Generators may stop working if not maintained

Published On: Feb 11 2012 08:34:17 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2012 11:11:17 AM EST

Many South Floridians bought generators during or after the busy 2005 hurricane season -- but if the generator has been sitting ever since, there are some important steps you need to follow to be sure you won't end up with a useless piece of equipment when a storm hits.It is important that you rigidly follow the manufacturer's instructions that came with your generator about how to connect, use, and maintain your generator, including how to ground it.For a permanent, or hard-wired generator, you must have a qualified licensed electrician connect the generator to your home's wiring, and you need to have the wiring inspected by the local building department.With portable generators, it is extremely important that they are operated outside homes and garages. They should be far enough away from living spaces that fumes will not be able to get into open doors or windows. After every hurricane in recent years, several of the storm-related deaths have been due to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper use of portable generators. If your portable generator has been in storage: