Having a generator can make a huge difference if your home or town loses power. Given that some of the worst natural disasters happen in the United States, generator installers are very busy because many people view having a generator as being necessary to life in the country. The country sees hurricanes, blizzards, “bomb cyclones,” tornadoes, wildfires, and earthquakes. There is hardly a square inch of the nation that does not have some problem to worry about. After the generator installers have left your home, there are things you need to do to run yours safely.
- Your generator should never be used in a spot too near your house. When the experts are at your home taking care of your generator installation, they will warn you about the dangers of running your unit too close to your home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is colorless, odorless, and had no taste. The problem is that it disrupts the system your body uses to get oxygen (O2) in and carbon dioxide (CO2) out. The hemoglobin that carries these gases to and from the tissues in your body loves CO. It will hold onto it and people can be killed within minutes. Generator installers will warn you about how these units produce the dangerous gas. Keep it out of your garage, away from the eaves around your home and just use a longer cord to keep it away from your house.
- Do not even consider backfeeding energy into your house. A lot of people read on the internet that this is a good thing to do. They use an extension cord with a male end on both ends of the cord. There is a reason this practice is against the law. It can be deadly for you, your family members, and people who work for the power company. Just never even consider this as an option. If you are bothered by too many extension cords, the safe (and legal) way to get that is to have a transfer switch installed professionally.
- Do not run the unit until it is empty. There are generators out there that will keep supplying a home with power until the very last drop of gas has been used. This is not something you should let happen. You can ask the generator installers when they are at your home about this but the generator produces a magnetic field with its coils. When you drain the generator, you can drain this as well. You may need to bring back those generator installers to get that field going again. It may run after this but will not be able to provide power to your home without that magnetic field.
- Use fresh fuel. After not letting your generator run out of gas, do not use gas that has been sitting in your garage for a long time. When they are at your home, the generator installers may advise you to add a fuel stabilizer to the mix, while you are storing it. This can keep the fuel from breaking down and prevent a lot of issues with the generator. After the bad season has passed for your region, you may want to run the unit until it is empty and then drain whatever is left (wait to do this until the unit is cool enough to touch). Bad fuel in a generator is one of the leading causes of problems with the unit.
- Get the right generator for your home and area. Some people can get away with standby generators. Others know they are going to need to be back up to running their home as close to the way they normally do when the power is on. For them, whole house generators are better options. Think about how long the power has been off in your area and how much you need to live your life.
- Run the generator on a flat surface. Most generators use a system to splash oil on the parts that need it. When you place your generator on a sloped surface, this process cannot happen and your engine in your generator can be completely destroyed.
Generators can be real lifesavers. These tips can help run them safety and more efficiently.