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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a portable generator?

A portable generator is a gas powered machine that provides you with the power you need anywhere you are.

What is an inverter?

Inverter technology provides cleaner, very stable power similar to the power delivered by a utility. Inverter technology electronically regulates the generator to deliver only the power required by the appliances connected to it. This allows the generator to run at slower speeds when not at full power output, run quieter, and use less fuel.

An inverter uses a special microprocessor to condition the power produced by the generator to create high quality power that is clean enough to power all of your equipment. An inverter generator takes the AC current, converts it into DC current, and then inverts it back to clean AC power.

Inverter technology also provides safe power for sensitive electronic devices: cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.

What is the difference between starting watts and running watts?

Generators[link] have a range of capabilities based on starting watts and running watts.

Running watts refers to the continuous power a generator can supply, and starting watts refers to the momentary boost of power the generator can supply to start a motor.

For example, when a refrigerator or an air conditioner is turned on by a generator, it requires a large amount of power for the start-up process. When the appliance motor reaches full speed, the current declines (running watts).

When choosing a generator, it’s best to focus on rated wattage in order to guarantee it will have enough power required for your equipment.

Do portable generators make a lot of noise?

Every generator receives a noise rating measured in decibels ranging from 55 to 85 dBA. This is measured seven meters from the machine. The lower the decibels the quieter the device, but it is still important for your generator to be effective and reliable for your desired use.

Can I plug the generator into a wall outlet?

Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household protection devices. Either plug appliances directly into the generator with power cords that are in good condition or have an electrician install a certified transfer switch.

What is a transfer switch and do I need one?

While a transfer switch isn’t necessary, it can be incredibly helpful. A transfer switch connects your generator to the circuit box in your house in order to provide a direct supply of electricity. A transfer switch protects your appliances and generator from any damage that may occur when the power comes back. It also eliminates the need for special cables. Only a licensed electrician should install a transfer switch.

What should I check before running a generator that has not been used for a long period of time?

Make sure you inspect all the parts of your generator before starting it to ensure everything is in good working condition. You will first need to check and clean the carburetor in order for your generator to work smoothly. Check the spark plug and the oil before starting as well. Most importantly, take your generator out into a well-ventilated, open space before starting it up again. Regularly running your generator will also help keep it in good condition.

Will I need to replace any of the parts in my portable generator?

It is important to regularly check the fuel filter, air filter, carburetor, and spark plug for any damage and replace them immediately.

Where is a safe place to put my generator?

Generators release exhaust that contains harmful fumes, such as carbon monoxide. That’s why it is important to make sure your generator is placed outdoors while in use. Position your generator away from any doors or windows to prevent exhaust fumes from getting into your home. Never operate your generator inside your home, garage, basement, or any enclosed area.

Also make sure to protect your generator from moisture, rain, and snow as it could produce an electrical shock if it comes in contact with water.

Parts of your generator can become very hot during use, so it is important to keep it away from any flammable materials. Place your generator at least three feet away from any buildings while in use.

Where can I find an A-iPower dealer near me?

Visit our Where to Buy page

I have misplaced my owner’s manual, how can I obtain a new one?

See our Resources tab and you will find manuals.[link to page]