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404 of 415 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2011
Verified Purchase
I bought this generator in preparation for hurricane Irene. Ordered it on Wen., it arrived on Fri., just in time to set it up before the storm (can't beat Amazon Prime!). The generator was easy to set up and started in one pull. This generator provided power sufficient to run the refrigerator, a mini-split a/c unit, TV, and a couple of fluorescent lights for two days. Under this load, a full tank (4 gallons) lasted around 12-14 hours. This unit appears to be a Chinese import so I do have my doubts about long-term reliability, never the less, the DS4000 appears surprisingly well-constructed and capable for the price.

Pros:
Inexpensive
Easy to Operate
Relatively Quiet (compared to a 22" lawn mower)
Compact
Easy to read fuel gauge

Cons:
Recommended oil change interval of 20 hours (change the oil every other time you fill the gas tank?)
Oil drain obscured by frame below (as oil drains it runs along the frame and makes a mess)
No watt or amp meter (Has volt meter, but why?)
Earth grounding post and hardware (nuts and washers) are too small
Packaging is inadequate for UPS Ground Shipping (operating panel was dented on arrival)

Update 9/18/2012

It's been a full year since I've used this generator. After Hurricane Irene, I drained the fuel tank and changed the oil. This evening the power went out, so I filled the tank and the generator started on the second pull. I love this thing!

Update 11/5/2012

Just got the power back after 7 days; this time it was Sandy The DS4000 proved itself as the little generator that could, running 16 hrs/day for seven days without a problem. I've been using synthetic oil (Royal Purple SAE 30) and extending the oil change interval to once every 2 days (32 hours of use). Doesn't seem to use much oil, maybe down one or two ounces in this interval. I really do love this generator!
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337 of 346 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
Verified Purchase
I ordered this generator after the last season of hurricanes and storms in Northeast USA. My house is in a flood prone area and I wasn't going to go through another entire hurricane season with sleepless nights. My old generator stopped working last year so I knew I was in the market for a new one.

I paid $299 for this generator off of Amazon and another $39 for the wheel kit (DuroStar DS4000S-WK Wheel Kit for DS4000S). As of writing this review, the generator is down to $289.00. Either way, I would have paid $350 for this unit!

The packaging was great. There was no damage to the unit during shipping. My biggest complaint about packaging is that some oil seemed to seep out of the unit and onto the box so I had to be careful when opening it up. I ended up having to wipe the units frame down with a rag to dry it off. The unit does not ship with oil, but someone must have put oil in it at one point to test it out because there was a lot of oil in the box. One other note, be sure to remove the shipping mounting bracket! The easiest way to do this is to use the provided tool and loosen the nuts and bolts while the unit is sitting level.

We have not had to use this unit yet (thankfully) but I did get it running. I recommend purchasing an all purpose or transmission fluid funnel from your local automotive shop - this will help you to fill the oil tank without getting oil all over the place. The location of the oil fill is not very convenient, but with the proper funnel it isn't much of a headache. I imagine in the middle of a storm though that this could prove to be a huge design flaw. Once oil was added, I threw in some Unleaded 87 octane gasoline and it started up on the second pull. I let it run for about 5 minutes. The unit is QUIET! Very quiet. I would even go as far as to say that my lawn mower is louder than this generator. I was able to put my head right next to the generator without issue, and I could not hear it running from inside of my house. Very impressed with the volume!

Attaching the wheel kit was a pain to say the least. The location of the bolts is a problem, and the bolts and nuts are different wrench sizes which is another problem. It makes installation a bit of a pain. I would say though that having this generator on wheels is very helpful. I would recommend the wheel kit to anyone interested in this generator.

Thanks - I hope this was helpful.

---------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE AFTER FIRST USE (HURRICANE SANDY - 10/29/2012)
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hurricane Sandy hit us hard and we were estimated to be without power for 5 days. I prepared the generator the day before it hit, filled it with gas, checked oil level, and then started it up. It started right up! I then followed the instructions:
- Let generator run for a few minutes before plugging in any load
- Plug in all load starting with most intensive first
- Flip breaker to ON

It has been 4 days without power now and this generator has powered the following (at different times):
- (2) 1/2HP sump pumps
- (1) refridgerator/freezer and (1) microwave
- (1) refridgerator/freezer and (1) HVAC system for heat
- (1) refridgerator/freezer and (1) Verizon FiOS system
- Miscellaneous items [cell phone chargers, hair irons, radio, etc.)

