Tips on Buying Pre-owned Generators

By: Barney Garcia

Companies, large or small, normally purchase pre-owned or low-hour used generators. Because, it is assumed they are cost-effective and tested. However, the following tips can ensure right purchase after making the choice from single, three phase, wattage, voltage, self start, motor starting, etc.:

Age
While buying a pre-owned car, the mileage is checked from the odometer. The Generators are also motor driven and hence the age and the usage can be checked. Normally, standby generators are less used than the one connected to the prime power. When the set is not supported with such meters, the reputation of the seller and their technical expertise is important. The seller's knowledge can be measured by asking the procedures they use – installation and de-installation, dyno-testing equipments, etc.

Brand
The make of the Generator definitely illustrate its performance. A well known brand with specific quality certifications ensures safety. Of course, proper maintenance by the user is implied. Reputed firms like Cummins, Wartsila, Kohler, Caterpillar and a handful of others are safe bet. Buying from unknown brands is taking a big chance.

Physical Inspection
Like any other machinery, the generators go through wear and tear. All the mechanical components need to be checked. If any of the parts are replaced with different brand spares, affirmation should be obtained if the same were done by qualified technicians. Check for any welding and undue windings. From a safety point of view, the bearings, bushings, bolts, nuts, etc., replacement ensures smooth functioning of the generator.

Load Test
A load test helps to measure the efficiency of the Generator. Based on the response of the Generator on the varying loads, its efficiency is estimated. The test should check for proper and steady output and frequency. The tests need to be conduced two or three times to ensure there are not power breakdowns.

Selling Party
It is obvious we see generator up for sale in the classifieds, on eBay, and so forth. But, generators are complex and finely tuned machinery that needs tested by certified technicians to ensure optimum efficiency and be there when it is needed most. Always going with a professional organization having years of industry experience is better choice. End-user to end-user transactions may be avoided if proper assessment techniques are at lapse.

Guarantees and Warranties
Since the pre-owned generators may not have longer guarantee and warranty periods as balance, at least check for having 30 to 60 days.

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