Generator problem

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 19:25
ThreadID: 80352 Views:6058 Replies:10 FollowUps:9
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your thoughts please, regarding a new generator i purchased. first up i know just a little more now than when i first purchased my geni,i opted to go for a 1000 kva Honda engine BUT badged with a well known portable fridge manufacturer, all i needed was to be able to charge my van's 2x120amp batteries when & if needed & maybe run my lap top.The web site clearly advertises that this little machine will run:- tv's,dvd's,vcr's,Engel fridge/freezer with an max 240v output AC 1000 watt 12v max 8.3 amps.
As explained to me by the retail salesman it will do just what i need "no problems". This week end just past i needed to try it out, as luck would have it my mate was with us who is an electrician/gas fitter{qualified 40 yrs} said that he should check it out before hooking it up to my van, maybe just as well as he found that running on 240v setting it punched out 276v unregulated & on 12v setting it punched out 33v unregulated, it also is a "digi-wave" & NOT pure sin as what i asked for, but at the time i had know idea what that all ment as probably 95% of general caravaners would know as much as me about all that if they are honest ???
my question is do you think i have a fair case to take it up with
{1} the manufacturer
{2} the retail store

i have now booked my van in for solar to be fitted !!!!!!!!!
Dave & Maz
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Reply By: Roughasguts - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 19:36

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 19:36
How long ago did you purchace the Generator? If you have all receipts take it back and try to get a new one.
Sounds like yours is a dud.

AnswerID: 425422

Reply By: DesF - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 19:42

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 19:42
Hi, as far as I know , If it was a genuine Honda Generator it would be a full "Sine Wave" generator, the other brands are only look- a- like Honda motors, probably made in China, and not very well controlled voltage etc. as you have found out.
Cheers Des,
Retired Honda Mechanic of 26 years
AnswerID: 425424

Reply By: OREJAP - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 19:54

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 19:54
About 8 years ago I noticed on a mates Engel a sticker which stated...Generator compatible. I thought beauty...the kids bought me a $99 GMC genny & I couldn't wait to try it out on my engel whilst away camping. BUT before I did I decided to do a bit of research & first up I phoned Engel as to what I could & couldn't do with their 40 ltr fridge...Reply...."Do not use a two stroke genny to power your must be a four stroke & sine wave inverter equiped.....I then rang a generator dealer who sold Yamaha & Honda. I took notice of what he advised & the only genny for me was the Honda 2 because it was more than suitable for what I wanted a genny to do. I also did research on the Internet by using our computer!! Aah....the power of the internet & the phone. I went "fully worded up" on the product I wanted to purchase,so all I had to worry about was what $$$ I was going to haggle Mr Salesman on. I think you mean a 1KVA Dave or is it Maz? Good luck.
AnswerID: 425430

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 20:14

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 20:14
A few people have been caught with that Engel stuff - but its quite good for some things though like square wave inverters are.

However I'm suspisous- check that your electrican was using a good "RMS" reading multimeter for his measurement before complaining to hard as a reading of 276 volts is possible with a peak reading type meter , that has a calibration scale for sine wave readings when reading a squarer wave shape.

Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 425436

Follow Up By: Notso - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 23:43

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 23:43
Also are they "No Load" figures.

Some of these things have very high "No Load" voltages but as soon as you put anything at all on them they drop back to correct voltages.
FollowupID: 695993

Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 21:26

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 21:26
An easy answer is to run a 240Volt say 20 amp smart charger from the generator to the batteries depending on their size.120 amp is OK

I bought one from a vendor on the AULRO and he assured me it was OK to run on my Yamaha 1000Watt peak non sine wave generator.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 425450

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 01:49

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 01:49
Good to see it's Solar power winning over petrol power :-)

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 425471

Reply By: Ray - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 07:45

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 07:45
I have been running an Engle fridge of a Yamaha ET 650 (two stroke) for years. No problems at all.
I must agree with one of the previous writers that a load must be put on a generator to accurately measure the voltage.
AnswerID: 425478

Reply By: Evakool - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 09:43

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 09:43
The below is taken from the article on this site about generators

Battery Charging & Generators
Battery charging outlet Even the under-$100 generators have so-called “12 volt DC” outputs on them - but never connect any 12 volt appliances to them - the output is only suitable for battery charging. The output can be over 20 volts under light load and the output is very rough DC that could damage many appliances.

These charging outputs only give slow charging for car-size batteries - a 1kVA Generator can only provide one tenth of that power from the Charging output. But the biggest concern is that there is NO charge regulation at all, so if you don’t disconnect the charger when your battery approaches full charge, you could destroy an expensive battery!
For any serious charging you are better off buying an automatic 240 volt charger - you can now get 15 amp Three Stage Chargers for around $100.

