Backup Generator - Standby Generator
Backup Generators for your Home or Business
During a power outage, a portable generator, when properly used, may be able to provide enough power for lights, heat or critical business processes and can be a valuable part of an emergency plan. However, there are many pros and cons associated with purchasing portable generators. Research your purchase carefully and be sure to consult a licensed and knowledgeable electrical contractor if you are not sure of the requirements for your home or business.
If You Are Considering Buying a Portable Standby Generator...
Before purchasing or installing any type of standby or distributed generation, whether it is stand-alone or connected to the grid, it is important to understand the safety requirements.
- Clearly understand your electricity requirements to ensure the unit is the correct size and voltage for your application
- Purchase the appropriate generator accessories, including: an approved transfer device or switch and a properly sized connector cord and plugs
- Ensure all components of the generators carry approval labels
- Retain the services of a licensed and knowledgeable electrical contractor to install your unit
- Ask about measures you should take to ensure proper grounding and bonding of the unit
- Read and follow the instructions in your owner's manual
- Contact the Electrical Safety Authority to arrange for an inspection of the installation
- Remember the generator is a fuel-driven device that requires proper ventilation to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning
Source: Electrical Safety Authority
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Backup generators can pose a dangerous safety hazard so be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and review the following safety information.
Operating a portable generator
- Only use generators outside. The carbon monoxide fumes they emit could be deadly indoors.
- Operate generators on a firm, level surface. Running on an incline could cause the piston to seize
- Check extension cords frequently to make sure they have not become hot
- Don't use generators under conditions that are dusty, sandy or wet
Guidelines for Connecting a Portable Generato
- Read and follow all instructions
- Connect appliances to the generator one at a time, starting with those that draw the largest load
- Prioritize your needs. Use the lowest wattage lightbulbs that provide a safe level of light, reserving power for additional lighting elsewhere or for a small appliance
- The greater the load, the more fuel your generator will use
- Only use three-pronged extension cords of adequately heavy gauge
- Make sure appliances plugged into the generator have over-current protection provided at the generator
Maintaining a portable generator
- Run the generator under load monthly
- Trickle-charge the battery every month
- Keep the tank filled with fresh fuel
- Use fuel conditioner to keep the fuel from breaking down