During stormy and snowy months in Connecticut, power outages aren’t uncommon. No matter how well you’re stocked up on candles, flashlights, batteries, and blankets, nothing compares to the practicality of a backup generator. Whether you have a standby or portable system, they offer the power you need to feed your family, keep up with weather and news, and stave off the cold or heat. However, they can pose their own risks with improper use, so here are some key reminders before you invest in one.
Know What You Need
Before you ditch the candles and purchase a residential generator, you have to know what your electric needs are. Calculate how much power your generator should be able to handle, and find one with that continuous wattage rating. You’ll also need to decide if you want a portable or standby unit — as well as your preferred fuel type. Liquid propane is simplest, as gas requires storage containers, stabilizing treatments, and other precautions; and, it can still go bad. You should consider getting a transfer switch, too, for ease and convenience.
Know How to Use It
The second most essential part of owning a residential generator is knowing how to use it during an outage. With standby generators, they’ll kick on automatically in the event of an outage. Portable ones, however, require you to disconnect the power to your home and connect your appliances to the generator when an outage occurs. Read your manual closely when purchasing yours so you can be prepared and stay mindful of any maintenance requirements.
Know the Safety Guidelines
Generators emit life-threatening carbon monoxide fumes, so never operate one within 15 feet of a home or business. Don’t let generators get wet and, if required, make sure it stays grounded. Before you put more fuel in your system, let it cool completely; otherwise, you could get hurt. When plugging appliances into generators, only use heavy-duty, outdoor extension cords that can handle the electrical load. It’s also crucial not to backfeed power into the public electrical grid, or you could cause severe injury or death to repairmen working to fix the outage. Make sure you disconnect your home’s power source before using your system.
In Old Lyme, CT, the professionals at Zelek Electric Co. offer safe generator repair, replacement, and installation services you can depend on. During their 32 years of experience, they’ve helped thousands of customers keep power when others are in the dark. With over three million watts of solar energy installed across Connecticut, 24/7 phone assistance, and a commitment to providing sustainable, professional energy solutions, you can trust them for your next electrical project. View a complete list of their services online or call (860) 434-9726 for around-the-clock assistance with electrical questions.