Archive for Generator FAQs

Hello Generator Joe,

I might just have to tough out the next power outage. We went through a ice storm here in Maine this past winter and it didn’t turn out do good. We thought we were prepared after purchasing a 3500 Watt Generator from our local Home Depot last summer. When the power went out, I plugged my refrigerator, furnace and a few lights into the generator with the extension cords recommended by manufacturers. The next morning my wife pointed out that only the light in the refrigerator came on. In addition, there was a strange odor coming from the motor. After the storm cleared, Sears came out and checked out our refrigerator and the compressor was blown. Was this a cheap generator? Did I do something wrong? Should I not have used the refrigerator with the furnace?

Without you mentioning the Brand of Generator, I have no way of determining if it is a cheap generator. However, if you bought it from Home Depot, I highly doubt it, they have a reputation to protect. But in terms of the information you did provide, it appears as though you didn’t perform any generator sizing prior to purchasing your portable generator. Secondly, and right out of the gate, it looks like you went beyond the wattage of your generator. See my article: 7 Things That Will Cause Your Emergency Power Generator To Fail When You Need It Most and 3 Ways to Purchase The Wrong Emergency Power Generator. I’m saddened to hear about your experience, but to be quite Frank, it could have been avoided. How do you recover from this expensive mishap? First check out your generator to make sure that it’s fully operational. If it is, put it up for sale on a website such as Craigslist or Ebay and use the proceeds to get the proper emergency power generator for your needs. I wish you much success.

Joe Elliot, better known as Generator Joe

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