Power failure is a problem for any business or residence, but when it occurs in an assisted living facility or a hospital, it becomes a matter of serious urgency. With all of the important life-saving medical equipment that requires electricity to function, not to mention the potential for disaster should the outage occur mid-surgery, administrators cannot afford to lose power for even a moment. What do you need to do to prevent power failure in your hospital or assisted living facility?
A Generator is Key to Preventing Power Failure
First and foremost, you should have a generator that's sufficienctly powerful to keep your hospital or assited living facility functioning in the case of an outage. Working without one is a recipe for disaster; just imagine the chaos that would ensue if your facility was left in the dark for a significant amount of time, not to mention the danger of losing access to life-saving medical equipment.
Instead, invest in a powerful generator so you don't run the risk of potential lawsuits should the worst-case scenario occur.
Fail-Proof Your Generator
Once you have a generator, you need to make sure it's properly maintained so that it continues to protect your facility in the case of an outage.
Here are some things to look for to ensure that your generator remains fail-proof:
This is the number one reason that generators fail, and it's an easy problem for your facility to avoid. When lead sulfates accumulate on the plates of your lead-acid batteries, the buildup will prevent the battery from generating sufficient current. The only way to solve this issue is to replace the batteries.
Another battery issue occurs when the batteries' sedimentary trays are filled with debris. Again, this is resolved with regular replacement. It's important that you routinely clean and tighten the battery connections and monitor the batteries' charge rates, too. You should also plan to replace your batteries entirely every three years or so.
Oil leaks are one of the issues that can interfere with your generator's function. These are typically related to lack of use (or "no-load run time") in diesel generators; however, an oil leak could also be related to crankcase breathers that vent under the generator's engine. Crankcase breathers occur when fumes are emitted from the breather that encompass an oil mist, which can result in puddling beneath the engine and cover the generator with a film of oil which will accumulate dirt.
Coolant leaks are another potential point where your generator could stop working; they're most frequently found in the block heater hoses, and they're associated with extreme temperatures. With this in mind, you should be sure that your hoses are made of silicone, not rubber. Rubber is too prone to cracking.
Fuel leaks are the result of overfilling the tank. Whether it's caused by simple human error or your pump system has failed, you should check that the remote tank pump systems are functioning as well as the generator's emergency shutoff; additionally, you must look at your fuel lines on a regular basis to see if there are any signs of cracks or aging.
As we mentioned above, coolant leaks aren't unheard of. Be on the lookout for puddles under or around your generator when you conduct your facility's scheduled generator checks. You should also periodically inspect your oil to see if there are any indicators that coolant might be infiltrating, such as a change in color or unusual texture. If your coolant level drops too low, it's very possible that your generator will stop functioning altogether, so it's vital that you keep an eye on it.
Most of the potential problems we listed can be resolved with one simple thing: routine maintenance. Having someone, preferably a professional, take time to give your generator a serious once-over on a routine basis will prevent disaster in the future. If you want to be sure that your generator will not leave your hospital or assisted living facility in the dark, you need to take proper care of it.
Contact us today for a free generator assessment for your facility; prevention is the best way to ensure that you won't jeopardize the well-being of the many people in your care. We'd be happy to help you assess your power needs.