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How to Use a Portable Generator During a Power Outage

by WEI WANG 05 May 2022

How to Use a Portable Generator During a Power Outage


A power interruption can be uncomfortable, expensive, and even deadly, depending on where you reside. As per a recent survey, approximately 70 % of persons who lose power are forced to spend money on flashlights, candles, and portable generators. Most people will have property destruction and damaged food, and several homes may become uninhabitable due to the storm.

Expert advice on portable generators, such as how to purchase, install, and operate them and generator characteristics, sizes, and required equipment.

 How to Use a Portable Generator During a Power Outage

How to Start a Generator in an Emergency


Check the power levels when setting the portable generator for home backup up and replenish them as required. Roll your portable generator to the chosen location, which should be dry and very well-ventilated, and gather your supplies.

Before you connect the extension cords, run the generator. The cords should be plugged in and then run into your house. Even if the cords get wet, ensure all dry connections, such as where two cords are plugged together. Set the motor's frequency as needed to keep the appliances you're powering running.

Consult the owner's manual to find out how long that motor will operate before it needs to be recharged so you can plan. Switch off the motor and unhook the wires before recharging. Allow the motor to cool for some minutes before you power it.

Consider the power consumption to allow the motor a break if the power outage is expected to last longer rather than hours. Only use the fridge or freezer occasionally and shut the door as often as possible.

If possible, only use a generator for a quarter to half that time. For example, when everybody has fallen asleep, you may turn it off. A sump pump that requires to function continually to clean up water in your basement or a gas boiler or furnace that has to heat the house on really cold nights are examples of exceptions.


Tips of Using Generators Correctly During a Power Outage


Most area residents may depend on the best portable generator for home power outage during long-term power failures. Portable or standby electric generators carry a little risk if installed and run correctly, but poor setup or use can be harmful, even lethal. Check out these tips on how to safely operate and use portable generators after a power outage:

Don't put too much strain on your generator.

  • Calculate how much power you'll need to run the devices you want to attach to the generator.
  • The wattage of a light bulb reflects how much energy is required to light it.
  • The power needs of appliances and equipment are listed on their labels.
  • Consult an electrician if you're not sure how much power you'll need.
  • Ensure your generator can handle the amount of electricity required by the devices you attach to it, such as the initial surge once it's turned on. Tumble use of the equipment if the generator doesn't create enough electricity to run it all at once.
  • You risk blowing a fuse on your generator or damaging the connected devices if your equipment consumes more energy than your generator can provide.

When using a generator, prevent plugging it into a Wall Outlet Directly

Connecting a generator to a wall outlet can cause issues. This move has the potential to transmit power back down the utility lines. Back-feed is a condition that might cause serious harm to your machine. As a result, a fire could ignite, and specialists working to restore electricity to the cables could be electrocuted. The safest technique to disconnect your building's circuits from the electricity lines is to utilize a transfer switch.


Extension cords of good quality are important.


Use a massive, outdoor-rated electrical cord if you intend to connect an electrical item straight into your generator. As per the American Red Cross, select one rated (in amps or watts) at least equivalent to the amount of the linked appliance loads. Do not use a cord that has been cut, damaged, or frayed. Avoid overloading your generator, which might cause it to overheat, posing a fire risk and causing the generator to malfunction.

When using many appliances, you might have to stagger them.

  • Properly use and conserve power.
  • Before you recharge, please switch off the generator and allow it to cool.
  • Invisible fumes can move along the ground, and the appliance's pilot light or arcs from electrical switches ignite them if you pour fuel or do not securely seal its bottle.
  • Charge it as per generator's instructions or label.


Know where to put them and how to put them.


Portable generators are used both inside and outside. If used outdoors, it should be distant from any building facilities. Keep the generator about 20 ft away from Windsor, doors, and vents, as per the National Weather Service, and never operate one inside a home or garage, even if the doors and windows are open.

When inclement weather drives individuals to install generators in their garages and possibly prop the garage door open, allowing exhaust to enter the residence, it's a very regular scenario that results in deaths.

To assist in preventing electrocutions and shocks, ensure your lightweight portable generator is correctly rooted, which you may accomplish by consulting the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration's requirements.


The Proper Use of a Generator


To use the generator, read the directions that came with it. Electrocution, electric shock, and fire could result from improper generator use.


Wait for the storm to pass.


If it's pouring outside, turn off the generator. To prevent electrocution, make sure your generator and hands are both dry. 

Build a "canopy-like structure" over your generator with a tarp supported by poles, as per the American Red Cross, to assist in keeping the place dry and aired. Online, you may also buy premade generator covers from reputable companies.

When the power system goes down, the portable generator for the house offers a reliable backup power supply. However, if you use one poorly, the risks are substantial. Electrocution, electrical shocks, and flames are among them.

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