Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Honda 2000i Generator Test Run for 2015 Hurricane Season

About 5 months ago I downsized my generator from a Onan 4000 to a Honda 2000i for several reasons:
1. Quietness.
2. Fuel Economy.
3. Providing just enough wattage needed to survive comfortably.
4. Light weight and easily portable.
5. Highly reliable and a long operational life.

At the time of purchase I did a fuel consumption vs wattage output test and a very brief test back-feeding the power from the Honda into the house circuits to verify all functioned fine.

This week I did an hour long power run back-feeding into the house breaker panel and was very pleased with the results. I can just like in normal everyday living, have on normal interior lights, TV’s, Sat TV receivers, computers and ceiling fans all using less than 400 watts, if the House Refrigerator and Garage Freezer turn on that only adds intermittently 230 more watts (630 watts total) that is easily handled by the Honda. All loads have been verified with a Kill-a-Watt meter.

Bottom Line:
I can live a normal life during a grid down scenario using just 1 gallon of gas a day! That 1 gallon will allow me to run four, 2 hour segments powering the refrigerator and freezer, all communication needs, water pump and battery chargers.

For a month of power that’s just 30 gallons of gas or a couple gas cans and a siphon hose to get the rest from my vehicle.

Compared to my Onan and other 4000-5000 watt generators that consume ½ gallon an hour, using those would require 4 gallons for an 8 hour day and 120 gallons of stored gas for 30 days.

I am extremely pleased with the Honda 2000i’s performance and my decision to purchase it.

Here is the Honda 2000i and the RV power cord used to back-feed into the house along with the Kill-a-Watt meter used to verify the actual wattage being delivered.


12 comments:

  1. What kind of pump do you have on your well that runs on 110. Mine is 220 volt. But then it's a pretty hefty pump as my AC is water based and it feeds a 400 gallon tank.

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    1. Hi Wade, I have a second pump on my irrigation well that’s just 1 hp. I use that pump for emergency water. All the water that comes from that well is pretty good (smells clean and very clear) but we do run it through a ceramic filter before drinking and cooking with it. In the near future I will add a hand pump to that well and not need a generator for water.

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  2. Mike,

    A generator to keep in mind when time to purchase a smaller unit. Thanks for the review!

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    1. My pleasure. If you do downsize the generator now you can see that getting the correct size and type (Eco-Boost) will save a lot of fuel over the long term. You have tornadoes and I have hurricanes that can leave us without power for weeks so having a small generator will mean we will have power available all that time while others are in the dark. :-)

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  3. Great results and perfect timing with storms beginning to stack up in the Atlantic. Are you using it in your garage or in the enclosure you had for the old gen set . Look at this transfer pump I have used one for years. http://www.amazon.com/Sierra-Tools-Battery-Operated-Liquid-Transfer/dp/B000HEBR3I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1441287995&sr=8-2&keywords=small+transfer+pump

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    1. Yes I am very pleased with the Honda because it applies just enough throttle to match the demand for watts needed and no more. Because of this you can see is very fuel efficient. Great generator!

      My plastic shed finally disintegrated from the sun so for now I’ll run the generator in the garage. I’m going to weld a pipe nipple onto the muffler so I can screw on 5 feet of flexible 1 inch exhaust pipe and run it under the almost closed garage door to the outside. I also have Carbon-Monoxide detectors in the garage and inside the house. Maybe this winter I’ll build a real shed to store some goodies in.

      Thanks for the link to the transfer pump, been thinking about something like that.

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  4. Huh! We I never even thought about back feeding into the house. We have that kind of a setup with our 220v water pump in case of grid down for the critters and us. For that we use the old 4500w Honda generator we bought 35+ years ago. We had an electrician install that switch for us as we are complete dumbells when it comes to electricity. We also have the 2000i generator and will look into getting our electrician to hook something up for us. We gave up our TV months ago and get our news and stream Netflix on the computer so no electricity needed there.....probably won't even be TV or broadband with grid down anyway. Our main thing is heavy snow in storms that downs power poles. Wood stove to keep warm, but lights and microwave would be really nice. Thanks for your post.

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    1. Sounds like you’re all set! One generator for the 220 loads and the 2000i for very fuel efficient simple household needs. Wood heat keeps you from freezing pipes while keeping you warm.

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    2. I have a diesel generator. Use a switch to transfer power for the house from the grid to the generator, and to make sure I don't back charge the grid line and fry somebody. The big issue for me is noise, you can hear the diesel in these mountains a long way off.

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    3. I agree with using an auto transfer switch (for the safety of the linemen) if your in an area that has more than its share of outages, it’ll make life easy for you. For me it’s not very often but I do use a check list that details the procedure just so I don’t forget to disconnect the main breaker and all the 220v breakers. Also it’s for my wife incase I’m not around she can use the generator confidently.

      Big generators are inherently mechanically noisy, you can muffle the exhaust but most people are not aware of how much noise comes from the air/carb intake. Next time it’s running loosely wad up a beach towel and hold it over the air intake. It will surprise you how quiet it becomes.

      Even where I live when the power goes out and everyone’s A/C is off and little to no traffic anywhere it is really quiet and a generator (like a lawn mower) can be easily heard for a ¼ mile. Almost hate to say it but it is a pleasure when the power is out because it’s so quiet.

      Good friends of ours live a few miles from the northeast boarder of Georgia just a few miles east of Hiawassee. I love going to visit them because it is so much quieter there. Hopefully some day I will get to move there! 

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  5. Nice article - thanks.
    I just purchased the EU2000i and put a tri-fuel kit on it. I've tested it with gas, propane and natural gas. The kit work great and provides many options.

    When you back-feed your electrical panel, do you feed both sides of the 220V panel and make sure all 220V breakers stay off? Or do you feed just one side of the panel and make sure all your circuits you want to feed are on that one side? I have both a transfer panel and a panel interlock that I haven't installed yet - but was wondering how others handle both sides of a panel.

    Thanks for all you effort here.

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    1. I’ve heard about the tri-fuel conversions but not from anyone using one. The propane option would be very interesting because storing propane is safer and stores indefinitely compared to gasoline.

      All the 220 breakers are left off..
      I picked the ‘one’ buss that had the refrigerator, extra freezer and at least one TV for news and kitchen outlets for lights, appliances and micro-wave.

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Your thoughts are welcome!