Testing Generator Voltage

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical, Power Tools, Safety

fluke-volt-meter1 Testing a generator with a Voltage Meter is very important before you plug in valuable equipment so you can prevent possible damage. Depending on the rpm’s of the generator and other issues with the gas motor you may not be generating a sufficient amoun t of voltage with your generator. Many pumps, motors, computers and controls rely on a very specific voltage range in order to operate.

We have been powering our home for 4 days straight now with a backup generator due to a massive ice storm here in New England. Using backup generator power to power your home during a power outage is a very convenient way of dealing with prolonged outages. However, if the generator is not supplying the proper voltage then you may end up doing a great deal of harm to your homes electrical system and components throughout your home.

Most need 110 V to 120 V or 220 V to 240 V to properly operate. Let’s say your generator is idling at a slow RPM you may only be generating 80 V. This could possible damage the appliance or keep it from running at all. Using the voltage meter is really easy, just insert the probes into the outlet on the generator and read the output. This simple little step can ensure that you don’t cause more harm than good.

I like the Fluke Voltage Meter that’s available at Amazon for $165. The kit features:

  • T5-1000 – 1000V Voltage, Continuity and Current Electrical Tester
  • 1AC-A1-II – AC Voltage Detector
  • H5 – Custom Holster

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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