your home electrical system and uses fuels like propane or natural gas, the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning are significantly reduced compared to a portable generator, which can easily contaminate your home if it isn’t located or operated properly or if it isn’t properly maintained.
- A home backup generator is directly wired to your electrical system so there’s no need to run extension cords that can cause tripping hazards or fire hazards when they become worn or frayed. Plus, today’s units are much more compact than the units of a decade ago, making them much more practical for the average homeowner.
- Home backup generators can provide considerably more power than portable generators, which means you can power more appliances for fewer disruptions. While a portable generator may be limited to the essentials like a few lights, a refrigerator or freezer, or your HVAC system, a “hard-wired” backup generator is designed to power many more appliances and electronics for greater comfort and convenience.
- Home backup generators simply provide greater peace of mind. Wired directly to your home’s electrical system and designed to power your whole house if needed, a home backup generator will help you and your loved ones feel safe and secure even during a prolonged power outage.
Corbin Electrical Services is a leading provider of Generac home backup generators in New Jersey, providing the most advanced, efficient and easy-to-use generators for residential use. And if you already own a generator, we offer tune-up and maintenance services to ensure your unit operates at peak efficiency for even more peace of mind. Whether you’re considering a generator for your home or your unit needs a tune-up or repair, we can help. Give us a call at (732)410-7695 or Contact Us to learn more.
Back in the day – OK, WAY, way back – being able to flip a switch and have electricity coursing through your home was a novelty. No more candles or dangerous gas flames – not only was it convenient, but it was also much safer. But of course, it didn’t take long for people to take their electricity for granted. Today, more than a century has passed since the first entire street in the U.S. was bathed in the artificial glow of electric lights (in Cleveland, if you’re wondering), and Americans have long considered electricity a necessary staple of their daily lives.
Power Outages in New Jersey
With so much of our daily routines depending on electricity, it’s not surprising that a power outage causes such disruption and outright panic, especially when an outage extends for more than a day: Food spoils, computers don’t work, heating and air conditioning become wistful memories, and most of our forms of entertainment are unusable. Much more seriously, power outages can prevent necessary medical equipment from working, and it can even interfere with our ability to get clean water.
Being a coastal state and the country’s most densely populated as well, New Jersey certainly has its fair share of power outages, many of them lasting well over a day and affecting millions of customers. In fact, New Jersey has the dubious honor of being a part of the country’s two biggest power outages to date – the Northeast blackouts of 1965 and 2003, which affected 30 million and 45 million people, respectively. Those outages were due to human error, but there are plenty of outages that occur as a result of the storms that move up the coast or come sweeping in from the West. Hurricane season is especially problematic, but winter is no slouch. The Garden State averages from two to five ice storms annually, and that doesn’t take into account the dozens of localized storms that can take out power in specific neighborhoods.
The Benefits of Owning a Generator
Of course, while no one eagerly anticipates a power outage, if you own a generator, the prospect of your electricity going out isn’t nearly so daunting. With the right generator, you can still power your lights, your heating and cooling system, your refrigerator and freezer – even your beloved TVs and computers. More importantly, you don’t have to worry about power being cut off from medical equipment like nebulizers and ventilators, or loss of power for your water pump if your home uses one.
More pragmatically, having a home generator is almost a necessity if you work from home; after all, few customers are going to want to wait around for days while you’re electricity is out, plus your generator might qualify for a tax deduction is it’s used for business purposes.
Those are just a handful of the benefits of owning a generator, but there are plenty of others. If you’re considering a generator, Corbin Electric can help. Give us a call today at (732) 410-7695 or visit our website to learn more or to schedule an in-home consultation.
If it’s fall, that means it’s hurricane season, at least for residents of New Jersey and up and down the East Coast. And that means many of your friends and neighbors are preparing for hurricane season by shoring up their property, buying supplies and tuning up their generators so they’re as ready as they can be if a storm heads their way. But what if you’re not the “preparing” type and you’re more prone to wait until the last minute before taking action? Does that mean you’re in for the worst? Not at all. Even if a hurricane is expected to hit within the next day or so, there are still things you can – and should – do to ensure you and your loved ones are prepared:
- First, know your evacuation routes, and if you’re near the shore or another area where flooding is expected, consider leaving now, before flooding and washed-out roads make leaving an impossibility. If you plan on staying put for now, make sure your car has gas just in case.
- Board up windows and glass doors to protect yourself from shattering glass if an object like a tree limb or wind-borne lawn furniture comes crashing in. Make sure your own lawn furniture, grills or other outdoor objects are put away or firmly secured to the ground or another secure object.
