Emergency Generators

Electricity, once a luxury, is now essential. To beat weather-related electrical outages, many rural households and businesses are investigating back-up power generators for use in an emergency.

Generators are widely available in a range of sizes and configurations. Some come equipped with either gas or diesel engines. Others operate from the power take-off (PTO) attachment found on farm tractors. These devices all have one thing in common -- they produce electricity at levels high enough to cause injury, death and property damage. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used. But, like any other electrical equipment, they must be correctly sized and properly installed.

If you plan to provide enough electricity to power your entire home during an outage, you will need a generator with a relatively large capacity. Generators are rated by the wattage they produce -- usually expressed in kilowatts (KW)- and are sized according to the loads they need to serve. Also important is the kind of service you receive, either single-or three-phase power. Most homes and farms have single-phase power with 120/240 dual voltage.