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How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

When storms threaten your power, do you have a generator to keep you comfortable and save your food from spoiling? I’ve contemplated buying a generator before each major storm threat, but they are usually sold out by the time I make it to the store. When Briggs & Stratton asked if I wanted to test out their new Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower™ Series Inverter Generator, I said “YES!” But, between us, I was a little nervous about using one. I didn’t have the faintest idea How to Safely Use and Store a Generator. Luckily, my friend Scott offered to give me a few tips. Plus, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 came with a fantastic manual that made me feel more at ease using it for the first time.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Why You Might Need a Generator:

Our town has been hit by a few hurricanes, ice storms and a tornado over the past few years. Several of these events left us without power for multiple days. It was that first ice storm that introduced me to what a generator can provide.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

As my husband and I suffered in silence, several neighbors had their generators humming outside. The homeowners that had a generator were able to keep their food cold in the refrigerator while the rest of us had to throw away all the food that had spoiled. (If your ice has melted in the freezer it is no longer safe to consume that food.) Our neighbors with a generator were able to keep their families warm with electric heaters. We tried to burn a fire in our wood burning fireplace, but most of the heat went up the chimney. Plus, we couldn’t stay up all night adding wood to the fire. In the morning, we woke up to a house that was 45F. Even our dog (who was not a snuggler) decided to curl up with us on our makeshift bed in the living room. The homes with generators had electricity to run lamps and radios. We had to use candles, flashlights, and a battery-powered radio until they ran low. The hardest part of living without the assistance of a generator was having our communication cut off. We couldn’t call our families and the power company because our cell phone batteries died by the end of the first day. Sadly our land line phones were cordless and lost their charge too.

Some other things you can power with a generator*:

  • Individual water well pump
  • Sump pump
  • Medical device that needs power (portable generators are not intended for life support, a standby generator is required)
  • Power for contractors for temporary outages for small projects

*If connecting a portable generator into your home electrical system, have a licensed electrician install an Emergency Manual Power Transfer System.

Finally, in addition to providing backup power for essential home appliances, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower generator Quiet Power Series can also run power to your campsite or picnic. The noise is 60% quieter† than standard generators (†As tested per ISO2744 sound power standard when compared to standard generator 30607.)

How to Check and Fill Your Generator with Oil:

Locate the oil dipstick on your generator. The Briggs & Stratton Q6500’s oil dipstick is located behind the side panel. Remove the screws holding the side panel in place (place screws in a bowl to prevent from losing them.)

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Remove the panel and set aside.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Locate the side of the engine and remove the yellow-capped dipstick.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Wipe off the dipstick with a clean dry rag or paper towel. Reinsert it into the oil tank. Remove the dipstick and check the oil level. The tank is full when the oil level is between the two indicators or even with the top indicator (small hole in the dipstick on the Briggs & Stratton Q6500.)

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

To add oil, insert the funnel into oil fill opening.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Carefully empty engine oil into the funnel (most generators use small engine oil, but check your manual to be certain.)

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue to check the oil level by inserting the wiped clean dipstick into the engine. When the engine is full, replace the dipstick and replace the panel you removed from the side of the generator.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

What Type of Gas Does a Generator Use?

Most generators require low or ethanol free gasoline. Check your generator’s manual for specifics. The Briggs & Stratton manual stated that gas with an ethanol content of 10% or lower was acceptable. Our friend recommended I use ethanol-free gasoline to avoid damaging the generator after storage. (Ethanol gas separates during storage and can put the engine at risk when starting up.)

He also recommended I purchase a fuel stabilizer like this Briggs & Stratton Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment & Stabilizer (affiliate link) and add it with the fuel (following the amounts suggested on the stabilizer bottle.)

To fill the generator with fuel, unscrew the gas cap from the top of the generator.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Pour gasoline into the tank.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

You can view the fuel gauge for approximation, but best practice is to fill the tank to the bottom lip.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Be sure not to overfill your generator. The fuel needs some room for expansion. Wipe up any spilled gas from around the tank opening. Firmly twist the gas cap back onto the generator.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Safely Use a Generator:

Make sure to locate your generator on a flat level surface far away from your house (especially away from doors, windows and vents.) The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 has a telescoping handle that makes it easy to roll around. The generator weighs 128 pounds, so lifting it is much easier when you have a helper (look for grips on the bottom of the unit for convenient hand hold locations.)

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

The generator must be located outside the home. Never use a generator inside your home, garage or basement. Turn the generator so the muffler is pointed away from dwellings. Make sure you have Carbon Monoxide Detectors  (affiliate link) installed inside your home. Keep combustibles at least 5 feet from the generator. Overhanging trees and structures also need to be at least 5 feet away from the generator. (This diagram from the Briggs & Stratton manual is a good visual to show you proper placement.)

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

To start the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 generator, make sure the QuietPower Technology switch is turned off.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Pull the choke out on the generator.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn the engine switch to the on position.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Firmly pull on the starter handle. You may need to pull a few times for the fuel pump to initially fill the carburetor. Luckily, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 started right up for me on the first pull! (This was a huge relief because normally I have to fight with the lawn mower.)

