You have to use a generator the right way can because it can have many benefits. It's an electronic device that can be reliable, especially in remote areas or if your place is prone to outages. Thus, we take a look at how to make a generator safe for electronics for your needs. Keeping track of all these aspects of maintaining a generator safe can be a challenge.
The good thing is we have outlined all the critical aspects of how to make a generator safe for electronics. The guide starts by looking at whether such a resource can compromise your resources and a few tips you can consider.
Can A Generator Damage Electronics?
There are two common types of generators, which are the non-inverter and inverter generators. Both are portable, or you can also install them as permanent solutions in the home. These days, a crucial factor when buying such power supply products relates to safety. Electronics are sensitive and are safest when you have a clean electrical supply unit.
The term clean power refers to electricity produced by a device that releases stable and calibrated energy. More so, the current has to be steady, with generators being required to be safe from spikes and surges.
The perfect generator for such fluctuations would be an inverter generator. The non-inverter generator does not provide the same safety features and clean energy as its counterpart. Any electricity that your small electronic devices consume without further filtering gets the term dirty electricity.
Such energy is of low quality, prone to fluctuations, and can compromise your sensitive equipment. If you have ever heard of the concept of switching your equipment off when the electricity outlet is off, then you should be well informed.
The power surges can compromise delicate electronics, especially those that have microchips and microprocessors. It’s the central concept behind using an inverter generator for clean power.
Is It Possible to Make A Generator Safe?
You need to get a few things right so that you can protect your electronic resources from surges. These are common issues affecting owners of generators, and below are some useful tips for you:
1. Install Surge Protectors
You will come across surge protectors for various equipment, especially those with the main power supply. However, it's also applicable to a setup that features a generator. Many people like using it alongside an inverter generator for the best outcomes.
The role of the surge protector is to stop any excess voltage from compromising your electrical components. It works by redirecting the electricity to the ground rather than to your small devices. You have to install the surge protector the right way to ensure the best outcomes. Usually, you may have to connect it to a power outlet that has a ground pin. The pin helps redirect the power from the surge protector to the ground.
All surge protectors classify based on the number of joules of electricity they can absorb when in operation. These include longevity, especially as most of them wear down over time. Thus, you can expect a worn-out surge protector to provide little or no protection for your sensitive devices.
2. Install A Power Surge Arrestor
A power surge arrestor is a backup device you install to protect your sensitive electronics from over-voltage complications. The common causes of such power surges would be lightning or internal switching complications. It’s a device that works optimally in power supply and transmission systems for standby purposes.
As with the surge protector, setting up this unit the right way is also crucial for a power outage. One has to install it to the connector just before the electricity gets to the sensitive electronics. An electrician will also have to connect it to the ground, and it will work by routing power if the system experiences power surges.
While this device type won't protect your electronics from a direct lightning strike, they are perfect for internal energy control. Lighting has large electrical transients that are not easy for such systems to control, leading to power surges.
3. Install an Uninterruptible Power Supply
An uninterruptible power supply, also commonly known as a UPS, provides a steady flow of electricity. Its role is to function as a power supply unit, but it can also work well with generators.
A UPS will provide you with adequate time to shut down and disconnect your electronic devices. Such features ensure the device is safe from damage, especially from power surges. Plus, various factors come into play when choosing the right UPS.
The common ones include the size of the generator, the functions, battery capacity, and more. Remember that a UPS also works perfectly with an inverter generator.
4. Set the Inverter Generator on a Level Surface
A significant number of generators come with components referred to as “splash lubrication systems.” These components feature crankshaft dippers, which collect oil and distribute it to moving parts of the engine. However, you have to set up these systems on level ground to ensure the best results.
If you place a generator on a sloppy surface, the dippers won’t access all the oil, and the engine components won't function as required. These are issues that can combine to cause severe generator failure. Thus, it's imperative to adhere to the instructions provided by a given manufacturer for a given generator. If you don’t have level ground, consider preparing one so the generator functions at optimal levels.
5. Never Attempt to Back-feed Power into the Home
Back-feeding is a term people use to refer to the flow of electric power in the reverse direction of the required flow of power. It sometimes occurs due to negligence, but some generator users do it intentionally.
You might have come across various information sources that detail how to back feed power into your property. However, even if you have a dual male-ended extension, this process can be catastrophic. Back feeding is illegal and for various reasons. The approach can lead harm to users of the given electrical system, including company professionals. You must use it safely because it will help protect every user of such a system.
