Climate change has caused a 78 percent increase in power outages in the last ten years. Coupled with aging infrastructure and increased power demands, blackouts will likely happen more frequently. Thus, having a generator in your home can be a lifesaver.
Though there are not as many blackouts in Myrtle Beach, SC, as in other parts of the United States, it is always good to have a backup. But simply owning a generator will not ensure that you will have power in case of an outage.
An electrician‘s proper care and routine servicing will help keep your generator in good working condition. Below are a few mistakes you should avoid if you want to keep using your generator for longer.
Not Running the Generator Regularly
Maybe you only use your generator when you need power in times of an emergency. Long periods between running a generator can cause the mechanical parts to dry out and get stuck.
Fuel left to sit in the tank for too long will deteriorate. Running a generator from time to time helps keep the parts lubricated and ensures it will work when needed. It also helps you detect issues before they become significant.
Running the Generator Indoors
The CDC reports that at least 430 people die yearly from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause severe illness and sudden death. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is higher during winter because of the lack of ventilation.
It would help if you never run your generator indoors or near your house. If you have a standby generator, your electrician will make sure it is installed at a safe distance from your house.
Using Cheap Fuel
People are always looking for ways to save money. But buying cheap fuel for your generator can end up being more expensive. This fuel can clog injectors and does not burn as efficiently as premium fuel.
The same goes for the oil. Cheap oil will not sufficiently lubricate the engine and cause parts to get stuck or even break. When in doubt, ask your electrician where you can get premium fuel and lubricants in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Connecting to Your Home’s Main Circuit
If a generator is directly connected to your home’s grid, it can cause severe damage and start electrical fires. The energy could back feed into the utility line and cause damage to neighboring houses. A utility worker could be electrocuted by the high voltage coming from the generator.
An electrician can install a manual transfer switch if your portable generator can connect to a home’s grid. Standby generators are connected to the house through an automatic transfer switch. That way, you won’t have to manually put on the generator in case of a blackout.
Using the Wrong Extension Cords
Because a generator is used outside, it will need extension cords suitable for outdoors. Old or damaged cables can be dangerous and should not be used.
It would help if you also ensured that the cord could handle the generator’s load. Always check the user manual for the correct specifications.
Refueling While the Generator Is Running
It doesn’t need a lot of fuel to cause a fire or explosion. A splash on the hot exhaust or the spark plug can start a fire. Always turn the generator off, and wait for it to cool down before adding fuel.
Failing to Maintain the Generator Regularly
Routine service will prevent unnecessary problems and expensive generator repairs. If minor issues are not addressed, more significant problems will arise. During regular service, a licensed electrician might clean the oil and air filters, change the oil and check the batteries.
Generators are more likely to fail during cold weather. Apart from regular maintenance checks, an electrician can also help you prepare the generator for the winter.
Running the Generator in Wet Weather Conditions
You risk getting electrocuted when you run a generator in wet weather. Water entering the outlets can result in a short circuit. You risk damaging the engine if water makes its way inside.
It would help if you only used a generator in an open space and on dry, level ground. Some standby generators have unique covers under which the generator can be run.
Trying to Fix Generator Problems
As a homeowner, you might have several successful DIY projects. The next time your generator fails, you probably think you should fix it. Generators are very technical; the larger a machine, the more complex it is.
As a general rule, you should leave electrical repairs to the professionals. When you hire an electrician to repair your generator, you want to ensure they are licensed and certified. A repair job gone wrong will only cause you more headaches.
Over or Underloading the Generator
Correctly sizing your generator is essential. If you buy a big generator for your needs, it will waste fuel and risk wet stacking. Wet stacking is when the system does not completely burn the fuel. The unused fuel will accumulate in the exhaust system and start leaking, creating a severe fire hazard.
Overloading a generator can be just as dangerous. If you hook up more appliances than your generator can handle, it will wear out soon, and you will have to buy a new one.
You also run the risk of an explosion due to overheating. Consult a certified electrician to help you choose the correct generator size.
Want to Know More about Generators? Ask Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach
Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach is your generator electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC. Whether you are looking to purchase a portable or a backup generator, we can help you choose one best fitted to your needs.
We deal with some of the best generator brands and are known for our quality services. Our staff is committed to giving our clients excellent service and can guarantee customer satisfaction. Call us today, and we will take care of all your generator needs.