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Once the generator has started, press the choke back in.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

To begin using the outlets on the generator, you must turn on the main breaker.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower™ Series Inverter Generator has four standard 120 volt AC, 20 amp outlets, plus two USB ports for charging USB devices (per the manual, Apple devices are recommended to use the bottom USB port.)

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

In addition, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 generator has one 120/240 AC, 30 Amp, locking receptacle. If powering indoor items such as an air conditioner, heater, lights or sump pump, the recommended way to do so is by installing a transfer switch (must be installed by a licensed electrician.)

Connect extension cords to your generator and run them into your home to supply power to several appliances.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Be sure to shut doors and windows behind you and seal any cracks to prevent any exhaust fumes from entering the home.

Use the following chart to gauge the capacity your generator can handle. This will allow you to calculate how many and which appliances you can safely run with your generator. The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 can provide 6,500 watts of starting power and 5,000 watts of running power.

Typical Appliance Usage Chart | Pretty Handy Girl

For added convenience, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 will show the percentage of power usage on the panel as you connect appliances.  Keep an eye on these indicators and remove an appliance if you reach 100% capacity.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

To reduce the noise on this Briggs & Stratton generator, you can switch the Quiet Power Technology on after your devices are powered.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Safely Store a Generator:

First remove all extension cords and powered devices. Let the generator run for one minute. Shut down the generator by turning the switch to the off position. Turn off the QuietPower Technology switch so you won’t forget to next time you start up the generator.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

When you are finished using your generator, check the oil level and add more as needed. Before storing the generator, it is a good idea to run the gas to empty in the generator. Alternatively, using a fuel stabilizer will allow you to store the generator with gasoline in it.

Check the hoses, fuel tank, spark plug, and spark arrest (screen over muffler) on your generator and replace any parts that show signs of wear and tear. Otherwise, change the air filter and spark plug yearly. Wipe off any debris or dirt from the generator.

Refer to your generator’s manual to determine the maintenance schedule. The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 generator needs its first oil change after the first 5 hours of use. Consecutive changes are yearly or after 100 hours of use (whichever comes first.) Other generators may need oil changes more frequently. Family Handyman has a great article on maintaining and storing your generator.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

Be sure to store excess gasoline in an approved gas container (affiliate link.) The gasoline will keep best if the container is filled and a fuel stabilizer is added. Your generator and excess fuel should be stored in a well ventilated area away from your home. A shed or detached garage are the safest options. If neither of those are available, you can build a small generator “dog house” to cover the engine when not in use.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

I hope this guide for How to Safely Use and Store a Generator helps you take the plunge to buy a generator or maintain the one you already own. Stay safe!

Giveaway Time

Briggs & Stratton wants to give one lucky winner a $500 Home Depot Gift Card! You could use it toward the purchase of a Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower™ Series Inverter Generator on HomeDepot.com or toward any home improvement project you’re wanting to take on. Here’s how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions: Winners will be selected at random using Rafflecopter. Briggs & Stratton and Pretty Handy Girl do not personally select winners. Entries must be received by Monday, July 24th, 2017 at 11:59pm EST. Contest open to adults aged 18 and older living within the Continental US. Winner will be notified by Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 via email. Winner must reply to email within 2 days of receiving the notice or an alternate winner will be selected. Please be sure you have [email protected] as an acceptable email address.

Prize will be fulfilled by Briggs & Stratton. Pretty Handy Girl cannot be held responsible for prizes that are not fulfilled by third party companies.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Briggs & Stratton. I was not told what to write or what to say. All opinions are my own. I am very particular about the brands that I partner with. If I don’t love them, I don’t promote them. I will also always disclose when you are reading a sponsored post.

246 replies
  1. another sue
    another sue says:

    Great information! I have an older model generator. Two things (I learned the hard way):

    1.) Store away from possible rodent populations. They can and do get into the smallest areas, build nests with highly combustible materials and leave you with a very real fire/explosion potential.

    2.) Start it periodically and run for a few minutes. Mine is on a schedule of every month – 6 weeks. (Because that other method of leaving it sit for years and then needing it simply did not work out.)

    Reply
  2. Kathy Williamson
    Kathy Williamson says:

    These are some great tips! I’ve been thinking that a generator would be a fun way to watch the game while tailgating.

    Reply
  3. Elisa Jenkins
    Elisa Jenkins says:

    Living in Nashville, people don’t think we would get a lot of bad weather, but we really do! Spring storms can be the worst, with power going out for days. I’m really going to have to talk my hubby into getting something like this so we will be better prepared the next time we get hit.

    Reply
  4. Karly H.
    Karly H. says:

    I haven’t ever used a generator but we just purchased a home in an area that often sees hurricanes so we are thinking about getting one. I wasn’t sure how they worked. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    Reply
  5. Bianca Munoz
    Bianca Munoz says:

    There was a gnarly ice storm in NC a few years back. Power was out in a lot of places for almost a week. Could have definitely used a generator then, or whenever it snows. Thank you!

    Reply
  6. kayley
    kayley says:

    I recently moved to a climate that has winter storms, so a generator could be useful if the power goes out when winter comes.

