Powering Up Your Generator
- Check fuel level.
- If you must add fuel, be sure generator is cooled down.
- Do not over fill.
- Check oil level.
- Check filter.
- Check voltage selector to make sure it matches the type of application you are connecting to (CHOOSE BETWEEN '120-VOLTS AND 120-VOLT/240').
- Move generator outside to well-ventilated area.
- Place on a firm, level surface.
- Connect a heavy duty, outdoor-rated power cord to generated, or connect appliances directly to generator to generator.
- Turn generator's circuit breaker off.
- Turn power switch on.
- Pull cord.
- Let generator warm up before turning circuit breaker back on.
Some generators operate on unleaded gasoline. Others use diesel fuel. Five gallons of gas will power a 5,600 watt generator for about eight hours. One gallon of gas will power a 3,000 watt generator for about 3 1/2 hours.
You will also need multi-gallon, vented containers for storing gasoline (fill before storm comes), engine oil, an outdoors-rated extension cord and a carbon-monoxide detector.
Caring for your generator
- Never over fill gas.
- Don't use stale or contaminated gas.
- Avoid getting dirt or water in the fuel tank.
- Turn fuel valve off when transporting or storing generator. This keeps fuel from diluting engine oil and damaging engine.
- Run generator at least once a month. This lubricates the engine, recharges the battery and lets fresh gas through the carburetor.
- When storing a generator for more than two months, drain fuel and add fuel conditioner to top it off, following directions on the label.
- Change oil regularly, according to your model's manual.
- Change filter regularly. according to your model's manual.
The risks (if you don't do it right): carbon-monoxide poisoning, electrocution, fire and explosion.
- Never use wet hands to operate the generator. Never let water come in contact with the generator.
- Never run your generator in a garage because the carbon-moxide exhaust is toxic. Find a well-ventilated space with some cover, but be sure the generator isn't positioned outside an open window. Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector. Always turn the engine off before refueling and let the generator cool.
- Don't spill fuel. It can ignite.
- Store fuel and generator in a ventilated area and away from natural gas water heaters. Vapors can escape from closed cans and tanks, then travel to the pilot light and ignite.
- Never feed power from a portable generator into a wall outlet. This can kill linemen working to restore power. It also can damage your generator.
- Don't use power cords that are frayed. This can cause a fire. Be sure all prongs are intact and that the cord is outdoor-rated. The cord's wattage or amps must not be smaller than the sum of the connected appliance loads.
- Ask the dealer how many watts it will put out and for how long and how big a load it can handle.
- You could spend around $350 for a 2,400 watts model, $600 for an industrial-strength model. A television uses 300 watts; a freezer, 330; a water heater 3,000.
- Compare brands and models. Get manufacturer's toll-free numbers for technical questions.
- Make sure you have the right cords and connectors or the generator will be useless. Consider an auxiliary fuel tank.
- Don't fill fuel tanks until right before the storm. Stored fuel will grow stale and is unsafe in a hot garage.
- Most starters use rope pulls. If your use a battery, make sure it's kept charged.
- Buy now, not after the storm. You'll pay a lot less.