The unit does not have a wattage meter to show you the current load but you should do your due diligence to know how much power various items draw. I can judge how must stress I put on the unit by keeping a note on how long 4 gallons of gas gets me. The unit says 4 gallons = 8 hours on full load. I am getting 4 gallons = 16 hours so I am only putting the unit through half load.

I changed the oil 20 hours into running per the manual. From what I understand this is very important! Don't skip this step. I had a hard time removing the oil drain plug (10mm hex wrench) so I ended up removing the oil cap and tilting the unit to the side to drain the oil which removed almost all of it. Again, it started right up afterwards with no issues.

Lastly, compared to all of my neighbor's generators, this one is the quietest by far!

Bottom line - if you treat this generator right and maintain it, it should return the favor and save your butt in times of need. We have a 1 yr old daughter and without this generator it would have been a difficult few days.

---------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE AFTER STORAGE (Fall 2012 - Fall 2014)
---------------------------------------------------------------

I recently pulled the generator out of storage to turn it over and let it run for a bit. When I stored it in 2012 I changed the oil and emptied the gas tank, so all I had to do was put a bit of gasoline in and start it up. I'm happy to report that it started up on the first pull without issue. I let it run for about 5-10 minutes, then closed it down for storage again (drained gas tank). I am extremely satisfied with this purchase!!

PLEASE MARK THIS REVIEW AS HELPFUL IF YOU FOUND IT HELPFUL!
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168 of 178 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2012
Verified Purchase
I purchased this generator right after hurricane Irene. After hurricane Irene had damaged power lines in my neighborhood and being without power for 4 days I relied on my car battery to power lamps in my home using a power converter which included battery clamps. I decided to buy a generator as using a car battery during power outages can only go so far. Enter hurricane Sandy, I lost power again for 7 days where my new generator came into play to be used for the first time. I never operated or owned a generator before so I thought listing my experience here on Amazon in detail will help others like me.

This generator came with two open end wrenches, a screwdriver and a spark plug wrench. Once you open the box you will see that there is a block of wood inserted in the engine and tied down with a nylon strap. It also has a metal shipping brace attached to the bottom of the frame of the generator. These will have to be removed before you can use the generator. As per the manual you would have to turn the unit upside down on top of the foam pad that was shipped with this unit to remove the shipping brace. Removing the nuts and bolts from the shipping brace was impossible for me using the included cheap wrenches or even with my own pliers and open end wrench. The bolts connecting to the nuts were small and hard to turn. I had to use a large ratchet with a long handle using a 10 MM adapter which helped the bolts come off easily. Once everything was removed I then installed the wheel kit (DuroStar DS4000S-WK Wheel Kit for DS4000S) which I also purchased from Amazon. It helped me move my generator from my backyard to my garage when I was done using it at night. The generator is pretty heavy so moving it around without the wheel kit will be a challenge.

I purchased a funnel with an extension flexible clear hose with attached plug. The clear hose helped me know when the oil compartment was full. The attached plug on the end of the clear hose is convenient to use as well when you're done filling your generator with oil. Simply close the end of the hose with the plug to avoid any continuous oil drips after using. Another great thing about the plug end is that in fits exactly into the oil drain/fill hole on my generator which minimized spilling oil while filling. You will have a small amount of oil leaking at some point (removing after its full) so place something (a plastic mat or sheet) under the work area to avoid a messy cleanup and stains. This funnel was bought on Amazon for $5 with free shipping which is an awesome deal. It's listed as "Hopkins TF-1 Heavy Duty Transmission Funnel, 18" Hose, Red". This generator can only hold 20 ounces of 30W oil but when you have to add more oil after multiple hours of use the clear hose then becomes very helpful. My first oil change was done right after I went through one full tank of fuel. I chose to change the oil at that time as other reviewers indicated as to remove any metal debris that probably came loose during use to avoid damage to the new motor. Draining oil from this unit can be a pain since it drips directly onto the frame. What I did to avoid a mess was to lift the generator on the wheeled side before opening the oil drain cap and placed one of the legs under the generator on top of a brick. This helped keep the flow of oil from making any contact with the frame as it drained. Once I saw that the oil had slowed I would then tip it towards the opening of the oil drain hole to completely drain. I used a small metal bowl to catch the dripping oil to then discard the oil into an oil canister for transporting. I disposed of the oil at my local car mechanic shop. The oil drain cap has a built-in oil dip stick for checking how much oil has burned. Convenient little piece.
One thing to keep in mind is to make sure your generator is on a leveled surface while it is running. I accidentally left mine at an inclined angle (wheeled side higher than leg side) due to an elevated portion on the ground which caused oil to slowly spew through the air filter while it was running. I thought something broke but after further inspection I realized what I have done. I powered it down and wiped everything clean with a couple of paper towels. I washed the foam air filter in dishwashing liquid and warm water and replaced everything after it has dried. No oil has dripped since.

