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Choosing a generator | DoItYourself.com

You have decided to get a generator for your farm and are wondering exactly which unit to buy. Here are some guidelines to help you make that decision.

Power requirements

Make a list of exactly what you want to drive and get the name of the voltage reading and amplifier required for that load. Multiply amplifiers times volts to get watts for the load. Add all your load watts together and add 25% more to start each load. The result is the smallest possible generator size you need to drive the loads. If you have heavy starting loads such as air conditioners, you should add 50% if you do not buy a large generator to run many loads.

Use Around Homestead

If your generator needs are to use around the home to power your tools where an extension cord is impractical, there are many options. The inverter models are a good choice for this use and they generate “clean power”

; which is friendly for your computer and computer types. These generate direct current (DC) which is then converted by an inverter to pure pure alternating current (AC) for your sensitive appliances.

Conventional generators produce “dirty power” that can cause problems with sensitive electronic components. The inverter generators usually run quieter than the conventional generators. This can be a factor in your choice. Do not forget to think of someone at home who has electricity-dependent needs, such as an oxygen concentrator, CPAP or BIPAP machines, or electrically powered beds or hospital lift chairs.

Whole house

If you are planning a whole house generator, it is good to study your needs and get a large KW unit (kilowatt) that has no problem generating enough power to power your house. Some people choose a partial house generator to power necessary appliances such as. lighting, sump pumps, refrigerators, freezers and heating. This requires a sorting of the desired loads at the switch box when you do your installation and requires an additional switch to perform.

trailer generator

Individual appliances

If you only need to keep individual appliances in operation, it is possible to connect a refrigerator for a while and then switch to the next need, such as a well pump. By switching between needs, you do not need so much generator, but must constantly “take care of” necessary loads.

Manual start vs automatic start

Generators are available with automatic start which starts the generator a few seconds after the mains power has been interrupted. These require an automatic transfer switch and will increase the initial cost of generator installation. Manual start requires your presence and hands for start and can be quite problematic in bad weather. Many whole house units are equipped with control units that start and operate the generator for a preset time every week or monthly. This ensures that the unit works properly and is ready for the need for power supply.

Transfer switches

Each permanent house installation requires a transfer switch to disconnect the power supply connection to the mains. This prevents the power lines from becoming electric from a reverse supply from your generator. Transfer switches are available as manual and automatic. Manual requires you to physically change the switching position from mains to generator and back to mains, while automatic transfer switches change a few seconds after the mains power is interrupted and will switch back to mains after the power has been reset for several minutes.


Generators can be powered by several different fuels. The most common fuel is petrol, but diesel is a good choice for larger generators. Natural gas and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) are excellent fuels to use because they do not need as much maintenance as gasoline or diesel. Gasoline needs a fuel stabilizer and diesel needs an algeride during storage to keep them in good condition to power your generator.

diesel generator

Diesel-powered generators are noisier than gas-powered ones. LPG and natural gas-powered generators will run at warmer temperatures than diesel.

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Do your homework and read through what is available to suit your needs, then make your choice and shop for the best price for the installation. Some installations require a certified electrician to complete, so include this in your initial cost analysis.

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