What To Look For When Choosing An Electric Generator

A generator can come in handy for a number of different uses, you may be wanting a generator for your boat, for camping or work, maybe you live in a stormy area or suffer from an unreliable power source. Generators convert mechanically generated energy into electricity, they can be used to run tools, they can provide light and heating for boats, power computers and even houses in the event of a power cut.

How Does a Generator Work?

In 1832 Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction. To generate electricity with electromagnetic induction an electrical conductor, often a wire which contains electric charges is moved around in a magnetic field. The movement of this wire causes a voltage difference between the two ends of the electrical conductor, the voltage difference creates a flow of electrical charges and this generates a current. The generator has an engine that runs on fossil fuel similar to a car or motorbike.

The power output of a generator is calculated in watts and is obviously going to be a major factor you need to consider when choosing your generator, you will want to make sure it is outputting enough energy to power what you need powered but there are other factors to take into account when choosing your generator, we will look at a few of these factors below:

Fuel Type

Generators come in various fuel types these can include petroleum, diesel and propane. When choosing the fuel type for your generator you will want to consider availability, cost and storage. If you want your generator as a backup for your domestic electricity supply fuel storage will be a major factor since you could go for quite a while without a power cut, for domestic purposes a natural gas such as propane will probably be best. Gas will be more stable and safer to store for longer periods, it will also be cheaper.

If you are looking for a home generator you will want to consider installation and servicing costs. If you choose a gasoline generator for home usage it is advisable that you install it at least fifteen feet away from your property or any other structure. You should not use a gasoline generator in a closed space.

A big propane cylinder will not be very portable though, if you want your generator to run tools or to take camping you will be better off with diesel or gasoline.


If you are buying your generator for home usage noise is going to be a major consideration especially if you have neighbours nearby, no one will want to be kept up all night because of your noisy generator. Noise should also be a major concern for you if you are buying the generator to use on a boat. For boat use the generator will need to be portable and quiet, generatorgrid.com has put together a list of the top ten quietest portable generators.


Portable generators will usually run on gasoline as we said above various safety considerations must be taken into account if you buy a gasoline generator. If you are planning to store gasoline for a long period of time you will need to add some kind of treatment to it. Treating your gasolene will stabilize it for longterm storage.

If you are looking for your generator so you can use it on a boat you will probably want one that runs on natural gas due to the various safety concerns we have already mentioned above. Size and weight are going to be major factors affecting the portability of your generator, usage is going to need to be taken into account when choosing your generator if you are looking to use it for camping you will probably want one that is as small and light as possible, for running tools you may not be so bothered about its size and weight.

How Does It Start?

If your generator is to be used as an emergency power backup you will most probably want one that switches automatically, when the grid goes down the generators starts this type of generator will offer you uninterrupted power supply. Push button start, many portable generators will come with a push button start requiring a little bit less effort than the manual start type where a cord has to be pulled. Push button start will be better for older users or people with mobility issues.

This post was written and supplied on behalf of generatorgrid.com, portable generator reviews, comparisons and guides, follow the site on Facebook.

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