Whether for personal or commercial needs, a generator is an important item to own. This is because we live in a time when power is of utmost importance. Today, it is unimaginable to live without power. Can you imagine a hospital without power? It would mean that patients on life support would lose their lives.

Many times a person or organization would like to purchase a generator but find that it is way beyond their budget. If you have found yourself in this category, then don’t lose hope. There are many used generator sets that function just as well as new ones. All you need to know are your specific power requirements.  Once you have determined this, then you can look at the following factors listed below and will be expound on further.

·         Age and Usage

·         Manufacturer

·         Maintenance

·         Physical wear and tear

·         How it performs in a load test 

1.      Age and Usage.

It is important to check the hours, age and history of a generator set. Just like an automobile, generator engines have an odometer reading that can give you all this information. It is also important to know what it was used for.  This is because generators that were the prime electric power source tend to be more worn out than those used as a backup power source. However, this information is not always available.

2.      Manufacturer

A generator’s make and model are not always the determining factor for its quality. However, since you require this generator for electric power, it is wise that the buyer opts for a brand that they can trust. It is also wise to consider if the brand has readily available spare parts.

3.      Maintenance

It is important to gauge a seller’s knowledge on maintaining and repairing the generator ends. This is easy to do by asking the procedures used, if there are dyno-testing equipment on site, certified staff or technicians in-house or electricians on staff. Such questions will help a buyer determine if the generator was well maintained.

4.      Physical wear and tear

When it comes to wear and tear, your eyes are your best asset. This is because a visual inspection will be necessary. If this is not possible for you then it would be wise to have someone accompany you when going to view the generator. Ensure you check all mechanical components for fatigue, wear, cracks or corrosion built up. At this point it would be wise to replace all questionable parts to avoid future breakdown.

5.      How it performs on a load test

A load test is a standard test that determines the overall efficiency in electric power generation. How the generator responds to different loads is an indicator of its efficiency under those specific loads. The electric power output given by the generator provides some implication of its well being. The test also checks for the right output and frequency and may need to be repeated up to three times for added precaution and ensure no unexpected breakdowns.


When looking to buy a used generator, also be sure to follow your gut instincts. If you feel like there is something wrong with the generator set, then hold off the purchase. At the same time, make sure you take times to do your research before finalizing on the purchase.

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