Portable Generators: Proper Use and Safety Tips

Power outages are one of the most common and avoidable problems that can occur on a job site, and they can last for days or even weeks, depending on your location and access to backup power. The best solution to avoid power loss and the delays in work that result is to use a portable generator. 

Portable generators are also becoming more and more essential for home projects, as most people today are staying at home working or studying from home, and using more power as a result. 

What Is A Portable Generator?

The best way to describe a portable generator is that they provide electricity by running a (typically) gas-powered engine. Portable generators have outlets in them that allow you to plug equipment and tools like air compressors, a framing nail gun, refrigerators, extension cables, and other power tools. 

The more powerful your generator is, the more durable and reliable it tends to be, and the more outlet combination options you have. 

Naturally, the best feature of  a portable generator is that it can be moved and repurposed readily.. That means it’s useful when traveling, camping, remote projects, and sites that need power on demand in varied locations. 

How Does A Portable Generator Work?

Normally, portable generators are classified by the amount of power they can produce. The more watts they produce, the more overhead you have, and the more tools and equipment you can power. Portable generators work by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. Most use gas to kickstart the process, though some use propane or diesel. 

Before renting or buying a generator, you need to know its primary parts and familiarize yourself with them. A portable generator has an alternator, internal combustion engine, fuel tank starter, and of course, outlets. 

How To Properly Use A Portable Generator? 

One thing to keep in mind is that you just can’t use portable generators anytime and anywhere. So, be sure to use it correctly to avoid electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning, and fire. 

Generator Positioning

Always think about safety when using a portable generator, and only use them when necessary or to power essential equipment. The first thing to do is to position your generator away from any flammable materials or entrances to a structure. Always place them outdoors to prevent accidents and avoid buildup of fumes.

Generators can release carbon monoxide, so running one inside a closed area is dangerous and should be avoided.

Keep Your Generator Grounded

When using a generator, there’s always a risk of electrocution. Make sure that your generator is properly grounded to avoid risk of electrocution or electrical fire. 

Disconnect Power Source Before Using A Generator

Using a generator without disconnecting the power into your home could be dangerous for utility workers as the power from your generator could disrupt utility company lines. 

DO NOT Use A Wall Outlet To Power A Generator

Never plug your generator into one of your outlets. Always keep in mind that this type of operation should only be done by a professional electrician. Always keep in mind the safety of the people living inside your house. 

Keep It Dry

Do not use or place your generator on a wet surface or when it’s raining. Always make sure to place them in dry places or a canopy structure. 

Maintain Fuel Supply And Turn It Off Before Refueling

Always maintain an adequate supply of fuel and familiarize your generator’s fuel consumption. Keep in mind that when refueling, you have to turn the generator  off and let it cool down first to avoid complications. 

Inspect Regularly

Safety is your top priority. When using a portable generator, it’s best to inspect it regularly. Look out for leaks, cracks, or any damaged parts, and don’t try to fix it yourself without any prior knowledge. It’s always best to consult a professional for equipment service and repairs. 

This is one especially beneficial element of tool and equipment rental. Tool rental companies provide servicing and repairs to all of their equipment to ensure that your rental works right every time.

Use The Right Extension Cords

Generators are generally used to operate appliances when needed, and you can power these things by using extension cords. When using extension cords, you need to use heavy-duty ones. Always check the rating of any extension cords you buy ahead of time to ensure they are properly shielded and rated for heavy duty use. 

Consider Installing A Transfer Switch

Installing a transfer switch will prevent electrical overload by displaying wattage usage levels. Generally, a transfer switch connects your generator to a circuit panel and allows you to power heavy equipment like a lawnmower while preventing the risks associated with using extension cords. 

Consult A Professional Before Using A Generator

Power generators can be complicated pieces of equipment and require knowledge and experience to get the most out of for your job. You can also rent a generator if you need one. Most construction sites rent generators to provide power for their power equipment, as it is often a better investment to rent when necessary and only spend capital on the core equipment necessary for the bulk of their work.

Ready To Power Up Your Construction Site?

If you’re on the construction site and in need of reliable power, or are doing an important at-home DIY job, Elephant Construction Solutions can help. We offer generator rentals to keep any project — big or small — running smoothly, no matter the conditions. 

Reach out to us at Elephant Construction Solutions to get a free quote for any power tools or machinery you may need for your next job or project. Whether it’s as simple as a lawnmower, as important as scaffolding, or as small as a circular saw, we have the best in high quality products you are looking for.


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