Buying A Portable Generator: You Should Know This

Buying A Portable Generator: You Should Know This

Buying A Portable Generator: You Should Know This

Power and Outlets

When selecting the best Generator for your requirements, you preferably must understand what power generator you enjoy buying. That suggests you require to comprehend how great power you need. Your refrigerator may require 700 watts to operate, but what ensues when it requires 2100 watts of start-up power? Pay awareness to the start-up watts needed to run the gear you plan to relate to the generator and the “running watts” you must once everything runs.

The different side of the discussion is what kind of outlets you require. More smallish inverter generators usually include a couple of 120V AC outlets and possibly a couple of USB ports. Once you reach up to 4000 watts, you’ll begin catching 240V plugs and more additional 120V outlets. If you’re feeling about keeping an electrician wire your generator straight into your panel, you’ll need a 240V plug. Since you’re operating your generator outdoors, look for one with GFCI-protected outlets.

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD and Clean Power)

The waveform is significant if you expect to run electronic equipment such as laptops or lab equipment. It would be sufficiently if you kept a complete harmonic distortion of less than 6% to avoid harming electrical courses. Often directed to as “pure power” or “pure sine wave,” it’s a better stable and predictable voltage level. Pure sine surge generators are planted to be additional fees and are located on lower-watt units.

By the course, battery inverters are not all down THD standards. Some put out fair ripples. Check the specs if you understand you require clean power.

Periodic or Constant Use?

Most generators have a consumer guarantee protecting you for several years. Any respectable brand will work for crisis power or recreational use. Nevertheless, if you’re operating a crew that needs a generator just about every day, you will be more suitable off peeking for a standard with a fair commercial engine. Not only will it be a more suitable fit, but you’ll also probably get a guarantee that stays better than a year rather of just 90 days or six months. The clear downside is that these are normally additional expensive.

Fuel Type

Gas generators are, by the distance, the multiple commons. Fuel is straightforward to reach by excluding during the terror showing up to and the daylights following important storm practice.

Pro Tip: Whether you’re keeping fuel in the tank or fuel receptacles, use a fuel stabilizer to counteract the results of ethanol.

Diesel generators provide you with more reasonable fuel efficiency if you’re ready to pay for the upgrade. You also lose the carburetor that always seems to be clogged at the least convenient time. If you’re thinking about a whole-house generator, you’ll look at diesel. Remember that diesel may not be as easy to find as gasoline.

Another option is to look for a propane generator or a gas generator that can be converted to propane use. If you want to go for a more environmentally-friendly fuel source and don’t mind that it’s a bit more complex, it’s another way.

Battery-powered inverters like the EGO Nexus Power Station and the Ryobi Power Station can recharge via solar panels, run silently, and have no emissions. The downside is that they’re expensive, restore very slowly, and typically won’t give you more than 2000 watts or so. Outside of camping and tailgating, they’re not a practical option currently.

Fuel Tank

The bigger the fuel tank, the longer you can go between refueling. That’s a given. Most generators have a fuel tank that will provide you with 7 – 9 hours of runtime at a 50% load. You’ll run longer if you use a lower percentage of the available power and shorter if you use more. Given a choice between a smaller and larger tank, I’ll go larger. Just keep in mind it will be heavier with a full fuel tank.

There are also plastic and gas fuel tanks. There are pros and cons to both, and we have both types. Generally, I like plastic since it has no corrosion issues (thanks again, ethanol). However, it’s not a make-or-break feature for me.


If you like pulling a recoil cord on an engine, by all means, skip the electric start. Seriously, though, electric start engines are fantastic if you can swing the extra cost. When buying a Portable Generator, you’ll find most still use lead-acid batteries like a car. Some lithium-ion ones are running around, though.

Be sure to charge your battery up before use. Most generators will be acceptable, leaving the charger plugged in to maintain the charge between uses.

Noise Level

Smaller generators have the option of a quiet design. Some are quieter than normal conversation levels. If you’re tailgating or camping in an area that allows generators, your neighbors will appreciate the consideration.

By the time you move into the 4000-watt class and higher, there isn’t much available in the “quiet” class. One consideration boils down to fuel source. Diesel typically makes more noise than a comparable gas model.


Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) is a great feature to have. It eliminates the need for a carburetor. Clogged carburetors are one of the biggest headaches for those who stay up on maintenance as well as they should. Of course, plenty of things can go wrong without care, but a clogged carburetor isn’t one of them. Additionally, your generator will be more accessible to start up in cold weather.

Carbon Monoxide Detection

Several manufacturers include carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in their generators. Honda announced an initiative to bring it to their entire lineup. These measure the level of carbon monoxide near the engine and shut it down if levels get too high. They typically work faster than you can install in your home and do a better job of preventing illness or death due to CO. Some consider these “nuisance” components. However, the industry seems to have indicated a shift towards including this with most newer models.

Realize that CO detectors can be tricked. Ensure you point the generator exhaust downwind from the sensor and don’t place it in a corner to avoid false readings.

Wheel Kit

Generators are heavy, but not all come with a wheel kit. Some require you to purchase it separately, so make sure you know before swiping your credit card at the register! You can find generators with dual wheels or even four. You can also purchase aftermarket generator dolly kits to add wheels to a model that doesn’t have them.

We found it reasonably simple to install wheel kits with essential tools. You can put a set of wheels on a generator in just a few minutes. You may want a friend to help you, or you can set the generator on the edge of your truck’s tailgate to give you access to the installation area.

Lift Hook Bar

If you’re buying a portable generator for commercial or industrial work, there’s a good chance you’ll need to lift it to a higher floor at some point. A generator with a lift hook bar gives you a significant advantage that can save you time and trouble.

Connecting a Generator to Your Home

A direct association from your generator to your home is a very suitable way to have emergency power. The most useful way is with a whole-house standby generator especially created for that objective. These whole-home generators boot on or off automatically with the managing. Of course, they’re more costly than portable generators, but they’ve evolved more cheap lately.

You can also combine many portable generators to your home. Nevertheless, neither they nor whole-house generators are a DIY job. You’ll require to establish a transfer control and keep the position done by a qualified electrician.

There are other concerns as well. Digit one is creating sure the generator you pick has adequately power. If you don’t keep sufficiently capacity to run the whole house plus start-up surge, you may need to flip some breakers to prioritize. If you’re going with a portable generator, you need to make sure you know where it’s going to sit while it’s running and that you have a long enough cable to reach your transfer switch.

Need more specific suggestions on buying a portable generator? Check out some of our favorite generators!

Now that buying a portable generator can be checked off your list, be sure you also know how to maintain your generator, so it’s ready to work when you need it!

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