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3 + hours logged on my new Honda EM6500 SX Generator

Post in 'The Gear' started by FrankMA, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    190
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    So far so good! Nice to have back up power when the grid goes down. When we lose power it is usually for several days at a time. Feel like I hit the jackpot with this generator. 95% of what I need powered is handled by this generator. All the important stuff plus a few extra circuits that make a huge difference.
    smokinj, Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.

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  2. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I gotta get one, if for nothing else, just to keep the freezers and the fridge kicking......sad thing is, it takes an event like this to make you realize that you REALLY GOTTA GET ONE....

    After the storm passes, it's soon forgotten til the next one.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    27,816
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    Michigan
    Having a generator is a lot like having a spare tire in the car or truck. You can get by a long time without one but it takes only once.... I'd rather tote that tire around and know if a flat happens I can still go. I also compare this to carrying a tire pump on the bicycle. Hope I never need it but...
    pen and Shadow&Flame like this.
  4. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    529
    Loc:
    Leicester, NC
    You really can"t go wrong with those Japanese gen sets. I personally think everything else is junk comparatively until you start to get into the high end stuff like oil burners. My present genny is a Coleman and it is junk!
  5. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
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    190
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    10+ hours now and looks like it might be a couple days more as a huge tree knocked down 2 poles and all the wires that feed my neighborhood. I live in a rural area and as such we are usually at the end of the line (literally) to get any service work done by National Grid. So glad I bought my generator when I did. Did not like spending the $$$ but it all seems worth it now that I have power. Kind of like insurance - don't like paying the bill until something happens and then you're glad you have it.

    Judging by my first tank of fuel, I should be able to get about 12 - 14 hours out of a single tank.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Gen-set is a must have....I have never lost power more than a few hrs but you never know.
  7. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Loc:
    West, TX
    Yep. I was in Houston when Ike came through. I didn't have one before the power went out but I bought one afterward. Didn't want to live like that again for any period of time if I didn't have to.
  8. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
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    339
    Loc:
    Western PA - Steeler Country!
    Yep, since we bought our generator, the only time on it has been me every couple months firing it up for awhile. Very glad we have it even though it has not been needed yet.
  9. trailrated

    trailrated Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
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    232
    Loc:
    Maryland
    Just a recommendation, might want to go ahead and change the oil. I'm assuming this genny is brand new? Most call for a break in oil change @ the 10 hour mark. Probably won't hurt anything if you didn't right away, but something like a genny to give me piece of mind when I needed it, I would heed to the maintenance instructions.

    I had a whole house genny installed recently and didn't loose utility power during Sandy......go figure. I lost power for 5 days during Irene.
  10. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
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    288
    Loc:
    Ozarks
    How much you need one and what capacity you require will vary greatly. When I lived in the city I used my (now 30 year old) 2500 watt unit to run the gas furnace, the refrigerator, and a few lights. The need arose maybe once every four years. As I now also live at the end of a rural line I have 15kw (no city water. no natural gas) and use it about once a year. I shut it down overnight, though, as the pressure tank will handle a few toilet flushes and the refrigerator and deep freeze will be fine for eight or nine hours.

    Remember that others may want a generator as well. Gangs will pick up your generator and run it to a waiting pickup or van and be gone by the time you notice the power is off. A good heavy chain to slow them down will often be enough to get them to pick on someone else.

    A generator that does not work is even worse than not having one at all. I have mine on the calendar to run for two or three hours every quarter. Weekly would be better, but who has the time?

    Make sure you have a proper disconnect. For their own protection, utility crews have taken to creating a dead short across any downed power line. This will, of course, fry your generator if you are connected.
  11. shmodaddy

    shmodaddy Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
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    232
    Loc:
    So IL
    The last time we lost power was during an ice storm two years ago. It was out for two days and three nights. We never missed a beat, burnt some gas, but we were warm, had a few lights and the t.v.. I left the porch light on just to mess with the neighbors :D. Cruel I know..


    Sent from my rooted and eclipse running X2--thanks nitro-- if im posting on here I'm probably supposed to be working! I can't help im addicted to HEARTH.COM!
  12. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    Sep 12, 2009
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    339
    Loc:
    Western PA - Steeler Country!
    yep - one of the most important maintenance items for any generator. I try to run mine every 2-3 months for about an hour - don't forget to put a load on it when running it!
  13. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    trailrated: I just changed the oil this afternoon at the 13 hour mark. The manual says to do the first oil change at 20 hours I but decided that sooner would be better than later, especially as it looks like I will be using the generator for several days in a row.

    jotul82e: It's funny that you mention chaining the generator to deter thieves. The city boy in me got me outside last night doing just that - chaining the generator to the lally column inside my garage with a 20' chain I used to use to pull my 4WD buddies out of the mud.
  14. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    Dec 7, 2011
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    269
    Loc:
    Sherman, NY
    I have a Libbey built MEP-002. She gets load tested every two weeks and run every week. I maintain generators for work, regular runtime is critical. I have spent alot of time around the J series Onans (and the E series at work)over the years. They are finicky, but once running right are about the most reliable set for their size. The MEP 2 and 3's have the Onan engine and a much better generator/fuel system/xtrol. For me the choice was between The MEP and a JB Onan.

