How to Program Date, Time, & Exercise Cycle on Generac Generators

Many folks are not familiar with the new Generac Evolution controller and how to set up the date, time and exercise cycle on their new generator.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it is an extremely easy process when you have the navigation menu which can be found in your owner’s manual (Page 13).

You would start at the first screen and select the sub-menus. You do this by using the up/down arrow and then press enter when the “sub-menus” is highlighted.

The next screen you will need to arrow up/down to get to the “Edit” prompt and then hit enter. Now you have access to the following five controls available….Language, Fuel Selection, Current Date/Time, Exercise Time and Firmware Update.

You will arrow down until you get to “Current Date/Time” and then hit enter. This will allow you to enter the hour, minute, month, date and year and when done you would hit “enter” to get back to the previous sub-menu.

Then you can arrow down one more time to get to the “Exercise Time” and then hit enter. This will allow you to enter the quiet test mode (only available on 17kW & 20kW models), hour, min and day and when done hit enter to get back to previous sub-menu.

From there you can press escape until you get back to the main screen and your date, time and exercise schedule on your new Generac generator should now be set and ready to go.

Menu Map

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Connecting a Portable Generator to Your House

Portable generators are incredibly useful during power outages. They are practically essential for those in areas where power outages are prevalent.

The simplest way to power the essentials from your portable generator is to run heavy-duty extension cords from the generator to each appliance you need to power.

Some people, however, wish to run the power directly into their house. If you wish to do this, never  plug your generator directly into a wall socket to feed power into your house’s power lines. This is extremely dangerous and illegal!

To connect your portable generator into your house’s power lines, hire a professional qualified electrician and have him install a transfer switch. You then plug your generator into the transfer switch, which routes the electricity through a specific circuit breaker box and isolates the outside lines from the electricity that your generator is producing.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

where_not_to_put_a_generatorWhen you’re ready to use your generator, make absolutely certain that your generator is located outside about 20+ feet from your home. Make certain that it’s not near any windows, doors, or vents. Generators make more than electricity, they also produce high levels of carbon monoxide, which is extremely deadly when concentrated.

Even running a generator near a closed door or window can be very dangerous, as the carbon monoxide can still seep in. Do not run a generator in a basement or a garage either, as this will allow large amounts of carbon monoxide to build up in your home.

If you experience any signs or symptoms at all of carbon monoxide poisoning, get to fresh air immediately and  call for help.

Several Deaths Resulting From Unsafe Generator Use

Practice Generator Safety

Practice Generator Safety

Ice storms and power outages have ravaged the East Coast, and many people have taken it upon themselves to invest in portable generators to keep their power on to get through the winter. When used properly, portable generators are a great way to keep your home warm, your lights on, and your refrigerator running during an untimely power outage. Unfortunately, due to unsafe generator use, at least 9 People have died from carbon monoxide poisoning recently on the East Coast.

When running a generator indoors, carbon monoxide from the exhaust builds up and reaches incredibly unsafe levels as much as three times the danger level. It is also extremely important not to run a generator in your garage or near any windows or doors. Carbon monoxide fumes can seep in through a closed window or door and cause unsafe levels within the home regardless of being run outside. Keep your generator 20 feet from your home, and never place it in a garage, basement or near any open windows or doors.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Death

The first three symptoms can be noticed early on at 70 parts per million of concentrated carbon monoxide, but it doesn’t take long after that for the fourth and final symptom to occur. If you experience any of these symptoms, quickly get out of your home to fresh air and turn off your generator immediately!

After your symptoms have gone away, you can return to open your windows and doors and ventilate your home. The use of battery-powered alarms is also recommended to warn you before carbon monoxide reaches dangerous levels.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and tasteless gas produced when fossil fuels — such as coal, gasoline, natural gas and oil — are burned. In only minutes, deadly fumes can develop in enclosed spaces. When you breathe carbon monoxide, it enters the bloodstream and cuts off delivery of oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues.

To read more about generator safety, please visit Electric Generators Direct’s Electric Generator Safety page.

