Ordering A Generator
How do I check the status of my order?
All status changes in an order are emailed directly to the customer at the provided email address. If you have not received an email from us, make sure to check your spam folder. Any additional inquiries or questions can be directed to our customer service team, who can be reached at email@example.com
How do “Direct From Factory” orders work?
A majority of our products are shipped directly from the manufacturer’s warehouse or factory. These orders will not ship from Generator Mart’s headquarters, but will instead be handled by the product’s manufacturer. This method allows us to reduce the shipping cost to you by minimizing the number of times the generator is moved.
What is a pre-order?
Products with extended wait times can be placed on a “pre-order”, which allows you to reserve a unit ahead of it becoming available for shipment. You can select to enter your payment info at the time of purchase, or select “pay later” and enter payment when the product becomes available. During the Covid-19 pandemic, overseas constraints with many manufacturers have created supply chain issues with some smaller generators. While the Generator Mart team works very hard to ensure timely availability of generators, pre-orders allow customers to secure their spot in line for equipment in extremely high demand.
Can I cancel my order?
Yes, orders can be cancelled under certain circumstances. Please reach out to our customer service team for any changes you would like to make to your order. Refer to our terms and conditions for specific details.
Can I ship my generator to a different address?
Our checkout process requires billing and shipping addresses to match to process correctly. If you need your generator shipped to a separate address, this change will need to be made by our team after a purchase is made. Please reach out to our customer service team for additional verification.
General Generator Questions
How do I know what size generator I need to power my home?
Power requirements are measured in watts, or kilowatts (kW), and depend on the appliances and other home equipment you want to run off the generator. To calculate your home’s electrical requirements for your new generator, the rough method is to add up all of the appliances (e.g., refrigerator, air conditioning) with other power draws (light bulbs, medical equipment, device charging). Electric motors (e.g., air conditioning compressors) can require up to 300% of their normal load to start up. This fact is particularly important as many or all of the electric motors in your home may attempt to start simultaneously as your generator begins providing power following a grid outage.
It is important to properly size the generator to the requirements as purchasing a generator that is either too small or too large can have detrimental impacts. A generator that is too small will not be able to simultaneously start or power all of the intended applications. A generator that is too large will not have sufficient load against the motor to operate properly and may break down sooner than anticipated due to excess wear.
We recommend speaking with a certified electrician to find your home’s exact generator sizing needs, but for an estimate, you can use our power calculator here (which adds up the electrical needs of various home products): https://generatormart.com/power-calculator/
What is the process for installing a home standby generator?
Home standby generators require preparation and installation to ensure that they are ready to power the house at a moment’s notice. Most standby generators are installed by a qualified electrical contractor or electrician. The major steps include selecting a contractor, establishing requirements, selecting a generator, delivery, site preparation, electrical rough-ins, plumbing natural gas line, and commissioning the generator. Most backup applications will involve utilizing an automatic transfer switch (ATS), which senses the grid outage and calls the generator to start automatically.
How long do generators last?
With proper maintenance, residential generators can last 10,000 – 20,000 hours of usage. To achieve this long life, generators need to be protected from weather and given regular maintenance (e.g., oil change, filter change) according to the manufacturer’s specifications found in the user manual.
Do I need an inverter generator?
Inverter generators are best suited for providing extremely stable power to sensitive electronics and applications that require portability. Inverter generators are extremely popular with folks with recreational vehicles (RV) or camper trailers. These generators are also extremely fuel efficient because the engine can vary its speed depending on the load (while conventional generators run at a single speed). Inverter generators are generally quieter and lighter than conventional generators. The main disadvantage of inverter generators is that they are more expensive per kilowatt and tend to have small overall capacities (<6.5 kW per unit).
How loud is a generator?
Generators vary in excess sound levels by size, configuration, and sound deadening material applied. Sound levels are measured in decibels (dBa) from a specified distance from the generator. Generators create sound through the combustion process of their reciprocating engine and from the alternator. Inverter generators are generally quieter than standard generators because they vary speed with differing loads and often contain sound deadening material. Consult each generator’s product page to learn about its specific noise output. Generally less than 60 dBa is a good target for generators that will be used in an RV campground.
How much fuel do I need?
