Select A Portable Electric Generator

A portable electric generator is useful in the case of power outages. Extended periods without power can pose health and safety risks. Having a generator on hand addresses potential home safety issues, particularly for those who require medical equipment run by electricity. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Determine which electrical items you want to run on the portable generator. The number of items a generator can run is limited, so choose the essential items. Calculate the total watts used by the items. This information is available in the manuals.

2. Factor in the start-up wattage needed to get the motors of the appliances running. This is typically at least twice the wattage the appliances need to run. In some cases, an appliance may need triple the wattage to get started.

3. Decide on the fuel type for the portable generator. The common choices include gasoline, propane, natural gas and diesel. Consider the fuel sources to which you have easy access.

4. Consider the size of the fuel tank on the portable generator. A larger fuel tank allows the generator to run longer without a refill.

5. Look for a generator with a handle and wheels if you plan to move the generator around frequently.

6. Consider the generator noise level. Check the decibel level before purchasing a generator.

7. Look for additional features for a more efficient generator. Idle control saves wear on the engine when no power is being used. An electric start makes the generator easier to use than a pull rope for starting. A low oil shutdown feature automatically stops the engine if the oil levels are too low.

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