How to Use a Generator for Emergency Backup
Commercial backup generators are specifically designed for industrial and commercial applications. For generators to convert energy into electricity, they use fuel. When a power outage occurs, the backup emergency generator rental will power on and begin to provide power.
Hurricanes and snowstorms can disrupt the power businesses need to operate fully. When this happens, having a commercial backup generator will provide welcome peace of mind for commercial property owners and businesses.
Fuel Types for Commercial Generators
Commercial backup generators use either gasoline, propane, natural gas, or diesel. There are pros and cons to each of these emergency fuel sources. While diesel fuel tends to be the most popular fuel for commercial backup generators because of its affordability, efficiency, and safety, natural gas is another popular choice.
Depending on the commercial backup generator’s primary use, it’s important to choose the right fuel source for your needs. When you need it the most, your choice of fuel sources will determine whether your generator will be able to run long enough to meet your needs.
General Usage and Safety Guidelines for Backup Generators
Always make sure you are following safety guidelines when operating a generator. Incorrectly operating a generator can cause harm and lead to dangerous situations:
- Electric Shock
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from engine exhaust. Even though you may not smell exhaust fumes, there is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, or weakness while the generator is running. If you have any of these symptoms, you need to get fresh air immediately and seek medical attention.
Backup generators should only be used when necessary, and only for powering essential equipment
- Generators should always be kept outdoors and positioned at least 15 feet away from nearby structures. Running a generator inside or too close to a partially enclosed or fully enclosed structure will lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal carbon monoxide levels.
- Generators must be kept dry. Place your generator on a dry surface. Do not touch the generator if your hands are wet. Do not use the generator in wet or rainy conditions.
- The power going into your business should be disconnected before you begin operating your generator. Failure to do so could cause the power from your generator to be sent into the utility company’s lines, and possibly creating a dangerous situation for utility workers.
- Your generator needs to be properly grounded prior to use to prevent accidental electrocution and shocks.
- Equipment should be plugged directly into the generator. Outdoor-rated, heavy-duty extension cords should be used. You will also need a wire gauge that can accommodate the connected appliances.
- Do not plug a generator into the main electrical panel. This is a job for a licensed electrician. The electrician will follow the local electrical codes when installing the equipment and connecting the generator to the main electrical panel. An approved automatic transfer switch should also be installed in order to disconnect your business’s wiring from the utility system prior to operating the generator.
- Knowing your generator’s fuel consumption rate at different levels of power output will help you maintain an adequate fuel supply. You will need to determine how long you can safely store the amount of fuel needed to operate the generator. Keep in mind that diesel fuel and gasoline will need chemicals added in order to keep them safe for use if they are stored for long periods of time. Check with your fuel supplier for more information.
- Prior to refueling, you will need to turn off the generator and allow it to cool down.
- Regular generator maintenance and inspections are necessary to keep your generator in prime condition whenever an emergency occurs. Check for leaks and cracks in the valves, pipes, and storage tanks, replacing damaged parts immediately. Consider purchasing a generator maintenance contract for your generator and schedule a service visit at least once a year. Make sure the fuel in the tank is fresh, test run the generator regularly to ensure it will be working when an emergency occurs.