Problems I've had with the HF generators.
Every time I get a good one, someone steals it! (I'm on the third decent one)
At this point, I've had to return several.
One had an ignition module failure
Two developed a hard engine knock after less than a tank of fuel.
Two were very difficult to start.
One had a carb float problem that caused fuel to run out on the ground.
The current one seems to have some corrosion problem on the gas tank.
it looks like the gas cap rubber gasket (of all things) is causing the problem.
Some of the generators have a poorly fitted choke butterfly, making them harder to start than they should be.
The same generators are sold under different names and prices by different stores (Sears, Lowe's, and many others.)
Some years ago, I talked with the then importer, concerning larger units. When asked about durability and repair parts,
His comments were to the effect that if it fails in warranty, it's replaced. When enough bad units are collected, they get sent back to the mfr.
His opinion was that if the unit failed after the warranty period, it was time to buy a new one.
After all, the generators I was looking at were priced at less than half of comparable "name brand" generators. I ended up buying
a 15-18KW 30HP "portable" generator (made in China) from a more or less name brand (Genrac), at a much better price than the more common ones you might find
in the usual stores.
Our subdivision has a long standing history of power failure, due to overhead lines, trees, squirrels, and a long branch run from the main line
The previous owner had a couple of unvented natural gas heaters installed that I removed, due to the hazards with children and CO.
The original gas furnace could be operated at a reduced level that was just enough to keep the pipes from freezing without any power.
It was replaced, due to age and a heat exchanger that was dubious in condition. The new gas furnace requires power to operate (forced draft), etc.
When I originally bought a portable generator,, it was to power the house for up to several days. This was based upon a three day failure during cold weather,
and a four day failure during hot weather. In both cases, extreme weather in other parts of the country a few days earlier had resulted in the local power company sending
almost all of it's repair crews out of area, so they were not available to handle "small area" outages. The whole deal was getting stranger! The first problem was to find a reasonably priced
manual change over switch. Due to the way the house is wired, and the design of the main panel and breakers, it was actually less cost and hassle to switch the whole house from utility power to the generator.
I finally found a unit from Gentran that was about one third the cost of the average unit. Next problem was a combination of the power company and the county. As part of the work, it was also reasonable to replace
the bent power mast sticking out of my roof, so the power company had to disconnect and reconnect the power to the mast weather head. Then, they require that the county inspector give his blessing to reconnect the power.
Knowing that such an installation was a first in my area, I got in touch with one of the long time local electricians that was well respected by the county.
When the install was complete, we ended up with not one of the usual inspectors, but all of them, including the supervisor. Seems that none of them had ever seen such an installation, or the type of manual transfer switch used.
Year before last, one of the down the street neighbors fell into some Money, and decided to add a heated pool, combined with a large brick entertainment building, sauna, and so forth, including a two car garage. This was topped off with
a large sun following solar install, and all the stuff to even sell power back to the power company. My little manual transfer panel install was dwarfed by the project!
If nothing else, the availability of the generator has acted as cheap insurance, in that normally when power failures occur, they are fixed within a hour or so.
After about four years of ownership, I've had to use it twice for an extended period, and the rest of the hours are the once a month run up and test under a relatively light load.
Last edited by chuckk2; 11-04-2013 at 02:29 AM.