When the power goes out, many things can go wrong in the house. Your work schedule can be interrupted, food can go bad and your personal safety can be compromised because the security system has shut down. This is where portable generators come in handy. By connecting the generator to your home's electrical cabling, you will get your systems up and running again. However, you need to be careful when handling generators because of potential mechanical faults that can make the generator break down, damage appliances and cause serious injuries, or worse, death! This is why manufacturers fit them with safety devices to maximise safety when using a portable generator. If you want to buy a portable generator for your home, make sure that it has the following safety devices:
Ground-Fault Circuit Interruption
A ground fault happens when there is an interruption in the low-resistance (opposition) grounding path of electrical equipment. When this happens, the electrical current takes another path to reach the ground. It can pass through the user, meaning that you are at the risk of being electrocuted anytime you operate the generator when it is running. Therefore, you should go for generators that have been fitted with ground-fault circuit interrupters to ensure that you are safe from such mechanical problems. In case of a problem, the ground-fault circuit interrupters will break the circuit and cut the flow of electric current, keeping you safe.
Sometimes, some simple maintenance tasks can slip your mind and have adverse effects on the generator. A good example is forgetting to check the level of the engine oil regularly, leaving the generator to run on little oil. A low-oil shut down device is used to prevent damage to the generator's engine. If the amount of oil in the crankcase is too low, a float switch closes and activates the sensor. The sensor then grounds out the ignition lead and shuts down the engine, preventing damage. This simple device will save you from costly engine repairs.
Outlet Circuit Breakers
Wires carrying current from the generator to the electrical appliances in your home offer resistance to the flow of electric current. Even though this is safe when there is too much current, some wires can still allow a lot of current to pass through depending on their electrical resistance rating. This can make them heat up and lead to a fire breakout. For this reason, it is important to buy a generator that has been fitted with an outlet circuit breaker. They detect when there is too much current and stop the flow of electricity. This protects your devices and prevents fire catastrophes.
For more information on improving safety and preventing costly generator or alternator repairs, contact an electrician near you.