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Smaller generators are useful for travel, camping, and other outdoor activities, as they are relatively portable. One major downside of small generators is that they don’t deliver enough power. What if you wanted to do more than just charge up your phone and power low-wattage devices?
Mid-sized generators offer the perfect balance between power and portability. With its powerful engine, wheel kit and handle, the Duromax XP400E is an excellent option since it can handle heavy loads without sacrificing mobility.
- 1 Duromax XP4400E Portable Generator
- 2 What Is a 3500-Watt Generator?
- 3 Finding the Right Generator for Your Needs
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Duromax XP4400E Portable Generator
The Duromax XP4400E features a 7.0 horsepower (hp) engine, which can handle appliances and devices that use lots of energy, like a refrigerator, home air conditioner, or high amperage tools. To keep a few essential things running in your home in the event of a power outage, the Duromax XP4400E may be perfect for your needs.
The noise level of this generator is 69 decibels, which is similar to a gas-powered lawnmower. While the Duromax is not the quietest generator on the market, it’s not uncommon for mid-sized generators to be noisy.
The Duromax XP4400E generator is gas-powered and has an 11-hour run time when half full. The actual run time varies and depends on what you have plugged into the generator and how much gas you have available.
Although this generator runs on gas, it was designed with a reduced emissions engine. The Duromax XP4400E is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB), which means that it follows strict guidelines to ensure it’s as environmentally-friendly as possible.
Specs and Features:
- 208cc OHV engine
- MX2 Technology
- 69 dBA
- 9Gal Fuel Tank Capacity
- 4,400 Starting Watts
- 3,500 Running Watts
- Low Oil Shut-Off
- Auto Throttle
- One-Touch Electric Start
- Built-In Spark Arrester on Muffler
- Requires little to no maintenance
- Charges its own battery while running
- Comes with wheel kit, oil funnel, spark plug wrench and toolset
- Large power capacity
- Unclear directions for wheel kit assembly
- Not the quietest unit
What Is a 3500-Watt Generator?
A 3,500-watt generator can handle up to 3,500 watts of energy. However, when looking for a generator’s specific wattage capacity, you have to pay attention to two key terms – starting watts and running watts.
Starting watts represent how much wattage a generator can handle for a few seconds to start up motor-operated appliances and devices. Therefore, starting watts give a generator the extra capacity to start certain appliances and reach their full speed. Think of starting watts as the momentary power a generator can supply to start a motor.
Running watts, on the other hand, measure the continuous power a generator can supply. Let’s look at the Duromax XP4400E as an example. This unit has 4,400 starting watts and 3,500 running watts.
You can run appliances or devices that don’t exceed 4,400 watts for a few seconds before the generator becomes overloaded. However, this generator will provide continuous power to devices that don’t exceed 3,500 watts. In this case, the Duromax XP4400E is a 3,500-watt generator, not a 4,400-watt generator, as the product name suggests.
You may be wondering what a 3,500-watt generator can power. A 3,500-watt generator can run pretty much any essential household appliance, such as a fridge/freezer, microwave, small AC, TV, sump pump, microwave, or power tools.
Whether you can run these items at the same time depends on the amount of power they consume. You also want to make sure your generator has the correct number and type of outlets that some higher wattage appliances (i.e., AC units) require. Central AC’s need a 220-volt or 240-volt outlet to run. The Duromax XP4400E generator, for example, comes with a 240V outlet.
Even though a 3,500W generator can handle heavy power loads, you shouldn’t expect it to run your whole house simultaneously. If you want to run all appliances and devices in your home at the same time, you’ll need more power than a 3,500 generator can provide, which leads us to the next section.
Finding the Right Generator for Your Needs
As we discussed in the previous section, the type of generator you choose should meet your power needs. Even though you likely know what you want to run on your generator, you’re probably not familiar with how much power your devices usually consume.
To determine your wattage requirements, first list electronic appliances you plan to run in case of a power outage. Then, write down the required starting watts and running watts.
Next, add up the total running watts you need to continuously keep your appliances running. Finally, find the appliance that has the most starting watts and add that value to the total number of running watts.
For example, imagine that your area is experiencing a blackout. You decide that you only want to run your essential appliances, such as a fridge/freezer to keep your food safe, a few lights, a low-wattage window AC to stay cool during the outage, a laptop and a toaster.
Because the fridge is a motor-powered appliance, it might take 2,200 watts to start it up. Your window AC is similar, as it could take up to 3,600 watts to start.
You also want to use a toaster (850 watts), fridge/freezer (700 watts), laptop (300 watts), lamp (150 watts), window AC (1,200 watts), which totals 3,200 running watts. Then, you add the appliance with the highest additional starting watts to that number. In this case, it’s the AC, which requires 3,600 starting watts. So 3,200 + 3,600 = 6,800 watts.
For a 3,500-watt generator, you’d be well within the 3,500-watt limit if you only took the running watts into account. However, you’d need a generator that’s powerful enough to deliver at least 6,800 starting watts to run all those appliances. So if you were using a 3,500-watt generator, you wouldn’t be able to run all these appliances at the same time.
If you wanted to power up a few devices in your RV, including a small TV, mini-fridge, microwave, laptop, and a 7,000 British thermal unit (BTU) RV air conditioner, a generator with 4,400 starting watts and 3,500 running watts, like the Duromax XP4400E would be excellent for this purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions
As you size the right generator for your electrical needs, look over these frequently asked questions to help you make a more informed decision.
How Important Is the Size and Weight of a Portable Generator?
The size and weight of your generator will depend on what you’re using it for. Generally, the larger the generator, the more power it can produce and vice versa.
A smaller, lighter unit typically won’t be very powerful but will be valuable if you’re traveling or camping. However, a larger generator that has a more powerful engine would be suitable for home usage as you won’t need to move it around as much.
While the size and weight do matter when shopping for a generator, other factors, like engine power, tank capacity, wattage, and run-time are just as important. If you find a generator that meets your requirements, but it’s not particularly small and light, don’t worry. You can get a wheel kit for easier portability.
How Loud Are Portable Generators?
Many portable generators produce a considerable amount of noise. The quieter portable generators will often run on solar energy, which means they don’t need an engine. The engine is what produces most of the noise.
Most portable generators have a noise rating from 55 to 85 dBA. Units with a noise rating below 75 are relatively quiet compared to their louder counterparts. Therefore, the lower the decibels, the quieter a unit is.
However, don’t let a higher noise level deter you from purchasing a generator. Efficiency, reliability and durability are more important factors. Plus, if you’re using your generator as a backup power source, you can always move it further away from your house to reduce the noise.
Do I Need a Transfer Switch for My Portable Generator?
While it’s not mandatory, a transfer switch can be quite useful as it can protect your generator and appliances from damage. It also eliminates the need to use special cables. Just connect your transfer switch to your home’s circuit box and you’ll get a direct supply of electricity.
How Do I Maintain My Portable Generator?
You should maintain your generator once a year or every 100 hours of run time. Maintenance should include changing the oil regularly, cleaning the unit, cleaning the air filter and properly storing the unit.
What Happens If My Generator Gets Overloaded?
Most newer generators come with overload protection, meaning that they’ll automatically turn off if the power load exceeds what it can handle. However, older models may not have this feature. Therefore, if you overload a generator without overload protection, it can cause the unit to overheat, which can lead to a fire.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to buying a generator because they all operate a little differently. It’s crucial to keep this in mind when searching for a unit that meets your expectations. If you’re looking for a generator with a powerful engine, reduced emissions and safety features, the Duromax XP4400E is an awesome choice.
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