Category Archives: Generac generators

Seeking PT Generator Technician

We are seeking a generator maintenance technician for flexible PT work hours. Immediate need. Mechanical ability is a must. Generators are as much of a machine (like a car) as they are electrical and/or electronic appliances.

Mechanical and electrical experience are a plus, but work ethic and personality are more important. Willingness to learn is paramount. Will train theJoin our team right person.

Maturity and the ability to relate to customers are a must. Competitive wages commensurate with experience and competence. Non-stuffy work environment – we have fun on the job. Military veterans, auto mechanics, and semi- or totally-retired people who would enjoy a challenge and an opportunity to earn additional income are also encouraged to apply.

Please email your resume to [email protected]

Little Sparkie Electric Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Neither a volatile economy nor a pandemic has hampered the growth of Little Sparkie Electric, LLC. Catherine Nazarene, managing member and a working licensed Maryland and Virginia Master Electrician, has built her successful business by focusing on hard work, excellent service, and diversifying her service offerings.

Although she launched her Mt. Airy-based business on January 1, 2007 as the Great Recession was hitting, her first paying job came just two days later.  The business has steadily grown ever since, and this past year Little Sparkie Electric was again among the Top Five Finalists in the Frederick News Post’s “Best of the Best” contest in the Electricians category.

Nazarene’s husband, John, also works in the business; they also employ a secretary/bookkeeper, Carla McRorie, a part-time electrician, Vic Weinberg, and a generator maintenance technician, Stewart Lentz.

Growth and Change through the Years

Nazarene also credits membership in the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce and other business associations for helping to grow the business. “We really value the resources and referrals the members provide to one another, and we believe association membership has been a key part of our growth these past 15 years. As the saying goes ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’ The numerous networking opportunities mean that everybody wins and that is how I like to do life! I like also to have resources to refer to customers and others who need referrals for just about anything. The more I know about what other businesses do, the better I can help those who come to me.”

Little Sparkie Electric works with commercial and industrial businesses, farms, churches and other houses of worship, and residential customers, on a wide variety of projects, and serves customers in Frederick, Carroll, Howard, and Montgomery Counties, along with those in Western and Southern Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“We offer a full range of electrical and backup power services, but I love challenging situations, where we play detective as we track down and correct electrical issues, ask and answer questions, suggest and implement solutions,” noted Nazarene.

One of her long-time customers, Chuck Wade Sod Farm, testified to her skills: 

“The largest project Catherine did for us at the Chuck Wade Sod Farm was lighting and an exterior fan for a new outdoor patio project. To do the project, she needed to run the conduit through the basement foundation to the patio,” explained Kris Wade.

“It was a complicated job – it took a lot of endurance, and it took her two or three days – but she accomplished the job. Catherine doesn’t care about the difficulty factor – she’ll tackle any job and do it properly.

“And she’s always prompt, which you can’t say about all contractors,” Wade added.

Installing and servicing Generac generators has also been an area of steady growth through the years. “Many electricians don’t work on generators, and many generators are not installed by electrical contractors,” explained Nazarene. “Generators are as mechanical as they are electrical. They’re often likened to cars or trucks without wheels,” she added.

Nazarene recently took courses to renew her Generac Commercial Level II technician certification, which means the business is factory authorized to sell, install and service large commercial generators and residential systems that have a rating up to 150 kW.

Another change the business has seen in the last 15 years is an increase in regulations. “We’re in the sixth National Electrical Code cycle since we started in the business!” said Nazarene. There are many reasons for the proliferation of regulations,  most of which are about safety, the main focus of the NEC. Alternative energy is a big one. “Articles in the Code now take into consideration solar and wind power, energy storage and fuel cells, and specialized batteries for electric vehicles. We’ve installed charging stations and wired solar photovoltaic, aka PV, installations as well.  In fact, we are installing a lot more electric vehicle (EV) chargers than ever before,” she noted.

Other changes in the past five years include:

  • LED lighting for productivity at work, in healthcare and assisted-living settings, and for virus and bacteria control.
  • Since the virus panic hit in March 2020, we have seen an increase in home-office projects, residential remodeling projects, and service work of all types. Commercial work has been making a comeback though, as new businesses are born and existing ones recover.
  • Supply chain disruptions are no secret to anyone, they have been and continue to be a challenge to us, but we rise to meet them as we do any other challenge.

We feel very blessed to have so many wonderful customers who put their trust in us and our skills. We concentrate as always on improving those skills, keeping up with the latest tools and materials which are constantly evolving, and above all we continue to listen to our customers and offer solutions to their needs. In the years to come, I only see the human factor increasing as technology continues to develop.

