Five questions to ask before buying a power generator

  • All you know is that you’re tired of the never-ending power cuts and want to buy a generator, at the earliest. But, buying the right generator can be tricky… especially when you happen to know precious little about the different models out there and their specifications. Here are some important questions you must ask before deciding on a generator model.

    1. Will it suit my power demand?

    Each individual has his/her own power demand. For home use, a single phase power generator (5KW to 30KW) will suffice. Ask what the generator’s wattage capacity is and if it will support your needs. Note: Always factor in the startup surge power required, as all appliances consume almost double the power during start-up. Check how many types of equipment it can run simultaneously- this is very important if you plan to use it often, and not only during an emergency.

    2. Does the generator have enough outlets?

    What would you do with a generator that has few or no outlets to plug in all the items you want to power? Many generators come with multiple AC outlets. A regular generator has standard duplex 120 volt, 15 amp outlets.

    3. How much noise will it produce?

    This is pertinent not just to you…but also your poor neighbors! Noise over 90 decibels can impair your hearing, if the appropriate protective equipment is not worn. Well, when a car runs at high speeds, it creates noise to the tune of 80 dB (loud) while, for a truck, it is 90 dB (very loud).

    4. What kind of fuel does it use?

    Most people opt for diesel-fuelled models, but gas generators are available too. Fuel types include propane, gasoline, natural gas or diesel. When asking about the fuel, also enquire about how large the fuel tank is and for how many hours it will let the device run. How long will it run before it needs to be refueled?

    5. What brand is it?

    Brand is everything. People invest in good brands, especially when it comes to such equipment, because of the quality of the parts, their assembly or even the service.

    These questions apart, you could also look out for additional features such as attached wheels (in case of portable gen-sets), handles, etc. Do your homework and compare the best models out there, and decide on a generator that you think will suit your needs and budget the best.

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