on August 28, 2007
I bought this generator a couple of years ago after a storm knocked out the power for several days. It sat in the garage until this August, when another storm disrupted power.
I filled it with gas, checked the oil and hoped it would start. It kicked right off and ran smoothly for two days. Stopped only to change the oil and add more gas. The oil change was recommended after the break in period of a couple hours. I used the four 120 volt outlets with extension cords of various lengths. One for the freezer downstairs, one for the fridge in the kitchen, one for the entertainment center, and one for a power strip to plug in several fans(it got hot real quick without the A/C running)and lamps in various rooms around the house. A transfer switch would have eliminated the spaghetti junction of extension cords, but these switches aren't all that cheap; and then the install.
Also, be prepared to turn up the TV or radio because this thing is loud. Especially if it is right outside your door on the deck. I would have rated it 5 stars except for the noise. Of course, you could buy a generator with a much quieter Honda engine(like my mower), but that would cost more than a few bucks extra. BTW don't try to lift this unit into a truck or van by yourself unless you are a professional weight lifter.
I can't vouch for the longevity of this unit, but it did the job just fine for this go around.
on December 13, 2007
We recently bought this model of generator to power essential home appliances--this is if and when a power outage should occur.
To make this convenient, we installed a Reliance transfer switch. (Note that we ordered a Reliance transfer switch kit through Amazon that was already prewired). We connected the switch to the house wiring right at the circuit box (required). We found installation of the generator transfer switch to not at all be difficult (only a rudimentary knowledge of electrical circuitry is required).
When the electrical power from the grid is out, we can now keep essential appliances (well pump, refrigerator, and lights) in operation by running them off of the generator. When the grid power becomes restored, the generator can be wheeled out of the way... after turning off the transfer switch... and after unplugging the electrical connection cord supplied in the Reliance transfer switch kit. The transfer switch we bought allows connecting 4 house circuits at 120 volts, and 1 house circuit at 240 volts.
Surprisingly, this generator is powerful enough to operate everyone of our home appliances (including even electric heaters and window air conditioners). Of course, the generator output is rather limited, so; for example; it wouldn't be feasible to try and run more than a couple of high wattage appliances simulateously.
Because the voltage drops lower and lower as more household appliances are turned on, the simultaneous operation of electronic equipment (computers, etc) would hardly ever be warranted (our educated opinion). Be warned here that electronic equipment CAN BE DAMAGED during a low voltage event. This can happen EVEN if a device is connected to a power surge protector. Safe operation of an electronic device requires a constant clean power supply--such as can be achieved with a line power conditioner/voltage regulator. Thus, to safely operate our expensive HDTV and our other computerized equipment when running the generator, we are always cautious to keep them connected to our Tripp Lite conditioner/regulator (which is more than a surge protector). We were able to buy a 600 Watt model (with voltage regulator) for less than $100. Another safe option for operating electronic equipment during a power outage would be through an DC-to-AC inverter (a battery connection is required).
Other than running necessary household appliances and our well pump, the portable generator has proven to be completely functional for powering a drill, a circular saw, and an air compressor.
If this generator has a downside, it would be that the noise level is somewhat on the high side (even though less than some other brands/models).
Another consideration for those of us who are beginning to experience the effects of growing older is that the unit weighs about 160 lbs (which is much too heavy to lift). However, it isn't at all difficult to wheel about. As far as starting the engine, we have not yet been unable to get the motor running with a couple of pulls of the start rope (This is more difficult for Cher than for Jim). Consequently, the next model we buy will probably have an electric start.
All-in-all we find the Coleman Powermate (with 10 HP Subaru engine) and the Reliance generator transfer switch (the kit) to be an effective (yet inexpensive) system for powering essential home appliances when the grid power is off.
on June 5, 2008
I bought this unit about 3 years ago at a large home center, and have used it roughly 3 days per year since. Very dependable...wish my lawn mower started this easily. I've done no maintenance to it so far. I rigged a male-to-male power cord and plugged it into an outlet in my house AFTER turning off all the main circuit breakers on my panel that connect me to the power grid. 1800 sq ft house running everything normally but the AC and range.
It is a bit noisy, but I've found some interesting sound baffle structure articles on the net to maybe make it more permanent and reduce noise.
Very pleased overall.
on December 18, 2007
Our area was just hit by an ice storm and we were told that we would not have power for 5 days. Luckily this morning I got out of the house early and picked one of these up at a local store before they sold out.
It was easily assembled and came with a convenient quart of engine oil. A couple of hours later I had heat, light, entertainment and my freezer full of food was safe.
I don't have a bad thing to say about this generator; it started easily, and ran smoothly for extended periods with a great run time. It also seemed to provide pretty clean power as I didn't get a single flicker or glitch in anything I ran off of it. Thanks Coleman!
on October 13, 2008
I have owned this generator for nearly a year and it has been used 5 times with the last time for 28 hrs from a power outage caused by the remnants of Ike. It has performed flawlessly. I also created a heavy gauge male-to-male 50' cable for connecting into a 220 outlet in the garage after the main breaker is pulled. You can't hear the unit after closing the garage door on the cable since it is outside. We ran two refrigerators, lights, clocks, computers (laptops recharging), ceiling fans, and the DSL modem and router each time w/o any problems.
on September 3, 2009
When wild fires swept through my neighborhood (and the entire city of San Diego) a few years ago I lost phone, cable and power. I snagged one of these at a local Home Depot, hooked the 220v outlet to my breaker box. I was VERY pleased at the performance. It had no problems running any amount of lighting I wanted, a fridge/freezer, microwave, toaster, computer, hair dryer and washing machine/dryer and a vacuum cleaner. I was able to use our electric stove top as well, but limited to a single burner. (obviously, I did not run these things all at the same time) There was noticeable dimming when the hair or cloths dryer would fire up, but it handled it. Later that same night i hooked the generator up, my cable came back online (phone and power still out) and it was like i had all the amenities of home. Had my Internet, my computer, my TV, cell phone for calls and the Coleman for power. Ran for 3 days straight without a hiccup and allowed me to keep my sanity by not having to stay at relatives places for 3 days!
on December 14, 2008
I bought this unit two years ago on sale at home depot. Setup was very easy, folding handle is convenient, gas and oil are very accessible. It came with a quart of oil and twenty five foot extension cord.
I haven't had to use it for more then 3 hours at a time and it always worked well. Then an ice storm hit in New England during the month of December in 2008. We were without power for 48 hours.
It ran our fridge, freezer, coffee maker, entertainment center and fish tank without a hitch. In fact it worked so well I'm going to buy a transfer switch so I can run my well pump with it.
Only two things stick out in my mind. 1. it's loud, not deafening but loud 2. it ran my microwave, but you could tell the microwave didn't like it. Even still, it was well worth the money I paid for it, and got us through a very tough time.
on March 8, 2016
I have had my generator for quite a while It has never failed me at all. I live in Alabama and bought it for times when we got severe weather; ice storms or tornadoes.
The only thing that someone may not like is that is is kind of loud compared to the newer ones that have come out now.
I wish I had another one just like it.
on January 18, 2009
Great product,started up on two pulls and ran for two hours while I tested. And it's quiet too.