Backup Generators for Homes: Discover the Best Generators for Home.

Backup Generators for Homes: Discover the Best Generators for Home

The Backup generators for homes are every day more needs cause our homes are invaded by electrical devices of various kinds, some of which are essential, such as refrigerators and freezers, others less but important as televisions, washing machines and air conditioners.

Although in every home there are a few thousand Euros of home appliances and electronic devices, many houses do not  take into consideration the purchase of an emergency generator.

If you are reading this article, you are certainly not among those evenif  generators for residential use, is not economically viable investement, I decided to give you some useful information on the ideal generator for a home.

First let's see why you  absolutely shouldn't make the mistake of buying an auto-start generator with GAS and Gasoline engine .

If you google "residential generator", you will find the generating sets you absolutely do not have to choose: generators with a gasoline engine, usually single-cylinder, similar to those installed on the gardening equipment.

They are the cheapest ones and tehy promise you perfect performances for your home. Unaware of the risk, you will buy and then you'll stay in the dark.

They have a problem: They do not start.  

If you are not a scrupulous of preventive maintenance, that generator will NOT start automatically.

Now i will explain why:

Have you ever started up a motorbike that was stationary in the garage for a while? Does it start from the first shot?


The same thing happens with a gasoline engine generator turned off waiting to start automatically when power is out.

Failure to do so can be attributed to the engine's starting characteristics and the fuel that easily deteriorates over time.

The advice is to guide consumers in their choice to generators with a diesel engine.

Ok, seems clear, but why even the backup generators equipped with gas engines are not suitable to the home backup?

Think about a emergency situation like a Hurricane. What happen during a hurricane at the gas supply? Sometimes for safety reason the gas line must be closed.

When the gas line is closed your generator can't work.



Inverter, Voltage Regulator, Speed ontroller

In a previous article we have talked about generating sets with inverter technology and engine speed regulation, in other words of stabilized generating sets .

One of the specific features that distinguishes a home from other types of electrical utilities is the presence of numerous sensitive loads, just think of television, consoles, kitchen robots, etc etc, all are very sensitive to power surges.

Using an electric generator such as those that are at 149,00 euros at Brico's "Do It yourself" to power electrical and electronic devices that are worth maybe 30 times, is just like trusting the safety of an expensive Harley Davidson to a thin muddy nylon rope.

Inverter generators are a great solution in terms of current quality, engine speed varies, good fuel consumption, noise tolerable, but are equipped with gasoline engines, so I exclude them for the reasons shown at the beginning. relatively expensive when choosing something reliable.

I generators with diesel engine at 3000 rpm , (if you do not know the difference have a look at the article we're talking about, click on the link) are ideal if you have little space available but these engines can not be electronically adjustable, except for special exceptions, so they are not ideal for powering directly sensitive loads.

The generator with diesel engine at 1500 turns , would be the perfect solution, that's why:

1. It can remain in operation for days without any problems.

2. It is more silent than the engine power generator with 3000 rpm  .

3. It can be equipped with an electronic speed controller.

4.      Ha cilindrate superiori e pertanto risponde meglio alle prese di carico. (questo non lo dice mai nessuno

5. It usually spends more but worth it much more.

6. The professionals sell it, so you are sure to have a superior after sale service .

The power

All the materials I've found online that talk about the generator to supply a home, focus a lot on the "power" part. But I think it's important but not too much.

What you need to know about power is that you can never compare the household electric utility supplied by the operator with the power supplied by the generator.

Trivial example: Take a bill where it is written that the electric power is powered by 4 kW, You will deduce that you need a 4 kW generator.

False . The power grid does not behave as a generator. The network does not notice the load variations of a house.


Now let's upset the engineers

If you are not a technician but want to have an idea of hat electrical power is needed for your home without too many calculations and formulas, take paper and pen and record all the electrical appliances you have at home, writing for each of them the electrical power indicated on the identification plate. (we only talk about single-phase systems).

Sum all values nd you will get a result that can be approximately 70% of the active power of the generator you need. Example: You have calculated 7000 W of electrical loads in your home, then you can consider a power generator of not less than 12 kVA.

(if you want to know the difference between kW and kVA go to from kw to kva the power of a generator is as easy as drinking a beer )

It is absolutely indicative, just to give you an idea of hat electric power to engage with a generator, however, it is desirable to make a more precise sizing in the selection and choice phase.

How much noise do generating sets make.


The nightmare of installing a home generator is the noise it produces when it is running. Some give up the generator for fear of not sleeping at night due to noise, or not to quarrel with neighbors disturbed by the generator.

