When deciding on a generator, the first step is to determine exactly what appliances you’ll want to power simultaneously and add up the wattage of each. While locating the wattage, take note of any ‘Surge Wattage’ mentioned. Any appliance with a motor - like a fridge - will take more power to start than to run. For example, an appliance might be rated at 700 watts running, but 1000 watts Max rated output wattage (‘Surge Wattage’).
2 x 150W Floodlights = 300W
A 960W Angle Grinder = 960W
Other Factors To Consider:
- Noise: An important consideration no matter where the generator will be used. A handy tip is to remember that the average neighbourhood street is around 70 decibels.
- Portability: It’s no good having a great big generator if you need to move it frequently and can’t.
- How many hours will you get out of a tank of fuel and therefore how much fuel will you need to carry? Most generators will state an approximate run time at a specified wattage.
- The number of power outlets you’re going to need. The same rules to splitting power outlets apply here as they do at home. Overloading is a big no-no.
- If you need to power sensitive electronic equipment like a computer, mobile phone charging or even a television, you’ll need an ‘Inverter’ model.
- Safety: Always plug appliances directly into the generator or use heavy duty extension leads.
- Be careful not to overload the generator. Correct calculations in the buying process will help.
- Never run a generator indoors or where ventilation is poor.
- Always ensure you have a fire extinguisher handy - accidents can happen, especially around fuel.
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