When it comes to anything with motors or pumps, the team at Mader Electric is committed to delivering the information that our customers and followers may need. Generators have become invaluable machines converting mechanical energy into electricity, especially during power outages.
Generators are becoming more popular for residential energy backup and outside recreation. Knowing how to properly and safely operate and transport generators are vital, especially those using fuel. Consumer Reports (CR) is a valuable resource that offers numerous reviews on these power-supplying machines.
Related Blog: Frequently Asked Questions about Generators
Generators: Understanding the Types and Safe Use
Just last year, Consumer Reports gave an updated and informative review of generator types. The different types offer varying amounts of wattage.
Home Standby Generators
As the name implies, these are to use when you lose the power to your home. Like the CR review states, you need the help of a professional electrician to help with the install, and they will "help with town or municipal permits, noise restrictions, and proper locations."
Reportedly less expensive, a portable generator is easier to use in different places, "but never in an enclosed space." Most portable generators use gas, but you can find some that use a battery. Never place a portable generator close to the house or the equipment it's powering up. The distance should be "at least 20 feet away."
Never leave a portable generator, especially while running, exposed to rain. Get the appropriate canopy to be able to cover your particular portable generator.
- Take time to know how to use a portable generator.
- A 2020 update on PlanetGenerators is another informative resource on generators and how to safely operate a portable one.
It’s also important to know to add fuel stabilizer additives to prevent damage to the carburetor seals which could require a carburetor rebuild. If possible, on portable gasoline powered generators, the fuel should be drained from the carburetor at the last use.
More "complex" and "sophisticated" than the portable generator, the inverter generator is "quieter." With an inverter generator, fewer emissions come from a more efficient-running system, but safe management is still as important as with portable generators.
- On Absolute Generators, you will find a more in-depth review of inverter generators.
- Find out if an inverter generator is a better choice for camping and tailgating.
Portable Power Stations
A more recent powering solution is a portable power station that is battery-powered. Some are inclusive of a solar panel and are referred to as "solar generators."
- On the upside, these are an indoor power solution because there is no "fuel emissions/carbon monoxide."
- The downside, they are not powerful enough to supply as many appliances, and they need electrical or solar recharging.
Generator Transport: Safety and Security are Priority
While home standby generators can be incorporated into a home's amenities, the others have the flexibility to relocate and use for recreational vehicles. Again, your user manual is an important document for handling information. Whether transporting a generator in a car, RV, or moving truck, it is imperative that you know the proper and safe way to transport.
When traveling with a generator, you may also be traveling with the fuel that powers it. If so, you have to secure your generator and fuel container(s) separately. You should know how to load, where to place, how to secure, and how to unload.
- DO NOT transport a generator with fuel in it.
- NEVER transport fuel or the generator in the passenger part of any vehicle.
To boondock, or camp without electrical hookups, TripSavvy gives an informative review on the types of generators for recreational vehicles.
- If you're considering installing a "portable vs. permanent" generator on a 5th wheel, RV Travel offers some guidance.
- Campergrid not only explains how to mount a generator on a travel trailer but also the factors in deciding which is the right generator for your camper. Those being: "noise, weights, watts, and fuel."
Transporting Generators in a Rental Vehicle
Before you rent a vehicle to transport a generator, especially one that operates off of fuel, ask about any guidelines or restrictions.
In summary, safety is the key to successfully using generators. When it comes to transporting a generator, placement and securing it down, away from humans and animals are vital, and never with fuel left in it.
If your generator requires maintenance, or you're concerned that yours may be damaged from transport, let the experts at Mader Electric help you. We're only a phone call away.