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Generators Give You Peace Of Mind

Be prepared for the next power outage. A portable generator will provide recreational, jobsite or limited home standby power, while an automatic standby generator will start automatically and provide power to selected circuits or your whole house, even if you're not there.

Planning Considerations

  • Do you need standby power for your home only, or a portable model for jobsite or recreational use?
  • Do you need to power hardwired items such as the furnace, well pump and A/C, or only appliances that can be plugged into an outlet?
  • Do you need your generator to start automatically when an outage occurs?
  • Will you be powering computers, home electronics or other sensitive equipment?
  • What price range are you looking to stay within? Is price a primary consideration?

Running watts required:

Light or recreational use: 1000 - 3000
Jobsite use: 3000 - 5000
Essential items in a typical home: 5000 - 7000

Download the Wattage Worksheet to view and calculate your wattage requirements

Choosing the Right Portable Generator

If you plan on transporting your generator regularly, you should consider weight, dimensions, wheel type and handle style to determine ease of mobility. If you need your generator to run for extended periods without refueling, such as overnight or through full work days, run time is an important consideration. Portable generators operate on gasoline, and some models offer a fuel or hour gauge to help you keep track of remaining run time. A manual transfer switch allows the option of changing the energy source from utility power to generator power, and can be purchased separately at The Home Depot.

Overtaxing a generator reduces fuel efficiency and in some cases can damage the generator and connected equipment. It's important to calculate the power output you need and to give yourself some wattage cushioning.

Choosing the Right Automatic Standby Generator

A back-up electrical system provides 24/7 blackout protection whether you're at home or away. It automatically supplies power within seconds of a utility outage. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and awaits the next outage. It operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas and is permanently installed outside just like a central air conditioning unit.

Decide whether you want to back up a few essential circuits or your whole house. The number of circuits you back up and the power requirements of the items on those circuits will determine which generator you need.

Download these circuit diagrams to determine the model required to power the rooms in your home.


Type Of Generator
Automatic Standby
Automatic Transfer Switch
Senses when your power goes out and turns your generator on for virtually uninterrupted power. When power is restored, the automatic transfer switch turns the generator off, thus preventing back feed into the power grid.
Automatic Voltage Regulation
If you are powering a computer, home theatre components or other sensitive electronics, you should consider a unit with automatic voltage regulation. This feature stops voltage fluctuations that may harm electronics.
Automatic Safety Shutdown
Automatically shuts down in event of low oil pressure, low oil level, low coolant level, high coolant temperature and other unsafe operating conditions.
Circuit Breakers
Help prevent damage to connected equipment by shutting down the flow of power if there is too much current passing through.
Liquid Cooling
Allows generators with high wattage outputs to run more quietly and more reliably for longer periods of time.
Wheel Kit
Easier maneuvering and transport to and from the jobsite.

Frequently Asked Questions

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