Electric generators have been around for some time, and it is becoming common in several households and shops. You’ll even find them in malls and offices. Most people do not know much about it, except it provides electrical power in a shortage.
In this article, we will be looking at different electrical models available in the market. In an outage, establishments in the industrial sector usually use electrical options as standby generators. The power source automatically switches to the backup source.
An electrical generator is a machine that converts mechanical energy to electrical power using different sources of mechanical energy. It is not limited to water turbines and wind turbines. Nor is it just steam turbines and internal combustion engines. Home generators typically use an internal combustion engine. Some home options are dual fuel. These are commonly called home generator dual fuel, and we’ve written a post about them. Read it by pressing the highlighted link.
We have defined several facts about them. It is time to look into one of the most common questions people have before buying. Which capacity should I pick when purchasing one for your home or business? They come in several capacities, such as 2,500 and 3,000. You can also find them offering 6,000 or 7,000 watts. Want to go into a different league? Consider going for 20,000 watts.
Determining Which Capacity You Need
Determining which capacity you need depends on the items you intend to power up with this source. The first thing you need to do is identify the items you wish to run in case of a power outage.
Look into the specifications of each of those items to determine its requirements. You can typically find this in a sticker label attached to the item. You can also look into its box or instructions manual. List all these down because you will need to sum it up later.
After summing everything up, multiply with 1.5 to account for the power it needs when starting up. The result is the minimum you need to supply power to these items from your source. A refrigerator typically needs 700 to 1,200 watts. A freezer needs 500 to 1,000, depending on the make and model.
Should you wish to run both these appliances at home, you will need an electrical one of at least 3,300 watts. Whatever result you get, make sure to pick one with a capacity that is 10% to 20% more than the total demand for your appliances.
If you are looking for a whole house generator, you may need to consider getting one with high capacity. Some users prefer to have a standby generator. This type automatically starts up in a matter of seconds of an outage.
Importance of choosing the correct size
It is tempting to pick the cheapest model available on the market to some people. The cheap ones are usually the ones with lower capacity. Although there is nothing wrong with choosing a low-capacity model, it is not a good idea.
It may also be dangerous if the requirement of your appliances exceeds the capacity specified by the manufacturer. You will not only damage your appliances, but you can damage the unit itself.
On the other hand, here are a few benefits of picking one with the correct capacity.
- It guarantees consistency in the performance it delivers.
- It increases in the life span of the unit.
- It minimizes the occurrence of overloading.
- It minimizes the occurrence of unexpected system failure.
- It decreases the risk of fire as a result of overheating or electrical failure.
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Single Generator vs. Paralleling
Some users have a lot of needs. There are two possible options you may want to consider in this situation. You can go with a single electric unit or split the load between two or more generators. If you have a requirement of 10,000 watts, you can install two 5,000 ones. This method is paralleling, and it can be beneficial in certain circumstances.
|Practical||Lighter load on the unit|
It’s more cost-effective.
There are several factors in considering cost-effectivity. These factors include brand and used versus new. Consider the price and several other things. Assuming all these factors are equal, there is a certain point that it becomes more cost-effective to use parallel ones instead of one.
One of the leading reasons people purchase these machines is additional reliability, which is most useful in outages. Having only one means you won’t have a backup if it breaks down or goes into maintenance.
Backup power will not be completely interrupted if one breaks down or goes into maintenance with multiple runs in parallel. You will only have to shift the burden temporarily to the others.
Lighter load on individual units
Sharing the burden between two or more units can extend the overall life of each of them. It’s because it lessens the risk of putting too much load on a single one. Depending on the make and model, loads of up to 80% of the capacity are ideal when used continuously.
It is more practical.
This factor is greatly dependent on the physical space you have. In some cases, fitting two or more small units is easier than one large one in a room.
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It is equally important to pick the correct wattage capacity apart from the gauge wire sizes.
2,500 – 3,000 watts
Generators in the 2,500 to 3,000 watts range are ideal for RVs and camping. Units in this capacity range are portable, which means you can easily carry them around with you.