    Reply
  7. Whitney
    Whitney says:

    We have talked about getting a generator a few times over the last couple of years too! We moved from a house with a wood stove to a house with a wood burning fireplace. Now every time a storm leaves us without power during the winter it gets pretty darn cold! Thanks for this post & great giveaway!!

    Reply
  8. Christopher Mason
    Christopher Mason says:

    Probably during the hurricane in Charleston a decade ago. We lost power, but since I lived in the high rise (even on the first floor), I don’t think a generator would have been allowed.

    Reply
  9. Jenny Young
    Jenny Young says:

    We’ve never used one but have talked about buying one. We live in the upper south where ice storms come through every few years. We were without power in one ice storm for a week!

    Reply
  10. carol clark
    carol clark says:

    when the lights went off here during katrina even though im in texas we were without lights for a week like that was lots of money we lost and then had to spend on food water wipes

    Reply
  11. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    This was good information about using a generator. You never know when the power will go out here in Pennsylvania.

    Reply
  12. Diane
    Diane says:

    Great article! We have a small generator, purchased after a hurricane power outage and it is a wonderful thing! Here in Louisiana it’s HOT during hurricane season, so we have a couple of window a/c units to keep the house livable when the power is out. Of course we also plug in the fridge to keep food fresh. A generator is a great investment!

    Reply
  13. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Great information! Haven’t needed a generator yet but we had some pretty harsh blizzard like storms last winter. A generator would have given us some peace of mind if our power had gone out!

    Reply
  14. Karleen
    Karleen says:

    Growing up in Florida, I knew the importance of a generator due to hurricanes. Now living in Maine, this is on top of my priority list due to all of the snow storms. I go to one extreme to the next… lol P.S. I would love to win!!

    Reply
  15. Kim
    Kim says:

    Thanks for the great information!! There is a storm in the Gulf right now so this is very timely information for me.

    Reply
  16. Kristen Johnson
    Kristen Johnson says:

    This is super helpful. Just bought our first house and we want to get a generator. This takes the ‘fear’ factor out of it for me. 🙂 Thank you!

    Reply
  17. Terrie
    Terrie says:

    I once spent 4 cold days without electricity. When the lights finally came back on there was a very strange sound in the house. It was the furnace – I had forgotten what it sounded like.

    Reply
  18. Frani
    Frani says:

    I have been considering purchasing a generator but didn’t know anything about how to operate. This article came at the perfect time! Thank you!!!

    Reply
  19. Regi
    Regi says:

    This is a great post! Living in the Midwest, we regularly have crazy weather. Everything from blizzards to tornadoes. And we live in the country, so we’re always one of the last to have power restored and roads cleared. Being prepared is a necessity!

    Reply
  20. brenda
    brenda says:

    wow great information..

    NOW, i would like to see just as great information on how to figure out the whole solar business and not get scammed. or have a lien on ones home for as much as a mortgage payment.
    Or can you point me toward some great info other than a sales company who will of course have only positive things to say while shoving a contract in my face.
    THANK YOU

    Reply
  21. Kimberly D
    Kimberly D says:

    I could’ve used a generator when I lived in Florida and went without power for 3 weeks due to two back to back hurricanes. Ugh. The heat was awful!

    Reply
  22. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    This is something we keep contemplating buying each year. Living in New England we have experience 7+ days without electricity in the summer and 3 days in the winter. We survived, but a generator would have been nice.

    Reply
  23. Rosie
    Rosie says:

    Well, we are often out of power. Once a few years ago, there were thousands without power, some for almost 10 days, my sister was out for over a week out in the country. She huddled with her dog and burned wood, not good for a senior. I never realized how nice this is, I’m looking to buy a house, and would definitely want a generator!

    Reply
  24. Diane Warstler
    Diane Warstler says:

    A few years ago, we had a terrible summer storm that knocked out power for over a week, in some areas of our town. Mine was out for almost 4 days. It was ridiculously hot and there was nothing to do until the downed trees and lines were repaired. A generator sure would have come in handy! I think having one would give me such peace of mind, as I’m older and partially disabled.

    Reply
  25. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    I live in North Dakota and our winter weather is notoriously disgusting most years! We didn’t lose power last winter, but have lost power for four days on two different occasions (in the last 20 years) and to say those were memorable days is an understatement. Living without electricity in a rural area is difficult! By years end we will have a generator and I’ll rest a bit easier. Thanks for the maintenance/operation tips!

    Reply
  26. Mindi Eden
    Mindi Eden says:

    We had an ice storm about 4 yrs ago- lost power for almost 12 hours! Would love to have a generator, but can’t afford one right now…

    Reply
  27. Paula Diekhoff
    Paula Diekhoff says:

    I can think of numerous times we have needed a generator– usually during bad storms and when the power goes out for no reason. We are in a neighborhood of building construction and it seems there have been outages due to someone splicing a line when they begin a new house. None of our neighbors has a generator, so if we won one we may not be able to save everyone’s food, but we sure could power up their phones for them!

    Reply
  28. Jessica H
    Jessica H says:

    I could have used a generator when our power went out for several hours last month during some severe thunderstorms!

