Portable Generator Power when off grid or emergencies

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Is it safe to run a laptop or computer from a generator?

Computers and laptops have been a part of everyone’s life since the day the internet was born. These gadgets serve as gateways for people to do their things online.

Unlike smartphones that can only be used for limited purposes, users are free to do whatever they want with computers and laptops including the download of different applications and using them for work and business purposes. 

If you are working, it’s best to take care of your gadgets with enough power to run them. Without reserving the power of your PC or laptop, you won’t be able to perform your work.

There are professionals who do their job outdoors and most of the time, they find a place where they plug and charge their gadgets. But, what if there are insufficient power plugs that you can use and you badly need access to your computer?

This is where portable generators come in. Portable generators are tools that you can use whenever you are outside your home. It gives your PC the same power and supports it needs when you use it.

With portable generators, there is no need to find an outlet to power up your gadgets. You can utilize this machine for as long as you want whenever you are away from a place where you can charge.

However, Is it safe to run a laptop or computer from a generator?

Let’s take a look in more detail if it really is safe to run a laptop or computer from a portable generator. 

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5 Suitable Generators for Sensitive Equipment

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter...
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter...
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Last update on 2024-05-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What are portable generators use for?

Portable generators are like stand-alone power outlets that you can bring anywhere. It can support gadgets such as laptops, computers, smartphones, and other similar things.

You can normally see people using generators to power up big devices such as lights, speakers, and stage setups. Most companies who use computers and machines have backup generators too.

What’s great about portable generators is that it is not as big as the normal generators. They are compact and handy, which is ideal for individual users. These portables can be used while camping, fishing, working outside the home, and other outdoor activities.

People who like to do these things while they are working can power a laptop from a generator.

So, if you are looking for ways where you can work and at the same time enjoy outdoor adventures, you can always include portable generators on your list of things to bring.

Is it safe to run a laptop or computer from a generator?

To answer the question ‘ is it safe to run a laptop or computer from a generator‘ is a tricky one as it depends on the type of generator being used.. There are sensitive laptops or computers that are not safe with portable generators.

This is because the voltage fluctuations and surges can be uneven and this can burn the sensitive circuits of your electronics. If your portable generator runs out of gas, this is likely to happen.

It’s not entirely bad to use portable generators when you are dealing with power shortages outside your home. You just to have to choose a good brand that fits your electronics.

There are a lot of good portable generators that you can bring during camping, work, and other outdoor adventures. They may vary in sizes and prices so make sure to choose the right one that you can bring outside.

When buying portable generators, you can still get the best quality and performance if you are on a budget. You can get overwhelmed by the plenty of choices you have when you search for budget portable generators.

So, to give you a bit of insight, a few of the top budget portable generators on Amazon include BaldR Power bankGenerac GP30001, and Jackery 240 Power Station. If you are looking for the top performers, you can choose from these three.

If you would like to see some of the quietest portable generators on the market today: Click here! 

Meanwhile, if it’s your goal to use the portable generator at home, you might want to take other options like installing a permanent home standby generator.

This is an expensive option and should only be availed of if you are expecting to power up all your other home appliances, besides electronics.

This is the best solution and the safest since it can be automatically switched. Home generators can detect power interruptions and will automatically turn off if the power restores. But, this is not an option if you are outdoor and away from your house.

What to look for in a portable generator?

Now, if you are decided to get your portable generator, there are factors that you need to take into account when choosing what you need to buy. Let’s start with your budget.

You need to know how much you are willing to spend on a portable generator. We’ve made another list for you entitled the “Best Budget Portable Generators” in case you are spending with limited cash. This list will introduce you to the top 10 options you have. Some of them can be bought at around $300.

Next, ask yourself what generator size do you need. There are portable generators with 18,000 watts and those that are capable to give more than 20,000 watts. Commonly, you can buy portable generators with 2,000, 5,000, 7,000, and 10,000 watts.

The prices of these options may vary so the bigger the size of the generator, the more you are likely to spend on it. If your purpose of buying is to use it for work or camping, you can buy the smallest one.

Third, you also need to consider how frequently you will use the generator. There are products with a limited warranty, make sure to check that.

For consumer users, manufacturers usually offer several years of warranty. If your purpose of using the portable generator is for recreational only, you can choose among the list we provided earlier as all of them have reasonable periods of warranty.

But, if you are likely to run a crew during your activities and you will use the generator frequently, you should choose commercial generators that can support your needs.

Also, the fuel type of the portable generator may affect your buying decisions. Most portable generators we listed down use gas or lithium-ion battery. The only problem you will face with any of the fuel types is when you run out of them during your activity. In this case, make sure that you stock up enough supply of gas and batteries and bring them with you if you are out for a couple of days.

