Generator Fun Facts

Portable Generator
  • If you actually want to plug something in to your generator which lives more than 20 feet away, prepare to spend as much on heavy gauge power cords as you would for yearly passes to the water slide park for a family of four. 

  • They are every bit as heavy as you feared. Luckily, they have wheels. This is when you'll discover that the place you want to put your generator does not have pavement. 

  • You apparently need about a million watts of generator capacity if you plan on actually using a major appliance-like, say, your electric razor. That's because-at least according to the "sizing charts" that accompany generators-even the most innocuous appliances are given to wild streaks when-like the Hulk when you make him angry-they surge to 20 times their original power. That fridge you've been monitoring at 22 watts all year? According to lore, it can surge up to 1750 watts when something (the defroster) sets it off. Consider yourself warned. 

  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets and computers don't mix. This is the big one, and really the whole excuse for writing this post. You see, GFCI outlet is standard on most portable generators, and is used to make sure you don't kill yourself by taking the penny with you as you take a quick dip in the pool. The idea is, if it ever sees even a tiny disparity in the generated power vs. what it senses on the natural wire, it'll throw the breaker so that your loved ones will be safe as they fish your body out of the shallow end. 


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