- Fill containers with clean water in case flooding causes issues with your own water supply. Having containers filled with water is especially important if you depend on a well and pump for your water supply.
- Dig out your flashlights, check the batteries and lay in a supply of fresh batteries and canned goods. Don’t forget pet food and water as well. Also make sure you have plenty of blankets on hand in case you wind up without any heat.
- If you have a generator, now is a good time to make sure you have plenty of fuel. If your generator is portable, make sure the cord used to power it is in good shape, and if you haven’t run it in some time, give it a trial run to make sure it’s in working order. Always keep a few supplies on hand to make minor repairs to your generator if needed.
Of course, the best time to prepare for a hurricane is long before a hurricane is expected, before your neighbors hit the stores and deplete them of flashlights, bottled water and canned goods. But by using common sense and taking a few important precautions, you can help ensure that you and your loved ones are well prepared to take the important steps you need to take to weather the storm.
And of course, if you have a generator and you want to be extra safe and sound this hurricane season, you can give us a call right now for all your generator needs, including parts and service so you can feel confident it will be ready when you need it.
As a coastal state, New Jersey gets its share of fall hurricanes and winter storms. That’s why so many of the state’s residents rely on home generators to make sure they’re not left in the dark – and the cold – when fall and winter weather starts causing trouble.
Of course, owning a generator is just the first step in protecting against power outages. Once you have a standby generator, you have to be sure you take the necessary steps to keep it in good working order. If you haven’t prepared your standby generator for the upcoming cold weather season, here’s what you should do:
First, find out if your generator manufacturer offers a cold weather kit, or weatherization kit. These kits typically contain all the parts and accessories you need to help ensure your generator will be ready to handle the nastiest weather, including those autumn hurricanes and winter ice storms that just love to visit the Garden State. If your manufacturer doesn’t offer a kit or if you prefer to buy your items separately, here’s what you’ll need:
- Battery warmer: You can choose from a manual warmer that requires you to turn it on and off or a thermostatically-controlled warmer that turns itself on and off depending on the surrounding temperature. Obviously, thermostatically-controlled units are far more convenient, and they’ll work even when you’re not home.
- Oil warmer: Oil is the lifeblood of your standby generator, keeping parts lubricated so the entire engine works the way it’s supposed to. But in cold weather, oil can become thicker, resulting in increased levels of friction that can cause excessive wear and tear. An oil heater helps maintain oil at the proper heat and viscosity for optimal performance once the temperature plunges.
- Covers and other accessories: Covers don’t just provide an additional layer of insulation – they also keep out dust, debris and insects. Other possible accessories include frost prevention devices to keep ice from building up around your alternator and intake.
Finally, if you need to use your generator this fall or winter, you’re going to want to know how to operate it safely. The first source for tips for proper operation of any generator is the manufacturer’s manual. Be sure to read it over thoroughly and to follow all guidance regarding the safe operation of your home generator. Online, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Safety Council (NSC) and the American Red Cross all offer safety tips to help consumers avoid accidents when using their generators.
Not sure if your generator is ready to take on the cold? At Corbin Electric, we’re ready to provide you with everything you need – from accessories to tuneups – to get your generator ready for all Mother Nature has in store. Call us today at (732) 536-0444
In coastal areas like New Jersey, preparing for hurricane season is paramount to survival, should the storm hit land. If your residence is damaged by the storm and you and your loved ones become trapped, help may arrive anywhere between hours and days. While it can be difficult to maintain calm and know what to do in such a desperate and terrifying situation, a pre-made emergency kit can not only mean the difference between life and death, but can also provide significant peace of mind during the overall season.
A well-stocked hurricane emergency kit will include such key survival items as:
- Enough food and water to last you and your loved ones for 72 hours
- Food should be non-perishable items, like canned and boxed shelf-stable items (don’t forget a can opener!)
- According to Ready.gov, the recommended ratio for water is one gallon per person, per day (some for sanitation)
- A first-aid kit to tend to any wounds until relief workers arrive
- At least one flashlight in case the power fails or you become trapped in a dark area
- A NOAA weather radio and either a battery-powered or hand crank regular radio
- Sufficient batteries for all battery-powered items (radios, flashlights, etc.)
- If your home is outfitted with a backup generator, you may not need to pack batteries, radios or flashlights, as you may be able to maintain your own power throughout the duration of the storm and utilize any power, lighting or radios in your house. However, you may choose to pack those items anyway, in the case that your generator fails to start or is taken out by the severe weather conditions.
