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Buying a used portable generator

Old 05-25-2018, 05:42 AM
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Default Buying a used portable generator

So, looking for a camping and back-up generator, and came across a used Honda 3000is. Owner claims it's been dormant for nearly the entire time he's owned it. He bought it for the same purpose, but never went camping.

It's about 10 years old, and he claims it's been maintained, and has less than 40 hours of total use.

Worth considering? It's about 50% of the cost of a new one.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:49 AM
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Find out what a new carburetor will cost. R&R the carb and fuel lines after draining the gas tank whether it runs or not. the hoses will have started to rot and split.

Does it run now?

FWIW, you'll do fine with a 2000, and that market has a lot of players; all with lower prices than Honda. Look up the differences in weight between a 2000i and a 3000i....

Here's an alternative that's brand new; look at the ratings: https://www.harborfreight.com/3500-W...tor-63584.html

Last edited by bamaboy473; 05-25-2018 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:49 AM
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Will a 3,000 run what you need to run? Going to be a bit light for running AC in many cases. My neighbor has a 26' travel trailer, and it won't run on a 3,000, but will run on a pair of EU2000i's in parallel.

If it will run what you need it to, and it passes the smell test, go for it. I would much rather have a half price used honda in good condition than a brand new knock off at the same price.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:39 AM
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I have a pair of the Honda 2000s (bought one in 2005 for a boat, a second with a travel trailer in 2013). They work great but I recently saw that Harbor freight 3,500w with a coupon for $699 and if I didn't already have the Hondas that is the way I would go!
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:40 AM
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If it cranks and runs then yes around 50%.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Will a 3,000 run what you need to run?
I think so. It'll be used in a small, one-room cabin that has no power. It will be used to power LED lighting, a portable A/C unit, and a full-size fridge. The A/C unit claims "1,400 watt max" power consumption, which I assume would be the start-up wattage, and according to the Honda wattage guide, the typical energy star fridge consumes around 200 watts. I wish I could get away with the new Honda 2200, but I'm worried about a simultaneous startup of the A/C and fridge tripping the breaker.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:00 AM
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Are you tying all of this together in a central breaker box? If so, I would be inclined to add a hard start capacitor to the fridge and the AC circuit. Not the traditional or necessarily to code way of handling this, but an off grid cabin running strictly on a generator is a bit of a unique situation anyway.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
I would be inclined to add a hard start capacitor to the fridge and the AC circuit..
I've not heard of these. How do you add them, where do you get them, when should you use them, etc...
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:27 AM
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Just a capacitor. Can get them at any electrical supplier. Should be used anytime the starting load of a motor pushes the limits of the peak output of a generator.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:29 AM
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The problem with the little portable generators is that almost none of them have an hour meter. Half price for a used honda EU is a great deal, you'll just have to give it a good look over and use its condition as a guide to how used it might be. BUT I don't necessarily think you need this given your intended use.

What is the BTU size of the AC you're going to try to power? You'll find lots of references from people with various BTU units vs generators.

Agreed with the above that the 2000 (or even a pair of them) and the knockoffs would be more portable than the 3000. Again, if you can get by with a 6,500 btu AC you could probably pull off a honda 2200 and just a little bit more care around load management. The fridge and AC are unlikely to start at the same time, more likely they'll both run full bore for a few hours and then cycle on/off intermittently.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
The problem with the little portable generators is that almost none of them have an hour meter. Half price for a used honda EU is a great deal, you'll just have to give it a good look over and use its condition as a guide to how used it might be. BUT I don't necessarily think you need this given your intended use.

What is the BTU size of the AC you're going to try to power? You'll find lots of references from people with various BTU units vs generators.

Agreed with the above that the 2000 (or even a pair of them) and the knockoffs would be more portable than the 3000. Again, if you can get by with a 6,500 btu AC you could probably pull off a honda 2200 and just a little bit more care around load management. The fridge and AC are unlikely to start at the same time, more likely they'll both run full bore for a few hours and then cycle on/off intermittently.
There is a blink code on the Honda EU2000.

No blink = less than 100 hours
1blink 100-200, etc.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Spacemaker View Post
So, looking for a camping and back-up generator, and came across a used Honda 3000is. Owner claims it's been dormant for nearly the entire time he's owned it. He bought it for the same purpose, but never went camping.

