Generators are definitely fantastic and useful machines that have gained popularity since they’ve been built. These are used to produce electrical energy by conversion of mechanical energy through the principle of electromagnetic induction.
Generators come in different sizes and fuel capacity, but they’re typically divided into three main categories. First, a standard standby generator set that can directly get attached to your house’s power system. Then you have a smaller version in the form of an inverter generator which can be connected to your housing power units. And the last category features portable generators or mini generators.
Portable generators are usually small in size, require less fuel, and are easy to carry and set-up. These are mostly used for camping trips or with an RV. These are excellent machines that produce power in areas where there are no hookups available. Typically, the average lifespan of a portable generator is around 1,000 to 10,000 hours of use. If you’re planning to buy a portable generator for your camping sprees, you can check out the best generators on this post.
Irrespective of being a tremendously useful machine, portable generators also have their limitations and they can’t last for forever. If you own a portable generator and you’re facing issues with it, then this is the best article for you. If you’re wondering while it’s time for you to replace your portable generator, we’ve got you covered. Below mentioned are some of the signs and indications to understand if you should replace your portable generator.
1. Your Generator Might Be Too Old
As mentioned earlier, based on your generator’s build, design, model, and size, your manufacturer would specify the lifespan of your generator. These typically last for 1,000 to 10,000 of running time. If you don’t know the average age of your generator, you can easily get that information through the user manual. Otherwise, you can also check it online through any search engine by typing the model number or the serial number of your generator.
These calculations are based on proper usage and maintenance, if you don’t regularly attend to your generator, it might get damaged sooner than its actual age. If you find out that your generator has exceeded its time period and it now requires frequent repairs, it’s probably time to replace it with a new unit.
2. You’re Shifting To A New House Or Have A Growing Family
You probably bought a portable generator for running a few appliances like a freezer, AC unit, a light bulb, etc. And that too in cases of emergency. This would work only if you’re a bachelor or you live with your spouse only. Once you start to grow your family and have one, two, or even three kids, you’d require more power consumption. And a small portable generator won’t be able to hold up to that load.
In another situation, if you’re moving to a new house, your old generator might not work efficiently with its service line or power system. Take for example, if you just had a single AC unit while you were in your old house and the new one has a Central Air Conditioning System, your old generator wouldn’t be able to make up for the power required to run that central AC unit. So, in both cases, you’d have to look for a replacement or a backup for your older generator.
3. You Encounter Higher Fuel Costs
Whether your generator runs on gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, natural gas or any other fuel source, you might need to look for a new generator if your fuel costs are rapidly increasing. If you find yourself constantly refueling your generator’s fuel tank, it’s a sign that it might have worn down.
Though some wear and tear of belts and gears are common, consistent repairing might be more costly than buying a more fuel-efficient generator. You should also check for any leaks or cracks in the fuel tank and call a professional to repair anything unusual.
4. Your Generator Cause Trouble While Starting
When your generator has passed its time, you’d start to notice it’s getting worn out. You should look for any jittering or hiccups when you start the machine. If you find that your generator is taking way longer than it should, it’s probably best to get it looked after.
Usually, it can be caused by simple issues related to the igniter, low fuel or other starter components. If that’s the case then you should service your generator regularly, according to the specific guidelines mentioned in the user manual. And if you encounter regular issues with starting the machine, without any other issue, it’s a better idea to just look for another one.
5. Your Generator Emits Unusual Carbon Monoxide
You might be aware of the fact that generators emit harmful gases like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, that’s why they should be placed outside your house and in open spaces. It also explains the fact why you shouldn’t spend much time around a running generator and to never put them inside your house, garage, or under a shed.
It’s always a good idea to take note of the gases released by your generator. If you notice that your generator is emitting more than usual carbon monoxide, it’s a sign of potential danger. This might be the right time to get a replacement if you don’t want to endanger yourself and your family and other wildlife in surrounding areas.
6. Your Generator Requires Frequent Repairs
As previously stated, just like any other machine, your generator would require regular maintenance and repair for some components. But if you have to get it repaired every time you’re trying to use it, that’s not a good sign. It means that your generator is wearing off. And you wouldn’t want that to happen in cases of emergency. After all, the whole point of getting a generator is to use it on the go and for instant emergencies like power outages.
If you find yourself struggling with your generator and repairing it frequently, this might be time to seek a new unit. Additionally, a new unit might be more cost-effective than your older one, especially if it has passed the warranty period.
7. Your Generator’s Performance Is Inconsistent
Your generator is built to provide smooth, even, and systematic power to every device or appliance that’s connected to it. And a good generator would be able to do just that. Yet, if you observe an inconsistent power supply from your generator, have a look at it or get it fixed by a professional.
These inconsistencies are observable through irregular power supply, unexpected cutting of power, flickering lights, and other appliances. This is especially visible with higher powered appliances like freezers, air conditioners, and so on. If you notice that the power is cutting in and out intermittently or any other such issue, this is a signal of damage. Irregular power supply to your devices can also damage them in the long run. So, the best possible solution to avoid these damages is to get a new generator.
Whatever might be your reason for buying or using a portable generator, either for home, work, or camping trip purchases, it’s crucial to have a unit that provides a consistent power supply and doesn’t damage your devices. You wouldn’t want it to break down in the hour of need. So, to avoid any such critical situations you should look for a replacement whenever you notice any of the aforementioned signs.
Res Marty is a specialist in camping and hiking-related consultancy and advises. He also has knowledge of the best gadgets and equipment available in the market for personal and professional usage.