We don’t really leverage technology, we leave that to the larger contracting firms. Instead, we focus on face-to-face contact, listening to our customers (!), and human interaction – when all is said and done, technology has its place, but we deal with people, and all of our customers are just that, PEOPLE. I have a strong feeling that they appreciate our sincere interest in them as human beings and our responsiveness to their questions and concerns. We love what we do, have fun on the job, and our customers often remark on this to us.

I’ve never stopped being optimistic about our future and have no fears at all. We will be able to meet whatever the economy and fate in general throws our way. Hard work and faith in God will carry us as we carry ourselves.

Generac generator

Catherine trained on new standby Generac Protector series

Catherine Nazarene, Little Sparkie’s managing member and a working licensed Maryland and Virginia Master Electrician, recently passed the Generac Generator exam and is now recertified by Generac as a technician. She received her first technician certification in 2007.

At the training she did a lot of work on the new Protector Series QS gaseous generator line. These units power sensitive business technologies and appliances during power outages, in addition to the usual necessary lights and receptacles.

Generac’s QS series offers benefits over other competitors. Engineered to run at only 1800 rpm Generac generatorfor substantially quieter performance, the Protector QS Series packs more power into a smaller footprint than some other models. They also have lower fuel consumption and longer engine and alternator life than other generators.

Weekly tests and remote monitoring

All of the Protector series backup generators run a weekly test to ensure the system is running properly. The Protector Series generator runs its self-test at a lower, quieter RPM, and can be programmed to run weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

This series also offers improved customer connection access, which helps to decrease installation costs. Generac also offers a cellular remote monitoring system that allows business owners to check the status of their generator from anywhere in the world, using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Automatic backup for large or custom homes and businesses

Looking to back up your entire home, or more items than usual? The Protector Series also has models for large or custom homes to power essential appliances and modern technologies during power outages, allowing homeowners and their families to continue living life comfortably and without interruption.  Businesses and their necessary operations are covered too.

Protector series generators are available in both single-phase and three-phase models, and while training for recertification as a technician, Catherine did quite a bit of work with Protector three-phase generators.

Three-phase generators work by producing three separate waves of AC power that operate in a sequence, ensuring that there is always a continuous flow of energy and that the power supplied tends to be steadier and more consistent as it may with single-phase generators. The type used depends on the application. Three-phase service is generally not available to residences in the USA. It is used in most commercial and industrial buildings. Three-phase power also allows the use of smaller motors and smaller wires to supply and utilize the same amount of energy.

For more information on our generator services, visit https://www.littlesparkie.com/generators.

Summer storms need a generator back-up plan

These past few months, we have learned the importance of having back-up plans.

Now, even as many shuttered businesses reopen, we have another factor to consider: the summer storm season!

An above-average hurricane season (which runs between June 1 and November 30) has been predicted by Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers and AccuWeather.

The CSU Tropical Meteorology project team predicts 16 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season. The research models indicate as many as eight storms will become hurricanes and will reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson category 3 or higher). Both hurricanes and fierce summer storms are important reasons to have a backup generator!

For homeowners, a permanently installed standby generator protects your home automatically. It runs on natural gas or liquid propane (LP) fuel and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit. A standby, or backup, generator delivers power directly to your home’s electrical system, supplying your entire home or just the most essential items when the utility power goes out.

Potentially devastating losses for businesses

The potential loss a business faces from power failure can be devastating. From losing customers and data to spoiled refrigerated inventories, the costs are often substantial. Generac offers a broad range of commercial options, making backup power a reality for thousands of businesses. Generac’s commercial line features affordable generators with LP, natural gas, diesel fuel, or dual-fuel, for both single- and three-phase systems.

On the industrial front, there are mission- critical businesses that are legally required to have automatic standby power, such as hospitals. Data centers, 911 call centers, and so forth, cannot operate at all without backup power. Generac’s range of industrial solutions has been proven dependable in the most severe power outage situations.

Little Sparkie Electric has been selling, installing, and servicing Generac generators for many years, including large commercial generators that have a rating up to 150 kW. Catherine Nazarene, Managing Member, is a Generac factory trained Commercial Level II Certified technician. We also install manual transfer switches for portable generators.

If you already have a generator, here is a quick reminder that they should be serviced twice a year; a well-maintained generator lasts much longer!

If you are interested in a generator for your home or business, call us at 301-606-5181 or e-mail Catherine at [email protected]

For a free homeowner’s guide to preparing for hurricanes, click here: https://www.generac.com/hurricane-prep