Welcome to BestPortablGeneratorGuide.com! This site is dedicated to help you out in picking up the best portable generator that suits your pocket and all your needs. So if you need one portable generator for camping out in the woods or as a backup at home when power supply goes down, then this article would just help you in taking a fair decision giving you all the required know-how and reviews about the portable generators available in the market.
Obviously, there are a lot of things that you should be considering about a specific model in regard to your requirements. And, with so many models out there in the market, you cannot go through each of them. So, we have brought a guide that gives you full know how of how to buy, what to look into the generators, and respective features of the generators. After all, a portable generator is not a cheap thing to buy for your home or business. You would not want it to be either too big or too small to do the job effectively. Price alone should not be the only concern – you need total value for money you spent.
To begin with, let us check the comparison chart below that allows you get clear and explicit information based on your needs.
Top rated 8 portable generators in 2015
Why Do You Need A Portable Generator?
The first electric generator was invented by Michael Faraday in the year 1821. Since then, we got more and more dependent on electricity for every single thing that we do. Including cooking meal, keeping them fresh, washing clothes, for keeping ourselves warm; we need electricity in our daily life. In the rural areas, many people draw water with the help of electric pumps. In modern medical science, electricity runs the medical equipment for clinical tests. If a tornado or hurricane strikes, and there is a power outage for days. How would you manage without electricity throughout this time?
Not only generator is a backup power supply to the households where power outages are pretty regular, but they are also used in camping, for RV’s and so on. An emergency portable generator is sufficient for the lights, television, hair dryers and other kitchen appliances. A portable generator isn’t just useful for emergency situation because it is portable. It can easily be taken around and light enough to be picked up and loaded at the back of your RV or trunk. It is essential to keep the entertainment going in the camping site. So if you camp out a lot or live in a RV, then a portable generator is MUST for you.
May be you don’t camp a lot, or don’t own a RV or your locale don’t face the regular power outages. Perhaps you don’t need a generator throughout the year. But, when you are stuck in a situation without power, you would be really glad for investing in a portable generator. Though you would need it just for a couple of weeks, but having power supply even for that short time and availing some of the daily comfort will be a huge bonus. Even, you can use it on construction site for running tools like paint sprayers, saws, drills, heaters and others.
There are gasoline-powered as well as natural gas-powered engines that are used to run generators. But, gasoline operated generators are more common.
The large stationery generators are not only price y, but also require costly wiring and installation. Unlike them, the portable generators are easy to operate and you can easily take them whenever wherever you need power. Or else, put it away. It comes with a longer shelf life.
Questions You Should Ask Before Buying a Portable Generator
Like no two human beings are alike, similarly no two generators are same. Each one of them has their own features. Before you make the investment, you need to assess their features and pick the best one based on your needs. Here’s a list of major questions that you should be asking and buy only after you are satisfied with the answers you get.
- What is the wattage capacity of the generator? Will it be able to do the job?
- — Calculation of power that you need and whether it can supply that is your first lookout. Also, remember to ensure that it can handle the start-up surge power required by certain tools and appliances.
- How many power outlets it has got? Is it enough to plug in all the things you need?
- Does it make noise while operating?
- — There are noise restrictions in certain locale. Don’t forget to check that.
- Does it have GFCI protection?
- What fuel does it use? How easy is it to obtain?
- How long does it run on a full tank?
- What is the mode of ignition? Recoil or electric?
- Is it easy to shift? Has it got wheels and handles?
- What accessories (like heavy-duty all weather extension leads, transfer switch and so on) will you need for its smooth operation?
- What is the warranty period? Does it have a good network of service centers?
What to look for while reading Portable Generator Reviews
Just like no two snowflakes are alike; no two generators could be similar ever. Their performance would differ even if they have the same engines, related building. It is seen that this performance varies due to many reasons or factors. Here is a consolidation of the important points while reviewing a portable generator.
The most essential decisive factor is the quantity of power that you will require. Firstly, consider the purpose for which it is going to be used. If you would be using it for running huge equipment or several appliances all at a time, then you would need a large powerful generator. On the other hand, a smaller unit will be adequate for back-up supply to keep the basic appliances operational. Practically every portable generator manufacturing company provides specific calculators on their websites, so that you can reckon your power requirement with no trouble. Generally, a portable generator with a wattage capacity of 5,000 should suffice a family requisite.
Tools with electrical motors require surge power to start up which is 2 to 3 times more than what they need while running. Calculate the total surge wattage requisite and choose a generator that is able to provide that.
