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7 Quick Tips for Maintaining Portable Generators
A portable generator presents you with many benefits. With so many brands and models in the market, it takes time and energy to get the exact one that you need. Having taken your time to acquire your ideal generator, you deserve to enjoy the convenience and coziness of owning a generator safely. So, how do you ensure your generator serve you best without endangering your life? Follow the following crucial tips and your portable generator will make your life comfortable, easy and enjoyable.
1. Operate Your Generator Outdoors
Generators emit toxic carbon monoxide, and as such you should always run it outdoors where there’s free flow of air. Create a well-ventilated space outdoors, and house your portable generator there whenever you are using it. If you can’t house your generator far enough consider buying the quietest portable generator in the market and installing special alarms. The alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide in your home, while your super quiet generator causes minimal disturbance to your neighbors. Whenever the deadly gas finds its way into your home, the alarm rings significantly enhancing your safety.
2. Your Portable Generator Should Always Remain Dry
Understandably, you mostly use your portable generator during power blackouts frequently caused by heavy storms. Exercise extreme caution to avoid water coming into contact with your generator. Water being a good conductor of electricity can cause electrocution or even complete breakdown of your portable generator. If there’s no waterproof housing to operate your generator, postpone running it until the rainy season or the storm is over. Keep electrocution hazard at bay; ensure rain water doesn’t fall anywhere near your generator.
3. Understand the Meanings of Generator Ratings
Generators come with two capacity ratings; starting/max and continuous/rated. Pay particular attention to the latter (rated), the power your portable generator will output for extended periods while running. Starting, on the other hand, indicates the amount of electrical energy your portable generator generates for some few seconds as internal motors jerk up. You must not base your purchasing decision on Max ratings as doing so may force you to repurpose your generator;. It’s extremely dangerous to use a generator whose max ratings only match the power requirements of the load its supports.
4. Allow Your Generator to Cool Down Completely Before Refueling
Fuel tanks, located above your generator, do not favor feeding your generator while it is running or even when still hot. While such a setup facilitates feeding the carburetor, if you unintentionally spill even the least amounts, the risk of accidental fire is high. So, stay safe by first turning off your generator and allowing it enough time to cool down. Carefully refuel you generator, paying attention to any spills before finally starting in on. If you are refueling your portable generator at night, look for a flashlight to minimize spilling.
5. Avoid Back Feeding at All Costs
Do not back feed your generator output into a wall outlet. If a power blackout occasioned your portable generator use, chances are a technician is trying to fix the problem. Plugging your output into the grid makes the utility line live and hence any technician working on the line is at risk. Make a point of installing a transfer switch. The switch isolates your generator circuit from that of the utility. Your will, therefore, be powering your circuit alone meaning Utility Circuit remains off (no accidental electrocution) when there is a blackout.
6. Replace Oil and Filters Often
Portable generators are designed to switch off automatically when oil level reduces below a certain limit. So, check regularly the oil level (preferably always before starting). Doing so also goes a long way in avoiding the frequent failure and eventual complete breakdown of your portable generator. You should change the oil of your new generator after 25 hours of use, and subsequently after 100 hours. Consult your manual for the correct oil type you should use.
7. Have Sufficient Quantities of Fuel in Stock
Stock up as much high-quality fuel as possible; not just what your portable generator tank can hold. Depending on the size of your generator, consider maintaining a safety stock of 12-20 gallons daily if you wish to use your generator around the clock. Always ensure the fuel remains fresh. Old Fuel makes starting difficult, makes your generator operate abnormally and, in some cases, it fails to start completely. By adding a stabilizer, your fuel can remain fresh for as long as 12 months. It also reduces fuel breakdown/gum buildup. After a blackout-causing storm or a rainy season, discard the remaining fuel and clean your generator. Doing so ensures your portable generator is always using fresh fuel.
Your portable generator should be beneficial and safe to use for it to deliver on its mandate. Properly handle, operate and maintain your generator to derive maximum benefits. The above tried-and-tested tips are bound to help you correctly, and safely use your generator.
This article was graciously submitted by Victor Hill from Trustworthy Power