How to Use a Backup Power Generator

  • 1-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-3,000
What You'll Need
Backup generator
Heavy duty all weather electrical cord (10 feet or more)
What You'll Need
Backup generator
Heavy duty all weather electrical cord (10 feet or more)

A backup power generator is the best solution to your electricity problems; it allows you to have a supply of electricity that is independent of the grid. Once you’ve purchased your protection against blackouts and electricity problems, the next step is how to learn how to use a backup power generator. Getting a portable generator is the ideal so it’s easier for you to transport.

Having a power generator and using it are two different things. There are some important things you need to know about using a power generator. The generator chosen should be one that can take care of the wattage it is expected to handle. Test running the generator is important to ensure everything is in place and it can provide the required backup when needed.

Step 1 - Fill with Fuel


The first step is to fill the fuel. It is important the fuel is not filled right up to the brim. Make sure to leave an inch empty on top of your fuel tank. Always keep the generator upright to prevent fuel leakage.

Step 2 - Consider Safety

Keep safety considerations in mind while using a generator, as a small mistake can lead to a fatal accident. Keep children and pets away from the machine and ensure it is kept out of the house.

The exhaust from the power generator can lead to a risk of poisoning and thus, it is important to ensure the opening for the exhaust is placed towards the outside of the house. This is one important safety requirement that must not be taken lightly. A minimum distance of 10 ft from the house is to be observed strictly.

Do not connect the generator directly to the home’s electrical system if there is no isolation device. This is true for all types of generators, both stationary and portable. This device is designed to isolate your home from the grid so a licensed electrician must install it. If your backup generator is not isolated, there is a grave danger of electrocution or starting a fire in your home’s electrical system. The safest and easiest way to use a generator is to have the appliances and lights plugged directly into the generator unit.

Step 3 - Connect the Electrical Cord

Next, address the electrical specifications for the backup power generator. Electrical accidents can be dangerous and can cause damage beyond repair. The ordinary wires at home are not to be used for the generator. Only the heavy duty exterior extension cord is to be used for the power generator.

One end of the cord must be plugged into the generator and the other into the professionally-installed isolator provided specifically for the generator. The wiring must be thoroughly checked before use. The house must not be connected to the grid. The best option is to plug lights and appliances into the outlets provided on the generator.

Step 4 - Turn on the Generator


With the power switched on just pull the start cord and get your generator started.

Last but not least, make sure you test run your machine onece in a while so you are sure it will be able to provide the backup when required. Ensure regular maintenance and check power output regularly.