Expedited Shipping - US & Canada


We Buy & Sell Industrial Generators

Established 1981


BLOG > February 2020 > Casino Loses Power When Backup Generator Fails

Casino Loses Power When Backup Generator Fails

Power can fail for many reasons. Weather-related failures are the biggest contributors. However, maintenance-related issues can cause a facility isolated power failure. Potawatomi Casino recently experienced the cost of a maintenance related power failure. Read More Here!!

Power Failure Causes Evacuation of Potawatomi Casino

Casino Electronic Gaming Room
Potawatomi Casino is located in Milwaukee, WI. In late December 2019, the casino had to evacuate an entire section of the complex because of a power failure. WISN (ABC) reported that a spokesman for the casino said, "There was a planned electrical maintenance exercise overnight. The backup generator did not kick in as expected. In the best interest of safety and security of our guests and team members, we evacuated the casino during the outage."

Power was lost at approximately 5:00 a.m. and restored at 11:00 a.m. The facility contains a hotel that was not impacted by the loss of power and remained open throughout the outage. We Energy supplies utility power to the casino, and a spokesman reported that they were not aware of the outage, and it did not appear on their outage map for the first four hours of the outage.

Cost of Outages

While only casino officials know how much the downtime costs are, we can approximate the cost associated with a six-hour power loss. This estimation is from reported revenue published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on September 4, 2017. Potawatomi posted the net amount lost by gamblers in the twelve-month period ending July was about $400,000,000. Boasting a daily amount of $1,095,890.41, and an hourly amount of $45,662.00. The total loss of gambling revenue for the six hour evacuation was approximately $273,972.60. This figure does not include some variables listed below:
  • The cost of team member wages during the evacuation
  • Returning customers may be less likely to play electronic gaming or not return at all
  • Associated costs with the evacuation process during the outage
The figures above are just an estimate and could move thousands of dollars one way or the other. They in no way represent the actual amount lost by the casino. However, the figures do represent the amount that can be lost by a large industry that depends on a constant, reliable power source. Changing the components of the equation for financial losses can allow calculations to be used with any business profile. The first step in making sure backup or emergency power is available is to make sure the installed generator can meet all electrical requirements during the power outage. Generator Source has more than 38 years of experience. We offer both new and used generators. Go to Inventory to view our line of both new and preowned generators.

Preventing Loss of Emergency Power

Maintenance & Testing for Indoor Emergency Generator
Maintenance and testing are two of the key concepts in obtaining reliable backup or emergency power. The engine, radiator, and alternator (generator end) are the three main components of a generator. Generators in an indoor application require supporting systems. The systems include fueling, cooling access, and exhaust. These combined components and systems can be thought of like a chain. If one of the links fail, the chain breaks and emergency power is not available during a utility power outage.


Generator manufacturers are required to create and supply maintenance requirements and repair procedures when the generator is introduced to the marketplace. The requirements are divided into calendar or hours of use schedule. Both the engine and the alternator are included in the manufacturer's maintenance requirements.

Auxiliary or supporting system requirements for generators are supplied by the manufacturer. Maintenance of these systems is performed to system manufacturer requirements. Systems can range from fuel to cooling louver to Heat Exchanger (HEX) systems. Large systems can and paralleling and distribution equipment. 


Testing is a critical step in any emergency generation system program. Completing appropriate tests can ensure the performance of the emergency generation system. The three fundamental tests are:
  • Generator Run Test - In this test, the generator is started and run for a predetermined amount of time. Run time generally determined by engine temperature. The generator is not loaded for this test.
  • Generator Load Test - An external load source is used in this test. The load bank is connected to the generator. Power to the building is not interrupted and the generator is incrementally loaded for an amount of time.
  • Complete Emergency System Test - Used in large systems that employ paralleling panels, distribution panels, fueling, cooling, and other equipment used within the backup power systems. Will identify if electrical configuration will be supported by generator configuration.

Operational Checks

Emergency or backup generators are only used in the event of a utility power failure. Proper maintenance and testing procedures ensure the generator starts and runs on demand. It is not uncommon for generator and auxiliary system parameters to be checked and recorded during operation. Hourly checks are commonplace. Hourly parameter readings can be used in maintenance trend analysis and inspections that can identify upcoming issues that need to be repaired during down-time.

Most every backup power system is different because of configuration and supply requirements. Maintenance and testing procedures must be geared to the application it serves. We are a full-service company and offer maintenance and testing services. Contact Us for more information.

Diesel Blog Team | 2/1/2020 12:38:16 PM | 0 comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.