Your generator-tips from a generator repairman : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This time i have to post anonymously, my job is at stake. I asked one of the best generator repairmen around what he thought about them and here are some of the tips he gave me. Dont buy a Coleman if it has plastic endbells in the motor, they dont hold up very long. He said he wouldnt take one for free. He said at least Generac has cast iron endbells. He said the small home generators beat themselves to an early death because they turn over 3000 rpm. He said he would look for a genset that would only turn about 1800 rpm if he wanted one that would last.

-- insider (, February 28, 1999


I agree with the comments. The problem is that most of the low price gas generators up to say 6500 watts run at 3600 rpm with so called 2 pole generators. The typical diesel generator runs at 1800 rpm with a 4 pole generator which can produce 60 cycles at half the speed. It should be noted that therefore most of the Generac generators below 6500 watts and other similar ones run at 3600 rpms for reduced engine life. This may be a service life without an overhaul of perhaps 2000 hours compared to 10,000 hours for a diesel. This better 4 pole generator is one reason why the diesels cost so much more. The coleman type would probably last 600 to 1000 hours before an overhaul is needed. At least get a generator with overhead valves and an oil filter. Propane is suggested instead of fooling with gas cans but again this is more expensive but still cheaper than diesel.

-- Steve (, February 28, 1999.

I bought a Generac 10 kW generator (gasoline) with electric start for hurricane (now Y2K? duty). Any and all tips, suggestions, pointers, and evaluation of this generator. Any practical idea how to quiet this unit?. Thanks. Hook

-- James Gardner (, February 28, 1999.

Just wanted to mention the big watt generator we had after the hurricane was a big gas hog, and so noisy, so we used a Honda, bipassed the electric circuit box by running an extention cord straight to the appliance we needed at the time. There was more power when it didn't have to go through all the house to reach the couple appliances.(it could handle only a couple things at a time like the fridge, and a light, or the washer, and the vcr). I haven't seen alot said about heavy duty extention cords, but they came in real handy. We could share power with the neighbor across the street too. We had a curfew at 10;00 so we could sleep. The fridge stayed cold all night.Real handy gagets...Thanks for the info, Aloha

-- Justin Case (justin, February 28, 1999.

One just has to ask the question, "How important is generator life span versus fuel life span?" I.e. are you going to run out of generator first or fuel first? HOW many gallons of xxxx are you going to store?

On all units, run them for 50 hours or so, and when you change oil switch to a "super-oil" like Amzoil or Castroil Syntex (sp?). Purchase a running hour meter and change the oil every 40-70 hours. Remember to stock spare spark plugs, points, and spark plug wire, fuel filters, and oil filters (if used).

-- Ken Seger (, February 28, 1999.

Again I see this utter bulls**t regarding Coleman generators being promoted. I've said it on several past threads, and I'll repeat it here:

Coleman solved a problem with bearing seizures in the endbells, which would result in the endbell's melting and requiring replacement, over five years ago. They had a run of bad bearings from their supplier, who they dropped, and have not had any problems since. This was related to me by a man who runs one of the largest small-engine/generator repair facilities in my state. A call to Coleman confirmed this.

I have owned a Coleman 3500 watt generator, with a 5.5 HP Honda engine, for over two years. I paid $600 for it at a club store. So far ir has over 1000 hours on it, and in all that time the only maintenance it's needed has been two new spark plugs, a new set of brushes in the generator, and the usual oil changes. It has worked PERFECTLY during that period. I know several other individuals who have similar Coleman units, and have had similar experiences.

This prejudice against Coleman seems to be one of elitism, in that it assumes everyone has $1000 or more to spend on a generator. All over the net I see people repeating this same old lie about Colemans. Don't buy it.

-- works (fine@every.time), February 28, 1999.

My experience with synthetic oils is that they leak out of the crankcase like crazy. Oh, and sometimes they ruin the bearings. I could tell you a story about Mobil 1...

-- real oil! (not@something.weird), February 28, 1999.

Do folks planning to use generators for first time have any idea how much gas they guzzle? And, they run at full capacity all the time, even if you are using only part of the power they generate. The rest is wasted. More practical to use a generator to charge batteries, and then run your stuff off the batteries till they need recharging, etc. Of course, this means two sets of batteries for all-the-time available power, and an inverter. But your gas will go a lot further.

-- Shivani Arjuna (, February 28, 1999.


Sounds like I might be in trouble with my 2500 watt portable Coleman generator. I have a few hours on it - just bought it. Is this one of the models your saying won't hold up as well? It figures I try but sometimes I wonder about myself.


-- Duane (, March 01, 1999.

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