    Reply
  29. Raymond Langer
    Raymond Langer says:

    I could have used this on our last camping trip. being in the middle of nowhere with no electricity, this is a handy companion and would make me feel civilized.

    Reply
  30. Eric Sanders
    Eric Sanders says:

    There has been numerous times when my power has been out for days at a time. I had to borrow a generator from a friend who thankfully had one for me to borrow. It didn’t work the best but it got me through. Now just to get my own for next time

    Reply
  31. Michelle Simons
    Michelle Simons says:

    We lose power way to much. If its not a storm it is a squirrel. We had lost power for a week a few years back and lost all our food. It was awful. We felt like we were camping. lol It is very odd without the TV going or getting food from the fridge. I had a garden with tomatoes so we ended up eating lots of those.

    Reply
  32. cheryl larimer
    cheryl larimer says:

    We had a large aquarium in the house and had an extended power outage. We were lucky and only lost a few things but a generator would have been the perfect solution.

    Reply
  33. Wendy McBride
    Wendy McBride says:

    I sure could have used that during a power outage from a Hurricane a few years ago in South Texas! We keep having Thunderstorms knocking our electricity out and hurricane season is already in swing!

    Reply
  34. brittany marie thompson
    brittany marie thompson says:

    I could have used a generator about 2 years ago when a tornado came through and knocked out the power for days!

    Reply
  35. Deb Cohen
    Deb Cohen says:

    living out in the country we are prone to frequent power outages in storms, last one was a long time and all food in the fridge needed to be tossed, nice to have a generator to keep fans going during our outages

    Reply
  36. Kathleen Whitney
    Kathleen Whitney says:

    I could have use it the day the guy putting in our fence cut our power. Was without power for three days!

    Reply
  37. John O
    John O says:

    I need a generator for the sump pump in the new house. It’s a safe and inexpensive insurance policy to keep the basement dry.

    Reply
  38. Vickie
    Vickie says:

    Great tips as they can be dangerous..we have deaths every year.
    I like this one might be quiet..
    We haven’t used but all our neighbors do..numerous hurricanes and tropical storms here in coastal s.,Florida

    Reply
  39. Phyllis Skoglund
    Phyllis Skoglund says:

    In the coldest winter our propane furnace won’t start without an electric spark. The electric went out through the night so a generator relieved the nearly frozen in our sleep ordeal.

    Reply
  40. Geraldlee Verwolf
    Geraldlee Verwolf says:

    used a generartor at home when we have power brown outs, damage can happen to electronics so a generator does come in handy, also we have a generator on the rv for dry camping road trips

    Reply
  41. Jeana Murphy
    Jeana Murphy says:

    We had to use a generator when the electric wiring was being replaced in 2003 , We would use one for power outrages also as the weather in Southwest MIssouri can bring severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Our town was hit by a tornado in May of 2003.

    Reply
  42. Stephanie Craig
    Stephanie Craig says:

    We do not have a generator yet, but I’ve been wanting to get one. They are great to have in emergencies!

    Reply
  43. Connie East
    Connie East says:

    I could have used a generator when we lost electricity for 7 days in the freezing winter and could have used coffee, cooking something, etc all because alot of the businesses were without electricity as well.

    Reply
  44. JOLIN SALAS
    JOLIN SALAS says:

    Sharing this information with my girlfriend. She can use this. Power outages happen all too often and she needs to be prepared.

    Reply
  45. Rita A
    Rita A says:

    Our city has brown outs when the energy grid consumption is too high. One lasted many hours an I could have used it then.

    Reply
  46. David O'Donnell
    David O'Donnell says:

    Definitely, could have used a generator for when I go camping in the summer. I love nature but I also love the pampered life too

    Reply
  47. Jessica Staley
    Jessica Staley says:

    The last time we had a bad thunderstorm our power went out. I’m disabled and am in an adjustable bed. I Ann not walk. So when the power goes our I’m stuck I what ever position i was in before the power went off until it comes back on.

    Reply
  48. Melissa Mazzur
    Melissa Mazzur says:

    This was great information! I could have used this when the electricity went out for days at my parents beach house. We were stuck for days with no air and no light. I would definately like to get a generator for my parents for peace of mind!

    Reply
  49. Gloria Luongo
    Gloria Luongo says:

    We don’t have a generator but always wanted one. We live on a dead end surrounded by trees. Always lose power. Great tips in case we get one.

    Reply
  50. Sue Barney
    Sue Barney says:

    There have been at least 3 times that I couldve really used a generator in the last few years the last being a weird pop up storm that had Straight Line winds, it did a lot of damage in a very short time, we were without power for a week then and it was incredibly hot and humid so it was an awful experience.

    Reply
  51. Tammy Shelton
    Tammy Shelton says:

    I’ve never owned or had to use one. My family and I have just moved to the Tenn. mountains and I have a feeling we may need to buy one now!

    Reply
  52. Jennifer Ramirez
    Jennifer Ramirez says:

    This is an awesome generator! Definitely can come in handy! Had no power last night from storms and was super hot in the house!

    Reply
  53. Nancy S
    Nancy S says:

    Winter storms had our power out for a few days…this would have been very useful on those freezing cold days!

