A generator is a useful thing when you are off-grid or the main supply goes off, but you still need some power for home equipment and appliances. The correct use of the machine is important in case you are ready to take the maximum of it. Failure to do so will prove hazardous to you, people around you and the unit itself. Here are the essential tips on the safe use of the generator, which will ensure its long life.
Best place for the generator:
The location of the generator during the use is as important as safety. The same goes for the RV units, especially when camping in the wild. To find the best place for the generator, keep in mind some rules:
- Dry and hidden from the rain. Water is, probably, the worst enemy of the generator. The risk of electrocution is extremely high in case you use a generator in the rain, on a wet surface, or during other wet weather conditions. Ensure that the surface you want to put a generator to is completely dry and your hands are not wet the moment you touch the item;
- Well-ventilated and open. Carbon monoxide is the most dangerous product of fossil fuels burning, which are used for power generation. The CO is very toxic, and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is high in case your generator runs out of fossil fuels and you don’t channel the exhaust in the right way. Therefore, you should make sure the generator is located in an open area with fresh flowing air. The generator should not be used indoors. Keep in mind that the exhaust should not be directed to nearby windows, RV or neighbor’s premises;
- Stable and steady level. It is necessary to prevent the generator from falling off during the work. Fall can damage not only the generator but the appliances it is powering.
Proper wiring and connection:
Correct wiring and connection are the guarantees of a proper delivery of power from the generator right to your home, farm, recreational vehicle or construction tools. Striving to use a generator for motor-home, you need to ensure that the transfer switch is installed by the electric panel to guarantee an effective changeover. It is important to note that a transfer switch transfers the load out of the main supply to the power of the generator and vice versa. Following the recommendations, you’d better ask a professional to install the device, especially in case you have never dealt with electrical installations.
With no transfer switch, you will be tempted to plug the unit right into the power point or RV. However, this is dangerous and can back feed power into power lines. Consequently, it can electrocute the servicemen who may be maintaining or repairing the lines, as well as trigger significant damage to the generator, too. Once you plan to tap power from your generator for the appliances, you need to take a heavy-duty extension cord, which is built for outdoor use. Keep in mind that the rating of the cord and the power output of the generator should be equal. Make sure the cord isn’t exposed or cut anywhere. Check out a list of the most useful accessories for a portable generator.
Fueling the generator:
It is inevitable to use the fuel type, which is recommended by the producer. Extensive damage to the unit can be caused by failure to do so. Besides, you will void the warranty for the damage of the generator. Make sure the generator is turned off and cooled down before you start fueling it. Hot parts of the unit can ignite the fuel causing a fire, so ensure the item isn’t hot.
Safekeeping and storage
Store the generator in a dry, cool place, when you do not use it. You can either drain fuel before storage or add a stabilizer in order to prevent gum buildup.