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Use corded tools in remote areas that have no electrical supply. Supply power to electronic equipment for a campsite or tailgating party. Operate vital appliances during a power outage. With the right generator, you can accomplish all these tasks.

Northern Tool + Equipment‘s new Powerhorse product line offers portable 4,000- and 7,000-watt generators engineered for a lifespan up to eight times longer than other brands—and available with an affordable price tag.  Some of the new models feature an electric start that allows users to simply press a button to get appliances and tools up and running in minutes, without having to pull-start the generator. From the industrial-strength cast iron cylinder sleeves to the dual bearing forged crankshafts, the Powerhorse OHV engines are built to last. The manufacturer claims the copper-wound heads allow the generators to run at full load continuously for weeks without overheating.

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All Powerhorse units also have a clean sine-wave power output that is stable and consistent to ensure sensitive electronics such as your computer, TV or refrigerator are protected and function properly. Each generator is also equipped with a volt meter to monitor and maintain stable power, an extended-run fuel tank to reduce the fuel refilling, and a quiet muffler to keep noise levels down.

The EHT staff recently tested the Powerhorse 4000 (M166112E) when repairing a storm-damaged fence in a remote area of property. With 4,000 surge watts/3,100 rated watts, this easy-to-transport generator comes with a fold-down handle and solid 6″ wheels that will never go flat. It started easily, and I was impressed by how smoothly and quietly it ran. The unit has a full bank of outlets (9 outlets plus 12V DC), allowing you to power a number of appliances and tools simultaneously. We ran an air compressor for our fence project, but the unit has enough power to keep your refrigerator, lights, TV and more running smoothly during a power outage. It comes with 4-gallon fuel tank, and the 208cc OHV engine features low-oil shutdown and recoil start. The 4000-watt Powerhorse generator is a great tool for off-site projects or emergency backup power, and Northern Tool stands behind the product with a 2-year consumer, 90-day commercial limited warranty. Visit www.northerntool.com.

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10 Tips for Generator Maintenance

1. Check the oil before each use. The oil in a brand-new generator should be changed after the first 20 hours of use to remove assembly lube and metallic particles created during the break-in period. Afterward, change the oil every 100 hours.

2. To keep fuel clean, store it in an OSHA-approved receptacle and keep out of high traffic areas.

3. Check the condition of the air filter on each day of use. Clean the filter every 100 hours and change it monthly.

4. Use warm water at a low pressure to keep the engine clean. (Never use a pressure washer.) Dry the outside immediately afterward.

5. With the equipment clean and dry, inspect for any signs of fuel leakage. If you spot a leak, tighten the parts causing the leak or replace them immediately.

6. During inspection, take time to tighten loose parts that could vibrate noisily and potentially harm nearby components.

7. Inspect the spark plugs every 50 hours for damage, dirt and carbon buildup. Clean with a wire brush or spark plug cleaner. Replace any plugs with cracked porcelain.

8. Clean and inspect the fuel strainer and fuel filter monthly. If there is sediment in the strainer, shut off the fuel-line valve before cleaning. Then, remove and clean the sediment bowl and the filter screen. If sediment has made its way into the tank, all fuel will need to be removed. Clean the residue from the sediment reservoir (the lowest point in the tank). Use a clean rag to wipe sediment from the filter element and the sides of the tank before refilling.

9. Once a year, take the time to conduct a general inspection of the generator. Look for any dirty, broken or misaligned parts. Replace the fuel hose if there are cracks present.

10. If the generator needs to be stored for an extended period of time, be sure to exercise it every two to three months. Let it run for at least 10 minutes while carrying a load.

Regular maintenance will ensure your generator is in prime condition to keep for emergency situations or home improvement projects.

— M. Weber

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