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Generator - Coscto @ $899.99 - Too Good to Be True?

Bruce T
17 years ago

Hi Folks,

Costco has a B&S "PowerBoss" 7,000 watt (12,000 surge) generator powered by a Honda GX390 13hp OHV engine priced @ $899.99. The local Honda implement dealers best match is Honda generator EM6500 priced @ $2649.95 (same GX390 engine - but with electric start.) I know, I know, you get what you pay for, but 3X the price? Since both have the exact same engines, I have to assume the price difference is in the electronics. I'll always pay for quality, but I'm having a really hard time trying to jusify the additional $1,700 for the Honda. 2 year Warranty on both.

Any and all thoughts on this are appreciated.

Thanks

Comments (71)

  • davefr
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I saw this generator and it's definately a Honda. B&S and Costco are not going to risk their reputation on counterfeit engines.

    It looks like most of the cost saving comes from manual start only. Usually generators of this size have electric start.

    I'd be confident in buying this generator.

  • tahclep
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Honda engines are so easy to start, which is why many times you do not find an electric start on them.

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  • chas045
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I recently purchased one of these units and not even fired it up yet and was aprehensive after seeing these posts yesterday. I called Honda and they claim that it is a regular gs390. It has a 2 yr warranty and I called the distributer who gave me two local engine repair places (which were the two closest shops to me that I am familiar with anyway)who take the warranty. I am glad to hear that this is supposed to be a good engine. Perhaps the cost cutting is in the B&S generator side.

  • danman1
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Everyone's so worried about if the gas engine is 'really' a Honda or not, as if you can rest in peace if after all this it is. Funny thing is you may finally have the gas engine that you dreamed of, and talked about on the net for a month and, poof, there goes $1,000 of electrical damage in your house and the alternator is dead, because that perfect running Honda was mated to a subpar alternator and regulator system. "But the Honda was still running good!"

  • aesanders
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    These are good generators and yes they are indeed Honda engines. Those that think it must be a chinese knockoff are full of themselves.

    Are these units as good as a $2500 Honda or Yamaha unit. No they are not. They lack many features that the better generators have. But for a home back up system they are excellent and will do the job for years. Home back up units are not used that much and with proper maintainance I doubt you would wear it out in a couple decades.

    Now the Yamaha's and Honda's that are +1700 will last longer, but are designed for more use. They are also considerably more quiet. The price difference is mostly found in the alternator used and the muffler system employed. If you want a quiter unit for more jobs than just home backup then that is where the Honda's and Yamaha's shine. But if all you use it is once or twice a year, you don't really need one of these.

    My personal preference for generators is having two units. A decent home backup unit like the Briggs noted in this and a super quiet inverter generator at 2-3kwfor more common usage. During a power outage I can run my well and fridges and freeezers occaisonaly with the home back up unit. And also watch TV all night with the inverter and not keep the neighborhood awake.

  • earthworm
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    dave wrote : I saw this generator and it's definately a Honda. B&S and Costco are not going to risk their reputation on counterfeit engines.
    It looks like most of the cost saving comes from manual start only. Usually generators of this size have electric start.
    I'd be confident in buying this generator.

    adrian writes : $1,700 for the electric start ?? More reasonable is $170 for the start..
    Cosco's profit is but $100 and the Honda dealers profit is $1,000 !!!!!
    This, of course, makes no sense....
    And there is still roughly $600 unaccounted for - some can be saved by throwing QC to the winds , but not that much...

  • arceeguy
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    FWIW, I own a "Nikota" 3500W generator from costco. The engine is a chinese clone of a Honda GX200. The manufacturer of the engine was either Jiandong or Lifan - which are two large manufacturers of motorcycles, scooters, etc in China. The engines are EPA and CARB certified, which means that they passed agency tests for emissions and longevity. The engine started on the first pull and runs quietly and smoothly. I am very pleased with my $279 purchase. So far, I have over 75 hours without a hitch. I think Nikota is out of business, but I can still get parts for the engine because all the Honda parts will fit. I doubt the generator head will be a problem since generators are very simple devices. (I probably wouldn't trust a cheap inverter generator though)

