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How Does a Portable Generator Work?

Portable generators are used normally during power outages to keep certain items in a home or commercial property running continually until power is restored. In the home, these items might include refrigerators, lights and stoves. There are many sizes of generators, some small and some enormous. Portable generators are usually more for the home or small business. They just have to be wired into the house and then whatever a person chooses to plug in will work if it has the correct wattage.

Portable generators are used normally during power outages to keep certain items in a home or commercial property running continually until power is restored. In the home, these items might include refrigerators, lights and stoves. There are many sizes of generators, some small and some enormous. Portable generators are usually more for the home or small business. They just have to be wired into the house and then whatever a person chooses to plug in will work if it has the correct wattage.

How much power a generator can supply depends on wattage--the larger the wattage, the more equipment it can keep running. You must also remember that it takes more watts to power something up than it does to keep it running, so you either have to stagger the start time of your appliances, get a bigger generators or run certain things at certain times and turn them off to run others.

The smaller the generator, the easier it is to move around. However, many larger models come with wheel kits that make them just as mobile. Some models must be manually started, and others come with an easy to use electric starter. They come in sizes ranging from as small as 900 watts that could be used for camping, all the way up into the 17,000 and above range that could run quite a bit of your household. Portable generators run on anything from diesel, propane or gasoline.

Exhaust from a generator can produce poisonous carbon monoxide gases that can kill if concentrated in high enough levels. If using a generator, make sure to place in a well-ventilated area. Other concerns involve the heat generated from the equipment and possible electrocution. Avoid using a generator in damp areas, and if you must used it in rain, make a shelter to keep as much water away from it as possible.

About the Author

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.