How to use a Generator Safely?

A generator is a ‘must have thing’ in this busy world. As the world relies mostly on electricity, we must make the arrangement of alternate ways in case of natural disaster or system problem. It is the most important in hospitals or medical centers as it can be life-saving. A portable generator may not light up the entire house, but it can make life a lot easier and comfortable until the electricity is restored.

The steps to using a generator safely

Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions

If you are a new user or did not use it for a long time, you should read the generator’s manual book. Although going through all the instructions and safety information is very tiresome, you should follow the manufacturer’s commands before starting the generator. It may take a couple of minutes to read all of them but you will be able to master all the operations in the safest way.  Place the safety information near the generation so that you can easily find them in case of emergency.

Safety Generator
Source: Cdc.gov

Put the generator in the right place

Generally, they produce a lot of noise and dangerous fumes. So, try to keep it in a dry place, at least, three feet away from anything else and 20 feet away from the open doors and windows. Placing it outdoor is the best option.

Check the fuel level

There is a fuel gauge to help you measure the amount. Make sure the generator is filled adequately to give continuous power supply for a pretty long time. If not, fill in the fuel tank immediately.

Check the generators oil level

Make sure the oil level is high enough to lubricate all the running parts. Check the manual book to know the least amount of oil that must be present before running the generator. If the level goes below the standard measurement, refill the tank with appropriate oil (as per the instruction of the manufacturer).

Examine the generator’s air filter

Generators use air to operate the combustion process for producing the electric power. Make sure the air is pure and dust free as the filter attracts dirt or debris easily. So, do not forget to check the filter before starting the generator. If the filter traps a lot of dirt, it will hamper the power production. Clean it according to the manufacturer’s instruction.

Turn over the circuit breaker off

 When it ejects power, the switch remains in ‘on’ position. So, make sure it is in the ‘off’ state before starting the generator. If not, it may cause serious injury.

Switch on the fuel valve

It determines the fluid flow through the generator’s engine. Fuel is the food of a generator as it cannot produce any power without fuel. So, do not flip the valve on before starting the generator.

Start the generator

Do it by pressing the switch at the ‘START’. It will power up the machine. Do not immediately turn on the circuit breaker and let the generator warm up and run for few minutes to get stabled. (Read the manufacturer’s instruction to know the exact time for warm up).

Connect your devices

Connect the devices to your generator to transfer electric power. Some generators allow the devices to connect directly whereas others recommend using approved extension cord. If you need to use the extension cord, use one that is heavy duty, outdoor-rated, and has a grounding pin.

Switch off the generator

If you no longer want to use the generator or the fuel tank needs to be refilled, you should switch it. Flip the circuit breaker to the ‘OFF’ position and then turn off the generator’s power switch to stop the machine. Finally, put the fuel valve to the ‘OFF’ position.

Keep a sufficient level of fuel for supply

You must ensure sufficient fuel supply for the generator. The fuel storage limit can be fixed by laws, regulations, safety considerations or the storage space. Make proper arrangements so that the generator can supply power smoothly without any obstacle.

Tips: Read the manual book provided with the generator to know the amount of power produced by each tank of fuel. It will give you an idea about the storage limit. Do not use any type of fuel! The type of fuel is fixed by the generator’s manufacturer. Inappropriate fuel can cause sudden burst, serious accident or void the generator’s warranty. The most recommended fuel for generators is- gasoline and kerosene.

Switch off the generator and cool it before refueling

 You have nothing to do but turning off the power switch if the generator runs out of fuel in the middle of power supply. Wait for 15 minutes after turning off the switch because refueling a hot generator can be harmful. It is recommended to schedule a refuel of the generator at an off-peak time. It will let the generator provide continuous power supply.

Check the generator regularly

Check the circuit breaker and other connections of the generator on a regular basis. It is necessary to keep it in a good working condition. Ignoring the proper maintenance for a long time reduces the generator’s lifespan and its performance level goes down. Make a schedule for inspecting the generator from time to time (at least once a year). Make sure that all the parts are free of dirt and the fuel tank supplies clean and pure fuel.  Follow the manufacturer’s instruction to store the generator at a suitable place.

Even if you do not use the generator on a regular basis, run it for a short time every month. It is necessary to check if everything is running properly and if any machine part is faulty.