After a few days of using my generator I then noticed it was creating "clanging" noises while it was running. I turned it off and noticed that two nuts on the top corners had become loose. The top portion (yellow metal top) was creating this noise while the motor ran. I simply tighten them down (after powering down of course) which eliminated the noise and has not come loose as of yet. I assumed it became loose during shipping or just did so on its own since the motor is constantly running for hours. This generator vibrates quite a bit as I assume all portable generators do. After hours of use I suggest you inspect the nuts and bolts connecting the top panel to the frame to ensure nothing has loosened.

Below are the steps to get this generator running.

Remove all packaging from generator.

If wheel kit was purchased install now before adding any fluids (gas and oil).

Fill with 20 ounces of 10W-30 oil with funnel.

Add 4 gallons of fuel. I purchased a gas can on Amazon with an extension tip which has a built-in close/open push valve to avoid spilling while filling. (No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can (CARB Compliant))

Make sure you ground the unit using copper wire on the grounding wing nut for safety reasons. Copper wire or the ground stake is not included in this package.

Make sure Choke switch is set to "Off".
Makes sure gas valve is set to "On".
Make sure circuit breaker switch is set to "On".
Make sure power switch is set to "On".

Pull recoil starter cord firmly (might take 2 or 3 pulls) to start generator motor. Mine initially took two pulls when I first tried. It now takes just one pull to start her up.

*First time running when brand new*: As stated in the manual, when the starter cord is pulled and motor begins to run, leave in "closed choke" position for a minute then move lever half way to open for another 30 seconds before moving lever slowly again all the way to "open" position. Allow the motor to run for several minutes before attaching any power cords.

*Thereafter*: Once motor begins running, slowly move lever from "closed choke" position to the "open" position. Generator noise will increase once in open position as motor kicks into high gear.

Now you can plug in your extension cords into the outlets. 12/3 gauge is ideal since thin cords will get extremely hot and can drain power to your equipment. I purchased two 50 foot cords using one for each outlet and surge suppressors attached to each cord with multiple outlets. Search "US Wire 65100 12/3 50-Foot SJTW Orange Heavy Duty Extension Cord" on Amazon.

If you want two more 120v outlets then I suggest you convert the 3 prong outlet (L5-30P) into two 120v outlets (5-20R) by using a Y splitter cable adapter. The one I purchased on Amazon is called "Coleman Cable 01915 3-Foot Generator Power Cord Adapter, 10/3 Splitter Y Adapter, L5-30P to (2) Lighted 5-20R". This will help distribute the load of power from the generator.

For storage, I also purchased a small cover for this generator on Amazon. Not sure how long it will last since I just bought it but it received good reviews. It's water resistant and has an elastic hem with drawstring. It was difficult finding one that fit this generator but this one fit like it was custom made. The size of the cover is 26 x 18 x 20 which is the small size. The vendor name is "The-Cover-store" who sells it for $20 plus $5 shipping.

This generator came in handy when I needed it the most and has performed like a champ. I had a refrigerator, electric start stove, charged 3 smart phones, a battery charger charging 8 AA batteries, 4 lamps using energy efficient bulbs, 2 laptops, an LCD TV screen, Blu-ray player and brewed a cup of coffee running all at the same time and this generator didn't struggle at all. It can handle more than what I used it for. My generator ran for 14+ hours before I needed to refuel. Obviously, the less power consuming equipment you use the longer it will run.