    IF I had to choose another, It would be the Honda (But if you couldn't gather, I really REALLY love my Onans!)
  15. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

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    Central Arkansas
    Now is the time to start looking...after this storm there will be a lot of them returned to the stores... Living out in the country I have always liked the security of having a generator... I recently bought a Champion 4000watt from TSC and its been a nice little gen for keeping my outbuilding freezers and fridge cool.
  16. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    288
    Loc:
    Ozarks
    Start looking now. The big box stores will bring them in by the truckload and usually have them at unbeatable prices - builds good will and all that.

    I do always test-run mine with the full house load. We save up laundry, showers, and baking for generator test day. After a three hour run we smell good and eat well.
  17. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    Update: I now have 35 hours on my not so new anymore generator which made life so much more bearable for the close to 4 days we were without grid power. I went through approximately 12 - 15 gallons of fuel over that timeframe. I would definitely recommend having at least 20 gallons of reserve fuel on-hand and a full tank of fuel in the generator just in case an outage turns into a long term endeavor. If the chit hit the fan you could stretch that amount of fuel into several weeks of intermittent run time if needed.

    Been thinking about getting a small 2000 watt generator for it's ability to sip fuel, run the fans on my insert and a few other low watt items like a TV with DVD player and a couple of lights. In reading some other generator related posts here, it seems I could get a Harbor Freight model for cheap money. Most have said they work pretty well and they're in the very affordable $100.00 range. I could get by running the big generator for a much shorter period of time with a small unit on hand. I still need the 240 volt power to run my well pump but for much of the day could get by with just few 110 volt power items.
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    So here's the thing. You never know if the power outage is short term or long term until it is over. As you demonstrate, the regular man will blow most of his stash in just a few days.
  19. Halligan

    Halligan Feeling the Heat

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    Southeastern Massachusetts
    I have a little 2000 watt Honda that has been a life saver. I didn't lose power during Sandy but after Irene I ran the genny for 3 days. While a whole house generator run on natural gas would be great I'm glad I have the little Honda. She sips fuel and is very quiet. The downside is I need to run extension cords around the house. I'm pretty OCD about maintenance on any gas powered thing I own and the Honda is no different. I change the oil frequently and run it every month or two. When exercising it I power my shop vac and vacum my truck so it runs under load.
  20. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

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    I try and keep at least 50 gallons of gas on hand at all times and rotate it thru the lawn equipment and autos every 6 months...
  21. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    I always do a recon trip just after a major storm to be sure I'm not blocked in by downed trees and to see what effects the storm had on my area. Knowing if your local gas stations and food stores are fully functional or not has a bearing on how conservative one needs to be with their fuel/food supply.
  22. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    I put about 48 hours on my new genny, changed the oil after 10 hours, then changed it again when the power came back on for storage. Best purchase besides for woodstove in a long time.
  23. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    i bought a whole house generator last year. we have water issues and need to make sure our sump pumps operate when we lose power and it rains. i wouldn't be without one. comes on automatically when power is interupted. it was $3200 installed, but it is a small price to pay considering what a flood costs.
  24. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    1,892
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    Some thoughts: If you only are concerned about the essentials like fridge/freezer, some lights, computer, TV, etc, then a small gen is perfectly adequate. Like many others, I have a Honda 2000i inverter gen (actually 1600 watts continuous) which is great. It sips gas, starts right away, is quiet for a generator, and has enough power for those items, (although maybe not everything at once, depending). It's enough for many if not most furnace fans depending on size, you have to look at the surge requirements. There are other ones like Yamaha's. I am on a well with a submersible pump that takes a large surge, so I have about 135 gallons of water stored also. We have to be careful with water in an emergency. I just can't justify a big generator just to run a pump occasionally. Any water suggestions would be appreciated.

    Those cheaper generators like the 2-stroke one from HF would be risky to use for sensitive items like electronics. The inverter types give you a nice clean regulated waveform, but you do pay for that.

    I keep about 17 gallons of gas in containers, and I keep my two cars full of gas, which can be syphoned if necessary, plus another 5 in a mower. I don't worry about using Stabil because after a few months, I'll rotate all that gas through the cars and burn it anyway, so it all keeps fresh.

    Whatever you do, DON'T backfeed a generator into the house. I know, it seems like common sense, but it happens. If you have a large enough generator to partly power the house, it's a good idea to have a transfer switch installed. If you're really rich, get a whole house propane generator with an automatic transfer switch. Now that's the ticket. Edit: Yeah, like Firecracker's...
    Todd 2 likes this.
  25. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    We aren't really rich by any means. We have flooded out several times over the years and it is such a nightmare. July 2011, we had 7 inches of rain in 4 hours. My parents had to drive 1.5 hours to bring their generator and pump out our basement right before we lost a 2 year old h.e. furnace, water heater, and washer dryer among other things. State farm ended up cutting us a check for $23,000 for the structural and contents damage. We had enough left to finish a bathroom upstairs and buy a Generac as well as do some concrete work to modify our foundation wall....long story, not worth mentioning. I also put that Woodstock gas stove into the basement in 2011 partly as a back-up as earlier in 2011, the blizzard killed our power and had me panicked about frozen pipes although the power came on eventually. I never want to be without a option for heat...even if the Generac failed.

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