Generators can be a vital instrument to your household. Whether you using a generator camping, a transformer blows or you lose electricity due to the weather, this tool keeps your power on. It can save your food from spoiling and keep life saving equipment operating. However, there are things you can do to make it break down or harm those in your home. Here are a few beginner mistakes to avoid.
Forget To Provide Regular Maintenance
Depending on the situation, your equipment can get a good workout when it is running. Postponing or putting off an essential checkup of its vital parts can make it seize up and malfunction. Contact a reliable electrician to give it a look over at least once a year. Make sure that the motor is cleaned, the filter is replaced, and that the annunciator is working. Any fluids inside of it should be drained and refilled. Start it to ensure that everything is as it should be before you take it home. You should also operate it once a month for a few minutes at a time to keep everything mobile and functioning properly to prevent it from freezing up when you require it.
Leave the Machine Outside
It is dangerous, possibly deadly, to keep a generator in your house or garage as it operates. It produces carbon monoxide as it works and releases it through its exhaust. This gas can make you and your family very sick or even kill you. When you are utilizing this type of machine, keep it over 25 feet from the structure. Find a flat surface to set it to keep from splashing the gasoline on yourself. It will also ensure that the internal mechanisms are getting the proper lubrication. Be sure the area above it is open and that any porch overhang is far from where it is.
Turn It Off Before Adding Fluids
With any machine, it is vital to turn it off and allow the engine to become cold before adding any gasoline to it. This is especially true for generators. The fuel tank for this type of equipment sits at the top of it. This allows gravity to move the fluid down to the carburetor. However, the hot machinery that is still on can catch fire if the gas touches it. This will ignite the tank as well, causing a huge blaze that could severely hurt you and damage your property. You should also shut it down to add oil as well. This liquid can splash back at you in some models if it is still working.
Have the Right Cord
Since your generator will be kept outside, you must have an extension cord that is regulated for this purpose. These are wrapped to protect the wires inside from the elements and any creatures that could nibble at it. Look at the owner’s manual for your unit to determine what type is recommended. Purchase a brand new one instead of using one you already have. This way you will know if it has the correct amps needed to make it run efficiently and that it is in proper condition. Old cords could overheat or give you or a family member a shock.
Attaching To Your Home Control Panel
There is a process called backfeeding, which means that you connect your generator to the circuit breakers of your home directly. This eliminates having to use many extension cords when you are using the machine. However, this is actually illegal to do and very dangerous so it should be avoided. When the power is restored to your home, the generator can send a surge of electricity backwards from your house into the power grid. This can cause a fire within the structure or electrocute someone there or a lineman working outside on the wires. If you would like to simplify the method that you use when your generator is working, contact a reputable electrician to set up a way to hook up directly to the control panel. They can install a switch that allows you to flip between your utilities and the unit.
Use the Right Fuel
Operating this unit can cost a great deal of money, especially if your power is off for multiple days. Even though you can save cash at the start by buying the lower grade of gasoline, it could cause problems in the long run. It can clog up the lines and slow down the mechanics inside. Be sure to only get the premium fuel. Also, avoid putting in anything that has been sitting for a long time. Always fill it with brand new gas and keep it full at all times. Your generator is an important tool for your home when you lose electricity for a long time. Setting it up in the right spot, connecting it to your house correctly, and taking care when you add fuel to it will keep it running for a long time while protecting your family from harm.