There are many things to consider when looking into having someone install a generator in your home. There are many benefits to having a generator installed. If you lose power due to bad weather or a natural disaster, you will understand why home generators are extremely practical. It can provide light, heat, and electricity until the power is restored.
There is a wide range of types and options available that make installing a generator affordable for all budgets and needs. There are four types of generators that range in different costs and functions:
Gasoline generators are the most cost-effective option. This is usually the most popular choice in most regions but it has a short shelf life. Unfortunately, gasoline generators are often difficult to store and have a short shelf life.
While usually on the pricier side, these generators are often more convenient to own. These generators are usually hooked up to the utility grid, removing the usual requirement for fuel storage. However, they normally tend to use more fuel than other types. These generators work well in cold climates.
Diesel generators are usually the most expensive type of generator. This is because they are commonly used to power an entire home. They run much more efficiently and provide extreme power. The more power you need the more beneficial these generators are.
Liquid Propane generators burn clean and have an indefinite shelf life when stored correctly. The only trouble with Liquid propane is that the fuel can often be difficult to store and you may need to get propane delivered often.
After going through the process of deciding what generator is best for you and your home, there are several precautions you need to be aware of. It is important that you take advantage of reading up on generator safety, once you have everything set up safely, you will be set for the next time a storm knocks out your power.
Beware of hazards
Make sure you are careful when using your generator, beware of shocks and electrocution from incorrect use. To avoid electrical hazards, think about using a transfer switch. You can use outlets on the generator but it is best to plug in appliances directly to the generator. If you must use an extension cord, it should be a heavy-duty one for outdoor use and rated at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Make sure that the entire cord is free of cuts and has three prongs-- this is critical to protect against shock if water has collected inside the equipment. Keep all cords organized, make sure to avoid any entanglements.
Proper ventilation is key
To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, purchase a CO detector. Many new generators have a device that detects dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and turns off the machine if levels get too high. Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors. It is not safe to have your generator running in a basement or garage. Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.
Keep generator grounded
If using a portable generator, it is important to keep it grounded. Grounding refers to connecting an electrical circuit to a reference ground. In the case of a generator, the frame of the generator acts as the electrical circuit, and a properly installed grounding rod acts as the reference ground. Connecting a copper wire from your generator’s frame to the grounding rod grounds the generator for safe operation. Make sure to keep the generator clear of debris and dry
Do not “back feed” power
Backfeeding is trying to power your home’s wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. This is a very reckless and dangerous practice. This presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors who use the same utility transformer. You could also end up frying some of your electronics or starting an electrical fire.
Heat produced from generators
Even if used for a short time, generators can get extremely hot. Handle generators with caution after use.
Only use the fuel recommended in the owner's manual. Stock up on extra gasoline and store it properly. If you plan on using your generator for an extended amount of time, you will want spare fuel on hand just in case. Make sure to store the gas in an ANSI-approved container in a cool, well-ventilated place. Do not store gasoline near any potential sources of heat or fire.
Now that you’ve decided which generator is the best fit for you, we can help you install it safely. At Electrical Plus, we value forming a personal relationship with our customers. Visit our website to learn more about our services and get a free estimate.