A gas generator is a power source that runs on gas. It’s a great choice for those looking for a reliable backup power source.
The main advantage of a gas generator is that it costs less to fuel than a liquid-fuel powered alternative.
It also burns cleaner, which helps the environment. Furthermore, it’s easy to get permits for commercial and non-emergency use.
How it works
Picture a hurricane making an unscheduled landfall along the east coast and sweeping inland as trees fall and power lines snap. Luckily, millions of homes and businesses are powered by backup generators that keep the lights on while crews work to restore power.
There are many types of generators, but the one you’ll see at your local home improvement store is a gas-powered machine that turns your house into an electric power plant. Using natural gas (the fuel that powers your barbecue) in the form of propane or methane, a gas generator can be used to power everything from fridges and freezers to heating systems and security cameras.
There are a few things to know about how these machines work, from the physics of it all to how to keep them clean and operational, even in times of peak demand. For starters, natural gas is cleaner to burn than other fossil fuels. It also burns more efficiently, which means you’ll save money in the long run.
Safety is important when using any kind of portable generator, whether it is a gas, diesel or propane powered. The main hazards are carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and fire.
The best way to avoid these hazards is to always follow manufacturer’s instructions and use a safety harness or protective gear when operating. Also, store gasoline in a safe and approved container outside the house and away from any heat sources like heaters or fireplaces.
You should never operate a generator inside your home, even if it’s in the garage or basement, because generators can create deadly levels of carbon monoxide that can be inhaled. Those risks are especially high during power outages.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that it will recommend new mandatory rules to make generators safer. The agency has criticized manufacturers for not voluntarily adopting a standard that would have slashed carbon monoxide deaths by nearly 90 percent, according to an NBC News, ProPublica and Texas Tribune investigation.
When a generator is installed, it is important to hire a qualified contractor to complete the installation. They will be responsible for the electrical, plumbing and natural gas components of the project.
The installer will pick a location that is the most suitable for your home and will assist you in getting all the necessary permits and approvals. They will also help you choose the right model and size generator for your needs.
Once the generator is installed, a plumber will connect the gas line and an electrician will wire it to your house. Then, an automatic transfer switch will be installed to trigger the generator when a power outage occurs.
Lastly, you need to talk with your local building department and have them inspect the installation before it is complete. This will ensure that the generator is installed correctly and meets local code.
Like cars and other vehicles, generators need to be serviced regularly to prevent breakdowns. This can include maintenance on the fuel system, air filter, oil, spark plugs, alternator, and transfer switch.
Regular maintenance on your generator is not difficult and will pay off in the long run. You should create a maintenance schedule that covers weekly, monthly, and annual checkups on your generator so you can keep it running efficiently and safely.
For example, if you live in a cold climate, you may want to change the fuel filters after a certain amount of time. Also, water vapor can condense in the fuel tank, so drain it from the generator often.
Depending on your particular application, you can set up a maintenance schedule for your industrial generator that will keep it running at optimal performance. Preventive maintenance inspections are typically done at least twice a year for units that are used in an industrial environment, and more frequently if they are exposed to harsh conditions.