In other words, it is very easy to damage a battery from the 12 volt side of a genny'. Almost always a better option to charge through a 240 volt battery charger.

Some generators voltage will settle down once under load, but I believe that some things can be sensitive to the starting voltage.

As far as taking the unit back for refund / exchange.
Your statutory rights say that you can ask for a refund for a number of reasons including;
* Faulty
* Unfit for purpose
* Do not match description or sample shown
If the salesales person tells you that a product will do something "no problems" and doesn't, you are entiltled to a refund or exchange
AnswerID: 425491

Reply By: WATTS2C - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:16

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:16
We have several Honda look-a-like generators. None of them are the genuine thing but copies made in China.

This may not be the case with yours, but it looks like you have been sold an inferior generator and you should have a case to have your money refunded since it doesn't deliver on what was promised.

Solar is a good option - make sure you purchase name brand panels, something like Kyocera. Check out our site.


AnswerID: 425498

Follow Up By: WATTS2C - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:17

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:17
sorry - should have said "we have seen several Honda look-a-likes."

We only stock genuine items...

FollowupID: 696016

Follow Up By: ross - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:06

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:06
I think he has an Engel genny which uses a Honda engine but not the same one as the Honda branded genny.
FollowupID: 696041

Follow Up By: the redbacks - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 19:02

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 19:02
Thats correct ross
FollowupID: 696068

Reply By: the redbacks - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 18:57

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 18:57
Hi guy's,
many thanks for all of your reply's. this model is made in Japan & is 4 stroke
it shows the "Pure Sin" wave on the machine {~240v} it was tested under load with same results, the electrician is of a very high standard & has been in the industry for 40 yrs plus, so i would assume his test meters would be of the correct type, i have emailed the manufacturer a few days ago, but up to now i have had no response, i am prepaired to give them a week or so for at least some reply even if it's to tell me to get "nicked". it is quite possible that the machine is faulty and i would be willing to let them check it out at their own factory, still see what happens over the next few days

Again, many thanks for all of your thoughts

Dave & Maz
AnswerID: 425565

Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 20:21

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 20:21
Whoever sold you an Engel generator on the basis of it being 'pure sine wave' needs to check the specs...

The Engel generators are re-badged Sawafuji Elemax, and here's the spec sheets for the SHX1000 & SHX2000 portable gasoline generators >>
(note the waveform)

I'd say you need to take it up with the retailer..

Regards, Ed C


Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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FollowupID: 696089

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 20:59

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 20:59
The ~ symbol only seems to mean "alternating current" in this case, which is what many modified wave inverters display at the output terminals.

FollowupID: 696097

Follow Up By: the redbacks - Thursday, Jul 29, 2010 at 19:01

Thursday, Jul 29, 2010 at 19:01
agree with you both on this, BUT !! here is the problem as i see it.
I ask the question with the retail sales man: "will this genny run my PC{lap top} & charge my van batteries if required, IF the sales man doesn't really know, he goes to the Engel web-site & reads the following:
Quote: Ideal for camping,this little gem will run, lights, dvd's,tv's,vcr's,stereo, cooling fans,power tools, also has a built in 12volt DC output for charging 12v batteries with max 8.3 amp.
So said salesman comes back to me & say's "yep no prob's" just read Engels website.!!!!
True, he did & it does say that,!!! so who's wrong ??? no mention of "regulators" required, no mention of Digi or pure. As much as he knows, & many many other people the ~ 240v means "pure sin" which is what he told me, im just the dumb customer, i really didn't know any different.
SO, is the sales man wrong for not knowing, OR Engel for "missleading" in their discription of the item??? OR me for not going "Honda" or solar ?????
as i see it these little things are ment to try us eh !!!!! i just whant someone to say "opp's we stuffed up" we will try to help you out in some way. or should i just put it down as a bad experiance
cheers guy's you have all been a big help
FollowupID: 696181

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 29, 2010 at 19:27

Thursday, Jul 29, 2010 at 19:27
Whilst the statement is roughly correct on the surface, the specifications of these electrical appliances is what governs my decision. Yes it will run lights, yet i didn't tell him i have a couple floodlights at 1000w will be no good without clarification at time of sale.

The saleperson should know their product and specifications and if they don't then they should be honest IMO.

If it doesn't do what you purchased it for, after being advised it should be fine, then you have a case to start some dialogue with the dealer.

Hope you can sort out the situation,
FollowupID: 696191

Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 07:00

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 07:00
Measuring the output voltage of any Inverter with no load connected is a poor indication of the voltage with even a tiny load applied.

FollowupID: 696233

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