    I also own a Wen "Power Pro" 5.5 engine (from Pep Boys), which is a Jiangdong GX160 clone. This is installed on a mini bike. Once again, it starts reliably and runs much quieter than the B&S 5HP side valve engine it replaced. Not bad for $129 on sale! I am tempted to buy the Power Pro 6.5 (GX200 clone) for my new Troy Bilt pressure washer because the 7HP Intek engine pops and misses under light load. (sounds like the thing is jetted a smidge too lean to please the enviro-whackos)

    Note that none of these Chinese manufacturers are trying to pass their products off as genuine Honda engines, and they all have EPA certification, and many times even have the very strict CARB certification. I doubt that they are total trash if they have been certified by these agencies. My local power equipment dealer says that they are built under license from Honda. I don't know if this is true, maybe any patents on the GX design have expired. (Note that every TV manufacturer has flat screens like the Sony Trinitron since the patents on the Trinitron picture tube lapsed several years ago)

    Only power equipment fans will recognize these engines as clones, most "big box" consumers couldn't tell a Honda from a Tecumseh anyway.

    Does Honda make a better engine than the clone manufacturers? I'd say yes.

    Is it worth the extra price? Depends I suppose. For a guy like me, who doesn't use the equipment commercially, probably not. If I depended on the equipment everyday for my business, the genuine Honda (or other premium engine) would make sense.

  • woodinvirginia
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I bought a normally priced $2700 bi fuel Northern tool Generator w/ electric start from Northern tool on Ebay 2 yrs back with a genuine Honda 13HP engine for 899. The Honda dealer will service the engine if I bring it in . No problem; but all I have needed was synthetic oil and battery charges not engine repair. This engine does NOT start easily without the electric starter. Anyone that has pulled this a few times will tell you your in for a real workout if you rely on just that pull rope.

  • hawkeyebob62
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    When the manufacturers like Honda and B & S produce these units for Sam's, Costco, Lowes and Home Depot, it is usually "features" that are sacrificed.

    In the case of the Generac-now-B & S that HD sells, they plug configurations are usually "vanilla". The original Generac 7500EXL had a 50-amp plug; the Generac 7550EXL at HD did not. This is but one example...

  • Bruce T
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi Folks,

    I did buy this generator the first week of October,2006. We had one of the most damaging wind storm ever in Western Washington in mid December. We lost power to our home Thursday evening, Dec. 14 and it was finally restored Monday evening Dec, 18. This generator worked GREAT! We were able to stay in our home during the outage (we have a wood stove for back-up heat). I plugged it into my Gentran transfer switch, fired it up with 1 pull, flicked the transfer switches, and presto - - POWER to the circuits! I ran it 2 hours each morning (so we could make coffee and see what we were doing) and then cranked it up about 4:30 each afternoon for about 6 - 7 hours each evening. It ran the fridge, freezer, microwave, lights, TV ,a 1500w oil filled heater, and most importantly, the septic pump, - obviously not all at the same time - without missing a beat. Gas usage was approx .85gal/hr. I'd top off the tank each evening. It's not the quietest generator ever, but pointing the muffler away from the home minimized the noise. Never in a million years could I tell you why this is the year I decided to by a generator - - but it sure did pay off.

  • canguy
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I am just north of you and it certainly has been a wild winter.The worst of the storms are over, at least for now, but some generators are still on back order.

  • dreg
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Great Thread!
    1)For those of you who have started this generator, Can you tell me if it is hard to pull start? Is it anything like the pull effort of a standard honda lawn mower?

    2)Does this generator have "idle control" ie does the rpm decrease significantly w/o a load applied? This feature is very important to me as I will be using this unit to power tools, compressors, and water pumps intermittantly at a job site.
    Thanks

  • bsparks294
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I can provide an answer to your first question. I own a Honda mower and have owned a Northern tool generator with the 13hp Honda engine.

    The 13 hp engine is quite a bit harder to pull, especially if something is wrong and it takes a few pulls (my fuel filter was plugged once).

    This is not surprising considering there are not many 13hp Honda mowers with pull start.

