Thursday, October 24, 2013

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are Almost Here!

You likely know about Black Friday, but you might not yet be familiar with Cyber Monday. If you're not familiar with it, Cyber Monday is a day when internet retailers reduce prices and put their products on "super sales" for a limited time (usually 24 hours). It's a day when massive numbers of online shoppers can get Black Friday deals without having to spend the night standing in a snowy line full of angry, blood-thirsty strangers.

To celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we'll have deals on all of our power equipment sites from 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday through midnight on Cyber Monday.

The kicker is, we will not be here for Black Friday! Although other companies want to make their employees come in at 8 on Thanksgiving to work overtime and weekends to make as many sales as humanly possible, we like to send our employees home to be with their families. No worries though. We'll be back bright and early on Cyber Monday to help answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Also, our sites all have Buyer's Guides to help walk you through selecting the equipment that best suits your needs, so while you can't reach us by phone Friday-Sunday, we've done everything in our power to provide you with as much helpful information as possible. If you're looking for tips on how to use your power equipment, you can click on "How-to Library" at the bottom of the website to find articles about our power equipment.

In addition, all of our product pages have customer reviews and up-to-date ratings so you can feel confident in your purchases.

If you have questions or concerns about your order, please contact us on Cyber Monday, December 2nd, 2013.

Find Cyber Monday Deals at the Following Stores:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is Hurricane Season 2013 Coming to an End?

So it's now mid-October, and we've yet to see a hurricane reach the United States. We all know hurricanes aren't a winter thing; so if it's starting to get cold, does that mean we're in the clear?

Well, we are closer to an "all-clear," but the official end of the hurricane season is November 30th.

While we haven't been hit by a hurricane yet this year, we saw tropical storm Andrea do its damage, and we've also seen the heavy snowfall on South Dakota wreak havoc on their economy.
Hurricane or not, a major storm of any kind can down power lines and put things out of service.  If you live in a hurricane prone area, you may want a home standby generator. If that's more than you're looking for, you should at least have a semi-professional portable generator on hand. If you don't and you're without power for more than a day, you'll start seeing your groceries spoil. At least have a small portable generator for powering your refrigerator, some light, and perhaps your television for weather and news updates. 

If you live in an area that rarely gets severe storms, you may be fine with just having a smaller emergency portable generator for rare situations where you may be left without power for a few days. If you live in an area that is at much higher risk for power outages or hurricanes, you want at least a semi-professional generator capable of restoring power to your home for longer periods of time.

So while it's getting colder and we haven't seen a hurricane yet, don't assume we're all clear yet. Dry air and wind shear are fending off the hurricanes for now, neutralizing and shaving the tops off of the growing storms as they approach, but the season's only half over.

The 2013 hurricane season isn't over yet, and surface temperatures are very warm. So there's still potential for an active hurricane season. All it takes is a single cyclone reaching land to cause a major disaster. Those living on the Atlantic Coast should take advantage of this time to create a disaster plan and invest in a quality electric generator capable of powering necessities in a power outage.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's the Difference Between an Inverter Generator and a Conventional Generator?

Inverter generators differ from conventional generators in that they make DC power which is then inverted into AC all through a control board called a "microprocessor." By inverting the voltage from DC to AC, the signal will be very clean and will not harm flat screen TVs or computers which have very sensitive electronics.

An inverter generator will also run at variable speeds depending on the load. By running at variable speeds, it makes them more fuel efficient by idling down the load very low, saving fuel and making them quieter. Another nice feature of inverter generators is that they tend to be lighter and smaller than conventional generators due to having a smaller engine and alternator.  The Honda EU2000i is a great example of an inverter generator and one of the best sellers on the market.

On the flip-side, Conventional generators typically have an engine that is connected to an alternator, which has heavy copper wires and runs at 3600 RPM to produce AC power. In other words, the generator must run at full speed regardless of the load put on it. When a load is put onto this type of generator, the throttle opens and allows more fuel and air to enter the engine to keep up with the load thus making it not very fuel efficient and louder comapred to an inverter generator.

Furthermore, the electricity produced from a conventional generator is not as clean as utility power and is not recommended for powering sensitive electronics such as you TV or computer. Conventional generators are a great option for emergency backup power to a home such as appliances, lights, pumps, and fans.

So when picking yourself a generator, determine what you'll be using it for and choose the kind that's best for you. Having too much or two little power can create more problems rather than solutions. For more assistance in choosing the generator that's right for you, visit our Generator Buyer's Guide.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Portable Generator Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your portable generator is crucial if you want it to start every time you need it. Below are some tips to help you maintain your portable generator.

Change the Oil
The most important thing for you to do is change the oil on a frequent basis! Most new generators need their first oil change after just 20 hours of use. Beyond that, you'll have to change it every fifty to sixty hours depending on the generators maintenance schedule. Keep in mind that for extended run times (e.g. 36 hours) you will want to check (and possibly change) the oil when you top off the fuel.

Generators work extremely hard and it shows in the engine oil. That's why it's important to conduct more frequent oil changes than you do with a car. Keep some extra oil around so you’re not scrambling around during a storm trying to find some at a local auto parts store. If the generator you have has an oil filter make sure you replace it with a new one when changing the oil also.

Change the Spark Plug
Another thing to check and possibly change on a regular basis is the spark plug. If you notice the generator starting to take longer than usual to start, the spark plug could be the culprit. Over time, the spark plug will build up carbon around the electrode, affecting the “spark” which is needed to start and run the engine. This is a very inexpensive item, and it's good to have on hand.

Clean or Change the Air Filter
When the generator is running, it is sucking in air which goes through an air filter. When the filter gets clogged, the engine will be hard to start and will run very rough. Depending on the generator you have, you might be able to clean it. Not all filters can be cleaned though, so be sure to check your owner’s manual to see which kind of filter you have and keep it clean!

Use Fuel Stabilizer
Bad fuel is the #1 cause of generators not starting. Many manufacturers advise adding fuel stabilizer to the gas to help minimize fuel breakdown, varnish and gum buildup. But it's no guarantee against problems.
If you’re going to be storing your generator for a long period of time add some stabilizer and run the generator out of gas. If you decide to store the generator with fuel in the tank make sure the fuel tank is topped off so it does not have a chance to collect moisture inside and also add fuel stabilizer.

Give it a Workout!
Last but not least Exercise Your Generator. It is recommended you start your generator every 1-3 weeks according to most manufacturers and let it run for about 20 minutes with a load on it. If your generator has electric start this would be a good time to charge the battery also.

When in doubt, always check your owner’s manual, which is the bible of generator maintenance. Click here for manufacturers' phone numbers should you need to order a manual.