How to Use a Portable Generator at Home during Power Outages

Mostly developing countries face power supply issues, but even developed countries can have problems during emergencies. In any such scenario, having a portable generator can be life saving, since you can power your refrigerator, microwave oven and lights with it. While it may seem complicated, using a generator is quite simple if you follow the proper instructions.


  • 1

    If you don’t have a generator with you and are considering purchasing one, it is important that you take your requirements into account. Make a list of the necessary appliances and the number of lights you intend to turn on and note down their wattage requirements as well. When you go to purchase a generator, check the output wattage and make sure it is enough to cover your needs.

  • 2

    Once you have the generator, find a suitable place for it, ideally outside, in open an open area. A generator should never be used indoors because like a car, it also has an engine which runs on gasoline and requires an exhaust. The exhaust contains harmful gases, like carbon monoxide, which if inhaled over a period of time, can lead to poisoning and death.

  • 3

    Make sure the generator is not sitting on a wet surface or in an area where water can accumulate in case of rain or a blocked drainage system. A concrete pad is ideal in this case and you should also protect the generator with a shade or canopy on top. Very light rain is not really going to affect the performance of your generator but will lead to rusting over time.

  • 4

    Most generators have fuel gauges and you should check to make sure there is enough before you try and start it. If there is no fuel gauge, you can shake the generator or lift it up to move the fuel around, which will make an audible sound. You also need to check whether there is enough oil for the engine, which is added into a separate opening, usually closed with a screw cap.

  • 5

    Now you can turn the generator on, and depending on the model you can either use the ignition switch or pull the starting cord. Consult the manufacturer’s manual before turning on the generator to avoid any issues.

  • 6

    Once the generator is up and running, you should plug a heavy duty outdoor extension into the output socket and use it to power the appliances you wish to use.

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