It's about 10 years old, and he claims it's been maintained, and has less than 40 hours of total use.

Worth considering? It's about 50% of the cost of a new one.
Family owns an EU 3000 @ ~140 lbs hardly portable.

Two EU2000i's (EU2200's)and companion cables is the way to go. The EU2200 has a fuel shut off which is a nice feature.

An APC transfer switch has load shedding, allows a much smaller generator.

Last edited by aubv; 05-25-2018 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:28 AM
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It's a 12,000BTU portable air conditioner, along the lines of this:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Danby-120...ea&athena=true

The "Predator" unit looks quite enticing at $699! Would I have cause for concern when it comes to ruggedness and reliability though? I really can't afford to have this thing go down 2 days into a 5 day trip.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Spacemaker View Post
It's a 12,000BTU portable air conditioner, along the lines of this:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Danby-120...ea&athena=true

The "Predator" unit looks quite enticing at $699! Would I have cause for concern when it comes to ruggedness and reliability though? I really can't afford to have this thing go down 2 days into a 5 day trip.
You are going to be doing a lot of oil changing. Oil change interval is 50 hours I believe.

Regardless of what you end up with, if it doesn't have an integrated meter, add one of these. Many brands available, and easy to install.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hardline-...&wl13=&veh=sem

An extended run kit, and oil filler extension will also make your life much easier.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Are you tying all of this together in a central breaker box?
Is this necessary to use a hard-start capacitor, or can it be wired inline? I'm in a similar situation as the OP. I'd prefer to go with a more portable unit, like the Honda EU2200i.

Last edited by Commocean; 05-25-2018 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Commocean View Post
Is this necessary to use a capacitor?
Depends.

If you have an appliance that has a surge load that will hit or come very close to the max output of the generator, it is definitely a good idea, and can be a requirement.

Generators take a few seconds to go from wherever they are running to putting out max power. This delay is longer than the typical startup surge duration for the appliance. What this does is stretch out the start up surge, which is not all that good for either the generator or the appliance.

Think of a capacitor as an inline battery that can dump its entire capacity very quickly, and do so automatically as needed. With an added capacitor inline, rather than the generator having to quickly surge up in output, the capacitor absorbs most of that short duration load.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:12 AM
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Google "factory refurbished Generac generators." I bought an iQ2200 last fall on ebay that came from a factory refurbisher in GA or TN for just over $400. Pretty sure it was brand new and never actually needed re-furb. Great little genny and very similar to the small Honda for a lot less $$. Also super quiet when in econo mode.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
The problem with the little portable generators is that almost none of them have an hour meter. Half price for a used honda EU is a great deal, you'll just have to give it a good look over and use its condition as a guide to how used it might be. BUT I don't necessarily think you need this given your intended use.

What is the BTU size of the AC you're going to try to power? You'll find lots of references from people with various BTU units vs generators.

Agreed with the above that the 2000 (or even a pair of them) and the knockoffs would be more portable than the 3000. Again, if you can get by with a 6,500 btu AC you could probably pull off a honda 2200 and just a little bit more care around load management. The fridge and AC are unlikely to start at the same time, more likely they'll both run full bore for a few hours and then cycle on/off intermittently.
I have a Honda 3000i and a 2000i there is what we ran last year when Irma passed by.
2 fridges and a freezer
3 TV's computer wireless etc
3 5000btu window shakers (I ran the most of the heavy stuff on the 3k all the tv's lights etc on the 2k)
various lamps etc
To run the microwave or coffee maker had to shut off 2 of the window units
I did this with 4 gang J box with heavy SO cable. I had the 2 genets running on my front porch with a chain run through and lock ,25 gallons of gas plus whatever is in the boat.
this is my hurricane set up the only down side is no hot water. I am thinking of back feeding through the dryer connection this year hopeful won't need to.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:34 PM
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Harbor Freight generators? Never had anything electrical from them that lasted more than 10 minutes. Sounds like a good deal on the Honda. I'd buy it if I needed something like that. If you are not moving it around a lot, look at Northern Tool's line of generators, most use Honda engines. North Star is the brand.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:37 PM
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How many amps will you be pulling?
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