Winter Blackout Preparation

Be sure you’re prepared for a winter storm blackout. With temperatures dropping to dangerous lows, it could be very detrimental to have no power in a storm. Unless you want to be using just sweaters and blankets to stay warm, you should consider investing in a portable or home-standby generator.

A portable generator can help keep your furnace, hot water heater, and a few other essential electronics up and going. Imagine being stuck using blankets and sweaters to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures. Imagine also, having to take cold showers and stepping out into a sub-zero house. If you work from home, your sole source of income will be closed until further notice.

Emergency portable generators will enable you to take hot showers, keep the heat running, preserve the food in your refrigerator and freezer, and even keep your home office operating.

However, in addition to having an electric generator on hand, you should also prepare in these other ways to ensure you’re not left scrambling or suffering in an unexpected and unfortunate situation.

Winter-Blackout-Preparation-Infographic

How to Keep Your Generator Dry and Operable.

GenTent

GenTent

If you’re worried about a power outage, chances are your generator is worried about bad weather.

It’s a good idea to keep your generator dry and clean while operating.

If you’ve got a bad storm moving through your area, but you want your generator to stay dry and operable, try covering it safely with something like a GenTent. GenTents will not only keep them dry and operable, they’ll keep them ventilated. They’re also tough and built to withstand heavy winds and snow.

If you live in a power-loss prone area, it’s important that you have a way to protect your portable generator so you can be sure that you’re ready when the electricity goes out.

These generator covers will keep your electrical outlets dry in all weather types including blizzard and hurricane force precipitation. They don’t block the fresh air intake, and they leave your portable generators fully portable. Another great feature is that the refueling area of your generator is fully accessible while still protected and kept dry (even while you’re refueling).

You can find one to fit your generator now by shopping the GenTent section of Electric Generators Direct.

How to Pick a Compatible Transfer Switch

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So you have a generator, but now you need a transfer switch.

What kind of transfer switch can you use? What brand is the best?

 

Not just any transfer switch will do. Your transfer switch must be the same brand as your generator.

Crossing manufacturers’ products is a big no-no! Because there are internal controls, generators can only communicate with the appropriate transfer switch, and vice versa. Therefore, the generator and transfer switch must be matched properly.

Most manufacturers prepackage their generators with the appropriate transfer switch to make things easier, but if you happen to purchase a generator that does not come with a matching transfer switch, be sure to check with the manufacturer and use only the same brand.

 

Give Your Generator a Solid Foundation

Generator Foundation

While your generator likely has a composite pad to protect the bottom of the generator, you still need to make sure your generator is rested on a solid foundation. Even if the ground is flat and level, the weight of the generator can compress the soft ground beneath it, causing the generator to become imbalanced.

All generators require a solid base, and concrete is the best material to use. If poured correctly, concrete will typically not settle into the ground at all. This means you’ll have a flat, level surface for years to come.

As always, make sure your generator is being placed far enough away from your home to avoid letting any carbon monoxide seep in. Carbon monoxide is a very dangerous and deadly fume, and it can seep in through vents, windows, doors, and other openings in the side of your home. It’s odorless, so you likely wouldn’t even notice it until it’s too late.

Be sure that you take the proper distance into consideration when pouring your generator foundation, as this will determine where your standby generator will be when it’s in use.

Can You Run a Standby Generator on Solar Power?

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Standby generators must monitor incoming utility power for them to operate, and a solar system provides DC power to a battery bank. Home standby generator systems are designed for use with utility power only unless otherwise specified. There’s no way for the generator controller to monitor this DC battery bank as it is looking for AC power.

Also, most standby systems on the market today have specific controls where multiple control wires are needed for the generator to communicate with the automatic transfer switch. These systems do not offer the old two wire start controls that they used to. Installing a home standby generator system for manual operation will void the manufacturer’s warranty and can cause issues with the control system.

While the idea of a solar-powered standby generator is great, these systems are just not designed for that type of use. There is however, two specific systems that are designed and warranted for solar applications. The Generac EcoGen and the Kohler 14RESA can handle these specific solar applications.

