77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2011
I live in a subdivision where the main road has pine trees lining a little hill with the power lines below them. Regular we lose power so out of frustration I purchased one of these (elsewhere) - same model. I have used it three times thus far - maximum continuous time was for 13 hours. It specifically states in the manual not to run things like TV's without a filter because it does not produce a sine wave (something like that)... Well - we were seriously bored the night we used it the longest so I went ahead and hooked up the following:
Full Size Fridge/Freezer combo, Full size stand up freezer, small fan, two lights, 2 satellite boxes, 1 42" LCD TV and 1 32" LCD TV. Little thing ran like a champ! Never noticed the light dim when adding additional things (TV's/Sat. boxes were the last added) or when the fridge or freezer cycled. Cranks up fairly easy (each time it's taken about 3-4 pulls) and runs a good 9 hours at least with the above (minus the TV's...filled it before bed time and it ran 9 hours and still had a quarter tank almost).
Couldn't be happier so far - total run time around 24 hours to date.
Only complaint would be the lack of wheels and the fact that if you add wheels you void the warranty. This sucker weighs in at around 100lb I believe EMPTY. Not what I'd really call "portable". Fortunately I only have to move it about 10 feet when I need to use it.
Not only would I buy it again, I've recommended it to family members.
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2011
I have owned this generator for almost four years. I live in Maine, where winters can be harsh, so a generator is as important as snow tires around here.
We do not lose power often, but when we do, the generator has performed perfectly each time. I custom-made a wire so that I could plug the generator into my transfer switch, and give power to our home when needed. Granted, it does not power everything in the house - it is a 125V 2500 Watt/20 Amp model, which is a relatively small generator. That said, running lights, TV, Satellite, fan-forced gas fireplace can all run at the same time. If we need to operate the toaster, microwave, or coffee maker (all run at about 1200 Watts continuous), we just need to ensure to use only one of those items at a time, and for good measure we unplug the fridge temporarily, so as not to overload the generator. This may sound like an inconvenience, but it is a lot less inconvenient than freezing your butt off in your own home during a snow or ice storm.
What is extemely important when operating this, or any other gasoline generator, is regular maintenance. It is all in the owners manual, that being: checking the oil before each use, oil changes (I changed mine every six months, regardless of usage), cleaning the air filter, spark plug changes, starting the generator up and running it every few weeks for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, closing the fuel valve and leave the choke open when not in use, keeping the generator clean, warm it up for a few minutes before plugging electrical components into it, only plug in one high wattage item at at a time, waiting for the machine to run smoothly before plugging in the next one, and do not overload it.
I own many small engine items, such as a lawn tractor, chain saw, lawn mower, chipper-shredder, and more. When I use this generator, I still cannot get over how quiet (relatively) it runs. I would not want to have a romantic dinner conversation sitting next to the machine, but whenever the power goes out in my neighborhood, where lots are one to seven acres, I can hear my neighbors' generators echoing more so than my own.
The manufacturer states that this machine can run "8 Hours at 1/2 Load on 4 Gallons of Fuel." Much to my surprise, however, during an ice storm in 2008, we once ran the generator for 16 hours without running out of gas. Granted, we were probably not running it at full or probably even half-load, but I was still amazed.
In addition, this machine has 12 Volt leads on it, so I have used it to jump start my car (dead battery) on ocassion.
The engine is made in China, which one would probably guess with the low price. The engine manufacturer is Chongqing Dajiang Power Equipment. Their engines are used all over the world for every kind of small combustion engine imaginable, from generators to motorcycles. I cannot comment on the reliablility of their other products, but this generator has performed well. I have not needed to buy any replacement parts for it yet (other than the spark plug), but you can buy them from All Power America, or Sears Parts Direct.
Following the same guidelines that you would follow to take care of your car, lawn mower, or any other gasoline powered engine, will likely give you years of reliable usage from this fine piece of equipment.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2011
Used this machine for the first time during Hurricane Irene. This was the first time that I operated a generator and I found the instructions very easy to follow. The instructions are printed in the manual and on the machine. It holds 4 gallons of gasoline so it can run continuously for a long time before refueling. I think the longest that I let it run was 11 hours! Note, however, that there is an issue with the oil. After about 35 hours of running time, the machine stopped running. I called the 1-800 service number (good thing I had phone service) and the people there (who were very helpful) seemed quite aware of this problem. They told me to change the oil and try running it again. The manual says to change the oil after 50 hours.) This did not solve the problem. Once again contacted them and was told to disconnect the oil sensor wire, start the machine and let run 10 minutes, and reconnect. (They explained exactly where everything was located.) This didn't totally solve the problem, but my brother was able to get it going again. The oil level switch may be faulty. Also note, when we changed the oil, it was completely black, so I think that the next time I use it, I will make it a point to change the oil after maybe 30 hours. I should also note that the noise level is not bad; it is quieter than many I've heard.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
EDIT: So, I've used the generator some more and have some more info about the unit. I got it working with my 3 year old ComfortMaker forced hot air furnace. I had to use a 12 gauge extension cord in order to go 100ft. My furnace draws about 1100 watts when the fan kicks in and eventually drops to about 800 watts while running. After prolonged running it then drops again to about 750 watts. The generator was able to handle the load without a problem. Voltage at the generator was a fairly stable 124 VAC and at the furnace it was a stable 120.5 VAC. Good news since most modern natural gas furnaces go through a flame check cycle that will cause the unit to shut down if you have a poor ground or low voltage, thinking the flame went out.