    Reply
  54. Holly Oswald
    Holly Oswald says:

    I live in Florida – either we are having a severe thunderstorm with power outage or have a hurricane on the way !! I need to make sure my stock of meat is good and some other random power needs thru all the storms

    Reply
  55. Denise Jiles
    Denise Jiles says:

    I just would use this in the country every day!!! There are so many trees that need trimming that we can’t get a cord too. Then there are the muscadine grape vines that need trimming too. My mailbox is 1/2 mile down the road and this would go down there easily to trim around it! So many ideas and your review was great!

    Reply
  56. Shawna Yonts
    Shawna Yonts says:

    I could have used a generator when the last ice storm hit my town. We were without power for two weeks. Thankfully, we had a wood burning stove!

    Reply
  57. Cathy Siewert
    Cathy Siewert says:

    We had a older motorhome and we ran down the battery, could have used a generator to run the heat and lights

    Reply
  58. Jenny Cox
    Jenny Cox says:

    Living in Florida, this is very useful information. Since we lived here we had power out for 4 days after hurricane Matthew. We had a one month old. It was rough.

    Reply
  59. Marcia Sobotka
    Marcia Sobotka says:

    This is some great information. We have a generator for our trailer on our lake property but it doesn’t get started or used very often. Sounds like we need to do some preventive maintenace to make sure it is going to work when we actually need to use it. Thank you for the information.

    Reply
  60. kristen
    kristen says:

    These are Great tips! Would love to have a beauty like this. We lose power all the time where we live. I swear you sneeze next to the power lines it will be hours before it turns back on! Like today a 5 minute storm rolled in and we have been with out power now 4 hours 🙁

    Reply
  61. Rachel Freer
    Rachel Freer says:

    We use to live in Illinois so we used a generator frequently because we would lose power during the many storms we had.

    Reply
  62. Hollie Jahnke
    Hollie Jahnke says:

    We could have really used one this spring when we were out of power for a couple days. We threw away everything in our fridge.

    Reply
  63. Jenny Wagg
    Jenny Wagg says:

    The only time I’ve had to use a generator was back when we had “Hurricane Elvis”, as we call it in the Memphis area, come through and knock our power out for 4 days. Would I say it’s a necessity here? Probably not. But it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

    Reply
  64. robin s.
    robin s. says:

    I would use it during the winter months. We always lose electricity when we have a big snow. One year we lost power for 2 weeks. This would be handy to have.

    Reply
  65. Amanada Tucker
    Amanada Tucker says:

    We’re having a portion of our wedding reception in an area with no power, so a generator would be super handy!

    Reply
  66. Mary Ann Hart
    Mary Ann Hart says:

    I live in Texas–tornado alley! I’ve always wanted a generator to add to my storm preparedness supplies. Whether I win or not–I’ll still be glad that I found your site. I have tried to become more self-sufficient through the years and this site will really help! Love it that you are a woman!!!!!!!

    Reply
  67. Sherril Theis
    Sherril Theis says:

    I could have used a generator when we had a tornado touch down just a few miles from our house and lost power

    Reply
  68. Denise Snyder
    Denise Snyder says:

    We could of used one when our area was hit by a tornado 7 years ago. Also we have had snow storms and bad wind storms that knocked our power out for a day. Everything in our house is electric. So when the power goes out..we loose everything..lights, heat, water, since it runs by an electric pump from the well.

    Reply
  69. Candice N.
    Candice N. says:

    We live in New England, so we have to use a generator at least once a year during crazy Winter storms. The longest power outage so far in our current house was 5 days!!

    Reply
  70. John Minges
    John Minges says:

    Thanks for the great article…With hurricane season upon us a Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower™ Series Inverter Generator would give anyone a sense of peace knowing they were protected.

    Reply
  71. Tiffiny Duk
    Tiffiny Duk says:

    We live out in the boonies! We have power outages all the time out here. Once it was off all day and we feared for our food, keeping my three girls warm and eating, it was scary and cold. Plus we go camping a lot and our batteries always seem to fail us then.

    Reply
  72. shelly sparks
    shelly sparks says:

    We lost power for 7 days and I was 8 months pregnant. We have an electric heat pump for heat with NO other heating option in our home. It was awful! I did not think that we would survive.

    Reply
  73. Wendy Selznick
    Wendy Selznick says:

    We had a terrible hurricane here and we lost electricity for a week. We would have loved to have had a generator.

    Reply
  74. carey cole
    carey cole says:

    I live n sunny southern California and sometimes we have brown outs! That’s when the electricity is turned off so as not to overload the system! Would love a generator then!!

    Reply
  75. Ellen Lapaglia
    Ellen Lapaglia says:

    We lose power at our house all the time, would be so nice to have a generator that I could use when the power goes out and my husband isn’t home. We have a very old one right now that is Very Hard for me to start and a lot of the time I have to ask one of the neighbor guys to come over and help me.

    Reply
  76. Kim Cowgar
    Kim Cowgar says:

    We could have used a generator when I lived at home. It seemed like the power went out any time the wind blew too hard!

