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joebedford

Sheltering at home

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I saw one comment about the quality of power out of the generator. I bought 12 years ago an open frame generator for stick house backup because my RV generator doesn't do 240V (water pump). I've never had a problem with any electronics because of power from this (cheap) generator until recently: my UPS doesn't like it. Everything else works fine but the UPS constantly switches from AC IN to battery backup every few seconds. It normally prioritizes AC IN but not from the generator. The solution is to switch the plugs around when on the generator to run the modem, routers and PC when the generator is on. PITA, but we don't have many power outages.

So, if you have something really sensitive to power quality, some generators won't cut it.

Yes, it's really REALLY noisy.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 06/23/22 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some UPS units handle generators better than others.

Non inverter gens typically run a bit higher in output frequency (61HZ-62HZ) when unloaded, when loaded 50% will be spot on at 60Hz and when fully loaded will sag to 58Hz-59Hz..

Many UPS units are looking for 60Hz +(-).1-.2 Hz and anything outside of that the UPS will switch back and forth between gen and inverter..

UPS units monitor the frequency closely, they must be able to synchronize with the incoming 120V to provide seamless transfer between incoming line and the inverter. Without the synchronization the devices attached could be presented with voltage spikes or surges when switching.

What happens is the gens are set to run slightly faster unloaded and when loaded the engine RPM will sag a bit affecting the output frequency. This is done so the voltage will be a bit high unloaded and when loaded the voltage will not sag below acceptable levels.

I have had a variety of APC UPS units, some Tripplite UPS units also.. Most of the APC units are older units and seem to work well on gen, have one much newer APC that hates the gen when it is unloaded but works fine as long as there is a small load on the gen.. The Tripplites all seem to be happy and cope well with running on a gen loaded or unloaded..

Now as far as sinewave "quality" of a HF inverter gen goes, you make a fair point. May or may not be as "clean" as a Honda inverter gen, but keep in mind that pretty much all low cost UPS units are MSW and the cheapo low cost UPS units that claim PSW may not be really PSW but actually MSW.. So, if it works on a cheap UPS, it most likely will be perfectly fine running from a HF or other Chinese Import inverter gen.

joebedford

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Posted: 06/23/22 11:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, mine is an APC 600VA that I bought less than a year ago.

I read somewhere that the switching relay (between AC IN and battery backup) will only last about 10000 cycles. Switching every few seconds will run that out in a hurry.

Most appliances will run on a generator but apparently not all UPSs.

I suppose inverter generators might have cleaner power output. Are they all PSW or are the cheap ones MSW?

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 06/23/22 11:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

joebedford wrote:

Yes, mine is an APC 600VA that I bought less than a year ago.

I read somewhere that the switching relay (between AC IN and battery backup) will only last about 10000 cycles. Switching every few seconds will run that out in a hurry.

Most appliances will run on a generator but apparently not all UPSs.

I suppose inverter generators might have cleaner power output. Are they all PSW or are the cheap ones MSW?


Switching under a heavy load all the time might wear out the relay contacts at a faster rate than normal but I wouldn't be concerned with that though, typically in most UPS units they tend to use relays with contacts rated at a far greater amperage than what the UPS will ever use for a load. 600VA UPS, your talking a load of 3.5A absolute max at 120V, most likely has relay contacts rated at 6A or even 10A but not 3A..

I would be a bit more concerned about the inverter and the synchronization of the inverter to the gen which might be a weak spot..

As mentioned, my older APCs are happy with the gen, a newer APC, wasn't.. Sort of the reason I started buying Tripplites when it came to replacing some very aged APCs from the late 1990s..

Microlite Mike

NW Washington State

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Posted: 06/24/22 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

otrfun wrote:

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing.

From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.


I would rather have a $800 "boat anchor" than having a $1600 plus Honda that would cost well over $800 to repair.. Not sure you will find a Honda brand part for $5, perhaps you might get a Honda branded spark plug but I suspect even that would cost $20..

Not that bad for Honda OEM parts. They sell a $3 NGK spark plug (OEM for their generators) for only $6.