- From my testing the neutral lead of the generator is NOT bonded to the generator ground, unlike the wiring in my house where the neutral buss is bonded to the ground buss.
- The 12VDC output runs a bit high. I measured it at about 17VDC without a load. I probably won't ever use it for anything other than running a 12VDC hour meter.
- The oil drain plug is located below and to the left of the oil fill plug. Draining the oil is pretty easy. After about 1.5 hours of running the oil still looked brand new.
- The carburetor has a drain plug bolt so you can drain it down after forcing it to run itself out of gas. It is the bolt that is on a downward angle and not the one at the very bottom. That being said, even after using the correct drain bolt I found that removing the entire float bowl revealed more fuel was still inside it.
- I was able to run a 1500 watt heat gun and a 500 watt scroll saw at the same time. So, I would say 2kw continuous is not unreasonable. I couldn't find anything else in my garage to plug in and run at the same time to push it further.
- The air filter should be loaded up with fresh motor oil. I don't recall seeing that in the manual but the air box has a sticker saying so. This would improve filtering capability.
- Loaned this to someone else and she could not get the gas cap off to refill it. It is a tight fit for obvious reasons so if you don't have good grip strength you may have some difficulty there.
I bought this from someone other than Amazon, but after losing power for 3 days due to Sandy (we were lucky) I decided it was time to invest in a small generator with enough power to run my heat, refrigerator and sump pump. Not necessarily all three at the same time though. I was originally going to buy the APG 3014 but then I saw this unit for almost the same price.
The retail box is a bit of a tight fit on the sides. Had I ordered it online I have a feeling the sides of the generator would have gotten banged up during shipping. It is a pretty heavy unit and not very portable for a single person. Two people can easily move it though.
There was zero assembly to be done. I just unpacked it, filled it with 10w-30 and 87 octane gas. The oil fill is a bit of a pain in the butt because you can easily overfill it and have it run out. I highly recommend putting some cardboard under it while filling and having it up on a table would make it much easier. The included funnel for filling the oil doesn't fit 100%. It works but goes in at a strange angle.
Someone reviewing the APG 3014 stated that there fuel tank had bits of metal shavings inside that they could hear sliding around when moving the generator. I tried doing the same with mine and thought I had metal shavings in the tank. I removed the fuel tank and brought it inside the house where I found the noise wasn't coming from the tank. It was coming from the steel frame tubes. More than likely while cutting the tubing and welding it together at the factory they didn't clean out the pipes before welding them together. No biggie.
Before starting the generator I pulled the rip cord a few times to get the engine primed up a bit with oil. Probably not really necessary but I figured it was worth doing. With the choke on I couldn't get the engine to start right away. I let it sit for about 30 seconds while doing something else and when I went back it started right up. I have a feeling I didn't give the carburetor enough time to fill with gas after turning the fuel valve on. I let the unit run for a bit without a load to get it warmed up. When turning off the choke it is possible to slide the choke lever too far which will cause the engine to sputter and die. There is a detente position that it should be placed in to close the choke. Once the engine is running the choke lever should be moved to the open position.
With the engine warmed up I put a 1500 watt load on the generator using my heat gun and the engine idled up just a bit and powered the heat gun without a problem. I plan on doing some more testing with it soon and will update this review with any new info.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
First off, I'm not a big review writer... I should do more because I value others input on products. Pre-Sandy, after going to all the local big-box, brick-n-mortars for a generator and finding nothing, I quickly found this little guy on Amazon. I read the 3 or 4 reviews and made a quick decision to buy it. Very affordable compared to some others out there but realize it's a smaller unit... 2500 watts running.
The package arrived the Saturday before the storm... 100lbs, box slightly beat up - not bad/intact. The top of the gas tank was slightly dented, no impact to performance or really appearance.
The Tuesday after the storm, I added oil (easy to do) and gas and it started on the 2nd pull.
I immediately ran 2 long extension cords to 2 refrigerators in the house.