There is a solution to this problem: the soundproof generator set.

Warning: we are not talking about those generators that have the "super-silenced" adhesive, improperly used by all those who put a motor inside a pair of plates, but really sound-generating units, with quieter engines and soundproofing cabins at high performance.

To not hear a generator in operation, this must have a noise less than 50 db measured at 7 meters away.

Value of things

Choosing a generator for your home is a pretty delicate decision as it is about giving value to the things you own. Just so: the greater the value of your home and the things in it, and the more attention will be paid to choosing a high quality, reliable and robust product.

The Generator Maintenance : Engine

The Generator Maintenance

2. The engine

As I said, I won’t talk about the service but I’ll just give a tooltip: “Always use lubricants of good quality with the features approved by the manufacturer.”

Most of the time, you’re dealing with  a diesel engine which in several years has probably accumulated few operating hours. Therefore, if you call upon qualified products you won’t have problems in maintaining the diesel in good conditions and (but I’ll tell it winking) maybe it will not even be necessary to replace it every year since it’s also provided in the engines ‘guides.

 Credit Navistar Inc.

Credit Navistar Inc.

A real professional  shall carry the manuals and use them ..

Some are convinced that using the manual is synonymous with poor professionalism because if you use the manual it means  you’re not qualified and a manual guide should be sought.

Actually, following the instructions of a manual is synonymous with professionalism and it is a guarantee for the customer. The Manuals contain fundamental data on procedures and values useful for clamping.

Mindful that oil and fuel filters replacement are well defined by the manufacturer  on a regular basis and it is not necessary for all, substitution could be annual if you use name brand consumable.

Doing so will give you more time to focus on those parts that, in the long boring life of the generating set’s stand by engine, have no way to remain in operation and risk to become slow and lazy such us  the mechanical linkage of the injection pump, the tappets, the belt tightener, the alternator and the starter motor …

Check the clamps tightening and monitor the connectors status  along the electrical wiring on-board the engine (more and more present within the new generation of engines)

Below is an example table of the maintenance plan of an engine applied to a generator.



Everyone who’s dealing with a generating set has for sure heard about kW and kVA and found it easier to take the kW as a unit of measurement.

Knowing the difference between watts (kW) and Va (kVA) is useful for more detailed determination of the scope of the generator set.Knowing the difference between Watt (kW) and Va (kWA) is useful to determine in greater detail the specific application of the generating set.

 Orefice Generators - All rights reserved

Orefice Generators - All rights reserved

Last year during class I used a classical example but obvious to the audience to explain to my student the difference between kVA and kW: Comparing the electric power of a generator to a glass of beer.

Pouring some beer in a glass, two separate parts are formed: the beer itself and the foamy head. We can consider the glass as the maximum power, the foam as the reactive power and the beer as the real power.

“Apparently” the glass is full but what will quench our thirst is only the part of the beer not the foam. However, to drink the beer you should also drink the foam which, even though it tastes a bit bland, helps to fill out the glass first than the belly.

Just like the foam in the beer, the reactive power is to be considered even when it has no need and it is connected to the power factor which is 0,8 for the alternator of a generator.

The power factor is the ratio between the real power vector module flowing to the electrical load and the apparent power in the circuit.

Therefore, to determine the real power of a generator we just need to multiply the kVA value by 0,8 and vice versa divide by 0,8 to switch from kW to kVA:

kW = kVA * 0,8

kVA = kW / 0,8

Example: To which nominal kW does a 20kVA generator correspond? You should multiply 20 x 0,8 to obtain the real power in kW which is 16kW.

The term “apparent” also gives the idea of something that looks like but it isn’t that.

If the reactive power is almost considered as waste why then the apparent power is taking into consideration when talking about diesel generators?

This is a common question that I have always heard because, in fact, it seems not to make sense taking into consideration the apparent power when looking for the real one.

The answer is simple: The apparent power, being connected to the current value present in the circuit, is useful. It can be considered as the maximum value of real power that we can obtain by reversing the discrepancy between voltage and current.


Remember the beer example? Well, imagine you are reducing the foam quantity in the glass and refill it with other beer!

The real and apparent power values get close until they become equal when the power factor tends to be 1. This happens when the generators powers a resistive load.

For the single phase generating sets with 230V voltage, there is no discrepancy therefore, considering a power factor 1, the real power will be the only useful power to be considered.

Do you want to receive a free simple tool that will allow you to have kW, kVA and Current, always at your fingertips?

Enter your email address in the field below, and receive the table with the power and current values or your mailbox for free.