About Portable Generators
Common Questions to help you decide what’s right for you
Q: What’s wrong with low-cost utility generators sold by box stores? A: They produce extreme noise, and we mean Extremely Loud! (72dBA vs <52dBA). Their outputs are not regulated so they can turn a bad situation into a terrible situation (burning out furnace electronics).  They tend to run through a tank of gas in less than 4 hours.  Most are open frame so weather is a big concern, Gasoline gums up carburetors after even short storage intervals, so when you need it to start, you find yourself taking the carburetor apart during a power outage. Q: Can’t I just add a better muffler to a box store generator? A: Not really if you want it to produce anywhere near the power you think you paid for (back pressure). Just as important is the enclosure for quiet operation.  Modern inverter output units have insulated vented enclosures that dampen vibration and tuned exhaust systems.  The difference is similar to cars built in the 70s vs today’s much more quiet & efficient models. Q: Why do I need an Inverter output and do all generators have this? A: The Uninterruptible Power Supply industry (notably American Power Conversion) spent decades perfecting power conditioning for sensitive electronics. One outcome of this, is inverter based generators like the Hond EU series we use, produce an essentially perfect output.  You need this for your electronics. Q: Can I use my gas grill propane tank as a backup A: Yes, if it is up to date, and meets all current codes.  You can ask your propane dealer to verify your tank is current at your next refill. Q: Does Propane work at cold temperatures A: Yes, Like Barbecue Grills, our generators run from the propane vapor tank from the top of the propane tank.  In the summer, the air around the tank warms the tank enough to keep the vapor pressure where you need it, but at -20 deg F, you need to warm it a bit.  Just place the tank a the rear of the generator and let the exhaust warm the tank (USE CAUTION - keep about 1 foot away)  This is the same reason you might have noticed your barbecue grill takes longer to cook food when its really cold out.
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Q: How can a neighbor power up our home if we’re away? A: We install an automatic transfer switch near your electrical load center, usually in your basement, and route your critical loads like heat and sump pump through this ahead of time.  When the power fails and they plug in your generator for you into the outside inlet that we also installed, the transfer switch automatically switches your critical loads to the generator (after a brief delay for starting up).  When the generator is turned off, unplugged and taken away, the transfer switch automatically switches everything back.  The house never needs to be entered or alarm turned off if your not home.
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