For many people, having a generator in their Copley, OH home is essential to their preparedness plan. But there are many questions you may have about generators: What type do I need? How big should it be? How often should I use my generator? Are Briggs and Stratton generators as great as everyone claims? In this post, we’ll answer many of these questions and more so that you can feel more confident in your purchase and use of a backup generator.
What is an automatic start backup generator?
An automatic start backup generator is a device that automatically starts and feeds electricity into your home’s primary electrical system when it detects a power outage. A professional should install a Briggs and Stratton automatic start backup generator. A professionally installed automatic start backup generator will also be safer and perform better than manually operated generators.
My neighbor has a generator, and I hear it running every time the power goes out. Mine shouldn’t run so often. Should it?
The reason it’s running is because of how your neighbor has the generator hooked up. They may use it to run their entire house, including their air conditioner. Your generator should only be used when you don’t have power. Using your generator for too long will wear it out and will lead to it needing repairs or replacement sooner than expected.
I tried to start my generator, but nothing happened. Shouldn’t the generator turn on when the power goes out?
If you have a propane or natural gas-powered generator, ensure that you have fuel and that all shutoffs are turned to the on position.
You will also want to ensure that your generator batteries are charged.
Do I need to do anything with my generator for winter?
Before winter, you will want to ensure that your battery is charged and that you add a fuel stabilizer if your generator uses gasoline.
What does “back feed” mean, and why does it matter?
Backfeeding is when the flow of electricity reverses, sending it back through something designed to work in only one direction. This can cause damage to both your generator and your home’s electrical system.
Backfeeding is also dangerous for you and others in your home, as it can cause injury or even death.
What maintenance does my generator need?
Good generator maintenance is vital to ensure that it runs smoothly and safely. You should have a local Briggs and Stratton technician inspect and service your generator at least once yearly. The technician will check the entire unit for any signs of damage, such as worn or broken parts, corrosion on wires or terminals, loose connections, or loose bolts. They will also ensure no leaks in the oil pan or other factors that could cause problems down the road.
How large of a generator do I need for my home or business?
When deciding the size of your Briggs and Stratton generator, consider how many appliances you want to run simultaneously. A larger generator with a high capacity will allow you to run multiple devices simultaneously.
What happens if my generator gets overloaded?
If your Briggs and Stratton generator is overloaded, it will shut down automatically. A Generac generator will include this same safety feature.
How often should I use my generator?
Generators are meant to be used for short periods. In most cases, generators should be used for at most 4 hours at a time and only run for approximately 8 hours in a 24-hour period.
Can you put a transfer switch in after the fact? What is involved?
You can’t just install a transfer switch after the fact. You need to call an electrician who is qualified and licensed in your state, and they’ll have to make all the necessary electrical wiring changes to your electrical panel.
Can a generator replace my utility service?
A generator could power you through an outage if it’s large enough and if you have the right fuel source available. However, it will likely be too much for any generator to provide for more than a few hours at a time.
How do I turn my generator off if I need to?
To turn your generator off, follow these steps:
- Turn off the main power switch. This will keep the fuel from flowing and electricity from being produced by your generator.
- Ensure all fuel lines are turned off at the tank or shut off and that there is no remaining gas before storing them for future use.
- Close all circuit breakers in your home and disconnect from any circuits you use with the generator.
What type of battery does my generator take?
Your generator is likely a 12-volt system.
Most generators require deep-cycle or marine batteries to run. These batteries are built to be discharged and recharged frequently over time, which makes them ideal for operating small portable generators.
How do I put a new battery in my portable generator?
If your portable generator is electric start, the battery has a built-in charger that will keep it charged when the generator is not running. If the battery is no longer operational and needs to be replaced, disconnect the cables attached to each battery terminal. Remove the battery, replace it with the new one, and reconnect the battery terminals to their appropriate sides.
What size of natural or propane gas line does my generator require?
For example, if you have a 10kW Briggs and Stratton generator, the gas line size would be 1/2 inch.
If you have a specific Briggs and Stratton model in mind, feel free to contact us, and we can help you find out which size of gas line you need.
Will my generator run off of propane or natural gas?
A backup generator can be fueled by natural gas or propane. The choice is up to you, but remember that generators can’t run off both fuels simultaneously. If you choose to use natural gas, ensure your home has access to it before buying a generator that runs on this fuel source.
How big of a propane tank will I need to run my generator?
The size of the propane tank you will need depends on the size of the generator. Most generators can run for a couple of hours at a time, so if you are using your generator for longer, you may want to invest in a larger propane tank.
If it is connected to a large propane tank in your yard, such as a 250 or 500-gallon tank, then as long as it is not empty, you will have plenty of propane to run your backup generator.
Can I install a generator myself?
Generators are complex pieces of equipment, and installation should be done by a professional. You can seriously injure or damage your generator if you don’t know what you’re doing.
These questions are common, and we have answers for them.
We’re here to help. As a Briggs and Stratton generator dealer and service company, we are confident that we can help you with your generator needs. Our experts are always prepared to assist with any questions regarding generators. Even if you have a different generator brand, such as Generac, we will always do our best to ensure that we help you however we can.
Hopefully, this article has helped answer your questions and get you started on the right track with your generator. If you come up with any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help!