Frequently Asked Questions
What power output do I need?
NEVER OVERLOAD YOUR GENERATOR if you do you will almost certainly blow something in the generator or in the worst case melt the insulation in the windings and risk electric shock. A good rule of thumb would be to add together the wattage of all the devices and get a generator that is at least one and a half times that amount.
To calculate the wattage of a device amps x volts = watts
Try this handy calculator http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and- advice/electrical-items/amps-to-watts-calculator/
What are surges
Every appliance draws more power than its normal running load when it is first turned on. This is why you need a generator that is bigger than the expected wattage you need, to cover the surges. Another tip is to turn appliances on at different times to stagger the surge demand.
What is the difference between Inverter/AVR/Capacitor generators?
The output from a generator can be very ‘spiky’ this can damage delicate electronics.
The cleanest output is from an Inverter Generator so it is safe to use for things such as computers
An AVR is not quite as good as an inverter but should be fine for most things including LCD TV’s, fridges etc.
A Capacitor generator is best used only for items with no delicate electronics such as power tools.
Which generators are Chinese made
These days all brands have most if not all parts made in China. The major brand names are made to a high standard with good quality control, however some of the cheaper generators have a not so good reputation. The old adage ‘YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR’ definitely applies to generators. We have high end brands and stand by the products we sell. Our range has been carefully chosen to provide good results.
Can I run single phase devices on a three phase generator
The answer is it might be possible but it is not necessarily straight forward. The best thing is to just use a generator with a dedicated single phase 230volt output. Only use a three phase generator when 415volt is required.
Will I get the output that is stated
This might seam like a silly question but some of the cheaper Chinese generators have been found to be badged wrongly and only give less than half the power expected. Because the worst thing you can do is overload your generator this can cause a lot of the cheaper generators blowing after only a short period of time. Quite often to repair the cheaper generators costs more than the price of the generator itself. So buying a cheaper generator can be a complete waste of money.
What would be the best fuel type
The smallest and cheapest generators tend to be 2 stroke petrol. Four stroke petrol can be quieter and more reliable but the oil level and quality must be regularly checked, because often problems occur when people don’t check the oil. Petrol will deteriorate over time in the fuel tank. Often people get the generator out after storing it for many months and it won’t start because the petrol has gone bad. Diesel generators tend to be larger. They can be more reliable and don’t suffer if they are not used for a period of time. LPG is getting more popular because of its reliability and it is a fuel that is considered more environmentally friendly.
How quiet will it be
Often generators have a ‘silent’ description. This does not mean they will make no noise because all internal combustion engines make noise. The more expensive generators will have better sound insulation and some of the bigger generators come with a sound proof case. All covers must be adequately ventilated to allow heat and fumes to escape. The amount of noise is usually measured from a standard 7 metres so they can be compared. The more load they are under the louder they will be because they are working harder.
Do I need to run the generator outside
This may seam obvious but absolutely all engines must be in a safe, ventilated area. Consideration must be give to fire risk and the safe storage of fuels. Never run the generator in an enclosed space or garage. This exhaust contains Carbon Monoxide and this is odourless. If the fumes enter your house or other enclosed space where people are it can quickly kill. (check out this page for full info http://www.esfi.org/resource/electrical-safety-think-outside- the-home-412)