Thursday, August 1, 2019

Add an Hour Meter to Your Generator

I feel generators are an important Prepper tool. They can be expensive to buy or replace so following the manufacturers' maintenance recommendations will assure you get the most trouble-free life from it.

One of the ways to maximize the generator (or any small engines such as roto-tillers, lawn tractors, etc) life is using the proper ‘weight’ and ‘type’ of oil and change the oil at the recommended intervals. In my case for the Honda EU2000i is every six months or 100 hours.

The only way I know to keep track of the running hours is with an hour meter which most small engines don’t have! I installed an aftermarket hour meter on my Honda at a cost of just $11.00. It was a very easy install. Now I have an accurate way to check the engine hours and get the maximum life from my investment.

The finished install.
I located the meter off-set so I can ratchet-strap the generator securely through the handle to my cargo hitch platform without the meter head being in the way.

Here you see I removed the spark-plug access plate so I could attach the impulse wire to the plug wire.

A close-up of the connection.
I wrapped the wire four times around the plug wire then tied a slip knot. To keep the connection snug I added two wire ties and trimmed the excess.

A quick test run shows the meter is working.
The meter head came with two screws to mount it to the generator housing. However, I didn’t use them as the fuel tank is under where the head needed to be mounted. In place of screws, I used a 5-minute epoxy and glued it on.

Source to buy, Amazon link:

Cost: $10.99

Seller Description:
Brand New Inductive Hour Meter for Marine, ATV, Motorcycle, Dirt, Ski Track the Service Life of Your Vehicle-Oil Changes, Valve, Adjustments, Spark Plugs, ect.

Easy Installation-peel & stick, no wiring necessary, or attach with enclosed hardware. No Battery Required-connects to spark plug wire.

Works on Any Gas Engine

Records and Displays to 9,999.9 Hours. Stand-by Time up to over 20,000 hours. Hour Glass Symbol Appears and Flashes on/off to Indicate Counting Time
Automatic Roll Over Resolution 0.1 Hour.

100% epoxy encapsulated casing resists water, shock, stand fire of 85 Celsius degree

No Battery Required-connects to spark plug wire


  1. Thanks for sharing this - we have a new generator and will be adding this to ours, too.

    1. Little things like this will save us all money in the long term.

  2. Great thing to have. If I remember alot of ground equipment (belt loaders, tugs, cargo lifts)at airports have these. They run for hours on end and never move very far mileage wise..

    1. You remember correctly, all non-highway use engines need an hour meter otherwise they are just guessing about their use.

  3. Thanks for posting about this. I landed on your site after searching about propane (you have insightful content from back in 2010 about that), and now I'm reading through the rest as time permits. I'm a newer home owner with my wife and we recently got a generator due to storms here, so I'll certainly be setting one of these up to properly care for the investment.

    1. Anon,
      Welcome, glad you found the site. I’m sure you’ll find a lot of useful information here so you don’t have to go through the testing, trial and error I did.
      Where do you live that you’re having storms as a Prepping concern?
      If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me

    2. I'd certainly like to alleviate some trial and error! Great resource so far.

      We're in northeastern Wisconsin, in farm country. There have been some pretty bad storms lately, lots of trees coming down in the area, and power routinely goes down for potentially days at a time. Thankfully the longest we've been out was 12 hours, but a few miles up the road it's been 1-3 days. We've also get random outages in the winter, so it'll be nice to keep some heat on as we don't have a wood or pellet stove, and my wife isn't highly amenable to retrofitting the house with one. She's good about everything else I've wanted to do, though, so I'm willing to bend on that one and put money elsewhere.