For $289.00 purchased in 2011, backed by Amazon's return policy (only refunds as anything that has had fuel cannot be shipped back) and overall helpful reviews on Amazon I couldn't go wrong. If I was to buy this generator at my local Home Improvement store right after a natural disaster it could easily sell out for $800+. If you don't need to power NASA then this generator will help you when you need power. I'm very grateful for all of the reviews (good and bad) that were listed on Amazon to help me and my family make a wise and cost effective choice to help get through our power outages. I hope my review helps others as well. If I have other info to share (ex: fuel cup cleaning and spark plug changes) I will post my experience. I highly recommend this generator to run your basic needs.
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147 of 159 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
We have used over the last 3 days to power fridge, 2 fans, charge mobile phones and laptops and run a few lights. We are getting approx a run time of just over 13 hours on one tank (4 gallon) of gas.

Last night even hooked up the tv and cable so our son could watch some tv. Nick, Nick, Nick, Nickeloden. :)

This morning it powered the coffee maker and iron so we could be awake and wrinkle free.

I really did not expect the generator to run as long as it did on one tank so very happy with the purchase.

Next thing to purchase is something to cover it in case of heavy rain. Setup a tarp over table with bungee cords last night but would like something quicker to setup.

If we continue to have the power outage problem here in Oak Park we may look into the natural gas generator that hooks into electric system and fails over automatically. As always we will try to get it from Amazon our favorite store.

We give the DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator 2 thumbs up and/or a 5 star rating. Bang for buck we are very happy with this purchase.
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94 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
Verified Purchase
I purchased this generator for the occasional power outages of my home to run things like my refrigerator, TV, and computer. And while it is rated at 3,300 watts continuous, (4000 watts peak), my experience with it has been quite impressive. Here are my pros and cons:

PROS:
Inexpensive - This is quite a deal in my opinion for a 3300 watt generator.

Fairly quiet.. They advertise 69 db. It's not super quiet, but this is what I expected for a 3300 watt generator.

Started on first pull out of the box (with choke on)... impressive.

Well built - This generator did not disappoint with the quality of construction.

4 Gallon Tank - Good sized that should run for 10 hours.

CONS:
Provided tools were not adequate to assemble the system. Since I was not expecting tools, I would imagine most people would have the tools necessary to assemble the system.

The wheel kit instructions had pictures that were upside down, and didn't show certain steps in assembly (such as removing the existing rubber feet). Not really an issue as the wheel kit simplicity can be figured out by most.

Power was not perfectly clean. I connected it to my air compressor, and the electric pump that normally purrs on house power, was slightly warbling at half second intervals when running off the generator. I do suspect the power is fine, even for electronic equipment, as from the comments from other owners.

Adding oil was not easy. It took about half a quart of 5W 30 (for cold weather), which I overfilled with a full quart. I had to tip the generator and pour the overflow back into a bowl. The company advises to replace oil "every month or 20 hours" (Did I just read "replace every 20 hours"? Really!?!). They also recommend to check oil level each use (good advice), check the air cleaner each use, clean the gas tank "Every year or 300 hours" , clean the air cleaner "Every 3 months of 50 hours", and check or clean the Spark Plug every "6 months or 100 hours". Quite the overkill on the oil maintenance, but I imagine if one did these tasks, the generator would run better over the years. I am not looking forward to changing the oil.

RECOMMENDED ACCESSORIES:

Don't forget to get the fuel stabilizer if you don't want to drain the gas after each use ( I purchased STA-BIL 22214 Fuel Stabilizer - 32 Fl oz rated at 1 year). I also purchased the manufacturer's wheel kit, a generator cover (Generator Cover 37"L x 25"W- In Taupe.. a quality cover, which was too large, but still works (after a few days, I noticed that mice have been eating the cover... so not such a good purchase here), a 5 gallon gas can (No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas... works great), 4 - 50 foot extension cords with lighted ends (12 gauge wire. Please get 10 gauge wire for longer runs), and 4 tri-plugs (Uninex #PS37UOG ME Orange Tri Tap Adapter ) that can connect at the end of the extension cords.

FINAL TOUGHTS

Given what I know, I would buy this unit again from Amazon for my home power outage needs, and recommend others on a budget to do the same.

