Portable Generators Pros and Cons

portable generators

A storm has knocked out power to your neighborhood, but you need to use your computer for work today. A portable generator might be the fastest way to get back into action, but there are potential risks associated with the use of these generators. Generators can be dangerous, and can lead to illness and injury if used improperly.

Portable generators can provide 3,000 Watts to 10,000 Watts of power. That’s enough to run some household essentials—such as refrigerator (700W), Sump Pump (1,050W), or coffee maker (800W). Check out this Power Grid to calculate the kilowatts of household appliances.

You can purchase a portable generator online, from a local lawn-equipment dealer, or at a big-box store. In an emergency, wheel it out, gas it up, pull the starter cord, and you’ve got your own mini electric plant. These units are not without their downsides, chief among them that you have to be home to operate them.

A generator’s gas tank will hold, on average, from three to six gallons, so you’ll need to refill it, even if it’s cold and snowing outside. It can take 34 gallons of gas to run an average-size portable for two days. Because gasoline can “gum up” if left standing too long, there’s always a chance that your portable generator won’t start. To prevent this, start it up a couple of times a year to make sure it will run when you need it.

When using a portable generator, it is important to take precautions:

  • Read the manufacturer’s safety and operating manual before using your generator.
  • Never leave your generator running when you are away from your home or business.
  • Check your generator regularly during operation.
  • Use caution when touching your generator as many areas become hot and can burn you.

Still, with all the inconveniences, a portable generator delivers just what many homeowners want- emergency backup power at a reasonable cost.

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