Category Archives: Generators

How do Home Generators Work?

Most of us have experienced power outages at our home, and they always seem to happen at the most inconvenient time. It may happen on the coldest day of the year, on our favorite holiday with all our family present, or when we are home sick with the flu … it happens.

Generators come in different sizes, manual/automatic, different power sources, and of course different price tags. Only you can decide what is appropriate for you and your home.

Generators don’t create electricity. They convert other energy sources, such as gasoline, natural gas, or propane into electricity. This energy runs through the generator’s alternator, which converts the mechanical energy to electrical energy.

A manual portable generator is similar to the ones seen being used by power crews doing cleanup after a storm. It is stored away in the garage until it needs to be brought out for emergency use. It produces a limited amount of electricity at any one time. Power cords for only the most essential items are plugged into this power source.

An automatic generator is hooked into the home’s circuit breaker system, so that it can monitor when an emergency happens and can automatically report for duty. When electricity is restored, it senses that its job is done and shuts itself off.

Don’t assume this automatic system is out of your financial reach. There are many options available when purchasing an automatic generator. You may only want to keep your vital appliances running and limit usage to most of your home during an emergency.

Douthit Electrical can discuss the many options available to you when considering the purchase of a generator for your home. From a small manual gas-powered generator … to a system that can seamlessly power your home for weeks, with no constant attention from you … we can discuss them all with you.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need help with your electrical service or installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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3 Common Generator Issues and How to Avoid Them in Charlotte This Winter

Portable Electric  Generator IsolatedHaving a generator can be a real asset during the winter, when snowfall, frigid temperatures, and icy conditions increase the likelihood of electrical emergencies such as power outages. Generators can help you weather the storm until a power outage is resolved, but it’s important to know how to operate one safely in order to avoid generator problems. Generator safety is critical for protecting your home and family!

At Douthit Electrical, our experienced electricians understand just how intimidating the idea of a power outage caused by a winter storm can be. If you have questions or concerns about your generator or are considering getting one, don’t hesitate to call us! Our top notch electrical emergency and safety services includes generator maintenance, so you can rely on us to fix any generator problems and help you become more knowledgeable about generator safety.

Here are three common winter generator issues and what you can do to avoid them.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is an odorless, tasteless and highly poisonous gas produced by burning certain kinds of fuel, such as propane and natural gas, which are two of the most common fuels used to power generators. Therefore, it is critical to make sure you always use your generator safely. Never use a generator indoors, even in the basement or garage. When placing it outside, make sure it’s a minimum of 10 feet away from any doors or windows, including your neighbors! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for at least 430 deaths each year, so be sure your home is equipped with carbon monoxide monitors and detectors.

Electrical shock hazards

Home generators are often used in icy and wet conditions, such as rain and snow, so it’s important to be especially careful as the risk of electrical shocks dramatically increases in these conditions. Be sure to take extra safety precautions! Always store your generator under a flat, dry and covered area when not in use, such as in the garage. Never store your generator in a depression where water can collect over time. Be sure your generator is properly grounded and always wear boots or shoes with rubber soles when operating it.

Power cord issues

Many people use extension cords to run power to their generators, but this can pose additional hazards. Aside from tripping on icy ground, extension cords run through windows provide opportunities for toxic CO gas to seep into your home. If you must do this, seal the space with duct tape to prevent fumes from entering. Never use a damaged or frayed extension cord! You may even want to consider having a transfer switch installed to avoid power cord problems with generator altogether.

Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities, so let Douthit Electrical help you with any and all your generator problems in Charlotte!

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Is Buying a Home Generator in Charlotte a Worthwhile Investment?

Thunderbolt over the house and dark stormy sky on the backgroundMany people choose to purchase home generators after suffering through a prolonged power outage. Others purchase generators because they need to ensure that they’ll have the power they need to run their medical equipment. Some residents have a generator installed simply so that they’ll be able to heat their homes in the event of a winter power outage. There are many great reasons to install a whole-house generator in Charlotte, but some people struggle to justify the cost. They wonder, will a generator be a worthwhile investment? The truth is that generators provide more than just the convenience of power during an outage—they can actually save you some money.

You could save money on travel or hotel costs. How long would you and your family be willing to stay at home without power? The answer to that question will probably depend on the weather. Sometimes people get driven out of their homes by the cold and wind up needing to rent a room at a hotel or travel to stay with family or friends.

A generator could help prevent lost work time. If you have a home office, your productivity will surely stall if you can’t use your computer and other electronic devices. With a home generator, your work won’t be disrupted.

A generator will keep your refrigerator running and therefore can prevent food from spoiling. You’ll not only save money on all that food you’d otherwise have to throw out, but also on restaurant meals that you’ll have to go out for if you can’t cook at home.

During very cold weather, having electricity will help prevent frozen and burst pipes. If you’re able to continuously heat your home with the power from a generator, you could save money on broken pipes and plumbing repairs.

When your home is the one with the lights on, the looters and burglars that come out during emergencies will continue on elsewhere. This won’t just save you from having items stolen, but it will help keep you and your family safe as well.

While for some, purchasing a generator is all about necessity or convenience, we understand for others it is all about finances. If you think installing a generator at your Charlotte home may be a wise decision, act now before the next power outage by calling Douthit Electrical! We’ll help you choose the generator that’s right for your home and install it professionally so you’ll be ready when the next power outage strikes!

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Why Now is the Time to Get an Electrical Generator Installed in Charlotte

Matches And CandlesThe time to have an electric generator installed is before an extended power outage occurs. Of course, you don’t know when severe weather will strike or when other power-outage-causing events will occur, so the time to get an electric generator installed is now. An electrical generator will allow you to keep important electrical appliances running during the time that the power is out, so that you can be safe and comfortable during the outage. The first step to choosing an electrical generator is deciding what you will need to use it for.

What appliances can I run on an electrical generator?

  • The refrigerator – Keep your food cold so that you’ll have plenty of food to eat during the power outage and also to avoid costly waste.
  • Your heating unit – How will you keep your family warm during an extended power outage in the winter? Power your heating unit with an electric generator.
  • Medical equipment – Power outages can be a dangerous time for people who rely on medical equipment. With a generator, there’s no need to panic.
  • Lights – You can keep some lights on so that you can go about your regular tasks, as well as have lighting for security purposes.

These are just a few of the electrical appliances you may choose to operate on a generator during a power outage. You’ll want to choose an electric generator that will have the power to run the items that are essential to your home. Discuss with your local electrician your family’s specific needs, so that the appropriate generator can be selected. For help choosing a generator and for proper electrical generator installation, contact Douthit Electrical today! Have peace of mind knowing you’re prepared for future power outages!

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