ACF Standby Systems Blog

Category archive: Used Generators

Hand-Me-Down Generators

We know that when people go to buy something, they generally prefer to look at brand-new items. Sometimes it just feels like you have more ownership of something if you are the first and only one to ever own it.

When it comes to generators, or anything with an engine for that matter, it would be careless not to consider possible repercussions of buying a used product. No one wants to end up putting money into a lemon. However, just as some used cars offer great value, if you do your research and make an informed decision, you can end up with a great used generator that will back up your power supply for years.

Let’s quickly recap the benefits of buying a new generator:

  • Reliability and sustainability of an engine that has zero hours (car engine usage is measured in miles driven, while generator engine usage is measured by the amount of hours that the system is turned on and running )
  • Likely chance that the unit has an extended warranty
  • Broader selection of generators to choose from on the market
  • Brand-new models may have features that older used models do not

Now it is time to talk about used generators. Like we said, you will have to do some research and plan accordingly when making your purchase. Having harped on that point long enough, there are benefits to buying a used generator. The price alone is a major benefit. Used products sell for less than new products in every industry, outside of, say, art, so a used generator will save you money up front. Considering we all have budgets, saving money is a huge benefit. Here’s what you need to look at to make sure that you buy a quality used generator.

  • Age and usage– Age refers to how many years old the generator is. Usage refers to how many hours the engine has on it. Remember that the older a unit is, the more trouble you may have locating replacement parts down the road. The more hours that a unit has on it (most generators have odometers like cars), the more likely you are to need to make repairs sooner than later.
  • Brand and model- A used generator can be a great bargain, but beware a deal that is “too good.” Some manufacturers make better products than others and some individual models are also more durable than others. Research the brand and model of any used generator that you are looking to purchase. Find out life expectancy and look for reviews from actual users.
  • Condition of the Unit- While the above factors will directly affect the condition of a used generator, take some time to find out about the mechanical state of the unit you are looking at. You may be able to find a refurbished unit. If not ask:
    • Has the unit received proper maintenance?
    • Did the dealer perform a load test on the unit to assess exactly where it stands capability- wise? If so, what were the results? A quality used generator dealer should be able to answer this question.
    • How many owners has the generator had?
    • How was the generator stored? Kept uncovered, a generator might have gone through more wear and tear in a rainy climate like Miami, than an uncovered generator in Jacksonville.
  • Warranty- Although the unit is used, it can still have a warranty. Expect this if the unit is refurbished, but ask for one even if it is not. A “great deal” on an as-is unit may end up costing you a lot later in repairs. Most reputable dealers will work with you on a warranty.

We hope that you find the generator that you need. Used models are not necessarily bad and can be used to effectively provide your facility with power. Just remember, researching a used generator is key.

ACF Standby Systems- Used Inventory
Surplus Generator Equipment (

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My Standby Generator Failed, What Happened?
What to Look for When Choosing a Generator
When to Replace Your Generator
Seven Things you Need to Know Before You Buy a Generator