Here at SGS we have a wide variety of generators for a number of domestic and commercial applications, so we understand that finding the perfecting one for your requirements might seem daunting at first. We’ve spent some time putting together a simple check-list of considerations to help you narrow the choices.
Working out what you need
- Wattage – determine exactly how much power you’ll require for the items you wish to run.
- Domestic or professional – some generators are designed specifically for hobbyists and leisure use, others are perfect for workshops and commercial use.
- Equipment – do you want to run sensitive equipment such as computers or televisions straight from your generator? We have a range of inverter generators for sensitive electronics.
- Petrol or diesel – you need to consider the total cost of ownership when investing in a new generator. With a comprehensive petrol and diesel generator range, you’ll be able to pick the most cost efficient fuel source for your power requirements.
Your total required wattage
All of our generators are rated to run at a certain wattage. The first thing you must consider is what wattage you need your generator to produce to power the equipment you wish to run. Regardless of whether you’re going to be running camping equipment or a whole construction site, this is a vital step in the buying process – otherwise you might end up with a generator that isn’t fit for purpose.
- You can find the individual wattages of an item on the equipment itself, in the user manual, on a manufacturer’s website, or by contacting the manufacturer by phone.
- What items do you want to run together? For example, if you want to run a slow cooker and a fan at the same time, you need the combined wattage of the equipment. If you’ll only ever run each item independently, then you just need to worry about the item with the highest wattage.
- Do the items have a starting wattage? Any piece of equipment with an induction motor will have a starting wattage, and therefore a higher wattage requirement. This includes chop saws, air compressors, vacuum cleaners, pressure washers, and freezers - anything with a motor in it. Simply multiple the items wattage by three to find it’s starting wattage.
- Give yourself some headroom. Just because your car can go 120 miles an hour, it doesn’t mean that it’s suitable to drive at the maximum all the time. Your generator will be very much the same; a 4200W generator shouldn’t be used to power 4200 watts worth of equipment. Give yourself at least 20% head room.
So your final required wattage is:
All the individual equipment wattages for the items you wish to run together (x 3 if the item has an induction motor), + 20% head room = minimum wattage generator you require
For example, to run a 250W slow cooker with a 650W hand drill the maths is:
650W (drill) x 3 (starting wattage) = 1950W
1950W (drill total) + 250W (slow cooker) = 2200W
2200W + 20% = 2640W total required watts required
Typical Power Ratings
This is an approximate guide only. Wattages can vary massively, so it's always worth looking up your specific piece of equipment.
|Electrical Equipment||Approximate Wattage||Electrical Equipment||Approximate Wattage|
|Air con 1hp||2500*||Iron||1000|
|Angle grinder 125mm||1100*||Iron (steam)||2200|
|Angle grinder 230mm||2200*||Jigsaw||600*|
|Belt sander||1100*||Kettle||2500 - 3000|
|Cement mixer (small)||1500*||Lawn mower||600 - 1200*|
|Central heating pump||800||Lawn raker||500|
|Chain saw||1600*||Light bulb-domestic||25 - 100|
|Concreate poker||2500*||Microwave 900W||1500|
|Cooker||12,000 (minimum)*||Orbital sander||500*|
|Computer and VDU||700||Planer||1000*|
|Coffee machine||1300||Power drill||500 - 900*|
|Demolition breaker||2400*||Pressure washer||3000 - 6000*|
|Dish Washer||2000 - 3000*||Printer||400|
|Fan heater 2 bar||2000*||Radiator (oil filled)||1000 -2000|
|Fax Machine||600||Router||1600 - 9000*|
|Flood light TH||500||Saw (chain)||1500*|
|Flood light MH||1000||Saw (masonry)||4000*|
|Fluorescent tube||60||Saw (mitre)||1600*|
|Floor sander (200mm)||2000*||SAT TV receiver||25|
|Fridge||700 - 1000*||Television||200|
|Hair dryer||1500 -2300*||Toaster||1050 - 1500|
|Hair straightners||150||Treadmill (domestic)||2300*|
|Hammer drill||1000*||Tumble dryer||2500*|
|Hedge trimmer||600*||Vacuum Cleaner||1000 - 1300*|
|Hot air gun||3000||Water heater||3000|
|Electrical Equipment||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|0.25 HP motor||250||800|
|0.50 HP motor||500||1600|
|0.75 HP motor||750||2300|
|1.00 HP motor||1000||3000|
|1.50 HP motor||1500||4500|
|2.00 HP motor||2000||6000|
*These items will normally have a starting wattage so remember to multiply the wattage by 3.
kVA, kW and Watts:
Domestic or Professional Use?
