Portable generators are great investments for any household to possess. You never really know when there is going to be a power-outage unless your dealing with stormy weather. (PGs) Portable Generators are like a fall back plan as well even though you won’t necessary use them 90% of the time.
If you live in areas of high storm activity such as Florida during hurricane season or the Mid-West during tornado season; having a generator on stand by can be a game changer.
These useful pieces of equipment can be used everywhere since the entire world has bad weather or unsuspecting events. The mobile units aren’t really designed to power the entire house, but they do have enough power to supply appliances such as refrigerators, fans, microwaves, or other small vital electronics.There are proper ways to use them that could mean life or death in certain situations, but having the know how will keep you and your family safe during these troublesome times. This article is written to give you, ” the consumer,” more know how when dealing with portable generators. Next time you get caught without power and you have a (PG), you’ll know exactly what to do.
- Place the generator outside in an open place that has good ventilation for and foremost. Carbon Monoxide Poison is deadly and it has no warning signs such as smell. Even if you have a carbon monoxide alarm, don’t use the generator in-doors or in any close quarters.
- Keep the generator dry and on a level surface even if it’s raining or snowing. During these weather events, make sure the (PG) is on a solid structure like concrete. Use a canopy or something to block the rain or any precipitation if need be. Even though it’s gas powered, the plugs still produces current from your appliances and you could get shocked or electrocuted.
- Do not overload the device with too many connections. Always stay familiar with the amount of watts the generator uses, then compare it to the device or appliances you need at the time.
- Before use make sure the generator’s engine is cool and never refuel the generator while it is hot. Explosion or fires could break out from this which can be detrimental to your health. Check the oil and fuel levels before starting then add the fluids as needed before start-up up. All appliances must be turned off before starting.
- Next you want to start the generator. Some units have a (push button) feature and some have a (pulley system). Either way your user manual will show you.
- Proper connections are important and you should be using Grounded Outdoor Extension (Heavy-Duty) Cords. These cords are built for handling more power and energy than your basic indoor extension cords. You most likely won’t be plugging things directly into the generator because it has to be situated outside.
You should now be using your generator at this point. These are the safest ways for proper use in most if not all situations.
*Tips, Tricks, and Warnings*
- Routine Maintenance keeps the generator ready if and when you may need it. Clean the unit of any dirt, debris, or oil, which could clog the device up. A stiff type of brush is good for cleaning. Never use a water hose because water can seep into the unit, then causes issues. For those hard-to-reach places, a hand vacuum is small is perfect for sucking out dirt and grime. Every change of season is great for maintenance or every three to four months is good. The last thing you want is trying to start the unit in when it’s needed and nothing happens.
- Keep Fuel On Hand which is why you have the unit in the first place. During power outages, stores and gas stations might not be open or able to serve customers. Most gas powered generators can last about 2 days on 20 gallons of fuel. Store the gas/fuel on your property but not near or in the home. Containers such as gas jugs or those thick (ANSI) Buckets or fine. Keep the stored fuel away from heat and sparks.
- Fuel Stabilizer is great to keep on hand and if you keep gas inside of the generator, the (FS) has an anti-gumming effect. Without it overtime the gas will get old and gummy as it starts to deteriorate chemically. After adding the stabilizer, let the generator run for a short time so it circulates throughout the system. Untreated gasoline will go bad after a few months if not used and the stabilizer gives it a longer shelf life. Never store fuel/gas in the unit’s tank if you know for sure you wont be using the unit/generator for a long time.
- Electrocution Warning!!! Your generator should be grounded to the (actual ground) because of the electrical current connection. Owners manual gives you further detail of grounding for safety but keep it on the ground to be sure.
Never Ever Plug The Generator directly to the wall outlets of your home. Always use (Heavy-Duty Grounding Outdoor Extension Cords). Extension cords should be placed where you can see them so you wont trip and never put them under rugs as they will tend to over-heat. Also don’t touch the unit if you’re wet or standing in water and try keeping the unit dry at all times.
Whether your portable home generator is gas powered or diesel; always follow the safety guidelines for proper use. Serious injuries or even death can be a reality of improper usage.