Portable Generators Can Be Helpful

In this post we’ll explain what happens when you let a portable generator run out of gas. That’s not to say that portable generators aren’t helpful.

Summertime in Myrtle Beach means it’s time to start thinking about hurricanes. Atlantic Hurricane season runs June 1-November 30, and coastal South Carolina is no stranger to hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding. One of the most economical ways to weather a storm-related power outage is with a portable generator.

With the announcement of a possible storm, portable generators, refillable gas cans, and extension cords will inevitably fly off the shelves of every Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal-Mart. As long as you can live with power to a few appliances, these tools will work.

The problem is the constantly fuel monitoring and refilling. So what happens if your portable generator runs out of gas? Is it safe to run your generator until it stops?

Running Out of Gas is Risky and Damaging to Your Portable Generator

Portable gas-powered generators should not be left to run until they are out of fuel. Allowing your generator to put out significant power until it runs out of fuel can be damaging to your generator, and possibly some of the appliances in your home.

Running out of gas may cause your generator’s coils to lose their magnetism. This happens because the appliances being powered drain the residual magnetism of the generator when the load is abruptly stopped.

The result is that with out a small amount of magnetism in the coils, your portable generator will not restart. Although recharging the coils is fairly inexpensive, it does create an additional problem that may be difficult to fix if Myrtle Beach is in evacuation mode and many businesses are either closed or working on emergency calls.

A Standby Residential Generator Means No Constant Refueling

A portable generator will require you to turn it off to refuel every 4-8 hours. It also means you’ll need a stockpile of gas cans stored nearby, which can be difficult to obtain in a hurricane.

On the other hand, a residential generator system from Cooper Electrical Services is a permanent fixture to your home. Residential generators tie directly to a fuel source (like 250-gallon propane tank underground) and connect to your home’s main electrical panel via a transfer switch.

Instead of filling a portable generator, connecting extension cords, and constantly monitoring, your residential standby generator automatically transfers to generated power at the first instance of utility disruption.

Additionally, a permanent residential generator offers the following benefits:

  • Electrical Power to Whole Home (Lights, Outlets, and Appliances)
  • HVAC Cooling and Ventilation Power
  • Fully-powered Security and Wireless Systems
  • Convenience of Automatic Start/Shut-off
  • Low Noise for Comfort and Sleep

Are You Ready to Move from Portable to Permanent?

As we’ve mentioned, portable generators can be helpful resources in emergency situations, provided you follow the directs and always turn them off to refuel. That said, Myrtle Beach is no stranger to powerful storms, and power outages are nearly an annual occurrence.

Cooper Electrical Services provides reliable and dependable generator service to residential customers in the greater Myrtle Beach area. The Cooper team has been serving the Grand Strand’s power and electrical needs since 1989.

If you are ready to upgrade from your portable generator to a residential generator system, the Cooper Electrical Services team is happy to answer your questions and help you find a backup power solution that’s best for your needs. Call Cooper today!