A typical backup generator

Things You Should Ask When Buying a Backup Generator

Owning a backup generator is not an option anymore. With power blackouts and failures becoming more common than before, it has become a vital piece of equipment that every business owner needs to invest in.

Image of a typical business supply backup generator
A standby generator for a business. CC BY by Jemimus

Particularly, the organizations that are into manufacturing trade need a continuous power supply to keep up with their production work. However, the imminent variety on the market poses a dilemma for potential buyers.

So, what is it that should be considered when buying a generator?

In this article, we’ve listed some of the questions that can help anyone with their buying decision. Regardless of the purpose, these questions can help homeowners and businessmen, alike.

What Fuel Option Is Better?

The market is full of gen-sets that use diesel, gasoline, and even natural gas for producing electricity. When it comes to choosing the backup generator fuel type, you must consider the cost of purchasing, maintaining, and also buying the fuel on a regular basis. Besides, you must also consider the fuel efficiency of the generator. Typically, diesel fuel is cheaper to buy and also has higher energy density over other fuel options, which makes it more efficient over other fuels.

How Much Power Do You Need?

Gen-sets that are available in the market are either portable or standby. In other words, you get two choices, you can either buy a smaller generator, which can be easily transported around, or you can buy a larger one that is installed in one place. Of course, the size of the generator is also indicative of its power production. So, before buying a backup generator, you must evaluate your power needs. If you need to support heavy machinery, say your ring-spinning machine, you should definitely go for a standby gen-set. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a backup to carry along on your camping trip, then you must buy a portable generator.

Should You Buy During A Sale?

Most importantly, you must decide when to buy a generator. You must have surely come across several ads stating generators for sale, but the question is if it is worth buying during a sale? The fact is, any time is a good time to buy a generator. Although you may buy one at a cheaper rate during sales, it does not mean that you shall not buy before or after sale weeks. You can imagine a situation when you actually wait for the sale to come up, but instead, there occurs a sudden power outage due to grid failure. Now, you may realize that having bought it beforehand would have saved you a lot more than you lost due to production halt.

How Much Space Would a Backup Generator Need?

Image of a small portable backup generator.
A small portable generator. CC BY by kylemac

Usually, a portable generator may not need a lot of space for installation, since it can be moved to any place and used as such. Whereas, a standby generator may need a lot of open space for installation. It is to allow proper ventilation for the exhausts as well as allow proper cooling to the engine. So, space actually becomes an important factor affecting your buying decision.

What’s The Fuel Tank’s Capacity?

You also wouldn’t want to be running to buy the fuel too frequently. That is why you must also inquire about the fuel tank capacity of the generator that you’re planning to buy. However, the capacity that suits your needs depends on how frequently your region experiences power failures and how far is the refueling station. Consequently, you should consider a higher tank capacity if your area experiences too frequent power cuts or even if the fuel station is too far away.

Are There Any Safety Features?

Lastly, you must not miss out on safety features. Modern generators usually come with safety kill switches to prevent accidents. Some gen-sets also feature automatic changeover switch that starts and stops the generator when the blackout occurs and power is restored, respectively. Apart from these common features look for cooling systems, engine information consoles, and additional fuses to help prevent any fault from occurring. For instance, some gen-sets also feature low fuel warning to let you know when to refill, so that you never run out of fuel.

Buying a generator is a lot easier said than done. However, with appropriate knowledge and after conducting a thorough market analysis, you can surely buy the right piece of equipment. Ideally, your generator should be economical and efficient at the same time, while also helping you keep up with the intended applications. So, consider learning more about your needs and then proceed with your buying decision.

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