    Have a great day,

    Brad

  • machiem
    17 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    1)it will be harder to start than a lawnmower because of the size of the engine and because the engine is directly mated to the generator head.

    2)The rpm's will be constant regardless of load. Lowering the rpm's changes the output voltage so they don't let you do that. You usually only have "on", "choke" and "off" settings with nothing in between.

    By the way, what happened to Hippy?

  • kubotabx2200
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I bought a Coleman 6250 watt generator from Home Depot with the 10 HP Subaru EX30D engine, and the engine comes with a 3 year warranty from Subaru. Interesting that Honda engines only have the 2 year warranty but Subaru gives you an extra year. Yes, it is a genuine engine.

    By the way, the engine is a overhead cam design driven by a timing chain. It is one of the quietest small gas engines I have ever heard.

    The generator was $599

  • canguy
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Extended warranty is a great marketing scam. The manufacturers are very aware that if the unit does not fail in the first few hours they are unlikely to have any issues with it. A failure in the third year, or fourth or fifth or seventh, is likely due to lack of maintenance or mis-use and they will not cover that.

  • kubotabx2200
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I would rather have a three year factory warranty on the engine than a one- or two year warranty, or a 90 day warranty. I think most people would agree with that.

    If warranties were only a marketing scam then Honda ought to be willing to guarantee all their engines for the same time period, not 2 years for some of them and 90 days for the rest. For example: Honda engines are only warranted for 90 days for "commercial use" for the GC and GCV engines, 1 year for a lot of the GX series engines, and 2 years for GXV and the rest of the GX series engines.

    Briggs does the same thing: Vanguard series are warranted for 2 years, all the Inteks are just one year and everything else is 90 days. Or no warranty at all for generator engines used for commercial use or "prime power" use.

    Subaru warrants all 4 cycle Subaru Robin engines for two years whether they be used for consumer or commercial use, and recently added the 3rd year of coverage for consumer use.

  • chas045
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    No one else has answered dreg about starting ease. I have now run mine several times and it has always started on the first or second pull. Those pulls can't be very hard because I keep my unit under a porch for protection and bending over prevents giving it a hard yank.

  • anitajane
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I was in Costco today, Sunday, August 19, 2007 looking at the PowerBoss 123456 for $899.99 and I too saw the "GX390" name engraved on the engine.

    I need the quietest model possible because I live just 10 feet from my neighbor. I'm wondering if quietness is one of the "extras" the PowerBoss model sacrificed? One post said it was quiet. I need REALLY quiet. But do I need $1700 of quiet? I'm just going to use the generator for the big earthquake that is going to hit California some day.

    My research said that Hondas were the quietest motors out there with a range of 65-75 dB. I noticed that manufactures conveniently leave the decibel level off the fact sheet and packaging.

    Do any of your PowerBoss owners know what the decibel level is? Would this engine disturb my neighbors? (Don't feel too sorry for me, I live 3 miles from the ocean and don't ever need air conditioning!) :-)

    Since I don't know squat about engines, I really thank you all for your comments. It's been very helpful to me.

    Thanks, Anita. Ventura, California

  • jimtnc
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I just checked the one online and it's around $1200 on sale from 1500. I'll wait for HD's sale.

  • njguy07754
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Why would Briggs and Stratton put someone else's motor on their own generator? The motora lone is worth $899 alone. Something is fishy about that. That's like Ford putting Chevy 350's in Mustangs. I would definitely check and see if it indeed a HONDA and not a Chinese Jiangdong replica of a Honda. BTW, Jiangdong is being sued by Honda for patent & copyright infringements on their motor.

  • starhust
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    "Why would Briggs and Stratton put someone else's motor on their own generator? The motora lone is worth $899 alone. Something is fishy about that. That's like Ford putting Chevy 350's in Mustangs. I would definitely check and see if it indeed a HONDA and not a Chinese Jiangdong replica of a Honda."

    Because the PowerBoss is made by Generac Portable Products (which is owned by B&S). Generac uses Honda, Mitsubishi, Tecumseh, Robin and B&S engines on their generators. Also, Generac makes their own engines! PowerBoss has used Honda engines on many of their generator models.

