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Running Your Generator in the Fall

Window view of a rainy day and there are leaves stuck to the window

Fall is here and that means more weather related power outages to come. Since we have become so dependent on electricity, having a portable or whole house generator can be a life saver during a power outage. It can keep necessary appliances running and save you money in the long run.

Safety should always be a priority when working with anything electrical, especially generators. Here are some tips to make sure you, your family and home stay safe during the next outage.

Run your generator in an open space

Never run a portable generator in your house, garage or any enclosed area. Poisonous fumes, like odorless and colorless carbon monoxide, can build up and become a lethal hazard. Always run a generator outdoors with plenty of ventilation.

Find a clean and level surface

Fall means leaves are on the ground. Clear the area of any leaves or debris to prevent any kind of fire hazard. Running your generator on a level surface is also important. If placed on an incline the moving parts in the generator may not stay oiled properly causing them to fail.

Protect from wet weather

Since rain, snow and ice are often the weather elements that bring power outages you may find the need to run your generator during these conditions. However, water and electricity can be a dangerous combination. There are canopies available specifically designed for generators that protect them from wet weather and keep them well ventilated while covered.

Cool before you refuel

When a generator has been running for hours on end, it is certain to become very hot. Be sure to allow enough time for the generator to cool off before adding fuel. Spilling gasoline onto a hot engine could ignite a fire.

Never “backfeed” your home

Running a generator directly into a convenience outlet, otherwise known as “backfeeding”, is a very dangerous practice. It is even illegal to do in some localities. Backfeeding can damage appliances or, even worse, electrocute utility workers working on power lines. Installing a manual or automatic transfer switch is a recommended alternative.

Need a generator installed, serviced or repaired before the weather turns bad? Give Bradley Mechanical a call today at (804) 748-6728. We can make sure your home stays powered during the fall season.