Your home generator ensures your operations don’t come to a standstill merely because of a power out. Even so, you should take the appropriate steps to ensure the generator is in tip-top shape and can provide constant, reliable power to see you through the long haul.
The way you use your backup power source will determine its longevity and how efficient it will be during an emergency. Operating and servicing a residential generator involves many logistics.
Hence, every aspect should be approached with great caution. Otherwise, you risk committing costly mistakes. This blog has discussed several things you need to avoid when using your home generator, including:
Connecting the Generator Directly to the Service Panel
Never tempt fate by connecting your home backup generator directly to the service panel or back feed, as this can pose a serious electrical hazard in the home. When power comes back on, residual energy may travel up the line backward.
This unlawful practice won’t just endanger you or your family; your generator repair service technician’s life could also be jeopardized due to exposure to high voltage.
The best practice here is to have a licensed electrician mount a manual transfer switch on a portable generator. The switch changes a home’s power supply between the grid and the generator.
Skipping Routine Maintenance
Generators are relatively complex devices. Thus, proper and regular maintenance is critical as it increases the confidence that the generator will be dependable when needed. These pieces of equipment come with a manual for maintenance tasks.
Failure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions or attend to minor problems early could lead to more serious concerns later.
Neglecting routine generator maintenance might lead to starting issues or cause the unit to seize up. In the worst-case scenario, your generator may stop functioning indefinitely.
Besides your weekly preventative maintenance practices, a generator repair service tech will test the batteries and clean the oil and air filters during the bi-annual or yearly tune-ups. This will help ensure the system operates at peak performance and prolong its lifespan.
Operating the Unit in Enclosed Spaces
It’s a big mistake if you start a portable generator indoors, including in your garage or anywhere close to your house. This is because the generator’s exhaust usually emits carbon monoxide, which can be fatal if you or your loved ones accidentally inhale it.
It’s highly advisable to run a portable generator in a well-ventilated area outside of a home, at least 20 feet away from open windows and doors. Also, allow for a clearance of at least five feet around the machine.
If you store your generator in the garage to protect it from the elements, never try to start it there. Again, for stationery generators that should be installed indoors, a generator repair service must place them in a safe location.
Fueling Up While the Generator Is Running
You may not know this, but adding fuel to a generator while its motor is running or off but still hot can result in an explosion or a fire. Therefore, wait until your generator has cooled before adding more fuel. Another thing you want to avoid is topping off the generator’s gas tank when it’s empty.
The fire risk is instant should a small splash of fuel land on the spark plug or the hot exhaust. Want to evade costly generator repair services? Check to confirm that your generator is completely turned off and has had ample time to cool down before fueling it.
Using Low-Quality Fuel
Going for cheap fuel instead of premium might save you a few bucks. But you may not like the resulting damage due to your home generator because of subpar fuel, which can be costly in the long run. There’s a risk of the injectors clogging from the polluted gas, reducing the unit’s output and promoting microbial growth inside the tank.
If your generator has been idle for some months, there’s a likelihood of the old gas degrading. Thus, before using a stored generator, you should drain the gas. Additionally, consider exercising your machine regularly to help prevent the old gas from deteriorating. You can also talk to a professional generator repair service provider about the fuel stabilizers you can use to freshen up the fuel.
Incorrectly Powering On and Off
The basic steps to safely turn a generator on and off are similar for most generators. To power on your home power backup system, plug in the extension cord first. Then plug in any other loads into the extension cable.
To turn off the unit, disconnect the additional loads from the cord, then unplug the cable from the generator. Only switch off the generator once all cords have been disconnected. If you need help, you can ask your generator repair service contractor. But all in all, consult the user manual to properly switch the generator on and off to prevent the unit from strain or damage.
Running the Equipment in the Elements
Never run your generator in rainy weather to avoid being electrocuted or harming the inverter. What happens is that when water gets its way into the outlets or electrical panels, it causes the frame to short circuit.
Place your generator on a flat surface and in a dry, well-ventilated space. Or under a generator cover, although technically, these covers work in rain, sleet, or snow.
There Aren’t Other Experts to Hire than Mister Sparky Generators!
Avoiding the mistakes above while operating your generator will save you money and headaches in the long run. From generator installation to repair and maintenance, we’re pleased to inform you that Mister Sparky Generators got your back. To schedule a generator repair service today, call us at Mister Sparky Generators now!
As previously mentioned, generator repair and maintenance are critical processes that often require technical abilities. Undoubtedly, at one point in its lifetime, you’ll need advanced knowledge and experience to install, restore, or maintain the generator. That’s where a generator repair service comes in.
You must do a thorough background check about the generator repair service you want to hire to ensure they’re licensed, certified, and trustworthy.
Call Mister Sparky Generators today for professional services.
See our previous blog on this topic here.