A portable generator is a valuable means of generating electricity, especially when you expect the weather to be unfriendly. People naturally want the best portable generators on the market to ensure efficiency, reliability, and lots and lots of power!
Whenever you are preparing for the harsh winter months, you must have an additional power source for your home. The winter storms might cut the power lines, thus causing you to lack access to electricity.
However, having a portable generator means that you will have a reliable source of power that is easy to carry around, and you can take it with you anywhere you go.
The portable generator is also easy to set up, and its usage is much simpler than other larger installations such as those used in hospitals and shopping malls!
The best portable generators should provide you with reliable services for long periods, which is usually when you are cut off from the grid.
Although they’re safe appliances, in some instances, you’ll have to ground them before use. Experts reveal a well-grounded generator adds an additional safety layer to your outdoor activity. Read through to understand how to ground a portable generator.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Does a Portable Generator Need to be Grounded?
- How Do I Know If My Generator is Bonded Neutral?
- What Can I Use to Ground my Generator?
- How Do You Ground a Generator when Camping?
- 5 Best Portable Generators
- Generator Q&A
Does a Portable Generator Need to be Grounded?
Depending on the type and application of the portable generator, you may need to ground it. For instance, you don’t need to ground the generator when it’s just using extension cords, i.e., when having a neutral bonded appliance.
Nevertheless, you may have to ground or connect the appliance to the ground when you have to connect it to an electrical panel or manual transfer. Experts state that you must check and adhere to the local and federal regulations on grounding.
How Do I Know If My Generator is Bonded Neutral?
Checking if your generator is bonded neutral is key before deciding whether to ground or not. So, how can you determine if the generator is bonded neutral? Start by checking the manufacturer’s labels or documentation to check the type of neutral the appliance has.
Besides the labels or documentation, you can consider a multimeter to help you read the unit’s output connections. Your generator will be neutral bonded if the reading has a consistent voltage between the ground and neutral connection.
What Can I Use to Ground my Generator?
While grounding your generator, you’ll need various tools or items to accomplish the task. You may need the following things to ground your generator:
- Copper grounding rod at least 8 feet
- Heavy sledgehammer to drive the grounding rod
- Wire strippers to remove the copper wire insulation
- Grounding wire to connect to the generator
- Wrench to tighten the generator nuts
- Pliers to twist the ends of your grounding wire
How Do You Ground a Generator when Camping?
While camping, grounding your portable generator is key to enhancing safety and effectiveness. Below is a step by step guide on how to ground a portable generator when camping:
- Step 1 – Grounding rod installation. Drive the rod into the earth at least 4 feet deep. The deeper the rod, the better. Ensure you use protective fittings or clamps to cover any stake components remaining on the ground after grounding.
- Step 2 – Copper wire connection. Connect your grounding wire ends to the grounded rod. Use the wire strippers to remove approximately six to twelve inches of the copper insulation. You can make a good connection by winding the bare wire around your grounding rod with the plyers.
- Step 3 – Grounding the generator. Use your wrench to loosen the generators grounding bolt. Twist the free end of the copper wire around the bolt with plyers and tighten the grounding bolt with the wrench.
In the following sections, we take a look at some of the best-rated portable generators, their benefits, and reasons you should get one to help you in rough weather conditions.
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5 Best Portable Generators
1. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment Portable Generator
This is the ideal choice of outdoor power equipment with a wattage of 9500 watts on gasoline and 8500 watts on propane. Thanks to a key fob that accompanies the generator, it is also easy and efficient to use with a remote start.
With a full tank, the generator can run for up to 12 hours. All the outlets have rubber covers to ensure the safety of the generator. Another safety feature is the automatic low oil shutdown and a real-time display with the generator’s voltage output, frequency, and lifetime.
Whenever you are looking for a portable generator capable of running all your appliances and electrical installations, this is the ideal choice of generator for you.
The lengthier run time on a full tank also means that you can power your home throughout the night. This is essential for the cold winter months when the weather outside is harsh and unforgiving.
The easy maintenance of this generator is also another reason why it is the ideal choice of portable generator for different use cases.
- Plug and play for easy setup and operation
- Easy to move around with plastic wheels
- Simple documentation in the form of a user manual
- Can run on both propane and gasoline
- Reliable and durable
- Customer support can be hard to reach
2. Champion Power Equipment 200951 Portable Inverter Generator
This is a portable light generator that you can carry with you anywhere you travel. It weighs only 39 pounds, making it one of the lightest yet top-rated portable generators available in the industry.
Another fantastic feature of the generator is that it is capable of peaceful operation, making it the ideal choice for camping and as a backup for your home. It has 2500 watts when starting and 1850 watts when operating.
The generator can run for a total of 11.5 hours with much ease, and it is also parallel ready, meaning that you can use two of them together to double the power output of the setup.
Thanks to the warranty, it is an ideal way of providing clean power for your household and includes reliable support.
