How long do portable generators last?

I thought generators were for pretty intermittent use, but I just got back from a remote area in Alaska where the only power is what you make yourself. Some people there let them run 24/7/365; so my impression is obviously wrong.
How many hours are they typically good for? With proper maintenance of course.
I have two generators; a Honda 2000w quiet with about 200 hours, and a Kawasaki industrial 2500w with 2 hours. Presumably the Kawasaki will live longer than the Honda? (I got the Kawasaki for $300 when the first owner found out it wouldn't power his well; I didn't need it, but for that price...)
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Toller writes:

Get a diesel if you're looking for lifetime.
It's not like any of the gasoline generators for consumers have a properly engineered MTBF analysis.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You must be planning to become a politician, Richard.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pop writes:

That's a career I've already gone through, thank you.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Try calling Honda and Kawasaki respectively, they may be able to help you and estimate the number of hours they could last. I did just that with a generator I owned.
The stuff to stay away from is "emergency homeowner generators" and everything cheaply priced. It is impossible to make a good cheap generator. Words like "industrial", "heavy duty" etc do not mean much anymore, if they ever did.
i

Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The cheap lawnmower engine units might go 250-350 hrs, OHV commercial engines 2-3000 hrs, a Honda inverter unit like you have at 50% load or 1800rpm might go 10-13000 hrs, a Honda inverter unit at 25% load or 900 rpm might last 40000+ hrs. You get what you pay for. Your Yamaha if it is inverter design is the same as Honda. Run it easy, keep the load low, the reduced Rpm makes the inverter types last. Buy a 3600 rpm 5000w 500$ HD special and you can ruin it in a few weeks. 24x7 full load.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

them all day long. Running them may be better than sitting in the shed.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I aquired a 700 watt invereter and have been thinking of a 2 or 3 thousand watt unit.
solid state they can sit forever till needed, and attached to a vehicle like a car solves the fuel storage problem and noise too.
Its certinally a option, and should elminate the generator wouldnt start problem.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

problem is a 2000 watt inverter is going to draw something like 200 Amps from your vehicle...this is more than the starter motor draws....your normal vehicle electrical system will not suppport this kind of load...
A 600 Watt inverter supplying a 200 Watt load from a vehicle is more realistic... Thats enough to START and run a normal refrigerator... Its still a 20 Amp load which will run the battery down in an hour or so unless you keep the engine running..
Mark
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is a valid point. I have a propane fridge but I still use an inverter for electronics. I keep a battery up with a lawnmower engine, spinning up a car alternator.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Toller wrote:

I think it depends on how many RPM's they run. Diesels and 1800 RPM gasolines last a pretty long time. They also cost a lot. 3600 RPM units with cheap engines might only last a few hundred hours. The Honda is an interesting case because with the inverter, it can adjust the engine RPM to match the load; if you keep the continuous load on it light, it should last a good long time.
You didn't give enough info about the Kawasaki for an opinion (but it sounds like you got a good deal on it)
Bob
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There are cheapie discount engines, and IC, or Industrial Commercial engines. The cheapie ones are like lawn mowers, designed to run an hour a week, half the year, for five years or so.
My guess is that with an oil change every some interval or other, they last a lot longer than people think. If you figure your car at 3,000 miles and averaging 30 MPH, that's 100 hours. Of course, generators are usually air cooled, and run hotter.
My advice is to use good quality motor oil. My last vehicle had a nasty piston rod knock. Only Castrol kept the engine quiet. The other brands would last about two days. And then the rod knock would return.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Alot is how you use it, load it up, run it full throttle cheap units dont last, as a lawnmower doesnt.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.