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How to Choose the Best Welder/Generator

How to Choose the Best Welder/Generator

Today’s Guest Post is by Chris Wierschke of Miller Electric

Most of us can vividly remember the anticipated arrival of hurricanes Katrina, Dennis, Rita, and Wilma in 2005. The year 2012 brought in Superstorm Sandy and hurricane Isaac. While many of us were out of the direct path of these storms, they impacted us in ways we will never forget. While these terrible events are not preventable, we can certainly try to be prepared for them. Now I’m not talking about “Doomsday Prepper” prepared, I’m talking about having a welder/generator on hand to keep your refrigerators and freezers cold, your water supply operating, and your house comfortable while the power is out.
Miller Welder Generator

Where to Begin with Generator Sizing?

Most homes today are equipped with 200 amp electrical services. While we have the ability to draw up to 200 amps, in general, most of us use very small portions of that available current throughout the day. For example, the largest electrical load in my house is our electric clothes dryer. It requires 24 amps of current. That is a far cry from the 200 amps I have available. My point here is that even though we have all of that energy available, most of us don’t use that much at once and can get by with lower amounts of electricity in temporary power outage situations. Miller makes welder/generators sized from 4,500 watts of generator power on up to 12,000 watts. In general, the smaller units provide enough power to get your essentials up and working. For instance, many of us have refrigerators and freezers with fairly large quantities of food in them. When the power goes out, it is important to keep the items inside from thawing.

How about homes with sump pumps?

There is a lot of damage that could be done if water happens to flood basements. People with well pumps need to ensure that the pump continues to run even when the power is out. In general, 4,500 watts is enough to power for these essential items in a pinch. While 4,500 watts is enough to “get us by”, many of us simply do not want to worry about whether the generator will have enough output to sustain the loads that we may demand during power outages. For me, if I lose power during the summer, I want to ensure my central air conditioning unit will operate. The central air unit I have for my house draws 3,300 watts. Keep in mind that my refrigerator and freezer will also be working hard to keep up with the warm ambient temperatures. When I add those loads to the formula, 4,500 watts simply isn’t enough. In those cases, Miller offers 12,000 watt generators that will provide more than enough energy to sustain most household loads during power outages.

What about Sensitive Electronics?

Many of us have refrigerators with onboard ice makers and specialty controls for humidity control. These “fancy” refrigerators have circuit boards that may be susceptible to dirty spiked power. How about microwave ovens? These definitely have circuit boards that may also be at risk to dirty power that some generators provide. When selecting generators, we need to pay attention to power cleanliness. Miller’s Bobcat and Trailblazer products use a rotor design that is referenced as “ten degree skewed”. What that means is it optimizes generator performance for smoother power – not spiked power found with other brands. While power cleanliness is very important to temporary power scenarios, running quietly is also important in suburban areas. Excel™ power, an optional feature offered on the Trailblazer, provides 120 Volts, 60 Hz of pure sine wave generator power at idle speed and while welding. When connected to the Excel power receptacle, you get up to 2,400 watts of the cleanest generator power available. Plus, you can run most 120 volt appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and microwave ovens at idle speed, which provides exceptional fuel-efficiency, extended runtimes, quieter operation and longer engine life.

How Long Will the Machines Run on One Tank of Gas?

Runtime is another item to consider when selecting the proper welder/generator for your temporary power needs. Miller offers welder/generators with fuel tank sizes from 5 gallons to 12 gallons. Generally, the more fuel a tank can hold, the longer the runtimes are. Longer runtimes usually equate to fewer trips outside to fill the unit up. One can’t put a value on sleeping through the night without having to refill the fuel tank. Another item to consider is that often it is hard to buy fuel during power outages. Chances are that your local gas station is also without power and can’t sell fuel to you. Larger fuel tanks become invaluable in those challenging times. Miller also offers machines with Kohler EFI engines that reduce fuel consumption by up to 27%. Who can argue the fact that the slower you burn fuel the less likely you are to have to refill?

Why Should I Consider a Welder/Generator Over a Standalone Generator?

Emergency power demands at home often require industrial-strength generator solutions. Comparing welder/generators to standalone generators with engines of similar quality and horsepower, Miller® welder/generators provide equal or better generator power capabilities at a comparable price. Consider the following when deciding between a welder/generator and a standalone generator.

Advantages of a Miller Welder/Generator:
• Includes a welder to do your own welding repairs
• Features fuel-efficient engines and 12-gallon tanks for longer run time
• Generates up to 12,000 watts of Accu-Rated™ — not inflated —generator power
• Built to the highest standards and has a three-year warranty. You can’t predict power loss due to severe weather, but you can be prepared when an emergency power situation occurs. No matter where you live, severe weather can leave you in the dark — but the power of a Miller welder/generator will keep your household or operation running. Plus, a Miller welder/generator can be used for repairs year-round — in the garage, on the farm or in the shop. So why buy a generator when you can buy a Miller welder/generator and be prepared for what Mother Nature might throw at you.

Ed

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