It has 2 outlets, most of the bigger ones have more (4 or so...) This generator (we thought/hoped) would only be needed for a few days, so this small size (we hoped) would suffice.
At times, I ran combinations of: 2 refrigerators, a small electric heater, lights, washer (alone), dryer (alone) and was able to keep a small radio going and recharge small items.
I believe it holds 4 gallons of gas. It was not terrible on gas, depending on what was plugged in. 4 gallons got 7 to 10 hours, maybe. Running it on and off during the day (off at night), I was using about 5/6 gallons a day and felt I could have managed that better if needed to.
After about the 2nd or 3rd day of our black-out, the pull-start had become VERY hard to pull. Prior to this, the wife was starting it on the 1st pull easy. I remembered that in reading a review on this generator and others that the oil needed to be changed after the first 20 hours or so - assuming for a break in period. Changing the oil was very easy; it came out jet black and looked like it was needed.
Our black-out lasted 14 days!! This little unit carried us through the whole thing. We would have most certainly had to leave the house if we did not get it!!
Around day 10 or 11, I changed the oil a 2nd time as the pull start was becoming tougher again. If I started the generator 200 times over those 14 days, the pull problem popped up 5 or 6... Hoping it's just the oil thing...Manual recommends changes every 50 hours.
The unit is "noisy" but not obnoxiously loud - certainly quieter than some of the dozens that were running in our neighborhood.
With it fully gassed up, the wife and I could move it around no problem, no wheels though. Small enough that I intend to bring it down the road to my next large Jimmy Buffett Tailgate!
Great little unit. Well worth the money. Not recommending for powering a whole large house. I intend to maintain it and this little guy will be there if we need him over the Winter.
Our thoughts are with all impacted by Sandy - Remain Jersey Strong
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
My wife grabbed this at a local supermarket for $249. Nothing else was available, I was hesitant but went with it given the low price. Took it home put oil and gas in it and it fired right up. Takes 10w 30 not included, but it does have a great funnel for the oil, also comes with a couple of plugs.
I wired it directly into my box, it ran: the blower for my gas heat, fridge, sump, tv and cable box, plus some lights no problem. Like any other generator the less you power the longer the gas lasts. Just running havc, fridge and some lights it ran for about 9 hours. Havc and fridge were not running constantly.
I ran it for over a week, no issues. I was really impressed. I was willing to spend $800 at Home Depot, but could not get one. Make sure to check oil each day and change it after break in period. It is a breeze to do. Use a foil pan and prop it up.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2011
I purchased one of these generators in March of 2010 and put it in my back garage still in the box. Living in the Chicago area we just went 5 days with no power.(July 2011). I opened the box and the pet-cock had been broken in transport. I rigged up a gas tank off of my snow blower to the carb and started it up. It took a few trys to get it going but then I ran it pretty much non-stop for 5 days with no problems. Having a smaller gas tank to use was a pain and I had to refill it every 90 minutes or so and it would run dry at night. After filling the tank again it started every time with one or two pulls. Use the choke and then flip it right open once it is running. For the first start I had to use the choke and let it run a bit rough for about 45 seconds and then play with opening the choke to get it going. It runs at high revs all the time and I gather that is standard with the less expensive models.
All in all, for my purpose, i.e., to use during rare power outages, it is a good value. Don't know about the above review re;the voltage regulator.
If I need to use it again in the next couple of years I will update this review.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2013
Item badly leaking gas from the carburetor right out of the box brand new. The problem is obviously poor manufacturing assembly and/or a defective part. BEWARE: NO SHIP RETURN POLICY ON GAS ITEMS!!! The bottom line: I am now stuck with the task and burden of dealing direct with the manufacturer to get this thing fixed. I purchased this item brand new from Amazon. Now it's my problem.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2012
I bought this 6 months ago, and spent less than a Honda or Coleman because I never intended to use it very often. After a couple of weekends at the race track powering tire warmers 8 hours/day (1200 watts), Sandy knocked out power to my house, my parents' house, and many friends. I used the generator for a few hours before our power was restored.
My parents and their neighbors were less lucky, and my generator has kept their food cold an bedrooms warm for the last 5 days. As far as I'm concerned, it has paid for itself this week.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2013
When I saw the price $249, with free shipping, which just happened to be $100 less than the local Loews and Home Depot, I ordered it. I bought it for emergency use only, after my power went out for 21 hours during a heavy rain storm this summer and my sump stopped pumping the rain water out of my basement. At that time, I was lucky to borrow the same machine from a friend who bought it five years ago during a freak October snow storm that knocked the power out at his house for six days. He stored it away and never used again until I borrowed it this June when my power went out. His generator also started the first pull, after sitting five years, stored in his garage. $249 is a small price to pay for peace of mind. In addition, I ordered it on Saturday evening and it was at my door Wednesday afternoon, great service.