A good suggestion for getting rid of those several extension cords would be to save up and buy a transfer switch. To ensure the ideal outcomes, call an electrician to set this system up for you. It’s an excellent alternative to using a generator system that has several extension cords.
6. Make Savvy Purchases
You should be aware that generators have different features and scopes of functionality. Choosing the right one can be highly beneficial for your electronic devices, and you should take time to research. Usually, the price of a given generator has a significant role to play in its safety features. However, you can always still get power products at reasonable offers.
In this case, research on essential topics such as the type inverter vs. non inverter generators. Many prefer using an inverter generator because it has excellent safety features. You can leverage this information to come up with useful insight on such resources. There are various aspects you have to consider to make savvy generator purchases. They include:
- Go for a reputable brand – like buying any other electrical device, buying from an industry leader can have many benefits. You will receive a warranty and a product that meets high standards of clean energy for your needs.
- Check the generator features – you may also have to go for an inverter generator with excellent features to protect your devices. These include fail switches, boot-up speed, battery, fuses, watt level, and more.
- Look for customer reviews – consumer reviews can be the perfect way to find generators for your electronics. You get information from people who have used the device first hand.
- Research through product reviews – many platforms online today provides in-depth insight into quality generators. Consider visiting these sites to research top-notch generators for your electronics.
7. Keep It Dry at All Times
Water is one of the leading causes of short-circuiting. Thus, you may have to find suitable ways to ensure your machine and the surface it sits on is dry. Also, take extra care when handling the generator, such as when you have to move between houses in the rainy season.
Suppose you plan to install it as an indoor unit and set up a dry surface under an impossible open and canopy-like space. The given area should be free from dust and moisture elements, which can compromise its functionality.
Plus, another excellent suggestion is that you need to avoid consuming beverage drinks close to the generator. Any spillages can easily make their way to the internal components and cause power surge damage.
8. Manage the Electronic Devices Properly
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to regulating the power of your inverter generator. You may have to learn to manage the power system right to help ensure optimal use outcomes. Such a machine has various run-time aspects that you have to take into perspective. A few useful suggestions for you need to consider when running such a device include:
- Disconnect the power coming into your home – before you start using the generator, disconnect it from the regular power source. Failing to do so means the energy from the generator might travel back to the utility lines in your area. Disconnecting it may help protect your devices from damage.
- Use heavy-duty extension cords – you also need heavy-duty extension cords that can manage the power supply smartly. Usually, such an extension type comes with special fuses, which help protect your appliances from such damage. Remember to check the average watt rating of the generator.
- Never plug a generator into a wall outlet – ensure you never connect your machine to a power outlet or the main panel. It’s a process that you need to leave for a licensed power company professional. They will help you connect the generator based on specific electrical codes and your appliances' power capacity.
- Use the two-tiered approach – consider using the two-tiered method, particularly if you have many appliances to connect to the portable generator. Plus, it would help if you had a surge protector strip beneficial for this purpose. It lets you connect several devices onto one strip so that you can also use it to charge appliances such as your phone or computer.
- Keep the fuel levels stable – if your generator is using fuel such as gas, ensure you leave at stable levels. It helps ensure you don’t have to break the power supply abruptly from your sensitive electronics. Remember that you need to keep the machine on standby to help avoid wastage. Also, check the carburetors and clean them periodically.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can a portable generator damage electronics?
These small and quiet generators produce large amounts of harmonic values in the output wave. Plus, these devices don’t often have excellent features for frequency and voltage control during fluctuations. They are only reliable when used as standby or backup appliances. While using most generators should be safe, reducing any instance of errors can be crucial in protecting your electronics.
Is it possible to use a portable generator to power a whole house?
Yes, it’s possible, but you have to be informed to ensure your devices are safe from surges. Most experts and generator companies do not recommend this approach. The main reason is that exceeding the capacity of the machine can lead to a back feed. When such an issue occurs, it can lead to fires, which are not safe for electronics.
Can I connect a generator to the electrical system in my house through a power outlet?
It’s not possible because the wiring that runs from the outlet can only accommodate up to 30 Amps. It’s a connection that can lead to various issues such as fires. To make such a system safe for electronics and from surges, you have two options. You may install a second main breaker or use a transfer switch for running such power machines at home.
Power outage issues are still common even when you opt to use modern technologies such a solar. You never know when the weather will be unfavorable, thereby compromising your access to electrical power. Plus, people who live or work in remote areas understand the importance of making generators safe for electronics. While running most generators should not lead to any dangers, you should be cautious across all fronts. So next time you want to use the generator for your computer or phone, ensure you do it right.