Using a generator when a power outage shows up is the most favorable thing to do but only under proper rule-following and safety considerations. There are lots of people who are new to using a generator. So, for them, this convenient thing to do is yet two steps far from safety due to not having proper understanding related to it.
Today we will be talking about how to use a generator during a power outage in a safe way with some tips and tricks.
How to Use a Generator During a Power Outage & What to Consider During That Usage
From proper operation method to basic pointers on right usage, we will try to cover all of the basics. Don’t worry if you are completely new to this matter. The guide will be kept as simple as possible with minding the important factors that you must know about. Let’s Go for It!
Follow Proper Operation.
Let’s first concentrate on the proper operation of generator. You need to figure out the power amount that is required for every item. These items are the ones that you want to plug into generator whenever an outage appears.
You need to compare this with the generator’s producible wattage. If you plug in more items than the generator can handle, it’s going to create an overloading situation. And that’s not encouraging.
To start generator first you need to make fuel valve come into the ON position. That will let the fuel reach carburetor. And so, the engine will start running. Then you want to put the choke to ON or Full mode.
You also want to turn the ignition switch ON. Finally, you want to push the starter button. If there’s no response then maybe the battery is dead. In that case, you can use the pull cord or recoil one. Don’t pull with excessive force here. Once your engine starts, let it run for a few seconds.
You want to make sure that the motor is cool. Do checkup if there’s enough fuel or gas. With a hot engine, never attempt refueling the generator. If your manufacturer has instruction provided for starting it up, then do follow it.
You also want to pay attention to the Generator Extension Cord. Make sure you are using a heavy-duty and well made one. That way it’ll be easier for plugging appliance and other components into the generator.
Don’t Place the Generator Very Close to Your House.
You want to make sure that the generator is within an open area. It should never be enclosed inside your house or even garage if that’s close. This is something that manufacturers will already warn you about.
But some of us don’t take this note seriously. And as a result, the bad outcomes tend to take place. Every year, people are dying from not taking this warning seriously.
The carbon monoxide that produces from generator can be poisoning. And you don’t want that to happen inside an enclosed area. Even if the doors are open, you should not do that. Also, you are not allowed it to use it under eaves either.
It may be a bit of pain to move the generator away from house and use a long extension cord. But bringing harm to your family is still way more painful and nobody will disagree with that.
Backfeeding Can Be Dangerous.
Backfeed power into the house is a matter that internet talkers are always active with. People usually suggest a dual-ended extension cord. However, the fact that backfeeding is actually illegal has a lot to do with your home’s safety. It’s apparently not a piece of very safe advice to follow.
Your family members, neighbors, and also the linemen from power company, all will be at heavy risk. The number of people dying here is also pretty thought-provoking. It’s best to choose safe alternatives by consulting with an electrician instead of multiple cords.
Also, you don’t want to connect the generator to main electrical system of your home. That can be deadly dangerous.
Follow the Right Manner for Refilling.
Usually fuel tank of a generator is on top of the engine. So that it can follow the gravity feed requirement for gas into carburetor. However, this setup isn’t very safe if you become careless. If you spill gas while refilling a hot generator, the setup can turn into a disaster in no time.
Just visualize the whole thing. A hot engine receiving a spill of fresh gas that triggers the ignition. And on top of that, eight more gallons of gas is sitting above. That’s Entirely an Inferno Call! That little mistake is consuming blown up generators and dead owners every single year.
Another tip to remember is never to go for refilling during the night without a flashlight. Also, have some patience and bear the situation without power for at least 15 minutes. Give the generator at least that much time to cool down.
Safe Pouring & Storing is Key.
Usually, the local residential fire code should have limitations regarding how much gasoline you store in your home. In a typical case, it’s not more than 10 gallons. Now that may trigger you to go get one huge gas can to avoid refill runs. Don’t Do That!
Per gallon weighing 6 pounds, you can never hold the 60 pounds gas without causing a spill. And that’s just very unsafe. Also, commonly generators will not hold that much. So overfilling chances can rise as well.
Instead, you can simply get two cans of 5-gallons that are of high quality. It’ll be even better if you get steel gas with a trigger control valve. To store it, use a tightly closed container. Make sure to place the fuel stored container outside of your house in a safe place.
Level Surface Running Is Essential.
There are small generators available with a splash lubrication system. This also involves crankshaft dippers. It’s prone to scoop up oil and splash on parts that are moveable. In a level ground unit, this system will work best.
However, if you have the generator placed on a sloped surface, a problem can arise. In this circumstance, the dipper will fail to reach all oil. And so, your engine might run on dry mode. Usually, that’s the main reason behind catastrophic failure.
So, don’t forget to heed the warnings from manufacturer. You should make a level spot and then place the generator on it. This is also true for generators with pressurized lubrication system.
And on that note, we are at the end of today’s topic. Hopefully, now you have a broad idea on how to use a generator during a power outage. Follow these tips and operational rules to ensure safe usage. Generators can be really beneficial but also at the same time a real threat to your family’s safety. And the latter thing happens when you don’t consider safety and proper usage rules. So, pay attention to that and enjoy the facilities under your family’s security!
I’m James. The author of Electricalaffairs.com. It’s been my passion to deal with power tools and gears. This website is mainly to talk about electrical wirings, lighting, various power source tools and accessories. I want to explore tackles and help people to grow their basic knowledge about electrical things. I would also like to help people to pick the right power tool for their daily needs.