During a power outage, owning a portable generator is one of the best ways for you to enjoy security, safety and also convenience. Apparently, there are so many benefits that a portable generator can bring about. However, when using your portable generator, one of the most important things that you should concern about is your safety. Portable generators usually come with manuals that will detail many things you would need to know about the portable generator and how to troubleshoot some typical issues as well. To further ensure the safety by yourself, follow these expert generator tips and tricks so that you can stay safe while you are using a portable generator.
Tip 1: Never use or run the generator indoors
As you may know, the carbon monoxide and deadly chemicals that a generator emitting are considered as a poisoning danger. This is why they should never be placed indoors. In order to guarantee that you're not going to be a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. You should set up enough space outdoors for your portable generator. Installing an alarming sensor to further protect you from CO entering your home is not a bad idea.
Tip 2: Do not overload the generator
Different from the standby generator, most of the portable generator might not suit for heavy duty use. But some of them come with better capacity than others. so thoroughly considering your power need is an indispensable step before purchasing a generator and then you should keep track of the load you need it to handle. Because a critical disaster could happen when overloading your portable generator.
Tip 3: Never plug the generator into a wall outlet
Plugging a generator into a wall outlet will lead to a scenario known as back-feeding - your generator power is being induced into the local power grid. In this case, you are possibly injuring someone who is trying to restore the power. Instead, installing a transfer switch that could help with isolating the circuits supplied by the generator from normally powered by the utility. This prevents inadvertently supplying power to circuits in both systems and further reduces the electrocution possibility resulting from direct contact with conductors.
Tip 4: Keep the portable generator dry
In order to prevent electrocution and breaking down of the portable generator. You should only operate the generator outdoors in an area that is dry and well-ventilated. Furthermore, keep your generator from direct exposure to rain and snow, preferably under a tent or even a canopy when using it in a wet environment especially during a storm.
Tip 5: Chill out before refueling the generator
During a power outage, I think that no one want their portable generator stop operating, but in a case of your generator's already on low fuel, you have to turn it off and then let the engine cool for a certain time before pouring. You have to get it done first because when refueling a hot generator, there is a highly potential that a gas spill could quickly turn into a disaster.
Tip 6: Fuel is critical to the portable generator
You will need to stock up on fuel in large quantities more than just generator's tank can hold, figure out an amount of 12 to 20 gallons per day to keep it running 24/7 and of course you want that fuel is fresh. If the gas is old, your generator may be difficult to start or won't run properly or it may not run at all, so the advice here is adding some stabilizer which can keep your gas fresh up to a year, further minimize fuel breakdown, varnish, and gum buildup. Finally after a season of a storm, you better drain/empty the tank to make sure always using fresh, stabilized fuel in your generator.
Tip 7: Check and change the oil
You have to pay attention to the oil. Many portable generators automatically shut off if the engine oil gets too low, so you must check the oil before even start your generator to avoid disruption in your power or worst - damaging your generator. And when is the time to change the oil ? Most new generators need their oil change after 25 hours of the very first use then 100 hours after that. You ought to check the manual for the type of oil your generator really need.
Tip 8: Exercising the generator
There is one thing you need to take into account that your generator also needs exercises. Once a month, start it up and let it runs for 20 minutes. This will help to burn off moisture, lubricate the engine and recharge the battery.
Tip 9: Periodically maintaining the generator
To further ensure that everything is working properly. You must first check the filter and then replace the paper air filter if it's visually dirty, and for foam filter let them clean with soapy water, wait to it dry and re-oil with foam filter oil.
As you may notice that many generators have a filter cup in the fuel tank at the fuel opening. If it's dirty then clean it. And you also need to check the spark plug, replacing it specifically base on hours of use according to the generator's manual. Finally, if you are not using the generator, keep it stored in the set or garage to prevent exposure to the weather.