Hurricane Generator Preparations

Hurricane generator preparations should include getting standby generators ready.

Home and business owners shouldn’t wait until the last minute to make sure their generators are ready. A simple pre-season checkup will assure them their generators are ready to go when they need them.

 

There are basically two kinds of generators, gasoline or diesel powered, and natural gas or propane powered. Both need regular maintenance – even if they’re the kind that performs automatic self-checks.

 

For portable gasoline or diesel powered generators: 

  • Put the generator in an open, well-ventilated spot outdoors. Make sure it’s away from windows and air conditioners that could draw lethal exhaust fumes indoors. Also, make sure there are no flammable materials, including leaves and dry grass, near the exhaust. Mufflers get hot enough to start fires.
  • Check the engine oil. If the unit has been sitting unused for three months or more, change the oil. If the oil is fresh, make sure it’s filled to the proper level.
  • Check the fuel tank. Generators should be stored empty. If there is any fuel in the tank, empty it and drain the fuel line. Refill with enough fresh fuel to run the generator for one hour.

Start the generator. It should run smoothly, without bogging down, backfiring excessively or stopping. If it doesn’t, call a professional generator repairman.Connect appliances you intend to run after a hurricane. The generator needs to be tested under load. If you expect the generator to power a refrigerator, small air-conditioner, some lights and a television, connect them to the generator now. Do not exceed the generator’s rated power capacity (usually expressed in watts, such as 2500 or 7500 watts). The generator should continue to run smoothly, and all devices should operate normally.

  • Allow the generator to run about an hour.

Before storing, allow the generator to cool and empty all remaining fuel from the tank. 

 

For natural gas or propane powered generators:

  • Make sure the generator’s intakes and exhaust are free of debris and flammable materials, including leaves and grass.
    • Start the generator.
    • Connect appliances you intend to run after a hurricane. The generator needs to be tested under load. If you expect the generator to power a refrigerator, small air-conditioner, some lights and a television, connect them to the generator now. Do not exceed three-fourths of the generator’s rated power capacity (usually expressed in kilowatts, such as 10 KW or 15KW). The generator should continue to run smoothly, and all devices should operate normally.
    • If you have an automatic transfer switch, manually switch it to power your appliances.
    • Allow the generator to run about an hour.
    • Disconnect appliances or throw the automatic transfer switch back to its regular, standby position.

    Shut down the generator.

     

    These simple steps before a hurricane is approaching will insure that your generator is working, or give you time to get it fixed if it’s not. If you wait until the last minute, you may not be able to get a repairman out in time. Don’t wait until after the storm hits to test your generator. When it comes to generators, the rule is: Better safe, and sure, than sorry.

    For more information, find us on the web:

    www.floridapowerhouse.com 

    www.generatorpowerhouse.com