Uncle Bobs Tips: Generator Guide

Power Generators

Power generators are on the rise and are flying off store shelves.

Power generators are on the rise and are flying off store shelves. Whether you are looking to protect your family and possessions during a hurricane, flood or regular power outage, run a few tools, or venture into the great outdoors, there's no feeling more secure than taking control of your power needs with a power generator. Power generators are an affordable way to ensure that you have power when you need it the most.

Generators are at work providing power around the world - from equatorial jungles to research-posts north of the Arctic Circle. Used to perform a wide variety of tasks, power generator engineers are at work developing a wide array of generators to provide power for any situation. The latest models are smaller, lighter and quieter.

There are two types of power generators - portable generators and permanently installed home generator systems. The following is a comparison between power generator types:

SETUP: portable to where you need power
FUEL SUPPLY: gasoline
STARTING: manual, recoil or electric
RUNNING WATTAGE: 900-10000 watts
PRICE RANGE: $500 - $1,500
USAGE: home/office standby power/jobsite/camping

SETUP: hardwired into your electric system
FUEL SUPPLY: LP or Natural gas
STARTING: automatic: senses power outage/switches to generator
RUNNING WATTAGE: 7000-12000 watts
PRICE RANGE: $5,000 - $10,000 installed

Once you have selected the right generator for your power needs, here are some safety tips to keep in mind whenever you use your power generator:

  • Always observe the generator manufacturer's instructions for safe operation.
  • Always run your power generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
  • Maintain your generator engine according to the maintenance schedule for peak performance and safety.
  • Keep gas fresh. If you do not plan to use your generator for up to 30 days, stabilize the gas with a gas stabilizer.
  • When using extension cords, be sure they are grounded, and are a sufficient wire gauge for the application. Heavy duty outdoor rated cords will handle household appliance loads.
  • Never plug your power generator directly into your house circuit.
  • If connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified manual power transfer system electrician install it.

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