POWERING UP YOUR GENERATOR
All generators operate differently, but these guidelines should work with most.
- Check fuel level. If you must add fuel, be sure generator is cooled down. Do not overfill.
- Check the oil level and check the 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 generator, or connect appliances directly to generator.
- Turn generator’s circuit breaker off.
- Turn the power switch to the on position then pull the cord.
- Let generator warm up before turning the 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 outdoor-rated extension cord and a carbon monoxide detector.
CARING FOR YOUR GENERATOR
- Never overfill with gas.
- Do not use stale or contaminated gas.
- Avoid getting dirt or water on the generator.
- Turn fuel valve off when transporting or storing generator. This keeps fuel from diluting engine oil and damaging engine.
- When storing a generator for more than two months, drain fuel and/or 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 monoxide exhaust is toxic. Find a well-vented space, but be sure the generator isn’t positioned outside an open window or any intake vent. Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector.
- Always turn the engine off before refueling and let the generator cool.
- Do not 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.
- Do not 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.