How To Use & Install A Generator

When the power goes out in your neighborhood, how would you like to become the only place with the lights still on? It is possible and all you have to do is own your own generator. It will enable you to camp like a professional and quite possibly become the envy of your neighbors, whether they are in tents alongside of you or in their home. The problem for many people is that they do not know which type of generator they need or how to use a generator the right way. Perhaps now is the best time to find out for yourself.

Using Your Home Generator

The first thing you need to know about when it comes to using your generator is how to install a generator. Some of it you can do on your own, while other things, such as the transfer switch, should be installed by a professional. This device will need to be put into the electrical panel in your home, if there is not one already there. It connects the generator to your home when done so that you are not stuck running a lot of extension cords from the generator to your fridge, AC, and other items.

When you install the switch, the generator installation process will go much smoother because it is essentially power on demand during a power outage. This transfer switch is also required by the National Electric Codes.

In a transfer switch, you have two options. One is a manual switch that means you have to turn the switch on when the power goes out and off when it comes on. The other, more popular, choice for home generators is an automatic switch because it turns on and off with the power outages.

How to set up standby generators

Generac Home GeneratorWhen using a standby generator, installation of it is still relatively easy. As a temporary solution to your fridge or AC unit being without power, a cord across your yard may be sufficient, but overall it is not recommended for standby generators. Having a standby generator definitely means you need the automatic transfer switch installed. If your breaker box is in an inconvenient area, you may want to also have an inlet box put in outside of your home. Either way, once the switch is installed properly, you will simply need to connect the generator to it.

Using a Camping/RV Generator

Learning how to use a portable generator is, according to some, the easiest part of generator ownership. In ways it is used the same way as the stationary generator, except you are able to move it where you need it. It can hook to your home or your RV.

To hook up any portable generator, you will still need to install a few items within the home or the RV. For instance, you will need the inlet receptacle hookup on the outside of your home and the transfer switch in the panel box. These two items will still enable you to hook up your generator.

If you are unsure of how to install a transfer switch for a portable generator, you can always hire a professional to handle it so that you do not risk hurting yourself. It is also best to have it professionally installed if you have homeowners insurance because most insurances will not pay if it is not installed by a professional and something goes wrong. Your only other option includes the extension cords or installing an interlock kit. Both of these methods of hooking in a generator are illegal in many areas, so it is probably best if you stick to the professional install, even with a portable generator.

Understanding Fuel Types and Benefits

The type of fuel that your generator uses will be something you want to consider along with how much watts and amps it will give you. There are pros and cons to each type of fuel, you have to figure out which one will work for you.

Gas Powered: Regular fuel is easily accessible by everyone. It is most often found in portable generators, but there are some stationary generators that use it also. The downside of it is that often they have small tanks and not all of them will be CARB approved.

Diesel Fuel: Diesel fuel systems require less maintenance than regular fuel systems. This makes them better, according to some people. However, not everyone wants to deal with this type of fuel, though it is very common, especially in RVs that also run off of diesel.

Propane/Natural Gas: This is also a good option for anyone who wants low maintenance. The biggest issue that most people have with it is the availability of propane or natural gas. It requires you to go to special areas that have it or you must have delivered, but often to have it delivered, you must get a certain amount. This means a lump sum payment and not everyone is able to afford it at all times.

When You Need More Power

Yamaha Portable GeneratorYamaha generators allow you to use multiple generators at one time. Setting this up is easy once you have figured out how to install a generator transfer switch. The key is making sure that the two generators are compatible with one another. Your standby generator should have a plug in already on it which will allow you to plug in another generator as a backup power supply.