Expert advice on emergency portable generators, including how to buy, set up and run them, and generator features, sizes, and necessary equipment.
在本文中,您的ll find information that will help you make smart choices about emergency electrical generators and other devices that can keep the electric power operating. In addition, you’ll get help with basic set-up, care, and maintenance.
For information about standby generators, which are a permanent, high-capacity version of the more common emergency generator, please seeAlternatives to Emergency Generators.
Choose a generator made specifically for household use rather than a worksite or camping generator. Consider how much power and what sorts of plugs you will need. Also consider the quality of the machine and how easy it will be to start and maintain.
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Here are the features you should consider when making a choice:
Generators are sized according to the number of watts of electrical power they deliver. In addition to the power a generator supplies while in constant running mode, a generator also should supply short bursts of “surge” power, which is needed for a few seconds to start up a large appliance such as a refrigerator or a clothes dryer.
A small generator delivers 3,000 to 4,000 watts—enough to supply a medium-sized refrigerator, a few appliances, a TV, and some lights. If you want a more civilized life, up the wattage to 5,000 to 6,000 watts and you’ll be able to add a window air conditioner or two, a freezer, and more appliances. Large generators that deliver 7,000 to 10,000 watts enable you to run just about everything in a medium-sized house, minus a central air conditioning system.
Type & Number of Electrical Plugs a Generator Has
小型便携式发电机可能只有12伏插头，适用于标准延伸线，并且能够运行灯光和小型到中型电器。如果您需要为240伏设备供电，请确保发电机具有合适的插头。如果您通过转移开关将生成器插入房屋（请参阅Standby Generators & UPS Backup Batteries), there must be a special four-slotted plug that supplies both 120 and 240 volts.
Generator’s Motor & Starting Method
Generator’s Grounding Method
Nearly all modern generators do not need to be grounded (connected to a grounding rod driven into the earth or to a metal water pipe). For safety, check the owner’s manual to ensure the model you choose does not need to be grounded.
大多数便携式应急发电机需要适度的组件，包括安装轮子。您还需要添加制造商推荐的类型的油。通常，如果您希望在寒冷的天气下使用发电机，请加入5W-30油；要在中度到炎热的天气中跑步，请使用10W-30。另外，请确保使用推荐的燃料类型 - 例如，许多型号要求无铅汽油，其辛烷值等级为85或更高，不超过10％的乙醇。
Remember that It will be much easier to do all the gathering of equipment and set-up when you have power—especially if an outage should occur after dark. Before you need to run the generator, plan where you will place it in the event of an outage, and determine where you will run the extension cords. Make a list of the appliances and lights you want to power in case of a power outage, and add up their wattages to make sure you will not overload the generator.
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Never run a gas motor inside the home- 它产生有害的一氧化碳烟雾，可能是致命的。它可以在露台，开放式门廊或车道上或其他无人空间的通风附属建筑物上运行。
Also be aware that the generator’s noise can be irritating so, if possible, place the appliance out of earshot. Don’t plan to put the generator where it might be vulnerable to rain. Though generators can run for a short while in light mist, a downpour may render them inoperable.
Test Your Gear
Test the lengths of extension cords to be sure they will reach where you need them to and store them near the generator. Store plenty of gasoline or other fuels in safe containers that are easy to access.
Be sure to use heavy-duty extension cords, not lightweight household cords. Cords should, at a minimum, have 12-gauge wire; 10 gauge or thicker is preferable. Check the cords for condition, with no nicks in the insulation or exposed bare wire.
Do not attempt to hook up a portable generator to your home’s electrical service panel. This type of generator is designed to supply a limited amount of power via extension cords. If you want a system that automatically supplies power during an outage, hire a professional to install a standby generator (see便携式应急发电机的替代方案).
Before running an emergency generator, read the article设置便携式发电机(above). If you take the steps suggested in that article, you’ll be much better prepared to get the generator up and running quickly and easily.
When setting up the generator, check the oil and fuel levels and top them off as needed. Roll the generator to the dry, well-ventilated place that you’ve chosen, and gather together the various extension cords you’ll need.
Start the generator before you attach the extension cords. Plug in the cords and then run them into the house. Though the cords can get wet, keep any connections—for example, where you plug together two cords—dry. Adjust the motor’s speed as needed to sustain the appliances or lighting you want to power.
Consult your owner’s manual to determine how long the motor will run before you need to refuel so you can anticipate the need to refuel. When you do refuel, first turn off the motor and unplug the cords. Wait a few minutes for the motor to cool down before adding the fuel.
If the power outage might last days rather than hours, plan your energy usage so you can give the motor a rest. Run the refrigerator or freezer only sporadically, and keep its door closed as much as possible.
If possible, run a generator only one- quarter to one-half of the time. You might, for example, turn it off when everyone has gone to bed. Exceptions include a sump pump that needs to run continuously to clear out water in the basement or a furnace or gas boiler needed to heat the house on very cold nights.
First, consult the owner’s manual for proper maintenance directions so you can be confident the motor will start up when you need it. Manuals typically advise:
• Periodically cleaning and/or changing the spark plugs
• Cleaning the screen on the spark arrestor
• Maintaining a sufficient amount of oil
• Changing the oil after a specified number of running hours
• Periodically cleaning and/or changing the air filter
If you will not be starting a portable generator for more than a month, add fuel stabilizer to the tank to keep the carburetor from getting gummed up. Many manufacturers recommend that you run the motor for about 10 minutes every two to three months.燃油稳定剂can be found on Amazon.
If your generator has an electric starter, be sure to keep the battery charged so the generator will start when you need it. (If the battery does run down, most models allow you to start the generator with a hand pull.)