Thinking of investing in a generator for home use? Wondering which is the best generator for home and how to know which one to choose? In a time when load shedding is becoming a daily experience in South Africa, having a home backup generator is an absolute essential.
Let Goscor Power Products guide you in understanding a bit more about the range of generators out there as well as installation solutions on how to use one correctly.
There are many different types and sizes of machines out there. Many customers often ask us, “which generators for home use will suit my power needs”? We always recommend that you get professional advice from a company like us, before purchasing a generator. The right size machine for you will be determined by understanding what your house’s power needs will be when the power goes out. You’ll also need to decide where you’d like it to be installed keeping its noise levels, fumes and space needed in mind.
Once you and your approved professional have decided what size product will be best for you, it’s time to have it installed. We recommend that all installations be done by an approved and qualified electrical contractor. This is in fact a legal requirement due to the safety risks involved in not installing it properly.
Generators offer two types or ways of starting – a manual change over switch or an automatic start-up function. Here’s how each one works;
Manual Change Over Switch
Genni’s with manual change over switches require you to turn the generator on during load shedding or power outages. When the power goes off, you will need to turn all power off on your DB board, with all switches and contactors being turned to the off position. If you have more than one DB board, make sure you turn them all off.
Once this is done, you will plug the cable from the manual change over switch into your genni, start it up and turn the switch of the change over lever to generator mode. Go back to your DB board and ONLY flip the switches that are essential to your home on, one at a time. Essentials like plugs for fridges, computers and lights are usually chosen first. If the load is too high on your generator, the circuit breaker will trip and switch everything off.
Be careful to not overload your machine often because this can cause damage which may result in your unit being in need of repair or replacing. An important step to note is that the Mains switch must always remain off while the generator runs, to prevent the power coming back on and a surge running through the genni, causing great damage. When Eskom power is restored (which you will notice by the pilot light on the generator shining green), you can disconnect the machine from the DB board and flip the Main switch on once again.
Automatic Stop/Start Switch
Generators with ATS or Automatic Start/Stop Switch are slightly more complicated machines and most certainly need to be installed by a qualified electrician. When selecting this kind of unit, it’s imperative that you have the right size generator for your home, because you won’t be able to manually load the machine one switch at a time.
ATS units will be installed into the DB board permanently and will power everything on the supply line to which it is connected when the electricity goes off. If the generator size is not selected correctly, it may overload and major damage may occur to the unit or even your appliances.
Call experts like us, or one of our reliable installers, to help you decide which kind of generator start-up option is best. When choosing an ATS option, we strongly recommend you discuss the pros and cons with us so that we can explain the benefits and also some of the potential dangers of using the ATS option.
If you have three-phase power supply in your home, its best to have a three-phase generator installed. However, if most of your appliances are single phase (220V), it is advisable and much more economical to use a single-phase generator.
If you do require a three-phase generator it is best to understand how they function. A 3-phase genni’s power supply is split into three to give you three x single phases. As a practical example it means if you have a 10kva unit, a power factor of .8 applies, so the actual output of the generator is only 8000W at sea level. Split that into three, which means you get 2,6kva per phase, which is normally too little for power supply lines in most homes.
Ask us at Goscor Power Products about the best generator to buy for your home. We’ve been supplying power products to the South African and African market for years, and we’re trained to know just what you need.
Call Goscor Power Products on 087 806 6871\2 or request a generator quote now.