3 Things To Know About Operating A Generator When The Power Is Out

When the electricity goes out due to a car accident knocking down a light pole or an incredibly strong thunderstorm, you may not necessarily want to sit in the dark for hours with no way to cook, stay warm/cool, take a hot bath, or watch television. Whatever the case may be, you do have a way of restoring power in your home until the electric company is able to restore actual power to your area: a generator. However, there are a few things you need to know about them first.

1. Portable Generators Should Never Be Used Indoors

Portable generators put off carbon dioxide, so they must never be used inside. They need to be outside and in a well-ventilated area that is dry so that exhaust fumes are not inhaled by anyone. Now, the generator does need some level of protection, as it needs to stay dry and does not need to be exposed to weather elements, such as rain, snow, etc. This can be some type of canopy or something similar as long as it is not an enclosed shelter.

2. Don't Wire a Portable Generator into Your Home's Wiring Directly

While it may seem like a smart move to simply hard-wire your generator directly into your home's wiring to make things a lot simpler, this can actually be very dangerous since it can feed back into the power lines. If this happens, the transformers could then take the electrical voltage and increase it into thousands of volts. So, if you're interested in having a generator hard-wired into your home, then you need to peak to a licensed, professional electrician who can do it safely and properly and also install a cut-off switch. It may also be a good idea to have it approved with your utility company.

3. Make Sure That You Aren't Overloading Your Generator

You are going to be happy to have power back when your generator gets going, but you need to be careful with how many appliances that you run at any given time. Generators come with a certain power rating, which means that they can only power a limited amount of wattage. If you have too much going, it could cause damage to your electronics, appliances, etc. In addition, it could cause a fire to ignite in the power cord. So, you need to ensure that the total wattage that you are using is less than the generator's output rating. If you are ever in doubt, simply don't plug in that extra appliance or electronic. 

For more information, contact a business such as Oak Electric.