Are Used Portable Generators a Good Option?

When you are on the hunt for a generator, you will certainly be faced with the dilemma between two choices— To go for brand new units or to settle for used ones. There is actually wisdom in either option and this article will discuss the relative advantages of each.

Of course one obvious advantage of buying used machines is the cheaper price. But aside from that, the advantages of going for used units depend on what type of generator we are talking about. In the case of standby or backup generators, you will surely find a lot of good quality used units because by definition, being standby or backup generators, these units are not extensively used with many of them seeing minimal hours of usage. If you can find a good sample at a good price, it will certainly be a good buy and you can expect good and long service from it, provided of course that you properly maintain it.

In the case of used portable generators, you will need to be wary as you can expect a good number of them to be extensively used. This type of generators are the ones usually used for leisure and recreation so there is a good chance that many used units being sold have undergone the rugged use of outdoor recreational activities such as camping, cross country road trip travels, fishing expeditions, picnics, bazaars, etc.

If you are after quality then you will want to look for reconditioned units as opposed to as-is engines which you could expect to be abused machines that will break down anytime. Reconditioned (or re-manufactured) used generators are better because they have undergone a thorough overhaul and have had worn parts replaced. Of course they will be pricier than as-is items but the additional cost will buy you a hassle free machine that should last longer. Some reconditioned units even come with a few months warranty so that will be a big plus.

To buy, you will need to choose whether you want to go to an online store or just head to your local sourcing. Since these are machines that are better checked thoroughly before buying, going to a local store is a better choice because you have the luxury of being able to test the unit before taking it home. If you are looking for silent generator units then you should be able to hear it first before buying it. You do not have this privilege if you are buying online. If you are buying brand new units, this should not be much of an issue but since you are buying used units, it is better to see them personally first.

If you insist on buying online, you should at least make sure that the store is good buy checking out testimonials from previous customers. This is especially important if you are going for used portable generators.

Four Tips On Buying A Reliable And Reasonably-Priced Used Portable Generator

1. Know how much wattage you need. When shopping for second-hand portable generators, you’ll first need to establish your total wattage requirements. Which home appliances or business systems are absolutely required to run? Five kilowatts of power are sufficient to carry 8 hours of electricity for lights, your refrigerator, your laptop computer and printer, your fax machine, your oven, and other essential appliances. Another concern is the noise output. You will want to know how noisy the unit will get while in operation. If you want a low-noise or silent generator, be sure to get models that have rating of 60 to 70 decibels or less (Read this simplified guide to gauging generator noise for more information).

2. Look everywhere. Check for used portable generators at your local retailers, or browse through the Internet to find the best deals in second-hand generators. Thorough research will help you find the exact size and model in portable power generators to fit your specifications and your budget. If you need a used portable generator to operate longer hours in between refueling, look for a model with a larger tank or one that is more fuel efficient.

3. Go for versatility. You’ll also want to ensure you get a lot of mileage from your used portable power source. Second-hand generators can also be brought along on camping or trekking trips, beach parties, and many other outdoor events.

4. Do a background check. Make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller. Ask around for feedback, or read third party reviews online. You’ll want to be certain you aren’t buying a dud, so look through each unit’s service repair record to find out what you’re up against. You will also need to find out how extensively the unit was used by its previous owners. Units used primarily for backup power will probably be in better condition than units used as recreational camping gensets. Always go for durability and reliability over form, as your primary purpose is to purchase a reasonably-priced used portable generator to provide you with backup power in the event of outages.

Once you’ve assimilated all these tips to searching and buying used generators, you’ll be well on your way to acquiring a convenient and efficient source of electricity in the event of a power interruption.

Related Article:

One Response to “Are Used Portable Generators a Good Option?”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. travis says:

    If at all possible I would recommend buying new just for the fact generators now have very good warranty’s and are worth spending a bit more upfront than lots of maintenance down the road. But for me myself I would go with an automatic standby generator with Hurricane season right around the corner and gas prices on the rise I am looking to replace my portable generator for one of those automatic standby generators that run on natural gas or propane from It seems like the thing to do then I don’t have to fight the lines at the pump or worry about my gas going bad in an emergency.

Leave A Comment...