    Reply
  77. Patricia Wallace
    Patricia Wallace says:

    Lately, in SC we seem to experience lots of thunderstorms and flash flooding. It would be awesome to have a generator like this when we lose power!

    Reply
  78. Latanya
    Latanya says:

    last year when there was a terrible storm and we had to evacate our home. On our way home we did not know if we would have power or not

    Reply
  79. Donna Follmann
    Donna Follmann says:

    With all the bad storms that have been happening this summer, the brownouts have been increasing. Having a generator will give me piece of mind if the power goes out for awhile.

    Reply
  80. Joyce Harrell
    Joyce Harrell says:

    I could have used this generator last summer whe. Our electricity went out due to the extended heat. Our children and my mother had to stay with us and it was very Warm to say the least. A loooong two days!

    Reply
  81. Heather Savka
    Heather Savka says:

    It seems like every July we have such bad storms and we could always use a generator. One time in specific was when I had a deep freezer full of breast milk.

    Reply
  82. Teresa Fowler
    Teresa Fowler says:

    I could of used a generator on October 7, 2016 when hurricane Matthew came down the coast of Florida and left us without power for almost 2 weeks. I’m thankful that it wasn’t worse then it was but a generator would of saved our refrigerators which would of saved a lot as a family of 7. Thank you for all of the information.

    Reply
  83. Denise W
    Denise W says:

    The temperature was really hot early in July and the power went off for 4 hours. My house felt like an oven! It would have come in handy pumping some energy into my fans.

    Reply
  84. Donna Schechter
    Donna Schechter says:

    When Hurricane Sandie hit I borrowed a generator which was 5,500 Kw it was able to keep my hot water heater and fridge and boiler on. It was wonderful and easy to use. I hope to buy one soon! This was a great article!! Very informative and easy to understand.

    Reply
  85. Beth Minyard
    Beth Minyard says:

    We could use one every fall and winter. We lose power like CRAZY during those months where I live. It would be so nice to have one!

    Reply
  86. Mary Monagan
    Mary Monagan says:

    We have used a generator camping and also during power outages that lasted up to a week. I never want to be with out one.

    Reply
  87. Peggy Johnson
    Peggy Johnson says:

    We used our old generator a few years ago when a Derecho storm came through and we were without power for 11 days.

    Reply
  88. Karren McIntire
    Karren McIntire says:

    I have needed a generator with these summer storms in the Memphis area. With tree damage, it takes our power company a while to get people reconnected. It’s great to have a microwave meal or snack, every now and then. It’s perfect for a portable ice maker.

    Reply
  89. Ashley Taylor
    Ashley Taylor says:

    5 years ago we were hit with a Derecho….and lost power for a week on the middle of July…it was hot and so miserable! We did not and still do not have a generator…but we need one!

    Reply
  90. Rod Sloan
    Rod Sloan says:

    We lose power often. It would sure be nice to have some sort of stand-by power to keep the refrigerator running and the lights on

    Reply
  91. Karen D
    Karen D says:

    I’m in Florida, so I could have used one after a number of hurricanes or smaller storms. With hurricane Charley we lost power for four days – and all the contents of our freezer. At the time, we would have happily purchased one, but they were scarce. We should go ahead and get one while they are plentiful.

    Reply
  92. Jason Hatfield
    Jason Hatfield says:

    We used generators quite a bit in the Army. I need one when the hurricanes hit here and the power goes out!

    Reply
  93. Janice Cooper
    Janice Cooper says:

    I could have used this 2 weeks ago. We lost power for some hours and this would’ve come in handy. We also had a big power outage this past winter and our power was out for days! We almost went to a hotel because our house was so cold (record freezing temps) and you could see your breath. It was very bad! This would be a blessing!

    Reply
  94. valerie Layton
    valerie Layton says:

    During 10 days without power after a horrible ice storm in Maine. The parlor stove kept us alive but no lights no stove and lost all in refrigerator!

    Reply
  95. Pamela McFall
    Pamela McFall says:

    Very good information! I am sharing with my husband, especially the storage information! Thank you! We had to use our generator last year when we had a horrible storm go through, We also lent one out to someone in town who needed it for medical purposes. Always have one handy. Thank you again!

    Reply
  96. Jennifer M Bay
    Jennifer M Bay says:

    Living in Florida, we are prone to bad storms and hurricanes, so we loose power frequently. My husband is on dialysis, so we have to have power, so when he started we got a generator “just in case”

    Reply
  97. Tami F
    Tami F says:

    We’ve had several ice and wind storms which knocks out our power, and it’s always 5 days before we get it back. We borrowed a generator to keep our freezer from thawing and ended up buying one, so we don’t have to worry anymore!

    Reply
  98. Sabrina Zehner
    Sabrina Zehner says:

    I’m a city girl and have been my whole life. So moving to the country scares me as they lose power more often in the heavy winters.

    Reply
  99. Charlette Bond
    Charlette Bond says:

    We could use a generator in the summer when the power goes off and we lose our electricity and air conditioning plus refrigerator power. That happens when there are too many people wanting to stay cool.

    Reply
  100. Jessica Gipson
    Jessica Gipson says:

    I live in Louisiana, I really could use this during hurricanes and the many storms that passes through our rural area.

