General Question

philosopher's avatar

Where can I purchase a generator?

Asked by philosopher (9152points) March 18th, 2010

I had no heat or lights from Saturday afternoon until Tuesday night. I had no phone or Internet service till last night.
It was not easy. It was cold.

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13 Answers

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Almost all large hardware stores.

Strauss's avatar

I think the brownouts and blackouts are only a taste of things to come. I would seriously consider a generator. There are many things to consider when making this purchase: how much power do you need (or want); if you are a renter, would your landlord integrate it into your elecrical system, and could you take it with you if you ever leave; if you own your own home, can you use wood for heat? Make sure you get answers before making a decision.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

You can get a generator from a lot of sources, Home Depot, Lowe’s, many hardware stores, even secondhand on e-bay and other online sources.

But have a qualified and licensed electrician set it up for you, because feedback to “the street” for an improperly connected machine can kill linemen working nearby to correct a power failure related to nearby equipment failure.

philosopher's avatar

Jeff is there any place on line?
I admit I am still shaken up over living with no heat or lights from Saturday until Tuesday night.
LOL we got phone and Internet back yesterday.
Lowe’s and Home Depot had nothing here over the weekend.
Thanks I will check back @CyanoticWasp .

BoBo1946's avatar

@philosopher hey, sounds like fun to me…during the ice storm many years ago…in the same shape…my neighbors and us, build a huge fire and cooked all our stuff that was going to ruin and had a, a little beer..loll

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@philosopher I imagine you could usually buy from Home Depot or Lowes online. However, it sounds like they are sold out at the moment, probably because many people in your position rushed to the stores to buy one. I found this site, which may be helpful to you.

njnyjobs's avatar

Costco sells them, too. If your area stores are out, I would gladly make arrangements to get you one from NJ and we can meet up in SI.

semblance's avatar

As other posters have pointed out, you can buy them at many hardware stores. There are also many specialty power equipment stores.

The real issue is not where to buy one, but what to buy. We live on 120 acres in the middle of a wilderness which is 15 miles from the nearest town, in the mountains. So, we are subject to power failures. I bought a DeWalt generator about two years ago and it has worked great. Ours is small enough that we can move it around the property when we want power to operate tools far from the house. This is a relatively small generator so it will not power that many things, but it will work for a portable heater, some temporary lights, and running the refrigerator or a microwave. If you have that you can last through any normal power outage pretty comfortably. Don’t get talked into getting a huge whole house system. They cost thousands of dollars.

When we operate this we just power what we want in the house by an extension cord from the outside. However, make sure you don’t try just plugging into your circuits. That might aactually work for awhile, but when the power comes back on you can get a major short circuit. You can install a special coupling to plug your generator into your house system so you can do that safely, although we have not done that yet.

njnyjobs's avatar

@semblance when you want to hook up the genset to building circuit, all you need to do is make sure that you cut off the main power switch at your breaker box… so even when the outside power gets back online, you’re house is still disconnected until you throw that main switch back on.

semblance's avatar


Thank you. I have heard of that but never tried it. There would be a bit of a problem doing that where we live because there is no way of knowing when the outside power would come back on. No street lights. No neighbors we can see. The only way we know the power is back up is when our lights come on. Still, in the event of a really long power failure I’ll think about it.

philosopher's avatar

It was anything but fun.
Cooking in the dark and freezing through the night is not fun.
The utility company was poorly paired here in NYC.

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