Tips for Backup Generator Owners & Whole-Home Generator Experts
So you've purchased a backup generator, either permanent or portable, and now you feel adequately prepared for the next power outage. You might be wondering, "What now?" There are numerous precautions you must take, as generators can be harmful if not installed or cared for properly.
We want you to feel 100% confident in your generator, which is why we're providing you with a list of advice to consider so that in the event of a power outage, you can continue on as normal as possible.
Top Tips for Backup Generator Owners:
- Make sure a licensed electrician performs the installation.
- Never connect a generator directly to your home's wiring without the proper transfer switch having been installed. A manual transfer switch looks like a small breaker box, next to you main breaker panel. It is the only safe way to connect your generator to your home’s wiring because it prevents any possibly “backfeeding,” a huge electrical hazard for power line workers.
- Resist the urge to operate your generator in a closed environment such as your home or garage, as they can easily produce carbon monoxide. Opening the garage or raising windows does not provide suitable ventilation.
- Your generator should never be run indoors, even if it is your garage or porch. Additionally, keep it at least 10 feet away from the home.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, and never overload the generator. It is recommended that you choose a backup generator that is about 25% higher than your home’s peak load demand (Eaton Sizing Guide).
- Unplug all appliances from the generator before shutting it down.
- Before re-fueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down.
- Keep children away from the generator at all times.
- Do not operate the generator in wet conditions; keep your generator on a dry surface or under a canopy-like structure.
- Schedule annual professional maintenance for your backup generator.
For more backup generator safety tips, read this article by the American Red Cross and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
If you don’t have a backup generator, consider investing in one if you can afford it. As opposed to portable generators, permanent backup generators use propane or natural gas, which eliminates the need to monitor the fuel and makes them much quieter to run.
If you do have a portable generator, it is important that you never try refilling the gas while the generator is hot. If you spill it, a fire could easily start. If you don’t want to go up in flames, let the engine completely cool down before you refill the gas (also, don’t fill it to the brim!).
We can outfit your home with a backup generator that can provide power for the entire house. Prices for backup generators start at around $1,900 (plus installation). Learn what you need to know before buying a backup generator. It is important that you hire a qualified electrician size and install your generator since there are strict safety standards and regulations established by OSHA, as well as other national and municipal guidelines.
Now that you have a list of precautions to take, you should be well-prepared for the next power outage. By following these guidelines, in addition, the manufacturer's guidelines, your generator should provide you with the necessary electricity and peace of mind.
For more information on backup generators, call Gold Medal Service at (732) 365-3199 or schedule an appointment online!
Call us today four 4 home maintenance appointments (electrical, heating, cooling, and plumbing) for the price of 1. We’ll be there to make sure your entire home is ready for the spring and summer seasons. All of our technicians are highly trained, background checked, and drug tested.