The HF Predator has a lot of followers and has been pretty reliable from what I've heard. For me, I prefer Champion for a couple reasons. First off, Champion provides far better Customer Service on their products with a network of service providers and parts stocked in the USA (no having to wait 3 months for China Post to deliver). Second is I don't have to deal with Harbor Freight.



But the reality is even that cheaper $800 gen can often be "repaired" using generic Honda knock off parts which fit Hondas also.. Heck you can buy new Honda clone carbs for $15 and they do work as good as the Honda branded carb..



"Knowledge is realizing that the street is one-way, wisdom is looking both directions anyway."


~ Albert Einstein

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 06/24/22 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Microlite Mike wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

otrfun wrote:

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing.

From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.


I would rather have a $800 "boat anchor" than having a $1600 plus Honda that would cost well over $800 to repair.. Not sure you will find a Honda brand part for $5, perhaps you might get a Honda branded spark plug but I suspect even that would cost $20..

Not that bad for Honda OEM parts. They sell a $3 NGK spark plug (OEM for their generators) for only $6.

The HF Predator has a lot of followers and has been pretty reliable from what I've heard. For me, I prefer Champion for a couple reasons. First off, Champion provides far better Customer Service on their products with a network of service providers and parts stocked in the USA (no having to wait 3 months for China Post to deliver). Second is I don't have to deal with Harbor Freight.




But the reality is even that cheaper $800 gen can often be "repaired" using generic Honda knock off parts which fit Hondas also.. Heck you can buy new Honda clone carbs for $15 and they do work as good as the Honda branded carb..


I put Microlights comment is in red for clarity..

Microlight, I would suggest that when you add comments within a quote that you highlight with color or bold or something for clarity sake, otherwise it looks like the original comments that you have added to that you quoted..

Doesn't matter if Honda does use NKG as OEM, the point is buying 100% genuine Honda parts from a Honda dealer PLUS adding in the dealer upcharge for the parts plus the Honda dealer repair rate ($100-$120 per hr? easily) if one must take their $1600 plus Honda gen to a Honda Authorized repair shop the repair cost of said Honda can easily climb above $800 even if the problem was just a plug.

Point here is, if you are uncomfortable doing some of your own shade tree mechanic work then spend the extra money upfront for a name brand gen with some name brand repair shops.

For others who don't have the coin or have other better things to do with their coin rolling the dice on a Honda clone like HF gens is a very sensible approach as long as the gamble pays off with no break downs (fair chance that the Honda clone will live a trouble free life as long as a name brand).

For those who simply do not have the coin for a name brand and are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get a bit greasy if it gives trouble a non name brand can be a no brainer to get them into a generator at a very low entry level cost..

For some, paying for the name badge is a sign of prestige and love to flaunt their wealth with that badge, go for it.. In the end, you obviously didn't need that money..

Myself, I like bargains, paying for a name brand gen for name prestige does not make good financial decision. Especially when I might put less than 10hrs of run time per yr on it..

I will make one thing very clear, even brand names like Honda, do fail, it is very obvious that this does indeed happen since they do have authorized dealer repair centers and in the past, my understanding is they often have several months backlog to work on..

My shop (myself) has zero backlog so I can fix mine by myself if or when needed and I can even pay myself for the labor repair time [emoticon] ($100 per hr still pays for some good steak dinners even in this economy).

wanderingaimlessly

Buggs Island lake

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Posted: 06/24/22 11:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

otrfun wrote:

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing.

From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.


The honda clone engines used are readily available as are part. The Chinese parts will generally fit either a honda or the clone. Bought recoil starters, carbs and other parts for my old one over the years. Usually off of Amazon or Ebay.

Texas Nomad

Texas

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Posted: 06/29/22 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

I will make one thing very clear, even brand names like Honda, do fail, it is very obvious that this does indeed happen since they do have authorized dealer repair centers and in the past, my understanding is they often have several months backlog.


Indeed, they do! This goes for new equipment also. I ordered a Honda EU7000i ($4600) from Jack's Small Engines last August for home backup. After more than nine (9) months on backorder, I cancelled the order. Just last week I ordered a Powerhorse 7500i ($2400) from Northern Tool and it's sitting in my garage today. The Honda is noise rated at 58 dB. The Powerhorse is rated 55 dB.

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