Helpful Tips For First Time Backup Generator Users

So you’ve finally decided to pull the trigger and get that backup generator for your home. If you live in an area that sees routine inclement weather in the form of high winds and heavy precipitation, then you probably know how much good it’s going to do in a rather short period of time.

A home backup generator can help you avoid the major inconvenience that comes with a power outage. Even a half hour without your electrical system can feel like an eternity. Your refrigerator and freezer don’t work so all that food is going to waste. If it’s night-time you need to find a flashlight and light some candles just to see in front of you. Hot or cold weather outdoors could mean more of the same temperatures inside the home, resulting in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation.

These conditions are even more hazardous for individuals living in the residence who can’t handle these extreme temperatures. That includes senior citizens who can have a hard time regulating their body’s natural responses to increased heat or cold. When your air conditioner or heater are inoperable you can’t control the climate level in the home and that’s uncomfortable for everyone, not just seniors.

Even worse for seniors, many of them may need electronic equipment and monitoring to keep them healthy and safe. If the power is out, those units don’t operate. That’s a serious potential problem.

So maybe these are some of the reasons why you finally got that backup generator. But being a first time owner you may have some questions as to the operational functionality and capacities of your unit. For those concerns, we would like to address the simple basics of backup generator ownership and uses.

Take a good look at our helpful tips, you may find yourself living in a dark home without food or heat one day and the only thing that can solve the problem is your generator. It doesn’t even matter which kind you pick up, be it a portable generator or an interlock kit. Knowing how each one works is important to understanding how to use it.

Portable generators can be taken with you on the go, anywhere. Interlock kits are like manual transfer switches and these are intended to remain stationary. While these differences might be confusing to some it’s critical to know what kind of generator you plan to use so you can make more sense of the type of equipment you’re using.

Use Outdoors

There is no more important thing to remember for you first-timers using a portable backup generator. The most common reason for people getting hurt or killed is due to the fact they were using their unit indoors in a closed space. Most generators expel an exhaust which often contains carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that is odorless.

Keep this in mind as carbon monoxide poisoning can cause serious bodily harm in as little as five minutes. Therefore, be sure you always operate the generator outdoors from roughly 15-20 feet away from the home and windows that might be open.

Keep Dry

Like any appliance such as this, it may work well during the rain but it may not operate correctly when left in it. So always take care as to where you’re placing the generator so that it always works properly and efficiently.

Much of the time you are without power is often during a rain storm. But rain is the last thing you want getting inside of your backup generator and so you need to find a cool, dry, and ventilated area to keep the unit safe.

For these instances, putting a up a tarp or a panel of some other rain-resistant material is going to do your generator a world of good. It’s not quite inside but it’s not exposed to the elements either.

Be Careful Refueling


The leading liquid used for operating a backup generator is gasoline. But this can, in turn, heat up and make the unit hot to the touch. Be mindful of how long you use the generator in one sitting and then be sure to give it a rest from time to time.

When you are pouring more gasoline into the machine be careful not to spill on yourself or anything around you. Also, keep a close on the heat generated from the unit, those that tend to get hot on occasion need extra time to cool down. So when you break or pause for a minute, touch the generator first before adding the gas.