The electric grid is down again, your turn for power shedding or just lack of maintenance and faults. Who knows, but it has become expected in South Africa. Eskom has admitted that we remain at risk of power cuts for a number of years to come.

Our homes are stocked with torches and candles, but is this really the solution for an never ending power cut saga. Many are turning to the use of backup generators for that little bit of power. At least we can keep our fridges cold our TV’s operating and charge our cell phones.

We begin to consider buying a backup generator, but what are the risks, something you should be aware of. Electronics can be delicate things so power spikes can affect or even blow your TV or PC. It is advisable to ask your local electrician for advice on which one to purchase, as they will be able to work out your usage and what wattage machine you need to purchase.

Things you should be aware of when deciding on purchasing a backup generator.

  • If you are doing DIY, always read the instruction manual.
  • Backup generators are loud and really there is nothing to be done about that.
  • Never run a generator inside a house, inside a garage, under a carport, on a porch, inside a screened porch or near an open window. Keep it at least 5 metres away from your home. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas, so you never know if it could reach you and affect your health.
  • Have working smoke and CO detectors in the house when using a generator, they are early warning signs of potential hazards.
  • All backup generators run on either diesiel or petrol. Never fuel a generator while it is “ON” or when it’s hot as it is a huge fire hazard.
    When you buy a generator, choose the size based on the running wattage and its surge wattage, this should fall into line with what you need. If you’re worried about needing more surge wattage, buy a larger generator.

A backup generator is not necessarily a “plug and play” machine, there are risks involved. Calling your local electrician can assist you in the size, safety precautions and advice on potential hazards. Rather be safe than sorry OR maybe its time to consider alternative power like Solar power.