How to choose a portable generator

A portable generator is a smart investment. It enables you to take control of your energy needs, especially in the event of a power cut, so let’s look at how to choose the portable generator that is right for you.

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What size generator will you need?

This is the crucial question to ask when choosing a portable generator. To establish the running – or rated – watts, you will need to think about the equipment you want to run continuously. You will also need to take into account any items that are motor-driven and need a quick burst of energy to get them started. This will help you to work out the starting watts your generator will need to generate.

You can work out the wattage you require by running through the following checklist:

– Make a list of the items you need to power at the same time.
– Check the manuals to work out the starting watts and running watts of each piece of equipment and make a note of them.
– Add up all the running watts of the equipment you want to power to determine the running wattage you need.
– Pick out the item with the highest number of starting watts and add this number to your running wattage to determine how many starting watts your equipment will need.

You could also consider one-off generator rental from a company such as

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What is the run time?

Once you have worked out the size of generator you need, you will want to establish the run time. You should look for a generator that can be left to run for at least 10 hours on half load; in this way, you won’t be continuously refuelling during the night.

How many power sockets?

You will also need to select a generator with the right kind of power sockets and enough of them to power your equipment. Check the socket requirements and ampage of the items you want to run using the generator. Look for a model with a cord set so that you don’t need to make an additional investment to run your equipment or use multiple extension cables.

How portable is it?

Make sure there is a sturdy handle or even integrated wheels, as generators can be heavy.

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