    "BTW, Jiangdong is being sued by Honda for patent & copyright infringements on their motor."

    You dont know what youre taking about. The "Chonda" engines made by Jiangdong are copies of the Honda GX series. The patents on the Honda GX series engines ran out in 2003. Its no wonder that "Chonda" engines started to show up in the USA in early 2004! Patents are designed to run out in 20 years so that other manufacturers can start using the technology. The "Chonda" engines you see are completely legal and of good quality too!

  • njguy07754
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hey Starhurst,

    Read the article below and try to smell what you're shoveling from now on. By the way, if Lifan or Jiangdong made airplanes, would you fly in one?

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-09/06/content_372008.htm

  • starhust
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The article you cited is 3 years old and it doesnt mention Jiangdong. You stated, "BTW, Jiangdong is being sued by Honda for patent & copyright infringements on their motor." That is simply not true and you are obviously misinformed.

    Jiangdong has never been sued by Honda. You have lost all credibility. You would be wise to retreat from this subject.

  • larryg69
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I just bought my Honda from Costco on Thursday 9/24/07 do to bad weather in the Chicago area my power was out for 36 hours. The Honda ran for 33 of them hours except for re-gassing and checking the oil. As I am now looking over the owners manual this is a Honda engine the phone number in the book is the same as my Honda lawn mower. As for how loud it is, it will disturb your neighbor, but do what I did I let them use it. in fact I saved four basements from being flooded everyone was happy. Thank you Costco for saving me a ton of money.
    Larry
    Westchester, IL
    P.S.
    Due to my membership I saved 1% and another 2% be using my AMX card, what a deal

  • chas045
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I don't have a decibel meter, but the costco/honda engine is loud but I expect that they all are. I live 220 ft back from the road and I can hear it clearly from there. The manual suggests that you can partially close it in for weather protection and sound baffeling if you want to do some construction. I already posted that honda repair places know that this is a honda engine!

  • jsvetrano_yahoo_com
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Starhurst,

    You need to start talking to some more knowledgeable and professional people... such as your local Honda dealer. Freehold Honda/Triumph which is the largest volume Honda retailer in the Northeast, told me that Honda filed suit against Jiangsu Jiandong Group Imp & Expo Co., Ltd. for trademark/patent/copyright infringement AKA: piracy. The basis for the lawsuit is that the Chinese motors originated from Honda and Jiangdong is taking old Honda GX blocks and rebuilding them with replica parts. Customers have complained that they were deceived into purchasing an imitation Honda motor and when they take the motor in for service, it cannot be fixed. It's no different than bootlegging or copying a CD/DVD and selling it as the original. I'm not saying these "Chonda" motors are bad, (I've heard good things about them) but no repair shop I know can get parts and some dealers refuse to work on them.

    And by the way, I go into my Honda dealer frequently because I own 2 motorcycles, a generator, a snowblower and a lawn mower...all Honda.

  • spacemule
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    What do you all think of the Generac automatic generators that Home Depot sells? They've got a model for less than 2 grand that has 10 circuits of protection and includes the conduit and a transfer switch. It's designed to come on and restore power in less than 30 seconds, and it runs off either lp or natural gas so you don't have to worry about toting gas around. Seems like an infinitely better deal than a portable generator.

  • kubotabx2200
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The Subaru engine is quieter than nearly all of the Honda.

