Tips to know when using portable home generators. How safely and efficiently to operate emergency generators for home use.
Portable generator for home use is a small emergency generator
that is mainly used to power home during the power outage and where
power is not available, such as cabins in remote locations. A power
outage in your home can result not only in spoiled food, but damages to
This is why a small and portable generator is the perfect choice for
home backup power. If you live in the area affected by the hurricanes,
wind, snow and ice storms, portable home generator is a must. Be
prepared for severe weather before it happens.
Buying a backup home generator is easy, but there are some facts and
tips you should know and collect to have a worry-free and reliable
operation. To save you time, I have made a list of the best selling
portable gas generators here.
The most typical generators you will find are those that use mainly
gasoline and are designed with the 120 V or 240 V power outlets.
Providing enough gasoline and connecting properly back up generator to
your home is a must. You should consider buying and installing a
transfer switch to safely power the circuits in your home.
What is a transfer switch?
A transfer switch is an electrical device, designed to allow the wiring
system from your home to accept the power portable generator produces.
It is installed next to your electric panel.
Installation is an important factor for proper use of portable home
generators. Setup is easy and fast. Either you have a gasoline or
propane generator, there will be exhaust gases. That is the reason why
to keep your generator on a certain distance from home and point the
exhaust port away from windows and doors.
Gasoline and propane portable home generators are made to run outside,
not inside, as it produces poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide.
Avoid locations that will expose your home generator to the excessive
dust, moist and dirt.
Once you have found the perfect outdoor location for your new small
generator, fill the unit with the right fuel and start it. Starting a
home generator can be as simple as pressing a switch or pulling the
recoil cord, but, first consult the manufacturer' owner manual.
Note: Make sure the generator is on the level ground.
Based on the power wattage your generator produces, you can run from a small electric appliance to the whole house. See what types of electric appliances you will be able to run based on the wattage guide. As your generator is running, plug the unit you want to use and once done turn the generator OFF.
And don't forget to use a transfer switch to connect the generator to
the electrical system of your home. Recommendation is to have it
installed only by the licensed electrician (actually it is required by
the code). The transfer switch works as the second electrical panel,
and once properly installed it prevents the overheating and damages to
the generator and electrical home system.
Use the right electrical cord gauge so when it transfers the power from the generator to your home appliance, it can handle the load without overheating.
Maintaining portable home generators mainly refers to the motor. It can
be performed by you, the owner, or qualified technician. Maintenance
assumes filter, oil and spark plugs change. It is a good idea to run a
generator once a month as the non-operating situation makes the gas
line dirty and clogged.
Even the best home generator has to have the engine well lubricated, in
order to provide a well-tuned operation and great working condition in
a case of an emergency.
Safety should be your number one priority when running these emergency
Don't store fuel inside the generator when it is not in use. Drain the fuel from the tank when not using it.
Don't overfill the gasoline tank and use the fresh gasoline only.
Allow the engine to cool few minutes before refueling.
Use a transfer switch that complies with your model. Never connect your generator directly to a home wiring or electric outlet.
Always use the generator outside and away from windows, doors... Make sure to provide at least 5 feet of clearance.
Don't overload the generator. Check the output rating of the generator before using it.
It is not recommended to run the generator at the full capacity for more than 30 min.
Protect the unit from snow and rain.
Don't operate a generator near combustible materials.
Keep the battery charged if your generator is designed with the electric start; also be aware that coiled cords can get HOT.
And always read the owner's manual before operating your generator,
found inside the box.
Running portable home generators is easy, but to allow smooth operation and long hours some maintenance and proper usage should take place. Nobody needs a surprise during the emergence situation. Follow the above guidelines to help protect you, your family and your power generator.