The weather was in the 70's today, so I made the time to test the new generator I'd purchased a year ago. Fortunately, I haven't needed it, but you know when you do need it, the wind is howling, it's pitch dark, it's cold and wet...
The new generator is a big improvement over the previous one. This one accepts gasoline, natural gas, or propane, and it has a battery to start the engine instead of having to pull the cord like a lawnmower. It was on sale at Costco and the moment I spotted it, I quickly found a cart to haul it to the register since it was rated up to 50 amps. That will provide power for my reef room as well as the fridge, television and more.
When I first brought it home, I got it assembled, added the oil the crank case, and tucked it away for the next power outage. Luckily that hasn't happened yet. I only realized recently that the extension cord I have been using would not fit into the outlet of the generator, so I replaced it with a newer one. Once this was accomplished I added half a tank of fresh gasoline, and pressed the start button. It fired up immediately, and I let it run for about 25 minutes. While it was on, I simulated a power outage by shutting off the breaker that powers the fishroom, then hooked up my temporary cord to see how things worked. All went well.
This generator also has a safety feature my older one didn't have: if the CO2 levels rise too high, it will shut itself off. Since it is rated to run outdoors in any weather, that won't be an issue. If someone tried to run it inside of a building or shed, it would turn off to protect human life.
The general rule of thumb is to test your generator monthly, something I've never done. The benefit of doing so is to make sure it works when you really need it, plus in my case, it will recharge that battery for the easy-start option. Now I just need to make monthly testing part of my routine.