People have enough anxiety about buying a brand-new item, let alone a second-hand one. This is especially true of electrical devices, appliances, and mechanical machinery, such as a portable generator. Most people need more than just basic information and the goodwill of the person selling the item. Most people like to go deep and discover all there is to know about a product before buying it.
Since these generators are costly to purchase brand-new, it makes sense to find a used one as long as you know what to look for.
A Little More about Portable Generators
Generators provide temporary electrical power. Storms and strong winds can knock down power lines, leaving you without electricity and, depending on the severity of the weather, this can last for hours, days, or weeks. In this case, it’s really useful to have a portable generator.
Generators come in a variety of shapes, sizes, brands, and prices, but they all have the same purpose of providing electricity when you are without or when you’re in an area that has no power, like during a camping trip.
Choosing the right generator for you depends on how you plan to use it. There are recreational ones that you can pack into your recreational vehicle when traveling. These portable ones can also be used as a backup or standby for when there’s a power outage in your house.
Generators are usually either gas-powered or use diesel. In a house, they can provide enough power to run small essential appliances. You can either plug appliances straight into the generator sockets or have it wired into the electrical sub-panel of your home. In that case, it would defeat the purpose of having it be portable, as you would not be able to move it around from room to room if needed.
How to Choose a Used Portable Generator
So, let’s get into it and go over what you need to pay attention to when the opportunity comes your way to buy a used portable generator.
How Many Hours it’s Been Used
Generators often come with an odometer which will tell you how many hours it’s been used for; like the odometer in cars that shows mileage. If the generator was used as a standby, it will likely not have too much wear on it that could render it weak. The problem, however, is you might not know the age of the generator or how it was used simply because that information isn’t always available in second-hand ones. So, you’ll have to take it a few steps further.
The Dealer’s Reputation
Anyone can sell a generator. If you go into the classified ads, you’ll probably find a few for sale. Buying this way is not always the best way to go about it since you have no idea who the seller is. You should opt for a dealer who is knowledgeable about the maintenance and repair of portable generators. A diesel-powered generator is a complex piece of equipment and a knowledgeable retailer can give you more info on diesel engines, transfer switches, and more. The dealer should have certified technicians on board to test the equipment on site. Most reputable dealers also have a load test available which checks the overall efficiency of the generator. In short, a seller should have a technician who can pick up on things that could escape you.
The Manufacturer’s Reputation
You are already saving money by purchasing a used generator, so you don’t want to cut corners by buying one from a manufacturer with a poor reputation. This is often just as important as the model of the generator. It’s always better to go with a manufacturer who has a good track record and experience in manufacturing this type of equipment.
It’s not difficult to find out what model the generator is. It’s important because you want to know if that model is still being manufactured. If it’s been discontinued or will be discontinued in the future, it could be a waste of your money. You don’t want to buy a generator that is difficult to find spare parts for. A model that is still being sold guarantees you that the manufacturers will help you when needed.
This last point often goes unnoticed. However, a manual can help you figure out what to do when things go wrong. At the very least it will give you some do’s and don’ts on how to have the generator last you a long time.
Buying a used item has its benefits as long as you are buying from a reputable dealer or someone you trust. Since machines like generators are complex, you want to be extra careful and not just base your purchase on the visual signs of wear and tear. You need a test-run to ensure the functionality of the generator. If you follow our advice, your portable generator will be a very wise investment.