Category Archives: portable generators

Do you have the right Generator?

From heating and cooling to running the refrigerator, the microwave, the TV and even re-charging our cell phones, electrical power is something most people don’t want to be without very long.

10000 Watt - Briggs & Stratton Portable GeneratorTo provide temporary electrical power during a power outage, such as during a storm, or worse, in the event of hurricane damage, many people have purchased portable generators.

Most people have heard that portable generators cannot be run inside their home (or even in their garage) because the exhaust of the small engine that runs the generator can produce hazardous levels of deadly carbon monoxide in closed spaces.

portable generator with a small engineBut some portable generator owners don’t understand that portable generators are only supposed to be used to power several appliances in their home or office, via heavy duty extension cords plugged into the generators electrical outlets.

Actually, before buying a portable generator, the first step is supposed to be deciding what your temporary power needs are, and then buying the generator that will provide sufficient electrical power to run the appliances you pick. Read more about determining the size portable generator that you need in our Black Creek Services article – What Size Portable Generator Do You Need?

Some people have tried connecting their portable generators directly to their home or business breaker panel/electrical distribution panel. This is dangerous, because it creates an electrical hazard not only for the people using their portable generator this way, but also can backfeed electrical power into the local electrical grid, endangering others in the family, neighbors, and electrical  service personnel when they start to restore normal electrical power to the area.

Portable Generators are for temporarily powering several appliances for a home or office.

Permanent stand-by generators are larger units that can be installed for homes or offices and wired into breaker panels/distribution panels to provide backup power when there is a power outage. If you want to provide power to more than just a few appliances during a power outage, we recommend you look into a stand-by generator. In Clay County, Florida, a good resource for more information is our Clay County Florida Electrical Cooperative.

Most people find portable generators an affordable option.

hurricane weatherIs your portable generator ready to provide you electrical power during a power outage? When is the last time you started it up and ran it for 5 to 10 minutes?

If you can’t get your portable generator to start, or if you’d like to make sure your portable generator is ready for the next Hurricane, Call Black Creek Services 904.449.3986 for our Hurricane Season Generator Service, or Contact Black Creek Services! You can’t beat our in-shop service prices, and we can also provide pickup and delivery service.

Portable Generator Maintenance

Many people living in Florida have purchased a Portable Generator to provide some electrical power if their primary electrical service is lost.

Thankfully, for most of us our primary electrical service is very reliable.

hurricane weatherBut during Florida Hurricane Season (June through November each year) or even during a more common thunderstorm, or as the result of an accident, there can be a power outage that can last from minutes to hours, even days. And to provide a reliable backup source of electrical power, we have a portable generator.

Because our primary electrical power service is so reliable, often our portable generators can sit for months without being needed. If they are not run periodically, they may not perform when we need them.

8000 Watt Briggs & Stratton Portable GeneratorIt’s a good idea to have a professional service your portable generator once a year.

In addition to annual professional maintenance of your portable generator, most generator manufacturers recommend:

1.¬† Read and follow the instructions in the manufacturer’s Owner’s manual for your portable generator. If you do not understand the instructions clearly, give them a call; most manufacturer’s have a telephone number in the Owner’s manual, and many are toll free.

2.  Put a fresh half gallon of fuel in the generator fuel tank, once each month, and run the generator for at least an hour. Drain any left over gasoline from the fuel tank. Gas goes stale when left sitting in a fuel tank for a month, and is harder to start.

As an alternative, some people add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel in their tank, which helps the fuel stay fresh longer.

3.  Check your generator starting method.

  • If your portable generator is a manual, pull-start, check the pull rope for wear as you pull it to start the generator each month. A worn rope should be replaced so it doesn’t break when you really need that generator.
  • If your portable generator is a battery started model, check the charge on that battery, and re-charge it if necessary.
  • Some portable generators have a manual start capability as a backup for the battery starting capability, and in those cases, you should check both ways of starting your generator.

portable generator with a small engine4.  While running your generator each month, plug in a small appliance; a lamp or a portable drill or kitchen hand mixer, and run the appliance to make sure that the generator is producing electricity.