- Ultra-quiet operation
- Clean electricity
- Dependable source of power
- Does not run efficiently on propane
3. DuroMax XP5500E Gas Powered Portable Generator
At a starting wattage of 5500 watts, this is one of the best portable generators that you can get for your home and outdoor camping needs. This also means that the generator can handle some pretty heavy loads from your home air conditioning system, refrigerators, and lights.
It has a powerful engine that has all the power you will require for multiple jobs. You also get to achieve maximum power from each of the included receptacles.
The automatic low-oil shutoff feature ensures that your generator is automatically turned off whenever the generator senses that you are running low on oil.
Compatibility is not an issue for you when working with this portable generator. It features a power panel with the broadest selection of outlets that will ensure that you can use the generator for all kinds of applications.
Even when you need to charge external batteries with this portable generator, a 12V DC charging post enables you to do this with much ease. It is the ideal choice for RVs and will keep you moving no matter where you are in the outdoors.
- Safe use with surge arrest technology
- MX2 Power boost
- 3.9-gallon tank
- Initial setup can be a little complicated
4. PowerSmart 1000 Watts Portable Generator
At 1000 watts, this has a smaller output but possibly an ideal choice for camping grounds, construction sites, mobile devices, and occasional, brief power outages.
It is also the best solution whenever you need continuous power to take care of multiple smaller jobs. The generator also features an advanced design that can comfortably take care of all your usage scenarios.
The gas-powered engine is also quite deficient in its operation and has been rated at 900 watts when it is in use. The entire generator weighs only 39 pounds, which means that it is much lighter than a traditional generator capable of the same power output.
The generator is also easy when it comes to the setup and initial assembly, and as such, you will not have a problem getting the required components together.
The pull to start mechanism means that getting the generator started is simple enough for all kinds of usage scenarios, and you do not have to worry whenever you need to make use of your portable generator.
There are two kinds of outlets that have been installed in the generator; a 120 V output for your household and a 12V DC output to charge your batteries. As such, you have a source of clean power for all your sensitive devices.
There is also a safety feature that is included to prevent the devices you use from getting damaged.
The portable generator also works with a high fuel efficiency level and works quietly, which means that you get to work in a peaceful and comfortable environment.
At full load, the generator can run for 10 hours which is helpful for those times when you need to use the generator continuously.
- Lightweight design makes the generator easy to carry
- Runs a wide variety of devices and appliances
- Reaching customer support can be a challenge
- Only 1000 Watts capability
5. GENMAX Quiet Power Series Inverter Generator
The generator features a powerful engine rated at 2800 watts but can perform at 3200 watts at its peak level. A 5.2 HP OHV engine ensures that you have all the power you need.
The generator also has a safety feature in an automatic low oil shutoff. It has a fuel capacity of 1 gallon and can run for 4 hours at half load. The generator is also very light and has an incredible power to weight ratio.
It can handle a massive range of appliances meaning that you can comfortably use it in your home, while camping, and in many other places. It is an excellent choice whenever you need an emergency power source in your home, especially whenever there is a power outage.
Another great feature of this generator’s outstanding fuel efficiency and low noise levels are another great feature of this generator. It also comes with an economy mode which is useful when you need to save as much fuel as possible.
It can provide all the power needed in your RV and charge your batteries so that you are not stuck in the middle of nowhere with a starter that is not working. An additional power panel ensures that you can monitor the generator easily while it is in operation.
In addition to conserving fuel and getting the maximum efficiency out of the portable generator.
This is one of the most reliable clean electricity sources and can be ideal for your camping needs. With a quiet portable generator, you can be assured of a peaceful camping experience, and the lightweight nature of the generator means that you will not have a problem bringing it with you.
- Parallel ready
- Economy mode for fuel maximization
- Slightly lower running time
Q: How do portable generators work?
A: These generators use gasoline or propane together with a powerful engine to generate electricity.
Q: What is the most reliable portable generator?
A: The Champion Power Equipment 200951 Portable Inverter Generator is the most reliable portable generator that you can get.
Q: Are generators waterproof?
A: Most portable generators are designed to be waterproof since they are intended for outdoor use. However, you should also take measures to keep them away from the rain when they are in operation.
Q: Can a portable generator stay outside?
A: Yes. They can be kept outside and keep running with the same efficiency you would expect of them.
Q: Can you run a portable generator outside in the rain?
A: Yes. A portable generator is designed for all kinds of outdoor use and weather conditions, and running it in the rain will not be a problem at all.
Q: How do you protect a portable generator from the weather?
A: Placing the generator in a dry place away from the running water and mud will help preserve your portable generator. You can also place something waterproof on top to ensure that water does not seep in and affect the efficiency of your portable generator.
Portable generators are a must-have for those working away from mains power, and also as a backup power source for blackouts. A one-time investment in one of these quality generators guarantees you have the flexibility of portable power whenever you need it.