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Residential standby generator

Stay Safe When Using Your Generator This Summer

A generator can provide valuable assistance when your power has gone out, but you need to follow some guidelines in order to use it safely. Keep reading to learn how to prevent overheating and electrical hazards when using a generator.

Pay Attention to Placement

A generator needs to be placed in a strategic location outside the home. The exhaust that the system produces has carbon monoxide gas in it, which poses a major threat if it accumulates. If you use your generator outside, however, that carbon monoxide will dissipate and won’t affect you. Also, your generator will need to be on a flat surface. The system’s fluids need to be at certain levels as opposed to accumulating in certain sections, and the system needs to be flat so that it can withstand the vibrations that occur when it’s running.

Keep It Dry

You already know that water and electricity don’t mix. This same principle remains true when you’re using a generator. You should keep your generator dry to avoid the risk of electrical hazards. Water can cause short circuits in your system, leading to malfunctions. Further, water can corrode metal and damage other parts of your generator. Even worse, water can result in a shock, spark, or fire. Someone could get seriously injured if a generator gets wet.

To avoid such problems, anticipate what situations could arise if you place your generator in certain locations outside your home. Is there a spot that can remain dry, even if it rains outside? You may need to set up your generator on a concrete pad and cover it up so that it doesn’t get wet. Make sure to not block the flow of air in and out of your generator to prevent overheating and the buildup of dangerous gases.

Be Gentle With It

A generator does have its limitations. You can’t overload a generator and expect it to continue to work well. Instead, pay attention to the guidelines that came with it. If you need to, get out a calculator to determine how much power your various appliances use. For example, a washing machine might use around 500 or 600 watts, a refrigerator might use about that same amount, and a dryer could use a few thousand watts or more. You’ll find their wattage information on their labels. Always stay within the limits of your generator so that it can continue to function well without getting stressed. Overloading it could lead to internal damage, sparks, or overheating.

Take Preventive Measures

You’ll want to be smart about how you use your generator this summer. Don’t push it too hard, and set it up in a dry and flat location outside your home. If you ever need help with generator service in Lansing, MI, please contact Wire Works.