A generator can keep your home up and running during service interruptions.
EnergyUnited strives to provide safe, reliable electric service 100% of the time. Even though EnergyUnited has a reliability rating of 99.97, interruptions in electric service due to severe weather, equipment, or accidents still occur. While any interruption in electric service is an inconvenience, for some with medical needs it may be a potentially life-threatening situation.
As we become increasingly dependent on the need for electric service, homeowners are recognizing the advantages of generators to provide continuous service, peace of mind, and protection until utility power is restored.
Today there are several types of generators available on the market to meet the individual needs of the homeowner. For those who require continuous electric service, permanently installed standby generators can back up the entire home’s circuits; for others who want the flexibility to run specific circuits or appliances, a portable generator can meet those needs.
Regardless of the type of generator you choose, it is vital that the generator is installed correctly and handled with care. A licensed electrician should install the generator and a transfer switch. Improper installation can send electricity from your generator onto utility power lines, energizing wires that lineworkers believe to be out of service.
Generator Safety Tips
Follow all safety instructions provided by the generator manufacturer. Notify EnergyUnited if you have or plan to install a residential generator.
- Do not use a generator indoors, Exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly poison gas you cannot see or smell.
- NEVER run a generator indoors or in partly enclosed areas such as garages.
- ONLY use outdoors and far from windows, doors, vents, crawl spaces and in an area where adequate ventilation is available and will not accumulate deadly exhaust gas. Using a fan or opening doors and windows will not provide sufficient ventilation.
- It is recommended that you install battery operated Carbon Monoxide alarms/detectors indoors according to manufacturer’s instructions / recommendations.
Fueling and Burn Safety
- Never add fuel while unit is running or hot. Allow generator and engine to cool entirely before adding fuel.
- Never store a generator with fuel in the tank where gasoline vapors might reach an open flame, spark or pilot light.
- Do not smoke near fuel or generator.
- Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation and while the generator is cooling after turning off. Avoid coming into contact with a hot generator.
Electrocution Hazard and Electrical Shock Hazards
- Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘back feed’ onto the power lines connected to your home and injure neighbors or utility workers.
- Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring or into a regular household outlet.
- Always start or stop the generator only when no electrical loads are connected.
- Do not overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.
- Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Do not use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding.
- Do not operate the generator in wet conditions such as rain or snow.
- The generator must be properly grounded. We strongly recommend that you check and adhere to all applicable federal, state and local regulations relating to grounding.
Generator Placement and Operation
- Allow at least five feet of clearance on all sides of the generator when operating.
- Generators can be used during a wide variety of weather temperatures, but should be protected from the elements when not in use to prevent shorting and rusting.
- Operate the generator only on level surfaces and where it will not be exposed to excessive moisture, dirt, dust or corrosive vapors.
- Inspect the generator regularly and contact the nearest authorized dealer for parts needing repair or replacement.
When a generator is permanently connected to the homeowner’s electric system, it energizes the building’s wiring. This type of installation requires a device that prevents the generator from being connected to EnergyUnited’s power lines.
- Follow all safety instructions provided by the generator manufacturer.
- Only a qualified professional, such as a licensed electric contractor, should install a permanent standby generator.
- A transfer switch is the recommended device to keep your generator from backfeeding into EnergyUnited’s system. The switch also keeps EnergyUnited’s power from re-energizing your house wiring while your generator is running, protecting your generator, wiring and appliances from damage when your service is restored.
- Have all additions to your house wiring inspected in accordance with county and/or state codes.
- When installation is complete, call EnergyUnited to let us know about your back-up system. We will make a note in our records to remind our workers of your generator if they are working on an outage in your area.
- If you already have a permanently installed standby generator but you don’t know if it’s installed properly, call your local building inspector or a licensed contractor for help.
As a reminder…you are responsible for any injuries or damage to your property, your neighbors’ or EnergyUnited’s from an improperly installed or operated generator.