Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Choosing a Generator

Visit Electric Generators Direct to find the perfect generator for your power needs.  We carry a huge selection of home standby, portable, tractor PTO, commercial and RV generators from top brands such as Generac, Honda, Briggs & Stratton, Cummins Onan, Yamaha, Champion and more.

Not Sure which generator is right for you?  Read our generator buyer's guide written by our resident generator expert to help you find the right type and wattage generator for your needs.  Follow the links as you walk behind the different styles of generators and you'll be led to a page listing appropriate generator to fit your application.

Whether it's for home or business backup electricity, providing power while on a job site away from a dedicated power source, or powering up your blender while tailgating at the game, we have the generator to fulfill your power needs.

Our generator expert also provides generator recommendations for each style of generator with a personal review explaining why each model is at the top of its category.  You can also call or email our highly trained sales staff to help you choose and purchase the perfect generator.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Finding Generator Reviews

There are a lot of options when it comes to purchasing a generator.  They come in all shapes and sizes, and you first need to decide which style you want.  This is determined by the generator's application.  For RVs, camping, and tailgating, you'll want a recreational generator.  For home backup, you need an emergency generator, either portable or standby.  Contractors will need professional generators with GFCI protection.  You'll then need to size your generator according to your power needs (always remember to give yourself a little extra wattage so you're not maxing out the generator).

Once you've chosen the style and size, the next step is choosing which brand and model is right for you.  There are a lot of resources you can use, but what gives you the best idea of what you'll end up with?  Reviews from those who own and use the item.  Input from these folks can give you a great idea of what you can expect from a particular model.  You'll know how the generator has performed in real-life situations, and give you insight into the ease of use, reliability, and general customer satisfaction in the product.

Generator Reviews & Ratings @ Electric Generators Direct

So before you make that purchase, make sure you check out the reviews & ratings from actual generator owners.  You'll even see how helpful other shoppers have found the individual reviews, as well as expert & manufacturer responses.  Check out these links to get started:

Honda EU2000i - 1600 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Portable Generator Reviews @ Electric Generators Direct

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nor'easters: Plan Ahead

If you're caught up in the current Nor'easter moving through New England right now, you might be trying to decide between a snow blower to clear all that snow, or a generator to return some power to your home.  The problem is, during an event like this local hardware & big box stores tend to sell out pretty quickly. 

Unless you really got ahead of the crowd, chances are you're ending up empty handed.  You may end up getting a generator before power is restored, but you probably won't be able to wait on a snow blower when you have to clear your driveway now to get to work tomorrow.  This is the perfect time to plan for the next big storm.

While power outages that occur during the summer can be bearable, a winter power outage leaves you and your family in the cold.  Since there is snow falling, wind howling, and mercury dropping, you may not want to be dealing with a portable generator and running power cords around your house. 

This is a great case for a standby generator. When the power goes out, it is restored within minutes or seconds, and you can stay warm & toasty inside with your family.  A standby generator will require a bit more planning than simply hooking a few lights up to a Honda EU2000i, but will save you quite a bit of hassle when the storm does come.  And since electricity and water do not mix, a standby generator will allow you to restore power immediately, instead of waiting for the storm to pass to get the portable generator set up and running.

Before the next big storm hits, get the equipment you need before you need it, or you may be left in the cold when the hardware stores sell out.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Generac Portable Generators

Portable Generators come in all shapes and sizes, but which one's right for you?  The first question you need to ask yourself is what you are using it for.  There are several styles that are intended for particular uses, so you may end up overpaying for under-powering.  The three basic styles are emergency, recreational and professional use. 

Generac portable generators are some of the most popular generators on the market & the most common application is going to be providing backup power to your home during a blackout.  Generac labels these emergency generators under the "GP" series, and are designed for occasional use only.  They are affordable and can pack a punch.  The GP5500 starts at under $700 and features 5500 running watts capable of powering several survival appliances such as your refrigerator, light, sump pump and furnace fan.  You can step up to the Generac GP7500E for a little extra power to power multiple rooms.

Recreational generators are great for tailgating and camping, and are designed to provide clean, quiet power.  They typically have limited power capabilities, usually found in the 800-3000 watt range.  The Generac iX800 features an inverter alternator keeping the noise and weight to a minimum, weighing in at under 28 lbs.  It also has an eco mode that will reduce fuel consumption and noise even further.

Generac professional generators are truly professional grade, engineered specifically with contractors in mind.  The Generac XP series generators, like the Generac XP8000E, are designed to withstand the tough demands of extended job site use, and feature pressurized lubrication systems, less than 5% THD, full panel GFCI protection, and a tough steel tube cradle.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Portable Camping & RV Generators

Who needs hotels?  We have the great outdoors.  But who says we can't have a few of the creature comforts of home while we're taking in Mother Nature?  Whether pitching a tent or pulling up in a stylish RV, a generator will let you bring a little bit of civilization with you into the wilderness. 

Portable generators are a great source of electricity when off the grid, but if you or your new neighbors value the beauty of nature, you might want to keep that noise to a minimum.

