Millions of Americans have experienced power outages in connection with winter storms over the past few years. Texas has been especially hard hit, with some residents left with no power for 72 hours or more at a time. Exposure to these low temperatures is life-threatening. Tragically, deaths have also been connected to improper use of generators, which can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Below are the top things you need to know about proper use of generators.
Place the generator outside, not in an enclosed area, including a garage. The outlets of the generator should be GFCI protected. If you want to backfeed a generator into the home, contact a certified electrician to do this properly as backfeeding is very dangerous. The electrician can discuss having a transfer switch installed. Use properly rated extension cords for outdoor use.
Do not backfeed the electrical through the electrical system unless you have the correct transfer switch setup to do so. It will feed power to the house but also to the transformer and could put neighbors and linemen in danger. You could also cause damage to appliances and electronics.
Never put a generator near an air conditioning window unit because it sucks the carbon monoxide into the unit and then into the house.
Do not sit the generator in the snow or any wet area. Also, though the outlets are GFCI protected, it’s best to keep the cords out of the water or snow.
Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
A standby generator, permanently installed, will have an automatic transfer switch. It will notice a drop in power or complete loss of power and turn on automatically. These run off natural gas, propane or diesel fuel. 20kw – 100kw for a large sized house. You will need an electrician to check the load and determine what size you need.
The trusted experts at Cathey Electric are here for you and your family. We can help you assess your unique situation and needs, and help you to develop a generator solution that works best to protect you from outages. Give us a call. We are happy to help.