Electric generators are used if there is a disruption of power in homes, commercial and industrial establishments or if there is absolutely no supply of electricity. 


They also come in several models, sizes and prices and can be found in hardware or appliance stores.  When you decide to buy an electric generator, one’s individual needs and preference will help you to choose the right one.


Consider these following facts and features before buying an electric generator:


Firstly identify the appliances that have to be powered by the generator.  Add up the total wattage including the starting wattage requirement of appliances like refrigerators- this makes up the total wattage required.

See if the generator have the necessarily voltage ratings before you buy one.  A minimum voltage of 120 is required for small appliances like lights and 240 volts is required for bigger appliances like stoves and driers.

Does the generator have an overhead valve? What’s nice about generators with an overhead valve is that they start easily, last longer and are less noisy.

It is always good to see if there is a cast iron sleeve in the cylinder to protect the engine from wear and tear.


Electric generators have lots of convenient features which makes it much easier for you when it comes to choosing the right one to fit your pocket and your needs.


It has an electric start button.

A power switch which makes it easier for you if you want to alternate to different volts.

Low oil shut down that shuts the engine down when the fuel level is too low or reaches a certain level.

An hour meter that shows the duration the generator has been working.


The nice thing about electric generators is that they can be powered by


Gas- this is an inexpensive method of using the generator but it usually has a short life period.

Diesel- it is much more fuel efficient and has a longer life but are relative expensive.

Propane and gas- this is well suited where fuel are readily available.


After you have bought an electric generator, several precautions must be taken:


Make sure you put the electric generator outside to prevent it from exposure of carbon monoxide.

The generator must be kept dry at all times.  Please make sure that you do not touch the generator while your hands are wet, because you can get electrocuted.

Do not refuel the generator while it is still in operation.  Rather fill it up with fuel while the generator is off otherwise the fuel can spill on hot components and cause a fire.


Moral of the story, invest in a good quality generator that will last long and help you out in times when it is all dark and cold outside.


Categories of Electric Generators


Looking to buy an electric generator? Before you make the purchase, you should understand what kind of electric generators are available so you make the right choice.


The first kind you might want to consider is the recreational generator. These usually run a gas or diesel. A recreational generator is anywhere from 1000 to 3800 watts and is portable. A 1000-watter is only capable of running one appliance at a time, like a coffee maker. To be more precise, you should check the appliances for how many watts they use. As long as they don't surpass 1000 watts combined, then you can run them simultaneously. Do a quick check of the appliances you want to run. If you don't mind running one appliance at a time, then get a 1000 watt model. If you want to run 2,3, or 4 at a time, then get a 3800 watt model.


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The next category of electric generator is emergency power. Someone buying this generator isn't interested in brewing a cup of coffee on a camping trip. Rather, he or she wants to power up their house during a black out. These models are generally portable as well, that is they come with wheels and you can move them around. The big differences are the wattage and the price.


An emergency generator comes in wattages of 3000 to 17,500 and range in price from $450 to $3100. The higher wattage generators can handle all the appliances in your home simultaneously, your stove, fridge, washer, dryer, lights, etc. You'd have a hard time taxing out the 17,500-watt generator unless you had every burner on the stove on and washer and dryer running.


The next category of electric generator is that used for professional jobs. These generators run also from 3000 to about 17000 watts, but they are more durable and therefore more pricy. On the low end they run $400, while the higher wattage units can cost as much as $4600. These generators are expected to get more use than a recreational or emergency backup generator. Think about it! The recreational or backup ones are only used occasionally. On the other hand, the industrial strength generator may be running 8 hours a day everyday on a construction site. This baby has to last a long time under strenuous working conditions. If you plan on using your electric generator everyday, spend a few more bucks and get a professional grade one.


The last category of electric generator could be considered standby power. These kinds of generators are big and are not at all portable. They aren't even measured in watts, but rather Kilowatts, and the cheapest models run about $2000 while the upper end models can cost as much as $17,000 and put out up to 100 kilowatts of power. That's 1/10 of a megawatt. That's a lot of power. Large homes or commercial operations might have a need for this kind of generator.