Frequently asked questions

Which areas do you cover?

We are based in Betws-y-Coed, Conwy, in the Snowdonia National Park. We are happy to attend anywhere in Snowdonia and most of North Wales. We can travel further afield but it will incur an additional cost.

What kind of Generator do you offer?

Our primary generator is a continuous-duty 20KVA Kubota powered 1500rpm machine built by Stephill Generators here in the UK. It is Euro-V emissions compliant (a legal requirement for use on highways) and silenced. It has a long-run diesel tank built in. It can provide the following electrical supply:

  • 400v Three Phase - up to 16.3 kilowatts from a 5-pin 32 amp socket
  • 230v Single Phase - up to 15.4 kilowatts from two 32 amp sockets and one 16 amp socket
  • 110v Single Phase - up to 15.4 kilowatts from three 32 amp sockets and one 16 amp socket

Please be aware that the generator will only provide one voltage at a time from the above options, with the exception of the Three Phase that also has a 230v 16 amp auxilary outlet. The output voltage is electrically regulated to within 1% accuracy.

What about Cables and Distribution?

Our "Limit of Service" is essentially the output sockets on the generator. Responsibility for supplying and running cables around the site/event to suit the requirements would usually fall to a technician/engineer or other person of responsibility. Having said that we do have some distribution cabling that we can bring on request - best to ask us about it first.

Is there anything else you can bring?

We do have a 15kw electric fan heater that we are happy to bring along at no extra charge if you ask us to. It produces no emissions or fumes, just a blast of hot air - so it is ideal to put inside a marquee or shelter to provide warmth if it is safe to do so (protected from water spray etc). Please be aware that if it is used on full-power then it will use almost all of the generators capacity on its own. A 15KW fan heater is very powerful, most domestic fan heaters are 2KW. The heater also has a 10KW and a 5KW mode for when less heat is required.

Does the fuel cost extra?

No, everything is included in one price.

What if the event runs a bit late?

We won't cut the power and drive off the moment the booking time expires, sometimes things might take a bit longer than originally planned and we understand this. But if things do run on significantly it is important to discuss the situation with the operator. 

Do you charge by the day or by the hour?

We charge a one-off attendance fee and then an hourly rate for the length of time that you need us. Please see How to Book for pricing information.

What if we wrap up a bit earlier than expected?

We can't provide refunds for unused time as that time has been specifically allocated to you and not another potential customer.

Will you just hire us the generator?

We operate as a managed service provider rather than as a tool-hire business, so we bring, set up and operate the generator for you. This greatly simplifies things for you and means that you don't need to provide a large deposit.

How reliable is your generator?

Our generator is low hours, low age and impeccably maintained to the manufacturers service schedule. It is a British made commercial continuous-duty unit, using parts from the best names in the business (Kubota engine, Meccalte Alternator, Deep Sea control system etc). It's about as reliable as a generator can get, and it has been owned by us from new. As we always operate it ourselves, we know that it's not been bashed around on countless construction sites or mechanically abused in any way.

It is important to be realistic and consider that a generator is a machine and all machines from Swiss watches to a Space Shuttle can, and do, break down. Our generator has never broken down but when you are planning your event or project you must consider the consequences of a generator failure and the impact that would have. Problems might not be limited to a possible break down - for instance there is always the outside chance that it could be involved in an accident on it's way to your site, or a tree might fall on it whilst stopped for refuelling. As far-fetched as these occurrences might seem, the risk is none the less still present.

If your requirement is totally power critical with significant losses incurred should there be a problem, our advice is always to opt for generator redundancy. In this case you would book ourselves and our generator, and also a completely different company and different generator to be on site (who you choose is entirely your call). This way they would be different machines, coming from different places, towed by different vehicles and operated by different technicians. It is more expensive of course but that has to be weighed up as insurance against the consequences of being without power. With two machines on site, that risk becomes vanishingly small and if the live unit fails, the cable can be quickly transferred to the standby unit to keep downtime to a minimum.

Our limit of liability is capped at the return of the fee paid for the booking. We cannot shoulder liability for damages to the event/project/shoot, in whole or in part, resulting from a generator failure or other unfortunate circumstances.

Can you supply power to a property?

Our generator can supply power to the existing electrical system in a building in the event of a grid outage, but only in one of two ways. The first way requires that the building already has a generator power input socket and a transfer switch fitted. This is a straight forward job for an electrician to do and means that the building can be powered from either the mains or a generator depending on the selected input. This obviously requires pre-outage preparation and is not always possible.

The second way it can be done is if a qualified electrician or power company technician is present to completely disconnect the utility power at the meter before connecting the generator. This is extremely important, because if the grid remains connected (even if there is no power on it), then current from the generator will go back down the line and pose a serious risk to the engineers working on the fault who will not be expecting that part of the circuit to be energised.

Do you have any other generators?

We do have several small portable units which we can make available on request, subject to availability.

Can you respond to an urgent requirement?

We will always try to help if we are available, even at very short notice. If you consider that you might need to request us urgently we can give you an out-of-hours contact phone number.

Can you access difficult areas?

We tow the generator using a strong 4x4 that has been modified with large tyres, high clearance and a winch, and your driver is experienced in negotiating difficult terrain. The generator itself however does weigh around a tonne and is not quite as rugged, so there is of course a practical limit to where it can be safely towed. Obstacles such as muddy fields, muddy tracks, flood debris and deep puddles are unlikely to present any significant challenges, but if in doubt we are happy to come and have a look first.

It may prove more practical to keep the generator back from the site and use long cables to connect them. If the generator is needed somewhere extremely challenging to access there are always other options - for instance a flatbed Unimog with a Hiab could carry the generator to places that it could not be towed on its own wheels (there is a lifting eye on the top). Some helicopter lift services are also able to handle loads of a tonne.