5.  Remember that Portable Generators produce exhaust gasses when they operate, including carbon monoxide with is colorless and has no odor, and can be deadly.  Always operate you portable generator outside of your home or business. And do not run a portable generator near an open window, because the carbon monoxide can blow into the home or business and endanger anyone inside.

6.  Protect your Generator. When you operate your Portable Generator, shelter it from wet or damp conditions. This prevents shock hazards from the electricity being produced by the generator (and to keep your generator from shorting out, or from being damaged by corrosion). Then store your generator in a safe, dry place, to keep it ready for use during an emergency.

7.¬† Generator fuel is flammable. Store fuel (usually gasoline) in a safe container, and in a safe, cool and well ventilated place. Don’t store the fuel in the same space as where you operate the Portable Generator. Never add fuel to a generator until the generator cools down. Better to use flashlights for a while than take a chance on a fire or explosion!

Generac Portable GeneratorBlack Creek Services, Inc. provides reliable Portable Generator maintenance and repair service for clients in Middleburg, Fleming Island, Green Cove Springs, Orange Park, and Jacksonville, Florida,  in our shop in Middleburg, Florida.

  • Call 904.449.3986 to make an appointment to drop off your small engine powered Lawn Mower, Lawn Tractor, Portable Generator, or Pressure Washer at our Middleburg, Florida shop.
  • We also can provide pickup and delivery service for clients in our service area.

If your portable generator is hard to start, runs rough, or won’t start at all, before you start pricing a replacement, Call Black Creek Services, Inc.¬† at 904.449.3986 or Contact Black Creek Services, Inc. for a free estimate. Often, with some minor repairs, we can have your portable generator running right and reliable again in no time.


Springtime is Outdoor Equipment Maintenance Time!

Pink springtime blossomsSpringtime is such a great time of year! Buds are blossoming, the grass is starting to grow again, leaves are popping out on shrubs and trees! Time for Outdoor Equipment Maintenance!

Is your Lawn Mower, Lawn Tractor, Riding Mower, Portable Generator, or Pressure Washer ready for Spring?

Black Creek Services can perform routine maintenance on your small engine-powered equipment, or repairs, as needed, to get your equipment ready to go, when you need it!

  • Cost: Payment required – Estimated maintenance service fee is based on type of equipment to be maintained.
    – – Repairs and pickup and delivery service fees are in addition to maintenance fees.
    – – Call 904.449.3986 for an estimate and to make an appointment for your equipment.
  • We offer equipment pick up and delivery service for people in Middleburg, Fleming Island, Orange Park, and the Jacksonville area, from our Middleburg, Florida shop.

Contact Black Creek Services today or give us a Call 904.449.3986 to make your appointment to get your Outdoor Power Equipment Ready to Go when You are!

Safe Operation of Portable Generators

Are you thinking about buying a portable generator for emergency electrical power to your home or office during a power outage, such as during a hurricane?
Here are a few quick tips for safe operation of portable generators to help you get started.

8000 Watt Briggs & Stratton Portable Generator1. Portable generators are designed for providing temporary power to one or several appliances. The number of appliances they can support is based on the output of the generator and the power requirements of the appliances.

2. The first step in buying a generator is deciding how much wattage you need during an emergency power outage. The size of your generator in wattage is determined by which appliances you want to power and how much total startup energy they need.

See our Chart for approximate wattage needs of various appliances.
– – (Click on the Chart below to see enlarge the chart.) – –

watts of power needed chart

3. Check the rating of the extension cord that you use to connect each appliance to your portable generator. Make sure the cord is designed to carry the full amount of electrical current to the appliance.

4. Portable power generators are not designed to be run continuously, nor run inside your home or garage.  They should be run (outside)  for short periods of several hours, and then shut down for several hours before being run again.

