The following suggestions are designed for the safe and dependable
use of a portable generator. Before selecting a generator you must first
determine your needs and wants. Example: An average refrigerator uses
about 12 amps of power. You want to save your food, but to prevent thawing,
you may only need to power it four hours out of the day, and then share
the power with other things you need.
- 1. Do not over tax a generator's capacity. This will damage
both the generator and the item being powered and void any warranty.
It is recommended you use only about half of the unit's total capacity.
Example: a 3500 watt generator can supply about 30 amps of power at
total output. At half capacity, this would be about 15 amps, similar
to one household circuit. You can power a sump pump or a refrigerator,
but not both at the same time.
- 2. To not impede the flow of power, heavier gauge electric cords are
always recommended. We suggest nothing lighter than 14 gauge, or longer
than 100 feet. Do not modify these cords in any way.
- 3. Fuel and oil: Be sure to read the directions for your unit and use
the recommended lubricating oil in the engine and the correct fuel.
Failure to do so will likely destroy the unit and void any warranty.
- 4. Do not use indoors. Not even in your garage! All gasoline powered
engines produce exhaust which contains poisonous carbon monoxide. Your
generator should be run outside your home but protected from the weather.
A shed or a pop-up three sided canopy are some suggestions.
- 5. Always shut the engine off when re-fueling. Failure to do this will
most likely result in a dangerous and sometimes violent fire.
- 6. Storage: Many people will have a generator on hand to supply electrical
power in case of an extended power outage. This means that the unit
will be stored for long periods of time without use. The gasoline fuel
will go bad after a few months and will render the engine inoperable.
For long storage life, we recommend removing all fuel from both the
tank and carburetor. Cover the unit to prevent dust build up, store
in a dry place that will be both safe and accessible in case of an emergency.
- 7. Fuel: have a fresh supply of fuel ready in case of sudden need. It
is also a good idea to have the capacity to hold a larger supply of
fuel in case of an expected extended power outage. (Extra gas cans)
- 8. No electronics! The power from a portable generator is not "in
tune" like the power from your home. It can damage the delicate
circuits of such things as cell phones, computers and TVs. It is better
to power these things from your car's 12volt system or from a device
called a power inverter (an inverter converts a car's 12 volt power
to 110 volt household current. The amperage provided is much lower but
it has a cleaner sign wave)
- 9. The larger the unit, the harder it will be to move and operate. Know
- 10. A power outage can be a stressful event. A single lamp in a common
area of the house can have a calming effect on everyone. It is well
worth the extra one amp of power.