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3 Generator tips for when there’s a blackout

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Randy J. of Katy, Texas is a retired refinery worker. He purchased a 2021 Ford F-150 to replace his 2010 F-150.

The model purchased by Randy has an onboard generator.

An onboard generator gives you the ability to use the truck like a mobile generator that can produce up to 7.2 kW of power.

Randy said he purchased the truck because his home frequently loses power during storms.

After owning the truck for only a few weeks, Randy was able to see firsthand exactly what it can do.

During the historic winter storm in early 2021, portions of Texas reached single-digit temperatures.

The storm caused millions of people lose power.

But, Randy was able to keep his home functioning using his pick-up truck.

When he lost power during the winter storm, he pulled out a few extension cords to see what his truck could do.

“Without it, I would have been in the dark and cold like everybody else in the neighborhood,” he said.

Randy was able to power the necessities in his home for three days until the grid was back up and running.

He also helped out his neighbors by charging their phones and laptops.

It’s no secret that America’s power grids are aging.

Utility companies from Minnesota to Mississippi to California have had rolling blackouts.

In Texas alone, over 3 million people lost power during the winter storm.

The fact is, power failures are going to occur more often, and last longer.

Even if you don’t own a 2021 F-150, you can keep your home running with a quality generator.

But, unlike a car generator that you drive often, your portable generator doesn’t get any use until you need it most.

The last thing you want is to hook up your generator during a power outage and have it not run properly.

Considering this, here are a few things to keep in mind to maintain your generator and ensure it works when you need it.

Test runs:

The most important aspect of generator maintenance is to run it.

Running the generator will keep the internal parts lubricated and functioning. It will ensure that parts such as the carburetor are not clogged up.

Whether you have gasoline, propane, or even a solar generator,  you should test it at least every 3 months.

The key is to make sure all parts function as they should.

When you test your generator let it run for at least 30 minutes to make sure the generator gets hot and runs at its peak level.

Fuel and additives:

Taking care of the fuel you put into the generator is just as important as the generator itself.

When you are testing your generator, turn off the fuel line and let the generator run until it stalls out.

This will clear all the lines of fuel and won’t leave any sitting in the lines.

One of the reasons you want to run your generator every 3 months is because this is about how long fuel stays at its peak level.

Gasoline is still useable after 3 months, but it’s not optimum.

One way to increase the shelf life of fuel is to add a stabilizer. This can extend the life of gasoline up to a year. One product to check out is STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer.

Also, try to use ethanol-free gas if there is a station nearby.

Check the load:

Once you have the generator up and running, you should start using it.

Add appliances and other items to run off the generator so you know it can handle the load.

Remember to disconnect the load before you start the generator and before you stop it.

Only load the generator when it is running.

Also, don’t forget to check the battery on your generator. Some generators have a battery if they have an electric start.

So, keep the generator charged up. It’s not a bad idea to trickle-charge the battery on your generator.

The last thing you want is for your generator to fail when you need it most.

The nation’s power grids are aging and failing more often, so keeping the lights on moving forward – especially during emergencies – is going to be up to you.

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