Generator Placement and Flooding
Devastating hurricanes in 2017 and 2018 brought record flooding to Conway, Myrtle Beach, and other parts of coastal South Carolina. With power outages across the state, those with residential generators were able to keep homes fully powered and running.
But rising rivers and flooding can threaten the comfort and safety that a generator provides. A generator can’t protect your home if it is inoperable because it is submerged in water.
According to Michael Kirchner, a training manager at Generac, “Once the generator is flooded, the alternator windings may become compromised, and internal engine corrosion begins.”
It’s critical, especially in our coastal region, to take historical data and up-to-date floodplain information into account when installing a generator. Placing a generator in a location safe from 100-year storm waters is the best way to make sure that it will work as intended when a natural disaster occurs.
Guidelines and Codes for Generator Installation
The National Fire Protection Association 37 (cumbustible engines) and 110 (emergency power systems) standards, and the National Electric Code Section 708 (critical operations power systems) provide guidelines for safe installation of backup generators.
The NFPA and NEC require generator installers to do the following:
- Use flood data in design, construction, and siting
- Place equipment above the 100-year rated floodplain mark
- Design and construct structures to withstand anticipated flood loads
- Use flood damage-resistant materials below high water line
- Mount unit no less than 2 feet above ground or above the point identified as the highest water level
Many of the new guidelines in the NEC 708 article come as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina. When record flooding burst the levees and flooded greater New Orleans, many of the city’s generators failed.
In Conway and Myrtle Beach, we can use the unprecedented flood levels from recent hurricanes to better site and install residential and commercial generators.
Get Powered Up with Cooper Electrical Services
Cooper Electrical Services is the only unlimited license electrical contractor in Myrtle Beach providing turnkey generator services. Our team uses all data available when deciding the best location for your home or business’s generator. We bring the latest knowledge and technology to the job, providing quality and dependable service that meets or exceeds all NFPA, NEC, and IAEI standards.
For residential or commercial generator sales, installation, service, or repair, call Cooper.