Mister Whale wrote:...
I run my Honda EU6500is generator ...
Could you tell us more about your EU6500is? I'm considering it and some firsthand data would be nice.
How loud? Fuel consumption/loads carried? Anything else you have found to be useful or to be avoided?
I *really* like it. It's very quiet (perhaps sliiigtly louder than a heat pump condenser/compressor unit) -- I currently live in a townhouse and noise level is an extremely important factor for obvious reasons. The engine that powers it, the Honda GX390, is legendary for its reliability (I have a large pressure washer with a GX390, and although that engine has many hours on it, it starts and runs perfectly every time). Fuel consumption I can only anecdotally rate as "good" -- it regularly uses less than I think it will, if that's helpful to you. Itl'll run almost anything in my home, save only (I think) the HVAC unit -- although not all at the same time, of course. I thought it was the perfect size to run the things in my home that I wanted to run, but not so big that it would use fuel unnecessarily (ideally in an outage with a limited fuel supply your generator would only be large enough to run what you need and be NO LARGER).
The only problem I have ever had was when I ran it with the battery door removed. Apparently this will allow the unit to breathe too much air and run lean; it ran poorly (inconsistent RPM) until I realized the problem.
(When I first bought it, I changed the oil 3 times in the first hour and a half of operation -- like almost all small motors, these units have no oil filter, and quite a fair amount of metal shavings come out in those 3 oil drainings. I switched to synthetic with the next oil change after that. Overkill, probably, but that may give you some insight as to how I take care of my machines. And this generator is, as you probably know by now, not inexpensive.)
Here's a link to the owner's manual: http://powerequipment.honda.com/pdf/man ... 256110.pdf
And according to this article, Honda substantially under-rates the power output of this unit (partly, perhaps, because of certain OSHA regulations): http://www.screenlightandgrip.com/html/ ... ating.html
I posted this about it on another forum:
I run a Honda EU6500is at my townhome, which makes 5500w steady and 6500w "surge" power. It wasn't cheap, but I have lots of neighbors and I was willing to pay more for the quietest unit so that I wouldn't be facing an angry mob during a prolonged outage. I'd guess that it's only several dB louder than our heat pump/AC compressor/condenser unit -- you hear it, but it's not very intrusive (I can't hear it from inside with our windows closed). It also runs "smart" -- only revs up to the RPM that are required to generate the power load on the unit -- so it's much easier on fuel than I thought it would be. Finally, it makes very clean power that I can run computer equipment, audio gear, TVs etc. with.
For maximum flexibility, I have one of those transfer switches that connects at the meter, which allows me to power (almost) anything in my house and manage the power at the breaker box. (For example, if I want hot water, I turn off breakers for the fridge and some of the lights so that I can "afford" 3000 watts for the hot water heater. Once the water in the tank is hot, cut that breaker and turn the fridge breaker back on.) It WON'T run the central heat pump/AC unit, but I have oil-filled "radiator" space heaters for winter outages, and a window AC unit for summer outages.
A couple of points:
1) You need to periodically run the generator so that the carburetor doesn't "gum up" and change the oil once every year or two.
2) You need to keep fuel on hand. I keep an extra 10 gallons of fuel on hand (which I refresh every 6 months or so by dumping it into the car and refilling the cans with fresh gas). All fuel gets labeled with a date, and all fuel receives fuel stabilizer.
3) You need to keep the generator starter battery charged. I use a "smart" trickle/float charger made by Battery Tender.
4) You need to have a way to keep the generator covered in case you need it during inclement weather. (I use an EzUP-type 10x10 canopy.)
5) You need a spot in your garage to put the thing!
Hope this helps someone.
" ... advice is most useful and at its best, not when it is telling you what to do, but when it is illuminating aspects of the situation you hadn't thought about." --nisiprius