Power outages do occur and they can be one of the most annoying things to deal with. What other alternative sources do you have in place when the grid supply is cut off?
You need to adequately prepare for the possibility that power supply can get cut off as a result of bad weather or unforeseen circumstances. Perhaps you already have a standby generator but you just realized that it’s not strong enough to supply the needed power to your appliances.
We understand that things can get complicated, but before you run off to buy a new generator consider the tips below on how to choose a generator to protect you when you lose power:
1. Determine your power needs
People have different power needs, just because your neighbor bought a particular generating set doesn’t mean you should do the same. You have to access your power needs before you contemplate buying a reasonably powerful gen to match those requirements.
To determine your power needs, count the number of electrical appliances that need additional power either for home use or for commercial use. Calculate the power requirements of appliances like your microwave, deep freezer etc. by looking at the power input on the user manual or on the body of the appliances. There should be a sticker right at the body of each electrical appliance that shows you how many watts are required.
Add up all the watts plus some additional watts to make up for any errors before you get the total watts needed. Additional watts allow you to add appliances in the future if the need arises.
Finally, choose a generating set that can power them all.
2. Choosing between an automatic or plug-in generator
Choosing an automatic or plug-in generator depends on your needs, preferences and financial capabilities. Both types have their merits and demerits. Automatic generators start up immediately electricity is cut off. They are more powerful and capable of taking care of numerous appliances. The drawback is that they are very heavy, requires professional installation and are expensive.
Plug-in generators are smaller, less powerful and anyone with a good DIY skill can install it. Plus they are very cheap to buy.
3. Storage Space
With a plug-in generator you won’t need much space but if you need the power from automatic generators, you must ensure there is enough space for installation. How safe is the space and will it provide adequate shelter from bad weather?
Don’t forget that generators are known to emit harmful gases so keep them far away from humans.
If you want the most from your generating set ensure you carry out routine maintenance on it. If you can’t afford the maintenance required or you are too busy to do it, be ready for problems. Gasoline-powered generators need lubrication, they need servicing, and you will have to change the spark plugs from time to time.
If you don’t have the time for maintenance, hire an expert to do the job for you.
5. Consider the Price
Of course you obviously have to consider if you are financially stable to buy and cope with maintaining a generating set. If you are running a business with high turnovers, this shouldn’t be an issue but if you need the gen just to get by power outrages you have to consider the price.
The price of a robust diesel generator with a power rating of 160 KVA can be as high as $1,500 to $4,000. This is a significant investment on a generating set so it’s best if you plan properly on your power requirements before making a decision.
6. Shopping Considerations
Basic portable generators can be inexpensive but before you go for inexpensive gen consider the independent rating on the gen:
- Noise Rating: Generators can be very noisy. You don’t want the neighbors at your back over this
- Starting System: Electrical starters can be a time saver because manually cranking up start plugs is time-consuming
- Gauges: Normally found in high-end generators. It tells you about possible problems before they damage the generator engine.
On that note
Don’t allow frequent power outrages to stop your business from running smoothly. Make the required investment decision on a reliable generator. Choose automatic generators to avoid the hassles of manually plugging in the generator to socket terminals.