5 Reasons to Buy a Portable Electric Generator

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5 Reasons to Buy a Portable Electric Generator

Anyone who has wished they had electricity when no power was available can appreciate the value of having a portable electric generator available for use. Whether the generator is merely a backup power supply to use in the event of an emergency power outage or the generator is used occasionally for convenience or recreation, portable electrical power is available in a number of different models and styles of generators. Some buyers may even rely on a portable electric generator to provide electricity to power tools they use daily in their trade or profession. This guide discusses a number of ways a portable electric generator can be a beneficial or even essential device to have. The guide also provides a reference to the sizes of generators required to power specific devices. Generators can be purchased from home improvement stores, farm supply stores, some department stores, and discount retailers. Another place to consider purchasing a portable electric generator is on eBay.

Portable Electric Generator Uses

The reasons why a person might buy a portable electric generator are probably as diverse as the different types of generators on the market. Being prepared in the event of a power outage is a very valid concern; hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can create a loss of electrical service. In some cases, the outage may last for days or even weeks. While many reasons for buying a portable electric generator are linked to preparedness, another purpose is the ability to carry power to a location where none is available. Below are five good reasons to consider the purchase of a portable electric generator.

1. Backup Household Electrical Power

Many people buy a portable electric generator because they want to be prepared in the event of a power outage. For one, having a backup source of power will keep food in the refrigerator fresh during a lengthy power outage. Individuals with health concerns may also need an available electrical source in the event of a power failure. Oxygen-producing machines or other electrically powered medical equipment can be run short-term with a portable electric generator. A room air conditioner might be a critical unit in need of power for individuals with breathing problems and for elderly individuals during hot weather. With a large enough generator and proper wiring, a household air conditioner can be powered with a portable generator.

2. Power Backup for Small Businesses

Any business that would be significantly harmed by more than a few hours of no electricity is a candidate for buying an electric generator as an emergency backup.

Small businesses that provide client services can benefit from having a portable electric generator. A firm that provides Internet-based services to their sales force or gives clients access to online information and reports would be severely impacted by a power outage of even a few hours, especially if the company services clients outside of the area affected by the power loss. Small businesses, like family restaurants, butcher shops, rural markets, and other stores that rely on refrigeration could have inventories ruined by a mid- or long-term power outage and could thus benefit from having a portable generator on hand. For critical health care providers, a backup electricity source is vital, particularly to power life-saving machines for critical patients.

Tip: If using a portable electric generator to power a computer, it would be advisable to have a backup battery unit installed between the computer and the generator. Backup battery units or uninterruptible power supply units protect computers against voltage spikes and voltage drops which can occur with an electric generator.

3. Safety for Residents Living in Severe Climates

Individuals who reside in areas where severe climates exist might be well advised to own a portable electric generator. Living in an extreme cold climate and experiencing a power failure could be deadly; having a generator to power portable heaters or backup a furnace could be a lifesaver. Coastal areas in hurricane lanes, geographic regions frequented by tornadoes, and floodplains are all locales where residents could benefit from owning a portable electric generator.

4. Electricity for Recreational Activities

Camping does not have to be a primitive experience; a portable electric generator can bring some of the conveniences of home to a rustic campsite without a power hookup. Campers who like to get away from the confines of a campsite but still want to run a coffee maker first thing in the morning will appreciate a portable electric generator. A hunting cabin deep in the woods can still have small refrigerator and electric stove with a generator providing a supply of electricity.

Portable lights,, electronic bug zappers, electric fans, an air compressor, microwaves, and any number of other electronic convenience items can be powered by a portable electric generator. Whether moving a party to the back yard or to the local park, there are occasions when having available electricity will make the event more comfortable and enjoyable.

5. Electrical Supply for Work Site Contractors

Contractors who work on building sites without available electricity often need a portable power source to operate their tools. Painters who use spray gun systems powered by electricity, roofers with nail guns that run off compressed air provided by an electronic air compressor, and contractors who work indoors and need portable lights to illuminate work areas are a few of the types of trade workers who could benefit from having a portable electric generator.

Construction sites without power and work sites where power is limited or where power is not easily accessible are places where contractors commonly use portable generators. Some portable electric generators are capable of producing 240-volt power; work sites may have 12-volt connections, but if higher voltage is required to operate a powerful construction tool, having a generator with the extra capacity will be invaluable.

Generator Size and Power Output

An important consideration for portable electric generator buyers is how large a generator they need to purchase to power the devices they want to run. The following chart provides a summary of generator power output and the types of electronics that could be powered with a generator of that size.

Generator Size in Watts

Capable Electrical Devices

3,500 watts

Furnace, small air conditioner, fan, color television, small refrigerator, light bulbs, microwave, coffee maker, toaster

7,000 watts

Small to medium central air conditioner, washing machine, electric range, freezer, sump or well pump, air compressor, saws, grinders

10,000 watts

Large central air conditioner, clothes dryer, electric water heater

The above chart can be used as a quick reference for prospective generator buyers looking to determine which generator size they need to buy.

Not all devices can be run simultaneously, and some devices create an extra load when first started that pulls additional wattage from the generator. The following chart provides some examples of common household items and their individual wattage consumption.





Light bulb






Coffee maker






Small color TV


Vacuum cleaner






Garage door opener


Air compressor








Central air


By selecting which devices are to be run at the same time, a 7,000-watt generator can power most household devices on an alternating basis. A 3,500-watt generator can handle a small cabin and most recreational activities, and a 10,000-watt generator can provide alternative power for a house or small business in the event of an extended power outage.

Buying Portable Electric Generators on eBay

Sellers on eBay offer a large selection of portable electric generators with various power wattage outputs. Buyers can search for generators by typing a keyword like "generator" in any eBay search bar; you can narrow the search by using specific keywords like "Honda generator" to display only generators that carry the Honda brand name. You can bid on auction-style listings, or you can purchase from sellers with online eBay Stores.. If you are considering a purchase from a specific seller, you can view that seller's Feedback rating to see how previous buyers rated their satisfaction with the purchase transaction. You can also contact the seller by clicking on the "Ask a Question" link in the product listing if you have questions about product specifics. Shopping on eBay is convenient; simply select the generator you want from the comfort of your easy chair, and have it shipped right to your doorstep. Pay for the purchase using PayPal and be assured of a safe and secure transfer of money from you to the seller.


Portable electric generators can be nice convenience, an essential business tool, or a life-saving power backup system. Buyers have a number of different reasons for purchasing a portable electric generator; getting the right generator for your needs is important. This guide discusses several reasons why people buy portable electric generators, also providing a basic reference on portable generator wattage output. A listing of common household electrical devices shows how many watts each device requires to operate. Buyers can use the information provided in the guide to determine the ways in which a portable electric generator would benefit their lifestyle or business needs. The guide also discusses the convenience of shopping for portable generators on eBay; busy consumers can appreciate the ease of ordering online and having their purchase delivered to their doorstep. When a natural disaster strikes, portable electric generators are one of the first items to sell out in local retail stores; consumers who wish to be prepared in the event of such an occurrence can benefit from having a generator already sitting in their garage.

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