- Cell phones with chargers, for communication
- While emergency phone lines may be overrun with calls, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management suggests following them on social media for updates and signing up for state-run emergency alert and messaging networks Nixle Connect and NJ Alert.
- Any required medications or medical devices
- Because medications break down and expire over time, these may be best packed as needed at the first sign of a coming hurricane. The American Red Cross suggests packing enough medication for 7 days.
- Sanitation items like garbage bags, moist towelettes, toilet paper, etc.
- A small selection of tools (e.g. wrench and pliers) or a multi-tool for use in disconnecting utilities if necessary
- Duct tape and plastic sheeting for covering broken windows or other open, damaged areas
- Maps of your local area
And may include additional hurricane preparation items, like:
- Infant formula and/or pet food
- Sleeping bags or warm blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Books, games, and/or other entertainment to help pass the time while waiting for help
By preparing for a hurricane well before hurricane season arrives, you and your loved ones will have the security and peace of mind required to weather another stormy New Jersey summer.
In 2009, Superstorm Sandy hit the state of New Jersey with a vengeance. The storm caused over $22 billion dollars in damages just in the state of New Jersey. Those who were fortunate enough to have their homes spared by Superstorm Sandy had a whole other host of difficulties coping without power. After the storm, 2.6 million people were without power for at least two days with the average length of time being ten days.
Generators became a very popular New Jersey item that year and according to a report by Rutgers generator sales went up by nearly 85%. Now the residents of New Jersey are more aware of the potential danger that come with each hurricane season and for many residents, purchasing a generator has become one of the many necessary preparations.
Why do I Need a Backup Generator?
A home backup generator provides electricity to the home when the power goes out. A backup generator can run on kerosene, gasoline and other types of fuel. Home backup generators can keep your air conditioning, heating system, refrigerator, lights, and any other appliances you’ve come to rely on, up and running. Power outages can be unexpected and can leave your home and family without power for an unknown period of time.
How Does a Backup Generator Turn On?
A backup generator has a transfer switch that is connected to the generator on one side and your home’s main power source on the other side. When the power goes out the backup generator switches your home’s power source from the main power grid (your electric company) to your backup generator. The generator has a battery operated starting system that is activated when the main source of power is lost, allowing your backup generator to start.
Once the generator has been installed, the generator will automatically come online after your main power source is lost. If you are not comfortable hooking up the generator you can check with the supplier and see if they offer set up service.
To see more information on how a backup generator works, check out this video.
If you need a backup generator or want to learn more Contact Us or give us a call at (732) 410-7695.
New Jersey’s coastal location is one of the reasons it’s the most densely populated places to live in the entire U.S. Unfortunately, while that prime oceanfront location is great for fun in the sun, it also makes us very prone to the effects of hurricanes that like to travel up from warmer waters, hugging the coastline and slamming residents across the state with heavy rains, winds and plenty of unpredictable weather.
Hurricane season begins in the early summer on the East Coast, and that means now is the time to start planning. Every year, thousands of people – sometimes hundreds of thousands – go without power for a day or more, often during some of the hottest days of summer. That means plenty of suffering without air conditioning, not to mention thousands of dollars of food wasted when refrigerators aren’t running.
How to Prepare
If you haven’t started preparing for hurricane season, here are some tips from the federal government to get you started:
- Trim trees and shrubs around your home, paying special attention to dead and overhanging branches.
- Keep patio furniture, grills, free-standing swings, trash cans and other outdoor equipment secured to the ground or move them into a shed of garage before a storm arrives.
- Clear out your downspouts at least once in the summer and several times in the fall to enable water to drain away from your foundation.
- Consider installing a generator to keep the power up and running in your home – this tip is especially important if you or a loved one has a medical condition like heart disease or asthma and for New Jersey residents who are older or very young.
- If you have a generator, schedule a tuneup and servicing now and make sure you have the parts and accessories on hand to keep it running once a storm hits.
- Put together an emergency kit with some basic supplies; you can download a list of recommended items at the FEMA website and read more about emergency kits at the FEMA build-a-kit webapge.
- When a storm is predicted, make sure you have gas in your car and be sure you know any local escape routes, especially if you live near the shore or another water source.
Just because we’re better at predicting weather now than we were 50 years ago, that doesn’t mean hurricane season shouldn’t be taken seriously; what it does mean is that we should take advantages of those advances in technology to carefully plan and take steps to keep our property and our loved ones safe.
