2021 was a weird year. And who knows, 2022 could be even stranger. And that brings us to the freak snowstorm of February 2021 – Winter Storm Uri. Ricochet was on the front lines as a fuel provider, so we thought we’d share what we learned and the mistakes to avoid.
Quick Storm Recap
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reported that over 4.5 million people in TX lost power. And some didn’t have power for as long as four days. The energy grid was unstable, and although there were supposed to be rotating outages, the power just went out for many.
The government wasn’t prepared, and neither were many of the citizens. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that you and your family are ready for the next Snowmaggedon part two – if and when it arrives.
Bad Things About Living in Texas
Texas has a lot of great things, but it isn’t perfect. We’ve got BBQ, affordable cost of living, friendly people, and lots of rivers to tube down every summer.
But one of the bad things about the Lone Star State is the unpredictable weather. Although our weather is usually hot, we still need to be prepared for another snowstorm like what we had in ‘21.
Here are some cold weather tips for the workplace.
Prepare Your Diesel for Gelling
Since diesel fuel contains paraffin wax, the wax can start to thicken and form tiny crystals when the weather gets cold. At 32ºF, these crystals will start to form. Gelling starts at t 10ºF to 15ºF. Your fuel filters can clog with waxed crystals. You’ll have engine trouble when that happens, and it might not start.
Be prepared for the cold weather by using high-quality diesel additives. These additives can prevent thickening and gelling. Depending on location, your fuel provider may have already added the treatment to your fuel. Check with your provider to see if it’s added. If not, you’ll need to purchase some to add to your tank from an auto supply store.
Purchase Back-Up Generators
The Texas electrical grid failed miserably. Many people were out of power for days. Once the storm hit, finding a generator was impossible.
Before the next storm or disaster hits, you should purchase a couple of different sizes.
One Residential Generator
Ask five different people, and you’ll get five different answers on the best portable generator. Consumer Reports has a good article covering the top options.
Popular brands are:
Before selecting which generator to buy, make a list of everything you’ll need to run on your home generator in case of emergency. And keep in mind, you may not just be using the generator during the winter. You could also need it in the hot summer months.
Things you might have your generator run:
- Space heaters
- Portable A/C
- Computer and chargers
- Light fixtures
- Electrical plugs
- Security system
- Garage door
- Electric Range
Add up the number of watts used and add 30% for a cushion. This will give you an idea of the size generator you’ll need. That way, you won’t overbuy or underbuy.
Watch the big box stores like Costco, Home Depot, and Lowes for deals. When you see a deal, grab one or two. Once you have your generator, it’s crucial to turn it on and run it every month or so.
A commercial generator has similarities to residential generators. But instead of powering homes – these generators power businesses in case of an outage or blackout. These generators come in all different sizes. You can imagine that you’d need several gigantic generators to keep a large hospital running. But most businesses don’t need anything that big.
It’s not surprising that commercial generators are sturdier, use higher-grade, more robust materials, and can handle a heavier load than something you’d use in your home.
Diesel Emergency Generator
Diesel generators are the preferred type because of their reliability. Diesel generators are the preference of airports, water treatment plants, and hospitals. These vital businesses want to make sure they can continue to operate during emergencies.
Choosing the Right Size Diesel Generator
It’s essential to get a generator that is the correct size for your needs. One that’s too big – will cost you money and won’t operate efficiently. Too small, and the extra load will stress the generator, add wear and tear, and won’t last as long as it should.
There are three things you need to know to select the right generator.
- Measured in kilovolt-amps (KVA) or kilowatt (KW) – how much power do you need?
- Do you need a single-phase or 3-phase power?
- How often will your diesel generator be used?
Make a list of all the essential machinery, equipment, and tools you’ll want your generator to run. Add up their power requirements and add a cushion of about 30%. That will tell you how much power you’ll need.
Make sure to look on the equipment plate to see the power phase and voltage requirement. Here’s a rule of thumb:
If you see 240V – that’s single-phase, 415V means three-phase.
How Often Will You be Using the Generator?
- Prime Application – you’ll be running it daily or at least weekly. Some good choices could be Kubota, Stamford, or Cummins.
- Standby Application – you’d only use the generator if the power failed.
- Continuous Power – this would be your primary source of power and will be running all the time.
By gathering the above data, you’ll have a general idea of the size and type of generator you’ll need.
Diesel Fuel Provider
Nobody can predict emergencies. Although with bad weather, we might have some warning. When you have Ricochet as your fuel provider, you’ll get emergency help 24/7. Once you have your commercial diesel generator, it’s time to fill it up. Make sure you select a reliable fuel supplier like Ricochet Fuel. That way, you’ll keep your business running regardless of the weather or disaster. The team at Ricochet can refill generators of every size. We service Texas and the surrounding states. But it’s essential to establish yourself as a customer before the next disaster hits. So, contact us today to get started on making sure you’ll have diesel for your generators.