The Great Generator Debate (Why We Don't Have/Provide Them)
Updated: Apr 4
Update: On year 7 the below still holds true. We've started our 3rd year running in the Bounce House Rental business, and truth be told I can count on one hand (with a couple fingers to spare) how many times a generator would have truly been needed. That's not to say we will never get one, but at this point demand just isn't there to have to buy, store, and maintain a generator - not to mention the other things that go with it like providing fuel, additional liability, and a greater potential for something to go wrong vs. plugging it in to an outlet (i.e. generator stops working out of fuel/low oil/overheating/mechanical trouble...). The other thing is if we did invest in a generator it wouldn't be included in the rental price, customers would have to separately rent out the generator (probably at a price point of about $50/rental in addition to the bounce house), and it would need to be booked in advance.
All that in mind I've looked back at every instance someone has asked or needed a generator, the majority of the time power was available nearby and even if we toted a generator with us just in case when asked to pay $50 extra one would assume the customer would tell you never mind the generator just plug it in. In one case we arrived and found out the park had no power (outlets were turned off/circuit tripped), we most likely wouldn't have had the generator with us either unless requested ahead of time (customer assumed outlets would work). In the last 2 cases customers obtained their own generator, in 1 of those 2 cases, having a run of the mill generator wouldn't have done any good as this corporate venue specifically wanted quiet operating generators (they ran to Home Depot to rent them) and their setup required 2 generators due to the layout (so us having 1 wouldn't have been a huge help anyway), the other case someone brought a personal one free of charge to use for the event.
I can safely assume, even if we had a generator and lugged it around with each rental it would have saw no more then 2-3 uses (being optimistic with that number) over the course of 2 years.
If you intend to rent a bounce house I strongly recommend verifying power works and is adequate prior to a party (check the circuit breaker to see how many amps if possible, plug something in to see if there is power), especially if dealing with multiple units/blowers or at a public venue. We provide 12/3 commercial grade extension cords, which can safely go up to 150 feet with a blower running (plus you get about 20 feet of cord on the actual blower itself), with up to 170 feet at our disposal we rarely have an issue finding an outlet nearby - the exceptions being some parks and large grassy fields. Keep in mind if for some reason your venue lacks adequate nearby power tool/equipment rental places such as Home Depot usually have generators for rent (~$50-100) as well.
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