If you’d like to learn more about generators and the role they can play in preparing for a hurricane, or if you have a generator that needs servicing, give us a call today at (732) 410-7695 or Contact Us.
New Jersey is a beautiful state to live in, but during the hurricane and winter season it can be frustrating to deal with random power outages and storm damage. Being prepared for large scale storms helps keep your family safe and allows you to stay in the comfort of your home instead of dealing with the hassle of traveling to another location for access to electricity and other essentials.
The Benefits of a Generator for New Jersey Hurricane Season
Hurricane Sandy was the most destructive storm NJ has ever seen. The level of destruction left massive amounts of people without electricity for extended periods of time. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported 8.2 million people without power after the storm left destruction in its wake. It took over a week to restore power to 90% of those affected, and took even longer for full power capacity to come back to customers, due to downed power lines and other damage. Those who were without power were left in the cold and unable to make their own meals. A generator can keep you and your family warm and safe during the worst disasters and is especially convenient when you don’t know how long it will take for services to get restored.
The Benefits of a Generator for New Jersey Winter Storms
New Jersey winters are also nothing to joke about. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that in 2014 there was over $13 million in storm related damage in New Jersey alone. Heavy blizzards and ice can topple trees onto power lines, and it’s difficult for utility companies to get these problems fixed when roads aren’t clear. When power goes out during a blizzard, families can be stuck in the cold and may not have the option of leaving their home to find shelter.
If you’re interested in more information about the different generator options available call us at (732) 410-7695 or Contact Us.
If you’re thinking about buying a small generator to take camping, there are several important factors to consider. Power capacity, weight, and fuel efficiency go hand-in-hand, and it’s essential to pick the right device for your specific needs. You’ll also need a unit that’s quiet. When people go camping, they want to get away from loud noises and enjoy nature. Additionally, many campgrounds have restrictions on how loud your equipment can be. Lastly, there’s reliability. A generator isn’t a small investment, and you’ll want one that will last you for many years.
Head spinning a little? See our top 5 picks for camping generators:
1. Generac 5791 iX800
The Generac 5791 iX800 gets our top pick for the best camping generator because of its high portability and fuel efficiency. Weighing just 30lbs, the iX800 provides 800W of power, enough to charge portable electronics or brew coffee. It’s also one of the quietest small generators available. Additionally, it offers a “FlexPower” mode that automatically reduces the power to the output level needed.
- Built-in circuit breaker
- 2.5-4 hour typical runtime
- Super-compact 18 x 10 x 15” size
2. Kohler PRO2.0iS
The Kohler PRO2.0iS offers a more versatile alternative to the Generac 5791. The 1600W capacity can power microwaves, hairdryers, air conditioners, and portable heaters. Its 44lbs weight is still light enough to be portable, and it has an estimated 8 hour runtime at 50%. The PRO2.0iS also offers its own “Smart Throttle” technology which is similar to the iX800’s ‘FlexPower’ mode.
- 1.1 gallon tank
- Built-in regulator to protect delicate electronics
- “Parallel Capability” (allows you to double the output with two PRO2.0iS’s)
3. Yamaha EF1000iS
The 900/1000W Yamaha EF1000iS is great for campers with low power requirements because it combines easy portability with a highly efficient engine. The 0.66 gallon tank size will get you between 6 to 8 hours of use at 50%, and its 45-60db noise output makes it one of the quietest generators available.
- 12 volt DC output
- 27 lbs. dry weight
4. Generac 6000 LP3250
The LP3250 is the big brother to the highly portable iX800. While it’s certainly much heavier (137lbs), it offers up to a 3700W surge (3200 continuous) that provides ample power for almost any equipment.
Unlike the previous 3 models, the LP3250 is a propane generator which makes it more environmentally-friendly and offers superior power consumption compared to similar capacity gasoline generators.
- Built-in cart with wheels and an integrated holder for 20lb. propane tanks
- Circuit breaker and regulator
5. Honda EU2000i
Because of its “Advanced Inverter Technology”, the Honda EU2000i outputs surprising power for such a small device. It’s rated up to 2000W, enough for larger kitchen equipment such as microwaves or a small refrigerator. The specialized inverter also allows it to get up to 9 hours on the small 1.1 gallon tank while maintaining a quiet 49-59Dba noise level.
- 47 lbs. dry weight
- Built-in regulator for current control
There are many things to consider when choosing a generator for camping use. Consider your needs to narrow down brands, sizes, and more. If you would like more assistance in selecting a generator give us call today at (732) 410-7695.