  • browildman70
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    GREETINGS: left a nice message but forgot to log on... BE sure to use FUEL STABILIZER, or CONDITIONER... I have a Edger Honda powered, 1000.00 bucks, bought from a reputable dealer, SOMETIMES VERY HARD TO START!!! The gas CURRENTLY REQUIRED by the E.P.A. in some METRO. Areas has very poor storage life... 2-3 WEEKS!!! USE CONDITIONER!!! The Honda motor on the GENNE.... (Prime mover) is a good basic engine Est. LIFE 3000 hours to rebuild(s)... RUN Synthetic OIL may run a ... lot longer... Change oil at MFGR.'s RECCD. intervals... This engine is easy to order parts for, JUST WORRY about KEEPING GOOD FUEL IN IT!!! The power end: BASIC Generator... Should last a long time under MODERATE , NON CRITICAL loads... THE rope start... Many Generators use " exciter start" this is a Seperate D.C. motor wound on the same shaft, as the AC, power windings, The REPEATED use of this for starting, can wear it down, causing reliability issues, and small 12 ? volt batterys only last for 2-3 years... A basic generator has fewer parts, is louder, BUT will get the JOB done... KEEP a CAN of ETHER ( fast-start/or engine starting aid spray) Near your emergency Power PLANT, THE MAIN GRID is getting old, and LESS RELIABLE every year, During KATERINA... aftermath, people A) bought up all the Cheap GENERATORS!!! B) some were forced to rely on them for many WEEKS !!! Store this CRITTER carefully, And it is worth the money!!! If however you buy a better, higher cost unit... many of the same issues, fuel QUALITY, BATTERY status, OIL STATUS. WEATHER DAMAGE ??? Always GROUND GENERATOR!!! Run QUALITY EXTENSION cords to LOADS, Start largest Electric motors first!!!,, then ADD lights, or other small non CRITICAL loads!!! Computers ???? Use CAREFULLY on a generator!!! have a UPS in front of OLDER ones, LAPTOPS!!!! SURE!! just plug then in and START CHARGING/ Working THEY have a battery internal to them,Be careful if the charger/AC. Adapter becomes EXRTEMELY hot... REMEMBER run GENNY. out side!!! CHAIN/and LOCK to something SUBSTANTIAL !!! if the Power is out, some people get CRAZY, and take advantage !!! I have BEEN running GENERATORS... Since 1976, SIMPLE is BEST...FUEL QUALITY/QUANTITY is key!!! Take care of it,,, or it will not take care of you!! Wildman.

  • rcmoser
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    IMO For those that have hard starting engines after the set along time you NEED TO PRIME THEM no matter what the brand. anybody with any mechanically knowledge knows that gas in not waiting to be pull into the intake when it sets for a spell. Prime it with carb. cleaner. I would think most would shut the gas off and let the carb run out of gas when put in prolong storage, this also adds to the the hard starting problem IMO. You have to let the gas fill up the carb. by gravity.

    As for the honda or not, IMO honda's are very competitively prices in most cases they are way cheaper than kolher, and usually priced at or below B&S.

  • thetallone
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Greetings,
    I recently purchased a PowerBoss 7KW, Model 030359 generator from Costco. This model has an electric starter. It does have the Genuine Honda GX390 engine. Looking at the posts regarding this item I see many folks referring to the engine as being 13 Horsepower. Well...according to the manufacturer its only 11 horsepower. 8.2kW (11.0HP) at 3,600 rpm please see link www.honda-engines.com/engines/gx390.htm

  • starhust
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Horsepower definitions are very inconsistent and ambiguous. The small engine industry is moving away from horsepower ratings. However, it is fair to say that the Honda GX390 has an 11 HP net rating and a 13 HP maximum rating.

    Therefore, it is acceptable to advertise the GX390 as being a 13 HP engine.

  • danman1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    It's not net or gross or max or anything like that.

    That engine develops 13HP@4,000 rpm. But, your generator must stay @ 3,600 rpm. At 3,600 rpm that engine develops 11HP. So for that generator-engine application the 4k rpm hp rating of that engine is useless. There really should be "truth in advertising" laws to prohibit a company from advertising a power level of a single highest component of a multi-component product. Laws already prohibit a car company from selling a car as a 165mph auto just because the tires are rated for that speed.
    Your gen head will be no greater than 80% efficient.
    If your 11hp@3600 engine (8,206 watts) was running on it's very best day, and your gen output (80% efficient assuming it's the best quality) would be 6565 watts AT BEST. How can this be sold as a continious 7k generator?...but of course that's another story.

  • pfferraro_buy_and_sell_yahoo_com
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The motor is Honda. The alternator/voltage regulator is not. There-in lies the $$$ difference.

