TK Tips

Generator Safety

Downed utility lines, power company blackouts, heavy snowfall or Summer thunderstorms could all lead to temporary power outages - some lasting for days, or even weeks. December 2008 we who were residing in the Northeast experienced a devastating Ice Storm right before celebrating the Christmas Holiday. Freezing rain downed trees and power lines knocking out power for some up to 17 days. With so many homes without power many residents turned to portable generators as a temporary solution to the loss of power to their homes. Many without knowing about the risks!

We all want to save money. When something like a long term outage hits it can get very expensive. Believe it or not but when I was called to people’s homes to install permanent generators I saw home owners do some very unsafe things like running the generator power through the electric dryer outlet. Although this will work it is very dangerous and not recommended or legal. Some forget to turn off the main breaker when using a portable generator. Power line crews are working to get the power back and if you are back feeding your home power can go from the generator to the street line and seriously injure workers that you want restoring power. When dealing with electricity the best person for the job is a qualified licensed Electrician who knows both the legal and safest ways to install a generator. Below I listed a few safety suggestions when choosing to use a portable generator.

Portable Generators should be used in a well-ventilated location; exterior locations are recommended and offer the least harmful risks. Be sure to run your generator away from all doors, windows and exhaust fan/dryer vent locations.

Never run your generator in a basement, garage or breezeway even with the door opened. Generators expel toxic gas and can catch fire even if properly used.

Make sure that wherever you place your generator outside your home that you inspect the home for any possible cracks or openings harmful fumes may enter. Seal cracks with foam or silicone and inspect your repairs each year to see if they need further attention.

Be sure to install (Co2) Detectors in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for proper locations and installation.

Always when refilling fuel shut down your generator and let it cool before adding more fuel. NEVER refuel while running. Gas can run down onto the motor or extension cords and start a fire!

Store fuels in the proper containers. All fuel containers are color coded for the intended fuel for that container. Do NOT mix fuels! Mixing can lead to damaging your generator. Please store your fuel containers away from living areas and again in a well-ventilated location. Never place fuel next to the exhaust of a running generator.

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TK Tips How Often Should a Preventive Maintenance Review be Done on an Electrical Panel? When was the last time you had your electrical panel serviced? Service Tip! – You should have your homes panel inspected on a yearly basis for loose connections.  Keep panel doors and box covers closed.  Dust and moisture are two of…

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Knob and Tube Wiring vs. Insurance Companies

TK Tips Knob and Tube Wiring vs. Insurance Companies Knob – and – tube wiring was the accepted method of electrical wiring for buildings constructed in North America from 1880 until 1950. This system of wiring is considered obsolete and a safety hazard. How Knob and Tube Works Knob and Tube wiring consists of insulated…

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Ice Storm and Blizzard Outage!

TK Tips Ice Storm and Blizzard Outage! Ice storms and blizzards can snap power lines just as easily as any hurricane. Heavy ice can accumulate causing overweight branches to come crashing down on power lines even days after a storm, spawning prolonged power outages during the darkest days of the year.2008 New England Ice Storm…

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Stores without Generators

TK Tips Stores without Generators During a blizzard blackout, you can’t just jump into your car and rent a backup generator. Heck you can’t find a generator for weeks. After 4 days without road access I was finally able to drive to Home “Sold Out” Depot. I said to the clerk ” I need a…

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Sizzling Idea

TK Tips Sizzling Idea If you purchase a portable generator, make sure you purchase a Manual Transfer Switch too. Why? Most furnaces don’t have electrical outlets. You can’t plug your generator into your furnace, electric oven, hot water tank, or light fixtures. Also, wiring your generator wrong can injure or even kill someone we love…

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Deep Freeze Warning

TK Tips Deep Freeze Warning If you’re traveling or work away from home often (like a vacation home in the mountains or a office in the city), buy a simple Temperature Alarm that will call you if the power goes out or THP201P_500the inside temperature drops significantly. We were rightfully concerned about the water pipes…

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Extension Cords Can Pack a Punch.

TK Tips If plugging in extension cords inspect each cord for any damage like cuts, cracks or broken grounds (don’t use non grounded cords). Ungrounded damaged cords can lead to electrocution and even death. Large appliances require a heavy duty 20-amp outdoor extension cord plugged directly into the 20-amp outlet on your portable generator. Running…

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Transfer Switch is Key!

TK Tips For over 35 years I have installed generator systems and can tell you that the best way to use a portable generator is with a Power Transfer Switch. These indoor surface mounted transfer switches are designed for fast installation in residential applications. The 18-inch flexible conduit whip attaches to the load center and…

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16 Ways To Lower Your Heating And Electric Bills

TK Tips By: Timothy K. Lyden Jr. Cost of heating oil, natural gas and fuel in general keep steadily rising, but there are many things you can do to cut your costs this winter. As a homeowner I’m continuously trying to save on home heating and electric bills. It seems that the cost each year…

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Plugging Leaks

TK Tips The low cost of saving. The small things can take some time but one by one you can tackle them. First, have you ever notice the cold breeze across the living room floor? That’s the small leaks or gaps around the doors, windows and electrical outlets on outside walls. To find the leaks…

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Thinking Big

TK Tips The much larger cost fixes. What else can you do now or in the future? Replace appliances, heating units, light fixtures and bulbs with high-efficiency replacements. Unfortunately, it costs money to save money. But it’s good to keep in the back of your mind that many experts recommend buying high-efficiency windows and appliances…

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