Generac Portable Generator5. We recommend adding a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank , and running your portable generator for at least 10 minutes each month, to keep it ready to go when you need it.

For more tips on the safe operation of Portable Generators, please see these tips shared by:

Is your portable generator not running or giving you other problems?
Black Creek Services can provide reliable maintenance and repair servicing to your portable generator.
We will help you keep your small engine powered portable generator ready to go when you need it!

Call 904.449.3986 to make an appointment to drop off your small engine powered Lawn Mower, Lawn Tractor, Portable Generator, or Pressure Washer at our Middleburg, Florida shop.
  • We also can provide pickup and delivery service for clients in our service area.


Ready for Florida Hurricane Season in Jacksonville?

Being prepared during this hurricane season in Jacksonville Florida is very important.

Hurricane Season for the United States Atlantic Coast runs from June through November.

Hurricane season in FloridaWaiting until you see a storm nearby in the Atlantic, or see a Hurricane Watch or a Hurricane Warning being flashed across your television or smart phone screen could be too late to protect yourself, your family and loved ones and your property.

A little preparation goes a long way to being prepared for a hurricane coming to the Jacksonville Florida area.

Please take some time to go over Hurricane Preparedness lists like the one at the NOAA National Hurricane Center.

A few minutes spent gathering resources and preparing a plan for you and your family can mean the difference between survival and sorrow.

  • Do you have a portable generator for providing emergency electrical power to your home or business?
  • Is your portable generator maintained annually, and run periodically, to make sure it is ready when you need it?

Generac Portable GeneratorBlack Creek Services, Inc. provides reliable in-shop portable generator maintenance and repair. No portable generator is too big or too small.

If you have a portable generator, and it needs annual maintenance, or you are having trouble getting it to start or stay running, or it will not provide the power that it used to, use our Black Creek Services Contact form. Or you can Call 904-449-3986 for an estimate or to make an appointment to get your portable generator ready to go when you are!

  • We also can provide pickup and delivery service for clients in our service area.

Let us help you have confidence that your portable generator is one thing you don’t have to worry about during this Florida Hurricane Season.

When you call us, if we aren’t able to answer the phone, please leave your name and phone number, and a brief description of what work you’d like done.

What size Portable Generator do You Need?

Briggs and Stratton Portable GeneratorPortable generators can provide emergency power for your home or business when your electrical power service is disrupted.

The size/power capacity of portable generators are measured in its rated wattage output.

  • Before buying a generator, you need to decide how many appliances you need to provide power for.
  • Then size your portable generator to provide power for the total of the STARTING watts you need.

More considerations when shopping for an emergency generator for your home or business are discussed in the Good Housekeeping article, “Are You Ready for a Power Outage?

Here is a chart of approximate wattage needs of various typical appliances:

Appliance/Equipment Running Watts Starting Watts
Water Pump 1/2 HP 1,000 3,000
Water Pump 3/4 HP 1,500 4,500
Sump Pump 1,000 3,000
Refrigerator 750 1,500
Freezer 500 1,000
Microwave 600 – 1,500
Lights 40 – 200
Television 150 – 400
Radio 6 – 15
Oscillating Fan 50 – 100
Water Heater 4,500
Coffee Maker 750 – 1,200
Toaster Oven 1,100
8,000 BTU A/C (window unit) 1,000 3,000
3 Ton A/C or Heat Pump 6,000 32,400
Garage Door Opener 500
Laptop Computer 1 – 15
Cell Phone Charger 3 – 6
Home Security System 24

Chart data provided by our local, reliable electrical service provider, Clay Electric Cooperative.

Read more tips for portable generators in our article, Safe Operation of Portable Generators.

10000 Watt - Briggs & Stratton Portable GeneratorHaving problems with your portable generator? Or do you have questions about buying or maintaining your portable generator? Give us a call at Black Creek Services 904.449.3986, or Contact Black Creek Services.

We like helping people keep their portable generators running!