How Reliable Are Portable Generators?

13 December 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Have you ever been stuck in the dark during a power outage? Not a nice feeling, is it? To avoid getting caught in such a situation again, a portable generator can be a lifesaver.

Portable generators, as the name suggests, are neat gadgets that are easy to transport when on the go. They are designed to be powered up manually and can run for several hours.  Before you run out to buy one, make sure you understand how they work. Also, consider the pros and cons and see if a portable generator can fit with your lifestyle:

How Do Portable Generators Work?

The major components of portable generators are an internal combustion engine, a starter, an alternator, a fuel tank, and power outlets. Portable generators use gas-powered engines to provide electricity. Once fully charged, you can then plug in your electrical appliances or extension cords into the power outlets. Very powerful generators have a high wattage (power) and can accommodate many outlets.

Advantages of Portable Generators

  • They are relatively inexpensive

  • They are powerful and durable

  • They are safe to use anywhere outdoors, once kept at least 15 feet away from buildings

  • They can easily be moved from one location to another

Disadvantages of Portable Generators

  • You need to fill them often since the fuel tanks have small capacities

  • It is unsafe to store large quantities of gas at home.  However, this may become necessary because most gas stations cannot pump gas during an electrical outage.

  • They must be started manually, and therefore you will need to be onsite when there is an outage. This is very critical for your fridges and freezers to prevent food spoilage.

  • They emit carbon monoxide which is poisonous

  • They must never be used indoors because of the risk of poisoning from the exhaust

  • They need to be plugged into units using extension cords.  Any items hardwired to your home, such as heating or security systems, cannot be powered by a portable generator.

  • Some portable generators do not provide a high power quality and as a result, can damage sensitive electronic components.

Portable generators can save you lots of frustration but if they can work for you totally depends on you. Determine why and for how long you'll need one. Consult a good generator repairs and installation team so that you have someone to contact (who already knows about your model) when your generator has issues. If it makes sense to have one, then go ahead! Don't be left in the dark!