Purchasing a generator as a backup power source can be a very sound investment. If your power goes out, you will incur many losses, but generators can help tide you over. Purchasing a generator can be tricky, though, as you will have to navigate a variety of options. Once you get the generator, you may come up with a number of questions about its care and keeping. Generators come with manuals, but they may be filled with tech-speak that eludes novices.
The following are some frequently asked questions and corresponding user-friendly answers:
- Should I purchase a warranty for my generator? – Generators aren’t cheap, so consider paying for a warranty. In the event of breakdown, your generator will be fixed or replaced in accordance with the terms of the warranty. It will cost a bit extra up front, but it may be worth it for the peace of mind.
- Should I invest in a generator cover or enclosure? – Rainfall and floods can damage your generator. Consider purchasing a cover or enclosure, depending on whether your generator is portable or standby.
- How can I prevent motor burnout? – To avert motor burnout, use heavy-duty cords for less voltage. Using lighter cords will increase voltage, resulting in early generator burnout.
- How often should I power up my generator? – Most manufacturers recommend running the generator for 30 minutes every three months. This will charge the battery for the electric starter. If you leave your battery uncharged for too long, it may not start when you need it.
- Should I keep the generator tank full? – Yes. If you don’t keep gas in the generator, it could stop running when you need it most. When the generator stops, your home’s electrical load will suck the magnetic field from your generator.
- Should I stock up on oil and filters? – You don’t want to be in a situation where the power goes out and you’re running to the store in search of oil and filters. Keep a good supply of these two items so you aren’t left scouring stores in a panic.
Understanding what you need to do to maintain your generator can help prolong its life and ensure that you will have ongoing power in the event of an outage.