Must-Know California Generator Regulations
What are the five most important commercial generator regulations? California’s commercial generator regulations help to keep people and businesses safe — but they’re not always the easiest read. If you’re a generator owner or manager, this article will help you uncover when to test your generators, transfer switches, fuel quality and more.
California’s commercial generator regulations help to keep people and businesses safe — but they’re not always the easiest read. Common questions include:
- What am I required to do for servicing my generator?
- Am I required to test my ATS switches as well?
- How often, and how long, am I required to load-test my generator system?
What are the five most important commercial generator regulations for Californian owners? If you’re a generator owner or manager, read more to better understand these local and state regulations.
1) Test Your Generator for 30 Minutes Each Month Under at Least 30% Load
2) If You Can’t Do #1…
Some generators can’t be operated monthly, or don’t have the required 30% minimum load that Rule #1 requires. (This is often due to a generator’s small minimum load or multiple switches.)
In these cases, commercial generator owners must follow the testing program in NFPA’s 110 Standard Regulation 126.96.36.199:
- The generator must be tested annually for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- For the first 30 minutes of the test, you must place at least 50% of the EPS nameplate kW rating.
3) Test Transfer Switches Monthly and Service Them Annually
Also, according to the NFPA 110 Standard 8.4.6, transfer switches must be tested monthly. If you have only 1 automatic transfer switch (ATS) and your generator has the minimum 30% load on it, your ATS test can count as your monthly load test requirement as well. In addition, transfer switches must be serviced annually.
4) Test Fuel Quality Annually
According to the NFPA 110 Standard Regulation 8.3.7, “a fuel quality test shall be performed at least annually using appropriate ASTM standards or the manufacturer’s recommendations.”
In addition, not only does the NFPA 25 (Regulations for Diesel Fire Pumps) call for an annual Diesel Fuel Lab Analysis, but so does the NFPA 110 for commercial generators.
5) Change Your Oil and Oil Filter Either Every 50 Hours of Use, or Annually (Whichever Comes First)
The NFPA also requires that the oil in your generator be changed regularly. Even if it’s not run regularly, impurities build up in unused oil and can impede your generator’s performance when it’s needed most. Thus, it too requires preventative maintenance.
What Additional Regulations Does San Diego County Have for Commercial Generators?
Like Los Angeles and Orange County buildings, ALL of San Diego County’s commercial building and generator regulations fall under the NFPA 110.
San Diego’s local jurisdiction is the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD). As in Los Angeles & Orange County, the SCAQMD sets permit limitations on how many hours per year generators can be used, tested, and maintained.
Thank you to Duthie Power Services, a 2021 BOMA San Diego Annual Supporting Partner, for providing this educational content!