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Being powerful machines, generators will keep your home lit and operational when you need them the most. In order to do this, your generator needs to be in reliable working condition to function optimally. Outages can quickly be dealt with if homeowners regularly service their generators. As a Marion, SC homeowner, operating and maintaining your generator shouldn’t be learned on the go since it is easy to make mistakes that can damage your investment. In the absence of an informed and careful approach, common mistakes can be easily made. It’s great to have the name of a reliable generator repair service on hand.
Mistakes You Should Avoid with a Home Generator
It is easy for a generator to malfunction. For this reason, it is important to have a generator repair service at hand. Here are ten mistakes you should look out for when using your home generator:
Incorrectly Powering Your Generator On and Off
Generally, most generators follow a basic procedure when safely powering on and off. Before powering a generator, extension cords need to be plugged in, while turning it off involves unplugging the loads from the cord and unplugging the cord from the generator. Finally, turn off the generator when all the cords have been unplugged.
For utmost safety, thoroughly read through the user manual to ensure that you turn on and off your generator correctly. A generator repair service can also help you figure it out during installation.
Running the Generator in an Enclosed Space
It is advisable to avoid starting your generator in the garage or near the house due to carbon monoxide in the exhaust. Choose a spot outside on a dry patch, away from open doors and windows, before starting your generator. A clear, safe distance would be 25 feet away.
Usually, stationary generators will be installed in a suitable location by a generator repair service. However, portable generators stored indoors should never be started while still in there.
Using the Wrong Installation Cords
To function, most generators need an outdoor grounded extension cord with GFCI functionality. In the absence of a grounded extension cord, electricity could flow anywhere, resulting in hazards such as fires or electrocution. The cord’s length and load amperage will also influence how much it can handle. Old cords can be unsafe and require a generator repair service expert to replace them.
Remember, you need to safely operate your generator without blowing a fuse, causing a fire, or getting electrocuted. Utilize your user manual.
Poor Quality Fuel
Buying cheaper fuel to save a few dollars is tempting. However, this could damage your generator and cost more in the long run. Clogged injectors resulting from substandard gas reduce a generator’s output and facilitate the growth of microorganisms. The longer a generator sits unused, the more likely the gas has already gone bad. To eliminate such instances, ensure the generator is run regularly, add a fuel stabilizer for freshness and drain the gas before starting a stored generator.
Connecting to the Service Panel
A generator should never be directly connected to your home’s service panel. It is hazardous and could even cause an electric fire. Once the power kicks on, residual power may travel backward up the line. This occurrence could cause potential danger to your neighbors and utility workers. It is also illegal.
It is advisable to have a generator repair service expert install a manual transfer switch to your generator. The switch changes the power source from the grid to the generator in your home.
Running Generator in Elements
You should never run your generator in wet conditions. This will only damage the inverter or get you electrocuted as water makes its way to the electrical panels and outlets, resulting in frame short-circuiting. A generator should always be operated on an open dry and level area under a generator cover.
Fueling While in Operation
Adding gas while the generator is running is dangerous and could result in a fire or explosion. It is crucial to wait for the generator to cool first before attempting to add fuel. Most generator repair service experts advise homeowners to avoid topping off the generator with gas when empty. Just a small splash of fuel near the spark plug could cause a fire. Remember to ensure the generator is off and turned off before fueling it.
Neglecting Routine Maintenance
Part of generator ownership includes regular and routine maintenance from a generator repair service due to their complexity. Constantly overlooking the manufacturer’s recommendations could result in mechanical issues. The issues could range from problems starting to complete failure of the machine.
Some of the regular maintenance homeowners are advised to carry out involves:
- Inspecting the batteries.
- Cleaning the air filter and oil.
- Running the generator once every month, especially in the cooler seasons.
Keeping Poor or No Records
It is important to learn how to use, maintain and service your home generator. This includes the amount of fuel it needs and how you intend to use the power produced. Keep track of details such as the amount of gas at all times and generator capacity so that you don’t run out of fuel.
Lack of properly kept records may result in expensive errors and wasted fuel. Some errors may jeopardize the safety of your loved ones.
Hiring a Subpar Technician
The repair and maintenance of your generator require some technical skills. You may need a professional’s opinion and skillset to handle installation, maintenance, or repair in certain instances. As such, it is important to consult the services of a qualified generator repair service expert. Take time to research their qualifications, know what they specialize in, and whether they are certified by the Electric Generating Systems Association. It is also essential to check their references and ask questions.
The Generator Experts in Marion, SC
At Mister Sparky Generators, we are the No. 1 generator experts in Marion, SC. Our skilled professionals are friendly, courteous, and have the utmost respect for our customer’s property. We guarantee our services and ensure you spend your time on what matters most. Get in touch with us today for more information about our services.