Home generators can be incredibly useful if you live in an area that experiences regular power outages. But while home generators are becoming more commonplace and easier to use, there are still a lot of rules and regulations to abide by when operating them.
If you’ve never used a home generator before Standby Generators but have just bought or rented one, here’s some handy do’s and don’ts to follow.
Checking the wattage and choosing a good location
The most important thing to do is check the wattage of your generator. Small home generators aren’t usually capable of powering an entire home. Instead, try to establish which appliances you’ll be able to run comfortably on your generator.
For instance, you may be able to turn on the lights in the living room and watch TV, but you might not be able to run your computer simultaneously. Heavy energy users like electric showers, kettles and washing machines will almost definitely not run on a small personal generator. If you’re unsure of the wattage of each of your appliances, check the manufacturer’s instructions – and don’t be tempted to run an appliance if you’re not certain your generator can accommodate it.
You also need to choose a good location for your generator. This has to be somewhere you can find easily in the dark, if the power fails suddenly. Make sure the path to the generator is clear, so you don’t stumble upon any obstacles while the lights are off. A garage or easily reachable shed may be good locations. You should also make sure there’s a torch near it, so you can see clearly when you turn it on. And always make sure that the device has enough fuel in it – re-fuelling your generator in the dark is unsafe and inadvisable.
If you’ve purchased your home generator outright, remember that it’s your responsibility to maintain it. Even if you don’t have a power outage for several months, you should carry out regular checks on your generator to ensure that it still works. You can do this by running the engine every month, but you may need to get it serviced annually to avoid the development of any serious technical problems.
Alternatively, if you’ve rented your home generator temporarily, maintenance may be much simpler. Some power rental companies include maintenance in their fees, so you may not need to take responsibility for regular checks. However, it’s worth establishing who has responsibility for maintaining your generator from the beginning of your hire period to avoid any mix-ups in the future.