Your business is important. Doing without electricity during a power outage may not be acceptable. A portable generator may be able to provide just the right amount of backup power for your critical processes.
Important safety considerations
A portable generator can pose serious safety hazards to you and others. Follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- Are designed to be connected only to selected equipment or lights.
- Should never be connected directly to a building's wiring system.
- May "backfeed" electricity out of your building and energize dead power lines.
- Anyone contacting those lines, such as our MGE crews or other emergency service people, could be seriously injured or killed.
- Can be damaged when power is restored.
Connecting a portable generator
- Read and follow all instructions.
- Connect appliances to the generator one at a time, starting with those that draw the largest load.
- Prioritize your needs. Use the lowest wattage lightbulbs that provide a safe level of light, reserving power for additional lighting elsewhere or for a small appliance.
- The greater the load, the more fuel your generator will use.
- Only use three-pronged extension cords of adequately heavy gauge.
- Make sure appliances plugged into the generator have over-current protection provided at the generator.
- See your electric code authority for more information.
Operating a portable generator
- Only use generators outside. The carbon monoxide fumes they emit could be deadly indoors.
- Operate generators on a firm, level surface. Running on an incline could cause the piston to seize.
- Check extension cords frequently to make sure they have not become hot.
- Don't use generators under conditions that are dusty, sandy or wet.
Maintaining a portable generator
- Run the generator under load monthly.
- Trickle-charge the battery every month.
- Keep the tank filled with fresh fuel.
- Use fuel conditioner to keep the fuel from breaking down.