The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Owning A Petrol Generator

A petrol generator is the backbone of many industries but they have plenty of recreational uses as well. Whether you’re using your generator for work or for play, you probably have a few questions about its proper use and maintenance.

Buying and maintaining a generator can be confusing at first. Like any machine, there’s a learning curve when it comes to a generator’s proper use and care. Today we’re going to do a deep dive and answer some of the most common questions we’re asked about owning a generator. We hope it helps you!

What is a generator used for?
A generator is used in a myriad of contexts across multiple industries. In essence, its purpose is to provide power in areas you don’t have access to a (working) power grid. This makes generators indispensable in industries like construction and mining which both tend to operate in primitive environments. They’re also ideal accompaniments when camping off-grid or during emergency blackouts.

How you use your petrol generator will depend on your needs. It might be industrial, recreational, or as a power backup for your business. The right generator will help power all these contexts, ensuring you’re able to stay productive and comfortable no matter the circumstance.

Are there different types of generators?
There are three main types of generators available today: the portable generator, the inverter generator, and the standby generator.

The portable generator is petrol or diesel fuel-powered and is designed to provide temporary electrical power. These are commonly used for camping or on construction sites.

An inverter petrol generator makes use of an engine that’s connected to an alternator to generate AC power. Unlike other generators, it also uses an inverter to convert the AC power generated into DC power. These generators tend to be more lightweight than most others and can easily fit into a car, boat, or RV.

A standby generator operates via an automatic transfer switch that triggers its use during the event of a loss of power. It’s commonly used in safety contexts such as for elevators, fire protection systems, standby lighting, and life support equipment.

What’s the best generator for caravanning and camping?
When it comes to camping or caravanning with a generator, you’ll typically want to opt for an inverter generator like the ones in our MaxWatt range. These are more compact, less noisy, and generate clean power that won’t mess with your sensitive electronics. You’ll also want to take a few things into account.

First: how big do you need your generator to be? The answer to this question will depend on what you need to power. Most caravanning setups will get by on a 2000 – 2400W generator. This will allow you to power things like laptops, TVs, or even microwaves individually. If you’re adding air-conditioning to the equation then you’re best to opt for the higher end of the scale at 2400W – 2500W.

The second thing you need to be aware of is the noise level. Generators can run loud, disrupting not only you but also any neighbours you might have when camping or parking in campsites or caravan parks. Many caravan parks have specific restrictions on generator noise levels. When shopping for a generator, be sure to ask about the noise output at their full load.

How do I store my generator?
Storing your generator properly is essential for the longevity of the item. There are a few things you should do when preparing your generator for storage:

1. Empty the fuel tank or add fuel preserve

If you’re intending to store your generator for over three months you should make sure to empty the fuel tank or add fuel preserve to your full tank. Both methods ensure your fuel won’t go off while your generator isn’t in use, potentially damaging the innards of your engine.

If you opt for using fuel preserve, make sure you check the instructions to ensure the fuel will be preserved for long enough to cover your storage time.

2. Cover the generator

You’ll want to protect your generator from dust and the elements while it’s in storage. The easiest way to do this is by using a cover. Most models come with covers as standard so be sure to keep yours in a safe space.

3. Prevent corrosion

If you’re storing your generator for a significant amount of time, you’ll want to prevent corrosion in the cylinder bore. This can be done by:

  • Removing the spark plug and injecting a few drops of oil into the plughole
  • Gently pulling the recoil starter a couple of times
  • Putting the spark plug back in the plughole
  • Pulling the recoil starter once more until you’re able to feel resistance, then leaving it in that position

Should I use a diesel or petrol generator?
The choice between diesel and petrol when it comes to generators is a tricky one. Each has its pros and cons and tends to suit different uses.

Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient, tend to last longer, and lack an ignition system. This gives them a leg up over petrol engines when it comes to heavy industrial applications that need to prioritise a slower depreciation value of their resources.

A petrol generator, on the other hand, suits projects and applications where you’re already using petrol for other equipment. Typically this means small-scale or DIY circumstances.

Get expert advice
A generator is an incredibly handy machine to have available. Whether you’re using it for camping or in a worksite context, choosing the right petrol generator will keep you productive, comfortable, and safe.

Now you have the answer to a few of our most common generator-related questions.

Still, have queries about owning a petrol generator? Get in touch with us today and one of our generator experts will be able to answer any questions you might have.

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