    Reply
  101. Crystal Grey Blanton
    Crystal Grey Blanton says:

    We use a generator every year to at least run the refrigerator and tv when the power goes out. Thank you for the tips.

    Reply
  102. Josh Lippman
    Josh Lippman says:

    Could have really used the portable generator when we went tailgaiting last fall. We had to run all our crockpots and such off the car battery and we ended up draining our battery and the car didn’t start.

    Reply
  103. Darlene Wetzel
    Darlene Wetzel says:

    Living in upstate New York the weather gets pretty nasty and in the country we lose power on several occasions. It would be nice to have a generator for those times without power.

    Reply
  104. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    We got our generator after Hurricane Irene & had it for Snowtober in CT 8 weeks later. It was indispensable during those 10 days without power but we learned a lot. In turn we had a transfer switch installed and now can run the furnace during power outages in our cold New England winters. It really is a tremendous asset.

    Reply
  105. Alice Cain
    Alice Cain says:

    I really need a generator, and good instructions. I have a brain injury and can never seem to remember anything when I really need to.

    Reply
  106. Wendy Jabkowski
    Wendy Jabkowski says:

    When I lived with my mom, we needed one to keep the sump pump running. You don’t want to lose power and have your sump pump back up, not fun.

    Reply
  107. Debra Jensen
    Debra Jensen says:

    I thankfully have never needed a generator yet, but we do have bad storms and tornadoes here that randomly takeout the power that I may one day need it for.

    Reply
  108. Laura Garmendia
    Laura Garmendia says:

    I would have loved to have had this generator the last time we lost power for a few days. I could have saved hundreds of dollars of food.

    Reply
  109. Janna Johnson
    Janna Johnson says:

    We had power outages here last week due to a nasty storm system that lasted nearly 24 hours! Many places here had flooding also. We had just bought groceries the day before and with 90 degree heat that day could have used a generator for sure! Several years ago, we had hurricane winds come through and knock us out for 11 aweful days!

    Reply
  110. Catherine Bryant
    Catherine Bryant says:

    This was a wonderful tutorial! My husband and I hope to purchase a generator soon. I have bookmarked this page for future reference.

    Reply
  111. Garska Dirrindia
    Garska Dirrindia says:

    Great tips. Just be sure you have one before you need one. A three day power outage helped me learn that the hard way.

    Reply
  112. Pat
    Pat says:

    We could have used a generator when the electric went out during last year’s winter storms.
    Thanks for the great information!

    Reply
  113. Cecilia Beasley
    Cecilia Beasley says:

    Great Tips! Living in Florida there has been many times that I could of used a generator,,especially thru Hurricane Charlie,,when we were without power for several days. The one thing that we missed the most was ice.

    Loved the model you showed that also included USB ports and also the most important tip to not locate the generator in your home,,There usually is 1 person that we hear about after a hurricane of a death because of having the generator in their home.

    Reply
  114. Nichole McK
    Nichole McK says:

    We could have used this when we had an early snow storm which took down powerlines everywhere causing us to have no power for 7 days!!!! Luckily we had a fireplace but that still wasn’t enough

    Reply
  115. Linda Block
    Linda Block says:

    Every winter we have huge snowstorms and inevitably, the power goes out from ice and wind; a generator would save the day for sure!

    Reply
  116. Linda Wheeler
    Linda Wheeler says:

    Living very near the coast, we get lots of nor’easters. The power goes out at least a couple of times a year – sure could use a generator. Your instructional photos are very informative also!

    Reply
  117. Judy Swanson
    Judy Swanson says:

    We had a really bad storm with flooding. Then our electricity went out. As our basement filled with water, we ran out to buy a generator. Once we got it going, we were able to get our sump pump going again and the water receded, but not without damage. It’s never good to be unprepared and I learned quite a costly lesson!

    Reply
  118. K. Crawford
    K. Crawford says:

    We love be on the Oregon coast. Fall and winter storms from the ocean cause frequent power outages. We could really use a generator. Thanks.

    Reply
  119. LeAnn Voyer
    LeAnn Voyer says:

    We had a very windy spring here in western NY that resulted in severe power outages. We were days without power. Wish we would have had a generator then!

    Reply
  120. Kat
    Kat says:

    Great post! I appreciate seeing how easy it is to operate one of these generators. I would love to have a portable generator to use for tailgating parties and camping. It could also be useful for emergencies, although I have thankfully never experienced a power outage long enough to need one.

    Reply
  121. Nancy Reid
    Nancy Reid says:

    I used a generator when our power went out in Florida after a hurricane Jean serveral years ago which knocked out our power. I admit I was very intimidated by it but feel much better prepared to handle the situation since reading this blog post! Thanks for easing my generator anxiety!

    Reply
  122. Terry Stebbins
    Terry Stebbins says:

    My husband and I used one when we had livestock and needed to keep the babies warm, fed, and well hydrated.

    Reply
  123. Alison Matalanis
    Alison Matalanis says:

    We had a snow storm in October before the leaves on the trees fell off. We lost power for a week! We actually purchased a generator during the storm, and it was a life saver! We’ve used our generator many times since then.

