Future-Proofing Your Standby Generator

Having a generator in case of emergency power loss can take a lot of stress off your shoulders, especially if you live in an area prone to severe weather. To make sure your generator is capable of meeting your power needs whenever you start it up, there are a few things you need to address.  Not only will this ensure that you're ready for future power losses, but you'll be able to replace your current generator easily.

Essential Supplies

At the start of your region's severe weather season, such as winter or tornado season, make sure you have sufficient oil and filters for at least ten oil changes. It's usually recommended that oil in your generator be changed out after every 50 to 60 hours of operation, but having a supply on hand will cut down on your storm preparation. It might seem excessive, but you should also be changing out your generator's oil prior to the arrival of a major storm, if only to avoid having to do so during the worst of the weather.

While it might seem like a good idea to stock up on fuel, gasoline and diesel can actually degrade during long periods of storage. Sediment settles out of the fuel, creating a sludge that can damage your generator's engine. If you must have a standby supply of fuel, look at generators which run on propane or natural gas, as these are more stable fuels which will remain viable over much longer periods of storage.

Permanent Installs

Rather than hauling out your portable generator every time a storm warning flares, many homeowners choose to permanently install their generator in a fixed location. Start by pouring a concrete slab in a place you can easily access with an extension cord. Make sure you take precautions, such as keeping it a good distance away from doors or windows that might need to be opened while the generator is running, or installing a grounding rod in case of lightning strikes or power surges.

You can go a step further by permanently wiring your generator into your home's electrical system. Installing a secondary breaker box, and a dedicated circuit will make it easy to keep essentials running when public power is lost. To keep your home safe, hire an electrician or a generator company to install a transfer switch so that you can easily transition over to your standby system when municipal power goes down.

Good generators is are insurance policies against blackouts, and the more you do to incorporate yours into your home's emergency preparation, the easier it will be to use. All this will ensure that you have power, regardless of how hard the wind blows or how suddenly severe weather appears on the horizon.