The winters are here. This makes it essential to start the necessary preparations before it takes a really cold turn so that you and your loved ones can stay warm during the chilly weather. At the same time, you must focus on winter electrical safety as well.
Make sure your standby generator is ready for service on the occasions of power outages caused due to a cold weather. The standby generator must be ready to operate effectively and consistently during the winters. The freezing temperatures and failure to have backup power during the winters can potentially have catastrophic consequences.
Here are some tips to ensure that your standby generator is ready for the winters.
- Get Professional’s Help
If you have never handled a generator before, it is better to get help for your first run at it. Even the hardware store or the retail chain will encourage you to find an electrician first for safety as soon as you purchase the generator, regardless of whether it is connecting a standby or portable system.
- Regular Testing
Make sure that you run all the standby generators immediately prior to winter. This helps in ensuring availability and reviewing fuel quantity and quality.
- Inspect Your Generator Regularly
Inspecting the electrical generator must be on top of your to-do list. Change all the parts that can be serviced, like fuel filter, air filter, and spark plug, as recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to carry out necessary maintenance for performance and safety. All through the winter season, make sure you run your generator for 20 minutes at least once a month in order to burn off the moisture, recharge the battery and lubricate parts. This is a simple maintenance activity that will ensure that it is up-to-the-task when you need it.
- Optimum Maintenance
Complete all the scheduled maintenance before the winter arrives. If you have a diesel generator, check the important parts that keep the fuel from gelling, ensure the batteries are good and fully charged, the coolant heaters/block heaters are running and oil heaters are maintained. Clean, polish and treat the fuel tank to prevent gelling and ensure optimal performance.
- Be Safe with Transfer Switch
Winter safety is as important as staying warm during the cold season. You must keep your neighbors and electrical workers safe with a transfer switch. It is a simple, manual transfer switch present on portable generators and it isolates generator power from the utility lines present outside. The transfer switch keeps the generator and home wiring/appliances from getting overloaded and prevents power backfeeding that can lead to fatal shocks to the utility line and others down the grid as well. It also eliminates the need for multiple extension cords.
- Place it Correctly
Even before you buy the generator, decide where you would be installing it. Ideally, you must store it under cover, but NEVER run the electrical generator inside a garage, home, basement, porch or shed. Look for any space other than these to run the generator.
Remember that just an open window or fan isn’t enough to protect you against the dangerously high levels of colorless, odorless carbon monoxide that can buildup quickly and linger in the surrounding areas. The best case scenario would be to operate your generator from the outside only and keep it away from doors, windows, vents and openings where CO could penetrate occupied spaces.
Now that you know how to get the standby generator ready for the winters, you can be assured of having comfortable winters. In case you want to know more about stand generators, generator safety or how to prep them, get in touch with us at D&F Liquidators.