Portable Generator Safety

- ELECTRICITY IS SOMETHING WE USE EVERY DAY, BUT WHEN A POWER OUTAGE OCCURS, A PORTABLE ELECTRIC GENERATOR CAN KEEP LIGHTS, REFRIGERATORS, AND OTHER APPLIANCES RUNNING. MORE IMPORTANTLY IF SOMEONE IN YOUR HOME DEPENDS ON ELECTRICITY FOR MEDICAL NEEDS, A PORTABLE GENERATOR CAN PROVIDE POWER IN AN EMERGENCY. PORTABLE GENERATORS COME IN MANY SIZES. IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT BUYING A GENERATOR FOR BACKUP ELECTRICITY, HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT GENERATOR FOR YOUR NEEDS AND OPERATE IT SAFELY. TO PURCHASE THE RIGHT GENERATOR, YOU'LL NEED TO ADD UP THE TOTAL POWER NEEDED FOR THE APPLIANCES YOU PLAN TO RUN AT ANY ONE TIME. THIS POWER IS MEASURED IN WATTS. THE VALUES CAN BE FOUND ON NAME PLATES ATTACHED TO THE APPLIANCE OR IN YOUR OWNER'S MANUAL. THIS INFORMATION MAY ALSO BE AVAILABLE ONLINE OR BY CONTACTING THE MANUFACTURER. IF POWER IS NOT LISTED IN WATTS, FIND THE AMPERAGE AND VOLTAGE RATINGS ON THE NAME PLATE. THE POWER CAN THEN BE ESTIMATED BY MULTIPLYING THE AMPS AND THE VOLTS. FOR EXAMPLE, AN APPLIANCE WITH AN AMPERAGE RATING OF 12 AND VOLTAGE RATING OF 120 WILL USE ABOUT 1,440 WATTS OF POWER. SOME LARGER APPLIANCES SUCH AS REFRIGERATORS AND AIR CONDITIONERS REQUIRE A BRIEF SURGE OF HIGHER POWER TO GET THEM STARTED. THIS CAN BE AN AMOUNT SEVERAL TIMES HIGHER THAN THE CONSTANT POWER DRAW. LOOK FOR A NAME PLATE VALUE FOR LOCKED ROTOR AMPS OR LRA. THE LRA USUALLY DOES NOT LAST MORE THAN ABOUT 10 SECONDS, BUT IT CAN CAUSE THE GENERATOR TO SURGE OR TRIP OFFLINE IF IT'S TOO GREAT FOR THE GENERATOR TO HANDLE. IF IN DOUBT, CONTACT THE GENERATOR MANUFACTURER TO CONFIRM THE ABILITY OF YOUR GENERATOR TO PROVIDE START-UP POWER FOR LARGER APPLIANCES, OR YOU CAN CHOOSE NOT TO OPERATE THOSE APPLIANCES WHILE RUNNING ON GENERATOR POWER. MANY MANUFACTURERS LABEL GENERATORS BASED ON PEAK STARTING LOAD, WHICH IS A HIGHER RATING THAN THE GENERATOR IS GOOD FOR ON A CONTINUOUS BASIS. MAKE SURE THE GENERATOR YOU CHOOSE MATCHES THE VOLTAGE RATINGS OF THE ITEMS YOU...

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- ELECTRICITY IS SOMETHING WE USE EVERY DAY, BUT WHEN A POWER OUTAGE OCCURS, A PORTABLE ELECTRIC GENERATOR CAN KEEP LIGHTS, REFRIGERATORS, AND OTHER APPLIANCES RUNNING. MORE IMPORTANTLY IF SOMEONE IN YOUR HOME DEPENDS ON ELECTRICITY FOR MEDICAL NEEDS, A PORTABLE GENERATOR CAN PROVIDE POWER IN AN EMERGENCY. PORTABLE GENERATORS COME IN MANY SIZES. IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT BUYING A GENERATOR FOR BACKUP ELECTRICITY, HE...