Planning for Climate Change: Test your backup generator!

Ok preppers, here’s the second installment in my little “planning for climate change” series…

For those of you who own portable backup generators, you really need to test them out on a regular basis to make sure everything’s running well.

Running a test is important for other reasons as well, since its also a good time to educate the rest of your family so that they can fire things up themselves should you be unavailable when the power goes out.

We have a “todo” list for this attached to the generator that we go through when we test run it twice per year. Here’s how it looks:

1. (detailed instruction for starting up the generator)
2. Connect a portable load (we use a space heater) to one of the 120V outlets. This stabilizes the generator RPMs if its “hunting” which many do when there’s no load.
3. plug the custom 60′ power cord into the 30Amp outlet.

meanwhile, the second person is:

1. run the custom 60′ power cord that goes from the generator through the kitchen (4 outlet drop there) down to the furnace room (ends with another 4 outlet drop)
2. plug the furnace into the outlet
3. plug computer UPS into the outlet
4. plug an extension cord into the outlet and connect it to the water heater
5. plug another extension cord into the outlet and connect it to the sump pump.
6. go back upstairs and plug the refrigerator into the kitchen outlet.

When you run through the test, you’ll be amazed at what you will uncover. Don’t just assume everything will work especially if you have a new generator that’s never been used before. My next post will go over some of the more common idiosyncrasies that might turn up…

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