Typically coming equipped with a grip handle and a wheel kit, a portable electric generator is an invaluable piece of machinery that can be used to power a wide range of appliances and other equipment.
If you’ve been wondering whether a portable electric generator would meet your power needs, or whether buying one would be a sound investment, the following brief guide should help:
Can I use a portable generator to power my entire home?
In short, yes. If you buy or hire a portable electric generator of 7,500 running Watts or above, you should be able to power a small to medium sized home; enabling most household appliances to continue functioning in the event of a power outage.
How exactly does a portable electric generator work?
Once you’ve fuelled the generator with gasoline, propane or natural gas, you can start it up as and when needed, through electric start, recoil, or automatic start. You can then start plugging up your appliances, devices or other small types of equipment into the generator for power.
While the process is relatively straightforward, if you’ve never used a portable generator before (or any type of generator), it’s best to seek guidance the first time you use it, from the manufacturer, installer or a local electrician.
Can portable generators start automatically?
If you purchase an automatic generator starter, or AGS, you can connect it to your portable generator and program it to automatically start your generator based on low battery voltage, temperature conditions or by timing.
Where can a portable generator be placed?
Portable generators, whether gasoline, propane or natural gas powered, can be set up outside provided they’re at least 20 feet away from the property, with the exhaust directed away from any windows or doors.
Is it important to ground a portable generator?
Should there be a problem with the electrical circuit within the portable generator, if it hasn’t been grounded, sparks could be caused or at worst, it could lead to electrocution. Because the electricity flowing through the wires of a generator will naturally seek to flow into the ground, by grounding it before use, the electricity can go on to flow safely into the ground.
However, in many instances involving modern generators that are constructed as a single system with metal frames that act as an internal grounding system, such action isn’t required. If in doubt, check the manufacturers instructions to see whether grounding is necessary for your generator.
Is it possible for a portable generator to damage electronics?
If you have sensitive electronics such as laptops or smart phones, for example, it is possible that a portable generator may cause some damage through power surges. If you do have such items, buy an inverter generator, which thanks to its in-built surge protection, can provide such sensitive items with cleaner power.
Portable generators are a fantastically effective way of powering smaller households, and provided you seek guidance from a professional generator supplier, installer or manufacturer, they could help give you back the power!