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5 Tips for Using a Generator After a Flood

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If your home has lost power after a major flood, you may need to hire a generator. To help you stay safe during that time, there are a few tips you should keep in mind.

1. Estimate How Much Power You Need Carefully

To ensure you select the right generator for your needs, you will need to estimate your anticipated power useage. Find the wattage of each appliance, all your critical electronics and the light bulbs that you plan to power with your generator, and add all of those items up. The total is the wattage you need for your generator.

Some generators advertise a voltage capacity rather than a wattage capacity. If you have your needed wattage, the customer service rep at the generator hire company will be able to do the conversions for you.

2. Don't Forget to Account for Power for Cleaning and Repairs

If you plan to start cleaning up flood water with a wet-dry vac, don't forget to account for that while calculating your power needs. You may also want to calculate any power tools that you may need to cut out gypsum or remove carpeting. Finally, if you plan to run fans to help with evaporation, you want to account for them as well.

3. Don't Put the Generator Inside

Never put a generator inside. Always store it outside, or the fumes may hurt your family. Find a dry area to place it outside. Also, you may need to invest in some heavy duty extension cords to run from the generator through a window into your home.

4. Don't Power Wet Appliances

If some of your appliances are waterlogged, don't plug those in the generator. The water could create a short circuit, leading to damage to the appliance or the generator. That could also cause you to get electrocuted. Wait until the appliances have dried out.

5. Power Appliances One at a Time

All electronics use more energy when they are starting up than they do while they are running. As a result, your wattage estimate will be less than you need in the first few seconds that your appliances are getting started. If you start everything at once, that can also cause a short circuit. To prevent that, plug in your appliances to the generator one at a time, and power them up individually.

To learn more about proper safety practices, contact a generator company directly.