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South Shore Generator Sales & Service Blog - Wareham, MA

Winter Generator Usage: Home and Business Owners Need to Keep Safety in Mind

Joseph Coupal - Monday, December 18, 2017
South Shore Generator Generac 6237 portable generator

Generators are critical during severe weather events, when the power can go out, as well as bringing power to remote job sites and in disaster recovery and emergencies. As we move into the upcoming "snow season", a time when electricity can go out due to snow and ice, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) reminds home and business owners to keep safety in mind when using generators.

Not having power when you need it is frustrating, so a generator can provide emergency backup power at a reasonable cost. But, it’s important to follow all manufacturers’ instructions when using one. For instance, never place a generator in your garage or in your home. The generator should be a safe distance from your home and not near an air intake.

More tips include:

Take stock of your generator. Make sure equipment is in good working order before you start using it.

Follow all manufacturers’ instructions. Review the owner's manuals for your equipment if possible (you can look manuals up online if you cannot find them) so you can operate your equipment safely.

Have the right fuel on hand. Use the type of fuel recommended by your generator manufacturer. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment (for more information on proper fueling for outdoor power equipment visit If you are using fuel that has been sitting in a gas can for more than 30 days and you cannot get fresh fuel, add fuel stabilizer to it. Store gas only in an approved container and away from heat sources.

Ensure portable generators have plenty of ventilation. Generators should NEVER be used in an enclosed area or placed inside a home or garage, even if the windows or doors are open. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Keep the generator dry. Do not use it in wet conditions. You can cover and vent your generator. You can buy model-specific tents online or generator covers at home centers and hardware stores.

Only add fuel to a cool generator. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down.

Plug in safely. If you don't yet have a transfer switch, you can use the outlets on the generator. It's best to plug in appliances directly to the generator. If you must use an extension cord, it should be heavy-duty and designed for outdoor use. It should be rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Make sure the cord is free of cuts. The plug should have all three prongs.

Install a transfer switch. A transfer switch connects the generator to your circuit panel and lets you power hardwired appliances. Most transfer switches also help you avoid overload by displaying wattage usage levels.

Do not use the generator to "backfeed" power into your home electrical system. Trying to power your home's electrical wiring by "backfeeding" – where you plug the generator into a wall outlet – is reckless and dangerous. You could hurt utility workers and neighbors served by the same transformer. Backfeeding bypasses built-in circuit protection devices, so you could damage your electronics or start an electrical fire.

Install a battery operated carbon monoxide detector in your home or business. This alarm will sound if any carbon monoxide comes into the building and alert you.

For more information on industrial or residential generators, contact South Shore Generator in Wareham.


Best Deal Ever On a GENERAC Home Standby Generator!

Bernadette Braman - Thursday, July 20, 2017

Best Deal Ever On a GENERAC Home Standby Generator!

Be Prepared to WEATHER the Storm - Wareham, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 12, 2016
By Jeff Stelmack

When the lights go out, there is no better feeling than the security provided when your standby generator starts up and restores power to your home or business. Owners purchase a generator for a variety of reasons, whether it is convenience, to back up a business, to run well pumps, or for life safety concerns. Whatever the reason, it is important that an owner feels confident that when the power fails, their generator will operate as intended. Much like a car, a standby generator requires maintenance, and upkeep to ensure it is working at peak performance when you need it the most.

Yearly maintenance agreements

More and more homeowners and businesses are installing generators and seeking companies to maintain them. When storms roll through and cause massive power outages, the demand for service on generators is extremely high. If you have had your generator maintained as part of a regular routine maintenance plan, the chances that it will work for you during an outage arehigh; if you have a problem, however, you will find that companies provide priority service to those customers who have existing maintenance agreements. It's not that companies don't want new business, but it is important to ensure the satisfaction of the loyal customer base a company has already established. Becoming part of that customer base before an extended power outage is the best way to ensure prompt service.

Keep your ears open

One of the easiest ways to identify potential problems with your generator before there is a power outage is by monitoring the weekly exercise. Most standby generators have a programmable exercise timer, where the generator starts and runs for 15 to 20 minutes per week. It is important to know your scheduled exercise time, and what the generator sounds like during normal operation. If you are not at home during the exercise time, you can also check the hour meter and make sure it has advanced each week. Our technicians are happy to provide operator training so you know what to look for. If you notice that the generator has not exercised, a service call can help return it to normal operation before the power goes out.

Look for qualified generator service companies

Servicing generators is a profession that is constantly evolving and proper training is needed to keep up with industry changes. South Shore Generator, for example, currently employs 14 full-time generator technicians, who are factory trained in residential, large industrial, marine, portable and mobile generator applications. Don't be afraid to ask which factories a company represents and which they are qualified to provide
warranty repairs for.

Don't forget about your automatic transfer switch

The automatic transfer switch, commonly referred to as the ATS, is often the brains of the operation when it comes to a standby generator system. The ATS is what senses when normal power fails, signals the generator to start, and transfers the facility load to generator power. It is important to have your service company conduct a simulated power outage during your maintenance, or after repairs, to ensure the ATS and generator are both working properly together.

Investing in a generator is the first step in providing security and peace of mind for your home or business. It is important to remember that once you purchase a generator, you can help make sure it is going to work for you when you need it the most. Proper maintenance, monitoring for weekly exercise and familiarizing yourself with the owner's manual are all important steps toward protecting your investment. Don't wait until you need service in an emergency to look for a service company — yearly maintenance agreements are a great way to move yourself to the top of the priority list.

Jeff Stelmack is Service Manager for South Shore Generator. He can be reached at 888-339-4248 or

Source: Health & Wealth edition of Cape & Plymouth Magazine


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