Backup Generator Buying Guide

When the power goes out unexpectedly, backup generator systems provide emergency electricity on demand.



A reliable generator can deliver real value:

  1. Safety - For those who rely on electric medical devices to monitor or stabilize a physical ailment, an unexpected power outage is more than an inconvenience. Fortunately, a reliable backup generator can ensure such a loss is only momentary.
  2. Comfort - Power loss that lasts an hour is no big deal. When you go beyond that is when the situation starts to get really unpleasant for a house full of kids, a dog, and a cat. A good generator means that your quality of life doesn't skip a beat.
  3. Utility - A modern job site virtually requires a means to power tools, lights, and other equipment. A heavy duty generator means work keeps getting done.
  4. Portability - Interested in taking your RV to a vacation spot that's really off the beaten path? A portable generator will let you stay and relax in style.


Backup Generator Types


For the average homeowner, a standby unit is the best backup generator choice available. These units come standard with an automatic transfer switch that allows totally hands-off operation. When the system detects an outage, it disconnects your home from the grid, and automatically turns the generator on. Power starts flowing without you doing anything. Plus, the generator protects itself from a surge whenever the outage ends unexpectedly.


When you routinely need electricity for short intervals at different job sites, a compact, easy to handle portable generator is the best solution. There are options aplenty, so you can customize to fit your unique needs. And affordable quality is not hard to find. Whatever your power requirements, there is almost certainly a portable unit that can do the job.


A power take-off (PTO) generator is a tool that allows a properly equipped truck or tractor engine to power an attached implement or separate machine. These devices are a convenient way to get portable electricity on a farm or construction site with access to heavy machinery. They're lightweight, durable, and relatively easy to use.


A recreational vehicle is a great way to experience the Great Outdoors. A good RV generator is a great way to make sure your RV experience is as comfortable as possible. A compact, portable system is quiet and microprocessor controlled to handle charging sensitive electronics. On your next road trip, don't leave home without one.


When you need a lot of power and the ability to move that power from place to place, a towable generator makes sense. A typical portable handheld generator is easy to handle, but might not pack enough juice to power everything necessary. A towable generator is big, powerful, and reasonably portable. They're the go-to solution for a lot of contractors.


Technologically speaking, inverter generators are very new, because they require high-tech magnets and advanced electronic circuitry to do what they do. And what they do is convert typical 3-phase AC current output into DC, then they "invert" that back into clean AC power with a single phase, pure sine wave at the appropriate voltage and frequency. If you want a small, lightweight electrical generator, an inverter generator is a solid choice.



Transfer Switches

For the average homeowner, an automatic transfer switch is one of the most important components on a backup generator. In the event of an outage, it is the ATS that disconnects the house from the grid and activates the generator.

Power Distribution

A portable generator is a great way to power your tools on a job site. However, if you want to use more than one tool at a time or distribute energy throughout an area, a power distribution board makes a lot of sense. It will feed electricity into subsidiary circuits, and provide a protective fuse or circuit breaker.

Generator Cover

A generator is a significant investment. Protect it from the elements with a durable generator cover. Make sure you remove the cover while operating the generator.

Fuel Extenders

A compact generator with a few hours operating time is fine for many applications, but not ideal during an emergency situation. A fuel extender is an auxiliary fuel supply connected to the generator in order to extend the operating life. Keep one on hand to ensure you can keep the generator running for as long as necessary when necessary.

Wheel Kits

A generator wheel kit makes a compact, portable generator much more so. Some assembly is required, but the effort is well worth it. A wheeled generator is much easier to move around the work site as the job demands.

Monitoring Systems

A remote monitoring system can provide real time information about the operating status of your generator, maintenance schedule, and historical information. Controlled from a smartphone, table, or computer, a monitoring system is a great way to keep tabs on your system without the necessity of physical proximity to the unit itself.


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