I'm ready for hurricanes and the winter!
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117 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
Verified Purchase
I bought this generator in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. I ordered it on a Thursday and it arrived on Friday...thank you Amazon Prime. Power went out at 6pm on Monday, generator fired right up and did what it was supposed to do until 36 hrs later when it stopped producing power. Engine runs fine, changed the oil, made sure it was grounded but still no power. I started calling the company that made the generator on Wed morning and still have not received a call back from them. I have left several messages and sent emails asking them for help. When I get a person on the phone, they say that they have very high call volumes with support but would be more than happy to sell me a new generator. I am thankful that I am a prime member because when I called Amazon and explained the situation to them, they issued me a full refund for the generator. Amazon has a customer for life....Max tools I will never buy one of products again.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2012
Verified Purchase
EXCELLENT!!! Great job DuroStar. I received my generator today, lifted it from the box (it does weigh every bit of 90+ lbs so becareful), removed four bolts and it was ready for fluids. I put the recommended 30 wt. oil in via a long skinny funnel (some said they had issues here but if you have a long skinny funnel you will have no issues at all)and did not spill a drop. I filled the gas tank up with gas, turned the gas lever to on, opened the choke, turned the switch to on and this bad boy fired right up! NO JOKE!! I was expecting it too be very loud but it was not so I was pleasantly surprised how well the muffler did. I let it run for a few seconds, closed the choke and allowed idle for 2 to 3 minutes. Connected my 30 amp RV adapter to the 30 amp plug, plugged my camper in and tested the following at the same time - 27" LCD TV, Jensen stereo with 6 speakers, fridge, lights, vent fan and microwave. . .the generator came alive a bit and powered everything as advertised. I am very pleased with my experience and feel confident that my family and I will camp in comfort now that we own a DuroStar!
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61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2011
I purchased this generator through an on line auction. After filling with oil and gasoline it started on the second pull. I also purchased a transfer switch to control six circuits (Reliance Model# 31406crk). The generator provides enough power to run my furnace, two refrigerators, a small freezer and some house lights. I would also recommend purchase of the wheel kit. I have only used this generator in a test situation. I don't know how well it will perform for an extended period or if the noise level will become annoying after an extended time.
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2011
Verified Purchase
I never write reviews, but I feel this one deserves it. I own a much more expensive generator with a little more power and from a major name brand and It doesn't even run after 2 years and 1 use. Right out of the box this will impress you and the quality is all there. I cannot believe that you get this much for so little money.....in the generator world this is cheap. Filled it with oil and gas and on the first pull it started...perfect. And this thing is QUIET. Get this and you will not be disappointed,
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2013
Verified Purchase
Price is good, Shipping was good, product, OK not great. So far we've ordered 9 of these Generators in total. Three of these the first time, back in the beginning of last year 2012, but two of them were stolen, so it would be pretty difficult to do a fair comparison on the first batch. So I order a second batch of Generators, three more. We use these little guys on are Tractor Trailer Trucks, two at a time one will run continuously while the other is there for a back-up. We only use Synthetic Oil 10/30, in in these small engines, you should only use this type of oil, and nothing else. Cost is a bit pricy, but very well worth it.

Note: The Oil that you use, is more important then you'd would ever think. We've used in the past, good premium 10/30 oil, not synthetic. The generators would last 350 or a little more, and that's with changing the oil every 50 to 100 hours. But with synthetic oils, the engines lasted a whopping 2000 plus hours, and that's just changing the oil out 2 to 3 times, just amazing the difference it makes.

So we had one from the first batch, the one that didn't get stolen. Ran pretty good, but then started to have Carburetor problems, RPM's would rev up an down. So we replaced that one with one from the second batch, and thought we'ed save it for a later Date, and change out the carburetor then.

So ordered third batch of three, because we thought they were pretty good. While waiting for the third batch to arrive, another generator went out. No electricity, but the engine was running great, the electrical part of the generator died.

All in all their not all that bad, we got extra parts, and their pretty easy to work on. But the next generators will purchase will be CHAMPION GENERATORS. We would have stayed with CHAMPION if they were able to deliver in California, but their were issues with them being California Carb Compliant. But that's all been fixed recently. They were already California Compliant, way before all these other Companies, but it must has been EPA requirements that slow down the process, you know, not being completed. We've used Champion Generators for well over 8 years, and we've used so many types of other generators, Honda, Brigs, Subaru, Generac, and some I can't remember off the top of my head. But those Generator are pricy, and they just don't hold up for the cost difference. None of the ones I mention lasted as long as any of are Champion Generators, and that's the truth, really it is.

So end the end, these will work fine for the average user, because we've put these little guys through their paces.
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