When you SHOULDN'T buy a generating set...

When you SHOULDN'T buy a generating set

When estimating "how many" … is important.

This is not a title made to draw your attention. In this article I intend to explain you from my perspective what are the cases in which you absolutely shouldn’t buy a generating even if this could work against my own interests.

The difference between an amateur and a professional is that the first will tell you anything to sell, the latter will tell you the truth even when it is inconvenient and could postpone the sale or even lose it.

If, within a scale of values, having a generating set features in a low position you probably found the first reason to not buy a diesel generator: You don’t need it!

Trivial as it may seem, it’s actually through such evaluation that the other reasons of why you don’t have to buy a generating set could be argued, first and foremost : possessing a toll you don’t need it.

Estimating how many … you will use it

There is one customer’s claim that I often face and it is linked to "how many time” will the customer use a generator? There is a spread like wildfire conviction that if you intend to use a generating set few times a year or not even once, then you can definitely buy a well painted metal box as a generator but it will be a lame machine. This way of reasoning is the exact opposite of what we do every day which is to buy valuable goods perfectly aware that once we will need them, they would be useful and appropriate.

Let’s make a simple example: If you are looking to buy a new computer, what will you do? I don’t think that you will walk into an electronic store and just ask for a computer!!

According your needs, you will probably start to look for the model that might be suitable for you keeping a very close eye on the features as well as on your investment, weighing the options, the performance, the warranty and the reviews . If you have a little bit of common sense you will not consider buying a computer (which is not nay one item) on the basis of how many times you will use it. Especially because in many cases, you don’t know .

The reasoning on how many time is more frequent in the case when you are under the obligation to have a generating set for emergency . in this case you can save money by buying the diesel generator that costs less so long as it complies with the requested characteristics . this is exactly the sort of thing that we can find in the public works where there’s all kinds of weird stuff, often on the fringes of legality.

Actually, I can guarantee you that in all the cases where you’re required to have an emergency generating set, it will be of real use and it’s in those moments that you should be sure to have chosen the best one.

Furthermore, the fact that it won’t be you who will use it if you think about it, is a double-edged sword.

In the last 10 years in Italy and elsewhere, are sold products prepared Italian with low quality components and sold for all standby applications where (you do not understand the basis of what criteria) it was determined that the generator will start once a year or maybe never.

The immoral reasoning from some houses and explained in no uncertain terms is this:The unethical argument directed and bluntly put by some manufacturers is the following:

"“Dear valued customer, considering you want to save money and you would probably use the generator once a year, I intend to offer you the perfect one that suits you. It’s just that it sucks and it’s got an engine that I’m not sure if it works properly, so I will give you the warranty of 250 hours running per year!”  ".

So in one fell swoop, he told you that:

1. To save money you have to give up something. (perhaps you didn’t even raised the budget issue but he anticipated it

2.  You don’t need a diesel generator

3.  I am selling you something that without any normal warranty

If we try to put the same reasoning into another field scale, the insurance sector for instance, they would sell you a policy that you won’t need and without the covers that you are expecting and with a relief that you won’t forget for the rest of your life.

This sale method, studied to make up numbers, found a breeding ground in many firms which provide turnkey plants installations in which, among other things, they must install a generating set for emergency application and in that case, the aim is to keep costs down playing on the customer’s lack of competence in the field of diesel generators.

I don’t want to say that quality lies only in the engines and alternators’ big brands, however, I’ve seen generators that rusted as soon as they were put into service and also generators that showed liquids leakage or power outages…

Last November, a retailer/installer told us his bad experience with a made in Europe diesel generator which at the moment of first starting up it dragged the alternator ripping it from the frame and spinning it on itself.  The result was:

• A lame move towards the customer.

• He was forced to replace the generator at his own expenses.

• He has been the subject to of a negative publicity in his sector.


The question is, what are the other cases where you shouldn’t buy a diesel generator?

1) If you think you will use the generator only for a few time, don’t buy it!

You could light romantic candles during the black out and if this black out is extended you could rent a diesel generator.

2) If you think that you will use the generator for few hours during the year but the security of people is linked to its good functioning so … buy a true one!

Is the process of your company based on electrical energy? Does people safety depend on a diesel generator for emergency application in a certain way? In that case, for which reason you should save few euros to have something that gives you less performances?

Everybody can spend less giving up something!

I saw application where to the diesel generator  functioning people safety is connected and where the generator is equipped with engine and alternator that even the manufacturers are ashamed to brand it, yet it is there running in an important facility.

What do you think of a second hand diesel generator?

If the budget forces you to look towards solutions other than buying a diesel generator why don’t you take into consideration having a second hand generator   ?

We can make a comparison between the pros and cons of the two possible situations:



When you know since the beginning that you won’t deal with it….

Having a generator or keep it in proper condition which would make it timely and safe use is totally useless.Having a diesel generator and not keeping it in good conditions is totally useless.

If you own something you , it’s vitally important to keep it in a good working order to avoid that it loses its value.

During our maintenance activities we often meet situations where the generators are almost new but completely abandoned because the proprietor doesn’t take care or the person in charge for the maintenance has forgotten to do its job. Well the classic stories that happen in several firms.

Solutions do exist:   maintenance contracts ,   Rentals  for short and long periods are solutions that avoid you to immobilize huge amounts that will lose their values with time.

To sum up the concept, I am inviting you to take into consideration the costs before taking any decision since one you have it you should look after it.

When there are more economical options

“I was thinking about cancelling my network provider contract and to install a diesel generator. Is it convenient?”


If your target is to save money by creating your own electricity burning fuels the answer is no and there is no need to mathematical calculations to prove it. Trust me, it’s not convenient. And that’s coming from someone who would gladly sell you one.

The alternatives to car-producing generator exist: they are renewable sources.Alternative solutions to diesel generators are the renewable sources.

Unfortunately, even in the case of an eco-friendly plant you should think about a backup power source. Guess what is it?

Andrea Orefice