Connect with us

People & Lifestyle

Things to consider before buying a generator



A generator helps provide electricity for a certain period of time during a sudden power outage provided the generator is filled with the required fuel.  A good generator is worth the money, and many manufacturers are making it more efficient, quieter and easy to use. If you are planning to buy a generator for the first time or making an upgrade of the generator, then here are some of the things which you need to consider:

  • Power up
  • Don’t pollute
  • Be quiet

When you are running many high-power appliances from the generator, ensure the watts rating is sufficient to support the devices to operate. You need to determine how much power is required at a given time. Some generators can punch out only a hundred watts, while others can produce in thousands. Lighting does not require many watts, but devices such as hair dryers, microwaves, air conditioners suck a lot of watts. High-watt generators are very expensive, bulkier and heavier when compared to low-watt generators. If your devices require a large amount of power, then you will have to buy the high-producing generator which you can afford.

You need to consider the exhaust system of the generator if you are planning to use for your camping activities because some places allow only fuel-efficient, clean-running generators. Even if you are not allowed by law to use the model, it is harming the environment as the exhaust system will produce strong fumes and dark smoke when they are running. A good generator does not produce a large amount of foul-smell exhaust.

As the units run on power engines to produce current, it is tough to control the commotion when they are running at a high rpm. Some manufacturers have found out the way to handle this problem and are producing generator units that are quietand you don’t even know the generator is running. These units are costly, but it’s worth the price. It is a necessity if you are planning to use the generator in the campground. A good generator supplies the power you need without any noise of gasoline motor running. You can see some examples of these generators in this article.

Features to consider when you buy a generator

A portable generator will help you work without interruption.  These generators can be used as backup power at functions/ceremonies or if you need power in a remote area. When you are buying a generator online, you should consider several factors. These are some factors that are detailed for a better understanding.

  • Output

It is important to know the maximum and rated output when you are buying the generator. It is better to know how much power you require from the generator so that it helps to cut down your choices. Rated output means the number of watts the generator can produce for any given time. The maximum output refers to the number of watts a generator can produce regardless of the duration of running the generator. For instance, the device can be started with the generator with maximum output but it won’t help to run for long hours at the same output. If you plan on using the generator for the purpose of powering an RV, make sure to purchase an RV Ready generator.

  • Sizing

The size of the generator depends on what device you will power. Power devices complicate things at times because initially, they require more power than while running. You need to consider both scenarios and make sure your generator can manage them. So it is advised to buy a large generator, which is sufficient enough to run the required devices.

  • Portability

A generator should be portable because you might need to transport it from one Jobsite to others.  Wheel kits are the best option for such a generator as they can be easily loaded, moved and unloaded also. It is tough to load a 250–pound generator in and out of the truck frequently. There are few models that have to lift hooks to carry the generator, which makes it easier to carry with booms and forklifts.

  • Runtime

It is important to know the number of watts a generator can produce as well as how long a generator can run on a full fuel in the tank. This depends on how long you run the generator. The runtime will be estimated depending on the working of the generator at half capacity. A generator having idle control will be able to run at some RPMs, increases the runtime and save fuel.

  • Durability

It is advised to buy a good generator that is not going to break down in a few weeks. When you buy generators for sale, look for metal frames wrapped around mentions to protect your generator. Most of it can tolerate heavy impacts and still run. Take a look at the scheduled maintenance to know the hour duration you require for the generator to run.

  • Decibel rating

It is important to know how much noise your generator will produce when it is running. You also don’t like to disturb others while you are working due to the noise that is produced. Prolonged exposure to noise which is more than 85 decibels can result in deafness. So, when you are looking for a generator, search for a rating that is not more than 75.

Things to consider while buying a generator for business

When you have decided to purchase a generator for your business, you have to go through certain factors than just the brand name, price, and preferences. There are different types of generators, but checking out the different factors before buying a generatorhelps in the long run. Here are the things to consider when you are in the market for a generator system for your business purpose.

  • Know your power requirement

Your power requirements at times can tie back your budget. You need to determine if the generator should run for the entire building or only for an emergency load. When using for an entire building, factors such as peak demand in the summer season should be considered. When using for emergency purposes, then emergency circuits should be determined. For an existing building, an electrician is required to split the emergency circuits from the main panel to separate the emergency electrical panel. For home purposes, power needs depend on the home owner’s preferences. For a critical application, there should always be certain loads to use for emergency backups.

  • Fuel type

The most commonly used fuel types for the generators are diesel, natural gas, and propane. Though gasoline is convenient, it is seen as a poor fuel selection for the generators because of its short time stability. Cost is the factor while choosing between natural gas and diesel fuel type, but the cost depends on the generator’s size. Another important factor is fuel availability.

  • Location of the generator

The generator should be set up in a location where it is easily accessible for repair and maintenance. For rooftop and outdoor installations, keep a minimum distance from building openings and combustible walls. For indoor installations, adhere to needs for ventilation, fuel supply and exhaust ducting. The generator should be set up close to the fuel supply and transfer switch.

  • Type of transfer switch

Transfer switches are normally automatic control type. For certain systems, manual transfer switches can be used for supply. The installation location and transfer switchsize are determined by the electrician and also depends if the supply is for the entire building or just for an emergency load. If the system has to supply for the entire building, then the transfer switch has to be entrance rated. If the system has to power for industrial/commercial applications, then various transfer switch features like closed transition, bypass isolation and programmed transition are available.

  • Warranty duration

The generator systems have a standard warranty which ranges from one to five years depending on the type of generator. While a commercial generator comes with the warranty which ranges from two to five years and an industrial generator has a standard warranty for one or two years but offers optional upgrades. It is better to understand the duration of the warranty and coverage of your system. Remember to ask for the upgrade cost if you want increased coverage.

  • Maintain the equipment 

Your generator should be maintained properly to make sure the generator will start and run during a power outage. Many of them neglect the generator for extended periods, which results in equipment failure at a crucial time when you require it the most. So, it is very important to keep the equipment properly maintained to make sure of the reliable operation.

  • Accessory requirements

Accessory options will depend on the generator type. Residential or commercial systems offer remote annunciator panel which shows the generator status and can be placed in a particular indoor area. Remote monitoring and cold weather kits are other options that are available for your residential or commercial systems. Industrial systems have many options which include alternator strip heaters, load centers, enclosure lighting, and many more. Many residential or commercial systems have a standard sound attenuated enclosure. For industrial generators, there are various enclosure types that range from a weather enclosure to a custom package to satisfy the requirements.

No matter what the power requirement is during a power outage, there is a solution but make sure to consider when and where you will use the generator and go for the unit that fits your needs and requirements.