Are Surge Protectors Recommended for Items Relying on Back-up Generators?

SECOS Tech working on electric panel

Protect Your Home from Generator Surges

Generators can be literal lifesavers. They keep your appliances and lights on when the power goes out, and whole-house generators come on automatically when you need them. Here are some tips for using them safely.

National Electrical Code

In 2020, the National Electrical Code changed its guidelines regarding surge protectors. The new code says surge protectors are necessary to protect all electrical equipment in a house.

How does this apply to standby generators? When the generator kicks on, it can send a large, sudden flow of energy into your home. A surge protector will keep the energy at safe levels and protect your home’s electric devices.

Do You Need a Surge Protector with All Generators?

Power failures can lead to dangerous, extreme fluctuations in voltage and power levels. Spikes in power can happen when the generator turns the power back on. If the spikes are severe, they can damage your appliances and devices.

Portable generators: Small, portable generators are more likely to cause surges. If you use them, it’s smart to attach surge protectors.
Standby whole-house generators: In general, these large generators deliver power more evenly than small generators. It’s still a good idea to use surge protectors, especially when you’re dealing with residential wiring. Surges can damage sensitive electronics, so using a protector can keep your delicate instruments and devices safe.
Inverter generators: There are fewer chances of spikes and fluctuations with an inverter generator. It’s still a good idea to use a surge protector to stay on the safe side.

What Causes a Generator to Surge?

• Improper installation: If you have a whole-house generator, you must have it professionally installed.
• Age: Older generators are subject to wear and tear just like any machine. Regular maintenance will alert you to parts that need repair or replacement.
• Failing engine: An engine that isn’t working efficiently will deliver uneven power levels.
• Fuel problems: Using the incorrect fuel can cause your generator to work inefficiently. Low fuel levels or low-quality fuel are equally dangerous. Always use the manufacturer’s recommended fuel types.

Can You Use Power Strips with Generators?

Can you use a power strip with a generator? It’s possible, but it’s not a good idea to overload a power strip. Instead of attaching several devices to one, ask your electrician to install more outlets.

Don’t use power strips to extend the reach of your generator’s outlet. This is a fire risk and may violate local safety codes.

Call SESCOS for Expert Help with Your Generator

At SESCOS, we offer sales, installation, and maintenance of the most reliable generators in the industry. Check out our generator special to get the whole-house protection your family deserves.

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