Generator fuel consumption depends on the size of the generator and the load. When the generator is powering a larger load, it consumes more fuel then when operating against a smaller electrical load. Refer to the unit’s manual for fuel consumption rates and plan fuel for the number of hours you plan to run the generator. If the generator has been properly sized, planning for 75% capacity is a safe bet.
Do not store the generator for long periods of time (>3 months) with fuel in the tank, as the gasoline can begin to degrade.
How often do I need to maintain my generator?
Like any engine, generators require regular oil changes and other maintenance to operate effectively. Though specifications vary between different models and manufacturers, generators generally need an oil change after their first 30 hours and every 100 hours thereafter. Many manufacturers offer maintenance kits which include oil, sparkplugs, and other essential parts for keeping your new generator in top condition. Larger home standby generators may require generator technicians to perform annual maintenance. It is recommended to contact your local manufacturer and set up a maintenance schedule to get the longest lifespan from your generator.
What accessories will I need for my new generator?
Portable generators –
- Portable generators generally ship with everything you’ll need to begin generating power immediately. Generator covers can help maintain the life of your generator and high-altitude kits may be needed for running your generator above 2,000 ft MSL. Maintenance kits will allow you to perform periodic maintenance on the generator and paralleling cables will allow you to parallel the unit with others to provide a higher total output. Home connection ports can make it easier to use your generator to power key circuits in your home during a grid outage. Extension cables will be needed to move the electricity from the generator to where it’s needed (tip: make sure to get the right plug for your use case). Some portable generators may offer wheel kits to ease in transport of the generator.
- Home standby generators – Standby units are generally larger and will require additional equipment to provide automatic backup power to your home. Starting at the ground, generators will need either a poured concrete pad or a prefabricated generator pad to serve as a stable base for the unit. Automatic transfer switches (ATS) tell the generator to start during an outage and transfer the home’s load away from the grid to the generator. Cold weather kits may be required for operating your generator in colder regions. Maintenance kits (oil, filters, other parts) are essential for keeping your generator ready year after year.
Can I run home appliances from a portable generator?
Yes! Most portable generators produce US standard AC electricity (120V or 240V, depending on the application). These are the same voltages that your home uses to power appliances, lights, and outlets. Portable generators are generally smaller than home standby generators, meaning the portable generator will only be able to power limited home appliances at any given time. Homeowners should consider the appliances they want to run (e.g., refrigerator, A/C unit) and make sure that the in-rush current for this application is equal to or less than the peak kilowatts on the generator.
Residential users have two main options for how to get the electricity from the generator to the appliance:
- Generator to appliance – this is the simplest method for distributing electricity from your new generator. It involves running extension cords from the generator into the home and then plugging appliances to those cords or using power strips for smaller applications. These power cords should be long enough to keep the generator safely away from the home. The power cords do create a minor tripping hazard that could result in injury or equipment becoming unplugged.
- Generator to distribution panel – with some preparation prior to an outage, homes can be configured to connect the generator directly to the distribution panel. Utilizing the home’s distribution box has a few distinct advantages: no extension cords running throughout the home, single location to plug into, and ability to run lights and appliances that are hard wired. This distribution configuration allows a single power cable to move electricity from the generator to the breaker box. A qualified electrician will need to install this connection as it involves creating a switch that can isolate the home’s electrical system from the grid during an outage (to prevent back-feeding). Generator Source carries a line of products that homeowners can use to establish this distribution system.
Homeowners preparing for disaster-related outages should make sure that they have sufficient cabling and fuel onsite to run their desired applications for 48-72 hours.
What are the different types of electrical plugs for connecting a generator?
For residential / camping applications the most common plugs found on generators are:
AC (alternating current)
- 120V 20A (5-20R) receptacles are standard American home plugs for AC power. They have three prongs, including a ground.
- 120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacles (also known as a travel trailer [TT] plug) have three prongs in a circular fashion. They are also available in a locking style.
- 120V/240V (L14-30R) receptacles have 4 prongs but only carry 30 amps.
- 120V/240V 50A (L14-50R) receptacles have four prongs and carry significantly more power than the other styles.
- 5W USB
Users need to ensure they have the right type of plug at each end of the cable (generator side and use side). Contact an electrician or your RV dealer if you are unsure about these connections. Other connector styles are available for commercial and industrial use (e.g., hubbell plugs, stingers, bare copper).
Inventory Class Codes: SD-OS “Scratch and Dent or Old Stock”
If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!