You should expect that the longer you use your portable generator, the more gas it needs to power your electronics. Ensure that you know a place where you can buy additional gas stock so you can avoid facing troubles.

You may also want to consider the wheels and the lift hook bar of your portable generators as these will make your life easier. If you have a plan to move from a camping site to another, buying generators with this kind of support will help you bigtime.

Finally, the noise level of your portable generator. The smaller ones have quieter designs but there are types of portable generators that are conversation levels. It’s better to consider the place where you are going camping, especially if you have neighbors.

Quiet generators are ideal in cases like this. Note that the fuel type may also be a factor in the noise level of your generator. If you will use diesel, you are likely to deal with noises unlike when you choose gas as the fuel type.

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How to use a portable generator?

Portable generators may be challenging to use if you a beginner. Not everyone has the capability to run machines like this regardless of whether it is automatic or manual. So, if you are looking for easy and simple steps to run it, here’s your guide.

1) Read the user guide provided by the manufacturer.

This is the best way to familiarize yourself with your portable generator if you are a beginner. It’s important that you read all the important instructions and safety reminders so you won’t end up damaging the generator.

Before you start the machine, allow yourself to read the manual for a couple of minutes until you get what the manufacturer is trying to say. Remember to keep the manual as well so that if you need it during emergencies, you know where to look for it.

2) Put the generator in an appropriate place.

If you are going camping and you know that your portable generator makes noises that will likely bother your neighbors, you have to put it somewhere distant from the people.

Or, you can ask them if it’s okay to turn on the machine. If they don’t mind, it’s still appropriate to put it in a place a couple of feet away from the tents.

You won’t have to resolve the noise issues of your portable generator if you will get a quieter one. So, when making a purchase, consider all your options.

3) Assess the fuel level of your portable generator.

It won’t hurt checking the fuel level of your machine. This is done to assure that you have enough supplies to run the generator for the day.

Checking will also avoid you from running out of gas. To check the fuel level, you can use a fuel gauge. You need enough level of fuel before you start it. If necessary, fill the tank with enough amount.

4) Check the oil level of your machine.

Another thing you need to check is the oil level of your machine. Portable generators need lubricants for the engine to properly run. Follow your manual about how to deal with the oil level. Make sure that you have enough oil before you start your machine and fill it up with enough amount.

5) Check the air filter of your generator.

Remember that your generator takes in air to perform combustion. The combustion process will produce power so you can use it for your electronics. What the air filter does is trap the dust, dirt, and debris to make sure that the air is pure when it enters your generator.

You should always check the air filter of your machine before you start. If the filter is clogged, make sure to clean it according to the instructions on the manual guide.

6) Flip the breaker off and turn on the fuel valve.

You need to flip the breaker off before you start the machine. After that, you should turn on the fuel valve to make sure that the fuel flows properly. Your generator needs fuel to run and make power. However, it is not appropriate to turn on the fuel valve if you are not yet starting the generator.

7) It’s time to start the generator.

There is a start switch on your machine. This will power up the generator. Once you switch on the machine, don’t forget to warm it up and wait for a couple of minutes before you flip the breaker on. There is a section in the user manual on how long you should warm up your generator.

8) Plug in your electronics.

After minutes of warming up, it’s time to plug your electronics. There are a lot of portable generators that will let you connect your electronics directly into the machine. You can also use extension cords if you want.

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How to maintain your portable generators?

It’s easy to maintain your portable generator if you know how to use it. The important parts of the machine that you should always check include the fuel tank, oil tank, air filters, breaks, and engine.

To ensure that you are running a generator in good condition, don’t forget to check these parts before you turn on and use the machine.

It’s recommended to maintain your portable generators as frequently as possible, especially if you use the generators in camping and fishing sites.

Add a surge Protector

A surge protector strip is a relatively inexpensive but highly valuable product that can help protect your sensitive products from power surges.

A surge protector strip looks similar to a simple 4-way extension pack or cable which allows multiple items to be plugged into a single supply source.

Conclusion: Can you run a computer from a Generator?

Portable generators can help you in a lot of ways. In general, it is safe to use to charge and power your electronics when you are out of your house.

However, you should still exercise extra precautions, especially when choosing the right generator for you. Consider what we listed above when selecting your machine and don’t forget to use them and maintain them properly for longer use.


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All the article on Oofgrid offer help and practical advice for using and purchasing a portable generator. However, We are enthusiasts and not qualified electricians. Always seek professional advice when working with electrical or Petrol appliances.