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A Guide to Home Emergency Generators

a guide to home emergency generators

Power outages can strike at any time, leaving you in the dark and without essential appliances.

Whether it’s due to extreme weather, maintenance issues, or unforeseen events, being prepared with a home emergency generator is always a smart move.

But what exactly is a home emergency generator, and which type should I choose? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this guide. Read on to learn more about home emergency generators, including how they work and how to choose the right one for your needs.


What is a Home Emergency Generator?

A home emergency generator is an emergency backup power source that kicks in when your regular power supply fails.

It ensures that critical appliances like refrigerators, heating systems, and lights continue to function during blackouts, maintaining your comfort and safety.


What Are The Different Types of Home Emergency Generators?

There are two key types of home emergency generators – portable and standby. Portable generators are compact units that can be moved around. They are suitable for powering a few essential appliances. Portable generators run on gasoline or propane and need manual startup.

Standby generators are installed permanently outside your home and are connected to your electrical system. They automatically turn on when power goes out and can handle a wider range of appliances.


How Do Home Emergency Generators Work?

Generators work on the principle of converting fuel – gas, propane, or diesel – into electricity. Here’s a simplified breakdown of how they operate:

  1. Fuel Supply – The generator’s engine runs on fuel stored in a tank, like gasoline or propane.
  2. Engine Ignition – When the power goes out, the generator’s engine is automatically or manually started.
  3. Alternator – The engine drives an alternator, which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
  4. Voltage Regulation – The generator’s voltage regulator ensures a steady flow of electricity, preventing damage to your appliances.
  5. Power Distribution – The generator is connected to your home’s electrical system through a transfer switch. This switch isolates your home from the main power grid and connects it to the generator.
  6. Automatic Transfer – Home standby generators have an automatic transfer switch that senses power loss and switches to generator power within seconds.


Choosing the Right Home Emergency Generator

There are several factors you should consider when choosing the right home generator for emergencies.

First of all, consider your power needs. Calculate the total wattage of appliances you want to power during an outage. This will help you determine the generator size you need. If you’re opting for a portable generator, ensure it’s easy to move and store.

Another factor to consider is the fuel type. Consider availability and convenience – gasoline is common but has a shorter shelf life. Propane, however, is cleaner-burning and more readily available in tanks.

Additionally, consider the type of runtime you need. We recommend that you look for generators with longer runtimes to ensure prolonged power during extended outages.

Noise levels are another thing to consider when choosing the right generator for you. Generators can be noisy, so if you have neighbours close to your property, choose one with a noise level that won’t disturb them. Likewise, the last thing you want is a noisy generator that keeps you up at night, so consider this beforehand.

Be sure to consider the installation process – standby generators require professional installation due to their connection to your home’s electrical system. Likewise, consider maintenance. Regular maintenance is essential for reliable operation, but standby generators typically require less maintenance compared to portable ones.


Installing and Operating Your Generator

There are several things to consider when installing and operating your generator. First of all, generators emit carbon monoxide – a colourless and odourless gas that can be deadly. Always operate them in well-ventilated areas and never inside your home.

If you’re connecting appliances directly to the generator, be cautious to avoid overloading it or creating electrical hazards.

Consider how you’ll be storing the fuel. Store fuel in approved containers in a safe location, away from living areas and potential ignition sources.

Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines to prevent breakdowns and ensure safe operation. At Pleavin Power, our generator experts can be on hand for any generator maintenance needs. Call us today on 0800 689 4803 or email [email protected] to arrange a generator service.


Installing Portable Generators

  • Place it outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
  • Connect appliances directly to the generator using extension cords.
  • Never run a generator indoors or in an enclosed space due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Installing Standby Generators

  • Hire a licensed electrician to install the generator and transfer switch.
  • Regularly test your generator’s automatic startup to ensure it’s in working condition.
  • Keep an eye on the generator’s fuel level and maintain it as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Safety Considerations



A home emergency generator is a valuable investment that provides peace of mind during power outages. By understanding how they work, choosing the right type for your needs, and following safety guidelines, you can ensure a reliable source of backup power for your home.

At Pleavin Power, we have a wide range of generator systems for sale, with power ranges from 17kVA to 550kVA. Our range of Cummins generators is an excellent choice – if you’re not sure which option is best for your needs, our friendly support team can be on hand to help.

With various capacities and a commitment to durability and efficiency, the generators we have available provide the perfect solution for unexpected situations. Safeguard your home, family, and comfort with a home emergency generator today.

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