6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, the best generator is one that works

Consumer Confidence: Generators

Consumer Confidence: Generators

(ABC 6 News) – Power outages seem to be happening more often. Whether from a wildfire, hurricane, heat wave or ice storm, no one wants to be left in the dark.

It’s no surprise portable generators are popular items, and as Consumer Reports reminds us, the best generator is one that actually turns on and works when you need it.

“Generators can go months or even years without being used. But keep in mind the fuel in them can go bad over time. That can clog the engine’s carburetor or fuel lines and it may not start when you actually need it,” says Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope. He generated some easy DIY generator tips.

Keep the generator’s fuel tank empty to prevent clogged fuel lines.

You’ll want to have at least 10 gallons of fresh gasoline on hand in a safety container and “always add a fuel stabilizer to your stored gas to help it last as long as possible,” says Hope.

Store your generator in a clean, dry, and ventilated spot that you can access easily, but is NOT attached to the house.

“Storing a generator in your home or too close to it is dangerous because not only can vapors escape from gasoline but gasoline is flammable and that could start a fire,” says Hope.

And if you deal with power outages often, consider a transfer switch. An electrician installs it alongside your main circuit breaker making it a safe and easy way to use your portable generator.

“A transfer switch lets you power whole circuits on your home’s panel without running individual extension cords to each appliance. They also let you power things that may not have a plug like a furnace or a water heater,” says Hope.

In fact, Hope had something similar, called an interlock device, installed in his own house, and says it makes facing a power outage a little less stressful.

And NEVER run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors. Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.