Hurricane Season Preparation Backup Power Generators
Hurricane season preparation – backup power generators
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1st through November 30th. As residents of south Florida it is extremely important to be prepared for hurricane season, and it helps to get started long before a storm is on the way. One hurricane preparedness step that should not skipped is the testing and preparing your portable generator before the storm causes a power outage. There are several important steps that you will need to take in order to make sure your generator is ready for hurricane season. There are several different types, makes and models of generators some are (stationary) generators designed for a permanent or semi-permanent use in homes and businesses and the most common (portable) generators. Here are a few tips to help you ensure your ready for this year’s hurricane season.
As always please refer to you instruction manual and manufacturers guidelines before you take any action. These tips are for general information purposes only.
How to test your stationary standby home generator
One of the first steps you need to take to be prepared for this year’s hurricane season is to test the proper function of your generator. If you have a stationary generator that turns on automatically when the lights go out, it is pretty simple to check. Since a stationary generator is connected to the wiring of your house and a fuel source it should turn on automatically when the power grid fails. Most stationary generators have a test button to simulate a power failure or come with instructions to interrupt the power supply to your house to check the system automatically. Remember that it can take between 10 – 30 seconds for the power transfer to occur. After you check to make sure that the system turns on properly, check your fuel sources and oil levels as prescribed by your generators manufacturer.
Most stationary generators are powered by two different fuel systems. They are generally fueled by your homes natural gas line and also by propane. If the generator turned on when you tested it, the natural gas connection is working well. Next, check your propane supply. You want to have enough propane to last at least three days. The best time to purchase propane is when there is not a large demand for it. If you have a large stationary propane tank, schedule a time to have it topped off. Finally, check to see if the oil in your generator needs topped off – again check with your generators manufacturer.
How to test and prepare your portable power generator
If you have portable generators, the steps to test out your generator are a little different than if you have stationary home generators. Most portable generators require more extensive testing to ensure that they are in proper working order.
At blast-off equipment we have decades of experience in helping our customers ensure that their portable generators are in optimum working order before hurricane season and properly setup for storage the rest of the year. We have made it easy to maintain your power during the storm and ensure a long life for your portable generator.
First, you want to check the fuel levels in your generator. If the fuel inside your generator has been there for more than 12 months, you may want to drain the fuel out of your generator as it is most likely stale and could cause harm to the generator. Diesel fuel undergoes oxidation quickly and should not be stored for more than 12 months. If you use fuel that has undergone oxidation in your generator, you risk compromising the whole system. If you need more fuel, make sure you purchase it before the season but don’t store it too long. When an actual storm warning is issued, their will be a rush to purchase fuel so avoid this rush by having your own supply of fuel on hand.
Once you have checked out the fuel supply and purchased ample fuel, you need to check all the other components on your generator. Most generators have fuel filters to keep the fuel lines from clogging up. Make sure that you have maintained the fuel filter according to the manufacturers’ recommendations. Just like a car, you want to check and make sure that the coolant and oil are filled to the proper level. Make sure that the oil is not dirty. Refill the coolant and oil if they are low and change the oil if it is dirty. Next, make sure that all the air vents are clean and free of any dirt and can move without being obstructed. Finally, before you turn on the generator, look at all the hoses, gaskets and gauges and make sure they have no visual cracks or leaks.
After you have completed all of the above steps, you are now ready to turn on your generator. While it is running, examine the pressure and temperature readings. Make sure the readings are within the manufacturer’s predetermined operating range. You should also check to make sure that your generator can support the electrical load for your house. You never want to exceed the manufactures predetermined electrical load. Also, make sure that you listen for any usual sounds or knocking. Once you finish your test, make sure once again that all the required liquids are at the proper level. If they are not, top them off. If you heard or noticed anything unusual during the test, contact a qualified service repairperson at blast-off equipment at 800-645-5058.
Portable generator storage tips
Now that you have ensured that your emergency generators are working properly, make sure that you correctly store your generator. Some experts’ recommend that you should store your generator without any fuel inside of it. Since it is hurricane season though, if you choose to, you can store your generator with fuel inside of it. Just make sure you drain the fuel at the end of hurricane season. Make sure you wipe down and thoroughly clean your generator before storing it. Store your generator somewhere dry that is relatively free of dust. Place a cover or sheet over your generator to prevent dust from getting into the system.
Make sure that before you hear about any hurricane warnings this year that you go through all the steps to test out your generator. Be sure you consult your manufacturers manual and follow their recommendations. If anything is not working right, contact a qualified service repairperson to have your machine checked. Finally, after the hurricane season you can also take advantage of our specialized generator storage service to extend the life of your generator for years to come.