A Guide to Portable Generators
Portable generators provide power for emergencies or outdoor activities. They operate on gasoline, diesel fuel or propane and have power outlets that allow you to plug in electric tools or appliances. They are often used at home as backups for lighting, sump pumps and essential appliances during power outages or to run power tools on job sites or in recreational vehicles like campers and motor homes. You can also find them at construction sites and in commercial settings where heavy-duty power is needed for equipment or machines that process or store sensitive materials like food or medical supplies.
How many watts is a good generator?
The size of the Generator Basics you choose depends on the amount and type of appliances or devices you want to power during an outage. To decide what wattage to look for, add up the starting and running wattage needs of your appliances (you can usually find this information on the label). It’s important to remember that generators must be used outdoors and kept at least a safe distance from homes and other structures because they emit fumes.
You’ll need to buy and store large amounts of gasoline, mixed with a fuel stabilizer, to keep a generator fueled for an entire power outage. Some models have a tank or compartment to hold larger quantities of fuel. Look for a model with a convenient handle and wheels to help you wheel it in and out of storage and into position to start it up. Newer generators include carbon monoxide (CO) detectors that can shut off the engine if CO levels become dangerously high. This is an improvement over older generators that require you to purchase a separate and expensive CO detector and install it yourself.