Generator power is measured in Watts (Amps X Volts = Watts). Here is a rough idea of the wattage of your home appliances.
Home Appliances Running Wattage Surge Wattage
Electric Fry Pan 1300 625W Microwave 625 800
Coffee Maker 1750 Freezer 700 2200
Dishwasher 700 1400
Lights Depends on bulb Depends on bulb
Radio 50-200 Television 300 Air Conditioner 10,000 BTU 1500 2200
Laptop 200-250 Desktop 600-800 Furnace Fan 1/8 HP 300 500
Furnace Fan 1/6 HP 500 750
Furnace Fan 1/4 HP 600 1000
Furnace Fan 1/3 HP 700 1400
Furnace Fan 1/2 HP 875 2350
Sump Pump u00bd HP 1050 2150
Sump Pump 1/3 HP 800 1300
2.Fuel Type and Efficiency
How long the generators would run, depends on the type of fuel used, efficiency of the motor and the size of the fuel tank obviously. Gas-powered and propane-powered generators are commonly used. However, some generators run on both. Propane generators are advantageous over the gas-powered units. Propane is less toxic, burns cleaner, easy to avail, cheaper than gas and moreover you can store it for long.
It is pretty hard to arrange fuel during some natural blow. Good generators can run up to 14 hours with 50% load. Hence, you need to evaluate your needs and accordingly decide the size and type of generator you want to purchase.
Choose a larger unit, if you are going to keep it back at home as a backup power resource for crisis. It is going to be tricky enough to tow around a large genset. So, if you need a power supply for mainly for camping out or for your RV, then a smaller portable generator would be most suitable for you.
It is very essential to consider how effortlessly the generator could be moved about. The portability of a generator not only depends on the size, but also on its design. Some of the smaller models weighing around thirty pounds only got a carry handle. Others got wheels. If you have to shift a generator to anywhere over uneven surface or construction site, then a model with bigger wheels will be easier to move. Comfortable over the handle, large wheels, and facility to angle the generator on its wheels are certain features to take into account as you pay forit.
Don’t be roofed by the fallacy that portable generators don’t make noise. Especially the motors of gasoline-powered generators make a great deal of sound. In general, the noise levels vary from 55dBA to 85dBA. Those generators that make noise under the mark of 75dBA are actually quiet. Noise over 90dBA would surely damage your hearing. Ensure that the generator taken for camping purpose falls under the 75dBA cohort.
Another point to remember, generator motors of higher horsepower would create higher noise.
There are two means to start a generator – recoil and electric start. Recoil start needs a lot of hard efforts including pumping or pulling cord. It is easy to operate, but in some generators it is hard indeed to get them in full power just by depending on the chord.
Again in electric start, some power is drawn from a secondary battery to start the generator. Generally it got a push button or flip switch to initiate the machine. But, it is only possible when the backup battery is in working condition. How would you start it in a situation where the auxiliary battery is dead? These days, generators come with both the kinds of starts. So, make certain that you also got a recoil ignition to start it in case of crisis.
7.Control Panel Features
Control panel is the most important section where the main business takes place. The majority of generators come with four plugs and one 120/240 volt outlet to support large tools or appliances. Apart from this the top generators also have a voltage selector switch. It helps you to segregate the voltage to the equipment or appliances that you are running at the same time. There you can also read out how long the machine serviced and measure the voltage too.
Some generators come with spark arrestors that are essential in camping site. They don’t let the burning cinders out and prevent any fire accident. In some portable generators, oil guards are there to protect the engine from damage occurring from the sudden shut down when the oil level goes low. Other pricey models got additional features like motors that run silently without disturbing your neighbors. Some have power invertors that convert DC power to AC. Moreover, there should be certain safety features like grounding methods, never-flat tires, circuit breakers, etc.
Generally, the generators come with one year warranty. However, there are certain manufacturers that offer extended warranty of three years too. The manufacturers don’t trade straight with the consumers, but still you should be getting first-rate service and support for your purchase. How to install, changing the fuel, how to operate it, safety measures; it should include all the guidance and contact information in case of any emergency. It should have a proper network of service centers to get your generator fixed without any problem. You should check for the manuals, maintenance tutorials, and all FAQs answered.
Natural disaster is so-called because of its uncertainty and moreover for the damage it brings. If you get stuck up without any power, you would be only wishing if you had prepared yourself for this in advance. Portable generator is the foundation of this preparation. Not only in power outage, it is also important to meet your necessity and keep you comfortable while camping out or staying in RV. When it is so essential for your life, then why not investing on a good portable generator?