We split our range of generators in two ranges; domestic and professional use – each with their own warranty specific to its intended use.
If you want a generator for doing occasional jobs requiring power tools, for your hobby, or as a short back-up generator for outages, a SGS generator will be exactly what you’re looking for. SGS generators are fantastic value for money and perfect for home and hobbyist use. Designed to be run occasional, they are perfect for back up use or working in the garden at the weekend.
If you’re planning to use the generator every day or commercially, we have a whole range of generators perfect for the task. If you need a power source regularly, or for a prolonged period of time, we’d suggest a Stephill generator. They’re made in the UK to the highest of standards, with energy efficiency and performance in mind. They’re fitted with Honda, Yanmar or Lombardini engines and come with a three year commercial use warranty.
We also offer a range of budget Hyundai generators that are perfect for lower end commercial use and serious hobbyists. They’re great for backup power or more sporadic commercial applications.
Electrically Sensitive Equipment?
Petrol or Diesel Generators?
Petrol generators come in 1 to 10 kVA models and are available as great value domestic use models as well as professional models design for high usage. Available in 110 and 230V sockets, you would also need a fly lead for use with a standard 3 pin plug. View Now
Diesel generators tend to be larger and are more expensive than petrol generators. However, they offer better fuel economy and longer run times. Large capacity diesel generators (10kVA+) are available, such as "welfare cabin" models. We have diesel generators available made by Stephill here in the UK, as well as by Hyundai. View Now
There’s nothing more frustrating and disruptive to a busy life than a long power outage. Waiting around in the dark and being completely reliant on the National Grid can be quite the headache – but there is a cost effective solution! Standby generators allow you to use your household lighting and appliances in the home, completely independently of the grid, meaning you’re always prepared for a power-cut.
The simplest way of providing back up power to your home is to install two products; a standby generator and a transfer switch.
As well as providing you with convenience and security, a stand-by generator power system can reduce home-owners insurance rate and even boost the value of your house. You can see a full range of SGS standby generators here. Beware; installing a standby generator and/ or a transfer switch should only ever be carried out by a competent electrician. View Now
As our range of generators has grown over the years, we’ve added more and more specialist generators. As well as a comprehensive range of petrol, diesel and inverter generators we now stock a range of LPG, welder, rail approved, welfare and export generators, to suit more specialist requirements.
Bottled gas offers a considerable saving compared to petrol or diesel fuel sources. On average LPG is 30% - 50% cheaper to run, and as the price of petrol and diesel steadily increase, an LPG generator becomes an ever more attractive solution. If you’ve got LPG gas canisters readily available, like many caravan enthusiasts do, the LPG range can be a great mobile power solution. View Now
Stephill offer a small range of generators specifically designed for the welders. They’re rugged, purpose built generators made in the UK, perfect for commercial use on site. We also offer a range of compatible welding leads in AC and DC varieties. View Now
Here at SGS, we’re one of the few suppliers of Network Rail approved generators in the UK. Designed to be robust, dynamic and overall incredibly safe to work with, these specialist generators are perfect for commercial use around and on the railway. View Now
These specifically designed diesel generators are great for powering accommodation or welfare units. They’re all made in the UK and powered by super-silent Yanmar and Kubota engines. They’re simple to use, single phase, low vibration units available with delivery straight to site. View Now
Specifically designed for operation outside of the UK, these export generators offer great value for money, considering their impressive power output. Made by Stephill in the UK, they all come with 3 years' commercial warranty and an unparalleled build quality. View Now
Still not sure which generator to choose?
SGS Engineering are the UK based experts in generators. As well as designing our own range of generators, we’ve stocked some of the biggest brands around, so we really know what we’re talking about. Call us today for unbeaten customer support and advice. Our technical team are available for individual consultation, so call on 01332 576 850 to discuss your requirements today.