Camping generators are typically much quieter than conventional generators because they feature inverter alternators that generate a very clean AC power supply.  Because of this, they are also much smaller and lighter than their conventional counterparts.  Another important aspect of camping generators is that their engines can run at different speeds depending on the load, which further reduces the noise as well as fuel consumption.  The clean power produced by an inverter is particularly important when it comes to powering sensitive electronics such as laptops.

This step up in technology does come at a price.  A camping generator can run 2-3 times the price of a conventional generator with comparable wattage. However, when you consider all the advantages an inverter camping generator has in a camp setting, you'll understand the price difference.  

A conventional generator like the Generac GP1800 is rated at 1800 watts, weighs over 85 lbs, carries 3.5 gallons of gas (additional weight), runs for 10.5 hours at 50% load, and has an engine about the size of a quality lawn mower (and about as loud).  Conversely, a camping generator like the Honda EU2000 is rated at 1600 watts, weights about 45 lbs, carries about a gallon of gasoline that can achieve up to 9.6 hours of run time at 25% load (this is where is self-adjusting engine speed comes in) all powered by an engine about half the size and is about as loud as a typical conversation. 

All in all, less weight, less noise, less fuel, cleaner power and a good time camping.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Honda EU2000i vs. Yamaha EF2000iS

There is fierce debate amongst tailgaters, campers, boaters and other recreational enthusiasts over who is king of the 2000 watt inverter generator, the Honda EU2000i or Yamaha EF2000is.  While either will get you one of the best rated portable generators on the market, there are some subtle differences that may sway your decision.
Honda 2000 Watt Inverter Generator
Honda EU2000i

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the features found on the Honda EU2000i and the Yamaha EF2000is inverter generators.  They both have the capability to run up to 1600 watts continuously, but are rated up to 2000 surge watts to start certain appliances.  Both have low oil alerts, 3 year warranties, and idle controls to reduce fuel consumption based on the load being powered.  They both produce very clean power that can safely run sensitive electronics, and both are capable of parallel operation to increase available wattage.

Some of the specs between the models will differ slightly.  The Yamaha model claims a slightly lower decibel rating ranges (51.5-61) versus the Honda unit (53-59).  In addition to noise dampening systems, the engine on the Yamaha is slightly smaller than the Honda, which probably lends to the quieter running noise.  Differences in engine age & running environment will impact this rating over time, but the difference is nearly negligible, both run at about the sound of a normal conversation.  Either way, this is a much reduced sound level over a conventional generator, which average somewhere around 90 decibels, about equivalent to the noise produced by a lawn mower.

Yamaha 2000 Watt Inverter Generator
Yamaha EF2000iS
So, how are they different?  Feature-wise, the Yamaha EF2000is includes a fuel gauge and battery charging cables that the Honda does not.  While the fuel gauge may seem like a small deal, it comes in very handy when you’re trying to avoid overfilling the gas tank.  Yamaha also has an “extended” engine life rating at 500 hours vs Honda's 250 hour rating.  This means that you won't see internal engine components wear as soon.  Yamaha also has a slightly large fuel tank and gets nearly an hour longer run time on a 1/4 load.  See the graphic below for a full comparison of generator specifications.

While they have their differences, they really have a lot in common.  Customer ratings put them neck & neck, the Honda EU2000i receiving the slight edge with an “A+” rating over the Yamaha EF2000iS “A” rating.  Electric Generators Direct recommends both units for inverter generators in the 2000 watt range, but gave Honda the “better” designation through customer feedback and expert ratings.

Honda 2000 generator vs Yamaha 2000 generator
Honda EU2000i vs Yamaha EF200iS

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Winter Storm Preparation

Winter is around the corner, and while the hurricane season is passing by without too many storms, there is still plenty to prepare for.

Early snow falls typically result in very wet & heavy snow, which can be a tremendous burden on whatever it lands on.  Heavy snow means falling limbs and trees, knocked over power lines, and roof & property damage; this doesn’t even include the fun part of clearing all that snow.

Winter storm backout
Winter Storm Damage
One thing that differentiates early winter storms from storms in January or February is how heavy the snow is.  When the temperatures are warmer, snow will melt a little, adding moisture and weight to the flakes.  Colder temperatures produce dryer snow, making it lighter and easier to move.  This was very apparent during the large winter storm that hit the Northeast around Halloween of 2011, which knocked out power to millions.  Not only was there a run on snow blowers, but people had to find backup power during the long & cold cleanup process.

There are a few things you can to to protect your home from early winter storms.  Inspect trees on your property for any potential hazards, such as drooping, dead, or dying trees and limbs.  Use a chainsaw or pole saw to remove any limbs that may pose a threat to your home, garage, shed, etc.  If there are overhead power lines running near or through your property, contact your local utility provider and let them know about anything that could potentially impact the power lines in the event of a storm.  Do not attempt to cut anything near or touching a power line, leave that up to the professional utility crews.

In the short term, many in the midst of a blackout will turn to portable generators.  Since water and electricity don’t mix, using a portable generator in the middle of a storm is an extremely bad idea.  Wait for the storm to pass, then fire that generator up (don’t run it in your garage!)  Conversely, with some planning, you can get an automatic standby generator for your home.  Standby generators are fully enclosed and can be operated in nearly any weather condition.  They will start up automatically within a few seconds of sensing a power outage and run until the utility power is restored.