An 11,000 BTU RV air conditioning unit usually requires 1,600 watts to start and 1,000 when running. An RV refrigerator requires 600 to start and 180 when it is running. These are only some of the things you may find in an RV.
To summarize, as long as the sum of the appliances you intend to power does not exceed 3,000. A portable model will not be an issue. We can also conclude that requirements that include 800 or 900 watts will work flawlessly with 2,500 to 3,000 watts models.
Best 6,000 – 7,000 Watt Generators
Now, let us move on to the 6,000 to 7,000 watts range of generators. A total requirement of up to 7,000 will work fine within this range. Requirements below 6,000 will also work fine, such as 3,100 or 3,400 watts.
The Powerstroke 6000 Portable model is a 6,000-watt beast by Powerstroke. It features a large 6-gallon steel fuel tank, which runs up to nine hours at a 50% load. The conveniently located controls allow for the easy starting of the unit.
The unit also comes with an Automatic Voltage Regulator. Lastly, it has wheels for easy and hassle-free transport.
Another great one worth mentioning is the Westinghouse WGen7500 model. With a run time of up to 11 hours, its peak is 9,500 watts. Its running capacity is 7,500. For convenient ignition of the unit, the WGen7500 comes with a push-button electric start.
The wireless remote key fob that pairs with it make effortless ignition possible. For real-time updates on frequency or voltage output, you may refer to the VFT display that comes with the unit. It can also give you information on lifetime hours.
Aside from these two brands, several other brands are available in the market. These brands are:
- All Power
- Troy Bilt
- and Powermate.
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Best 20,000-Watt generators
The 20,000-watt generator has the largest capacity in this article. A great pick to consider is the Generac Guardian 20KW Home Backup model. This air-cooled unit can provide reliable backup power to an entire house.
The Generac 20KW model comes with mobile link remote monitoring. It’s a feature that allows users to monitor the status from anywhere using a PC or smartphone. It lets users quickly access information, such as maintenance alerts and operating status.
The 200-amp NEMA 3R smart switch allows for up to whole-house protection. True Power Technology delivers quality power with less than 5% harmonic distortion for a smooth. It offers the clean operation of appliances and electronic devices.
On top of these amazing features is its 24/7/365 customer support team. They are ready to answer any questions or concerns with its Generac 20KW beauty. All their automatic standby units come with a 5-year limited warranty.
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A 20000-watt generator can power an entire household. It includes all the electric plugs, lights, and air conditioners of up to 5 tons. In addition, it’s capable of even powering heavier appliances. It includes things such as a dishwasher, washer, and dryer.
At the top of the list is the Generac portable generator delivering 17500 watts. This is closely followed by the Generac 15000 watt and DuroMax 15000 watt portable generator.
A 12000-watt generator can power an entire house, including all the heavy-duty appliances. From the lights and the security system to the window AC and the microwave, a 12000-watt generator runs the whole house.
The amps a 20000-watt generator can draw depends on the voltage. In the case of 220V, the generator draws 90.91 amps. For 240V, the generator can draw up to 83.33 amps.
Here’s a guide to making sure your generator is in prime condition:
How to maintain a generator
- Keep it running.
Start your generator every few months, so it doesn’t begin gathering dust. Every once in a while, run the generator to make sure it’s still functional. Look out for any odd noises or blacker-than-usual fumes.
- Check the fuel lines.
With use, the fuel lines tend to degrade. They might crack open, form tears or even get clogged. Any fault in the fuel line prevents the smooth running of the generator. So whenever you feel a slight ‘push-back’ or obstructed activity, it’s time to sweep the fuel lines.
- Change the oil.
If the generator is in regular use to power moderate to heavy appliances, it’s recommended to change the oil every few weeks. To better accommodate the frequent oil change, keep sufficient supply in store.
- Look after the air filters.
To ensure your generator receives a clean supply of air, it’s essential to clean the air filters regularly. You can clean them using soapy water and a hand towel. But if you feel the filter is overly dirty, buy new air filters instead.
- Examine the spark plugs.
If the generator displays any out-of-the-ordinary signs or sounds, taking a look at the spark plug is worth it. Allow the generator to cool down before removing the spark plug. Once removed, closely examine it for any dirt built up or broken connection.