    Reply
  124. Sheila Cohen
    Sheila Cohen says:

    We don’t lose power very often but when we do, it can be for an extended time. A generator would be great for those times.

    Reply
  125. Vicki Fischer
    Vicki Fischer says:

    Our electricity goes out far too often. I have been thinking of buying a generator for quite awhile. Thak you for the opportunity to win one!

    Reply
  126. Carrie Conrad
    Carrie Conrad says:

    We have used a generator at night at the race track to run our tools and our lights in our race trailer.

    Reply
  127. Lisa Chesnut
    Lisa Chesnut says:

    I so could of used a generator, I live in Oklahoma. A few years ago a tornado came through my area and my neighborhood was without power for about 6 days. It was May and it was hot. Since so many areas were hit with tornadoes all the stores were out of generators. I would of loved to had a generator during those 6 days.

    Reply
  128. Hannah McNally
    Hannah McNally says:

    During Hurricane Sandy our family was out of power for 9 days. It would have been VERY nice to have a generator – we lost all of our fridge/freezer items.

    Reply
  129. mandi smith
    mandi smith says:

    I could have used a generator last week when our power went out because my CPAP machine needs electricity to work.

    Reply
  130. Tammy OHagan
    Tammy OHagan says:

    We have been without electrical energy many instances for days and even weeks in winter and summer season attributable to both ice storms or tornadoes.

    One factor that I like are the solar lights outdoors in my backyard. They work in the my home when needed and can recharge every day to work for about eight hours every night time.

    As for bathing, getting a camp shower works nicely. Simply put the water in it and set it in the sunshine to have sizzling water for a fast bathe. My sister and I had been speaking about this a few days in the past and she talked about that at girl scout camp when she was little, they’d a four hundred or 500 gallon propane tank that was painted black which was used for the new water.  She mentioned it was good and unless your without sunshine. I discovered this summer  that our chilly water comes in through a hose for the camper which is black, allowed the water to get so sizzling.

    Once we had forty eight inches of snow where we were residing in the mountains of West Virginia (no not like in the movie wrong turn… the mountains yes.. the poeple no) in our fifth wheel and didnt have power for three days.

    In homes that we’ve had, we had wooden burning fireplaces. When the power went out because of ice storms, we aired up our air mattresses and lived in the one room where the fireplace was situated–normally with mates and neighbors who didn’t have warmth. I cooked in my forged iron cookware on the hearth which worked simply fine.  The fireplace additionally had sufficient warmth that it saved the pipes from freezing.

    We have never owned a generator, suppose we should invest in one but have simply never had the money to put out for one. 

    Reply
  131. Robin Cabrini
    Robin Cabrini says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial on how to use a generator. We bought one last winter as we had major storms. Luckily we didn’t need to use it. I’m glad I saw this tutorial so I can be prepared when we do need it.

    Reply
  132. Heather Majernik
    Heather Majernik says:

    Great article! We have used our generator several times after ice storms and hurricanes but my husband was always the one to set it up. Now I have a better idea how to use it if he is ever not home.

    Reply
  133. Jill Miglin
    Jill Miglin says:

    Good advice. We have a 17 year old generator that we end up using at least 2-3 times a year, here in upstate New York. We store it the shed at the rear of our property. Love the wheels and telescoping handle on the Briggs & Stratton, as ours is not at all easy to move. Especially as we are getting older.

    Reply
  134. lee glinski
    lee glinski says:

    countless times over the years living through cleveland, ohio blizzards and even on nice days when the power goes out. it can get very, very cold when the heat can go out for what seems like forever!

    Reply
  135. Lori Q
    Lori Q says:

    We have had some major snow storms and almost every winter our electric goes out, A generator would of saved us a lot of dispair

    Reply
  136. Stacie Dubay
    Stacie Dubay says:

    I could have used one this past winter – we were without power for several days and our house became quite cold and we lost all our food. We were unable to use the water due to having a well.

    Reply
  137. Christie Roberts
    Christie Roberts says:

    We have some bad weather here in North Texas. It’s not uncommon for us to lose power for several hours, during stormy weather.

    Reply
  138. jean mathews
    jean mathews says:

    We use a generator to provide electricity for our RV, run the microwave or air conditioner and to watch movies while camping outdoors. We seldom stay at a campground and need to have a generator to run things in the RV.

    Reply
  139. sdadolf
    sdadolf says:

    This week is the 10 anniversary of the 2007 San Diego fire that took 1500 homes. Mine was spared, but we had no power for a week. I sure could have used this nice generator then.

    Reply
  140. Bonnie Spence
    Bonnie Spence says:

    we live in the sticks and the electric gets knocked out a lot, well in 2014 i had just had my daughter in June & it was horribly hot out, well needless to say it was out for 1 full week so we def could have used one then

    Reply
  141. Millie Hue
    Millie Hue says:

    It got me when you said that having no generator will make you have problems with the communication. With that in mind, I will be buying one since we might experience a power outage soon. It is because there has been a news that a hurricane will hit our area in the weekends, and it is stronger than the normal storm that we experienced before.

    Reply

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