They are designed for 2 wire start with the solar system inverter controller and include a manufacturer’s warranty. These systems are for backup power if your batteries ever run out and will continue to run until your inverter controller switches them back over.  We suggest consulting with a local installer who is familiar with these types of systems.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are Almost Here!

cyber-monday
cyber-monday

You’ve heard of Black Friday sales, and most likely are familiar with what Cyber Monday is now too.

Cyber Monday is a day when online retailers reduce prices and put their products on sale for unusually good prices. It’s a period of time when millions of consumers can get online and find deals comparable to those you’d find on Black Friday without having to fist fight strangers.

We’re going to celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday with deals on all of our power equipment sites that will be running from 12:01 a.m. Friday through 12:00 a.m. Tuesday. That’s right, we’ll be offering great sales deals through the entire weekend.

However, we won’t be here for Black Friday! Many retailers choose to require their employees to work overtime and weekends to squeeze as much profit as possible out of the shopping-based holidays, we like to send everyone home for the weekend to enjoy some time with family.

All of our sites have Buyer’s Guides to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, so although you can’t reach customer service or our experts, we’ve provided you with as much information as possible to ensure you’re well informed during your purchasing process. If you’re looking for tips on how to use your power equipment, you can click the link at the bottom of the site for our “How-to Library.” Here, you can find many articles about our power equipment.

Plus, our product pages contain consumer reviews and accurate up-to-date ratings derived from our perfectly designed algorithm so you can be sure to choose the equipment that’s right for you.

Contact us on Cyber Monday, December 2nd, 2013 if you would like to speak with our experts or customer service.

Find Cyber Monday Deals at the Following Stores:

Snow Blowers Direct

Electric Generators Direct

Leaf Blowers Direct

String Trimmers Direct

Chain Saws Direct

Chippers Direct

Log Splitters Direct

Air Compressors Direct

Pressure Washers Direct

Sump Pumps Direct

Water Pumps Direct

Mowers Direct

Tillers Direct

Pipe Sizing for Home Standby Generators

pipe fitting generator

Fuel pipe sizing is one of the most important aspects of generator installations and knowing the right size to go with will keep your generator running properly.

Generator manufacturers typically have pipe sizing charts based on the generators output wattage and the distance from the fuel source. Some manufactures recommend consulting with your installing plumber to make the right pipe size selection based on their knowledge and according to local codes.

When a pipe is sized too small, the generator will not get a sufficient amount of fuel. This causes the engine to starve, preventing it from starting. The engine will try and try, but after several start-up attempts the unit will quit and sound an alarm to alert you there is something wrong.

There are many references for fuel pipe sizing, such as NFPA 54 – Natural Gas Fuel Code, 2006 (Item# 320-6031-06) which is a commonly used resource for certified plumbers. Some of these references can be found online.One of the best methods of installation is to oversize the piping, allowing sufficient flow to the unit and giving it more than enough fuel.

Your installing plumbing should consider the specific gravity of the gas and compensate for a nominal amount of restrictions from bends, fittings and T’s. If an extensive amount of these restrictions are used you will need to refer to federal and local codes for proper sizing information.

The generator needs to be the first item connected to the fuel source. A home standby generator will start operating at full load capacity allowing it to handle the large starting loads. If the generator is not the first item within the system, it can create enough suction/vacuum in the fuel line to stop any flow to other appliances ahead of it. This can cause issues with pilot lights, such as heating systems, if you are not home to relight them.

Other information that your installing plumber may need is the BTU requirements of the home standby systems. This is easy to calculate, and the information is readily available in the manufacturers’ spec sheets. Here are some examples of how to convert fuel consumption to BTU:

Example 1: A 20kW Generac model 6244 has full load natural gas consumption: 308 FT3/HR (Cubic Feet per Hour). You can take that number and multiply it by 1000 to get 308,000 BTU/HR (BTU per Hour)

Example 2: A 20kW Generac model 6244 has full load Liquid Propane Vapor Consumption: 3.85 GAL/HR (Gallons per Hour). You can take that number and multiply 3.85 by the BTU per gallon (91,547 estimated) to get 352,456 BTU/HR (BTU per Hour).

Due to the many factors with pipe sizing, we always recommend consulting with your local certified plumber for installation assistance and the manufacturer’s installation guides.