  • arcsound
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    For $1400 (at AP Electric in IL) you can get an 8KW Generac with an American-made generator and engine. Sure it is more, but it's worth the difference to keep at least a few people still employed in this country, plus it is *undoubtedly* made much, much better, with higher quality parts. Say "NO" to the encroachment of Chinese products into every aspect of our lives, and keep Americans employed, (or perish as a world power in your never ending, craven desire for "a good deal".....).

  • aesanders
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    For those of you looking for a quit generator, you really need to look at a true Honda or Yamaha or Robin higher end generator. Will be quite a bit more expensive. For intance my 3k Honda was $1700, but it is super quite. Their is a lot more to making a unit quit than just what make of engine is powering the unit. The generator style and muffler system and build quality is just as important if not more so.

    I have a briggs 6500 kw generator as well. I beleieve Ipaid around $600 for it. It is loud. Their is no comparison to a Yamaha 6500 KW invertor style generator. The Yamaha or other similar make is probably 20 decibles quiter. Go take a look at them at the store. Also, the invertor style generators are way more stabile and can power sensitive electronic equipment, while a standard generator isn't recomended for that use (can damage or deystroy with a power surge).

    The downside is the price. Most models are 2k or way more.

  • captshorty
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I just purchased the Power Boss 7000W at Costco for $699.00 with electric start, start up oil and battery. This unit works great and is moved very easy since it's set up with wheels and handles. This has a Honda GX390 engine and all related paper work for warranty with Honda's service center's numbers. These are the same numbers which are reflected in a owners manual of another generator which I purchased 13 years ago. This unit started right up and runs like a dream. I don't see any problems with this unit, and I would have a hard time beliveing that Costco would put their reputation on the line for a knock off unit.

  • drewdrick_juno_com
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Just bought a powerboss 6500w #030489 on ebay. Called B&S and yes they confirmed the model of honda engine listed for the auction, gx390u1vwc-647042. According to honda's website, from the model name, 390 refers to the size, u1 refers to manufacturing location and version number (so either it was manufactured in the u.s. or uganda or you get the picture), and the vwc refers to engine type. Digging deeper, I found the pdf that shows dozens of different engine types for the gx390u1 model and the features for each. Of course, and as aesanders mentioned above, there are basic models and there are quiet models, the vwc is the most basic of the bunch... no silencing features and only "oil alert". Oh well... atleast the quality should still be the same, right?

  • lakesider_2007
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    If you buy at Costco, they will take it back when it fails, according to their own return policy. We see the GX390 on everything, generators, pressure washers, etc. Are the Chinese worried about patent infringement, or coping a big brand name....never! The alternator and other critical parts are not of real quality.......works for awhile, but then a major storm and????

  • chas045
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Well since lakesider brought this thread back up, I can tell you that the one I bought in November 2006 is still running fine and runs everything I need at least for short periods. I will often run one of our home air conditioners in the mix. Power goes out several times a year for an hour or three and once a year for six hours or so. I have never tried to use the electric oven, but I suspect it would work as long as I shut off the air conditioning first.

  • kctyphoon
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    gotta love threads like these, and gotta love the people that need to convince themselves that their $3,000 honda generator was made by GOD himself and since they bought one, - everyone else should buy one too. especially had to laugh when someone suggested buying a generac over a another brand with a real honda engine. let me remind everyone that pride of ownership is a huge factor here, and if you ever take a trip to a honda dealer, you will find a long line of equipment in the back room waiting for repairs. so just because you bought one of the most expensive generators around, doesnt mean they dont break. so seriousy - get over yourself.

    i know this is an old thread but the issue will go on forever. my personal feeling if i were to buy another generator, is to buy the same deal the OP described. many suppliers offer generators with real honda engines for about $200 more than a similar sized unit with a honda clone. AND - even the honda clones these days are extremely reliable if broken in and maintained properly. what many people dont know, is the clone engines are designed using expired honda patents, and have come a long way in recent years. the karting world even has a separate racing class for them, and a 6.5 hp engine can be modified to push almost 20hp and rev up to 9000 rpm. that being said, a clone motor will have NO PROBLEM running a generator at 3600 for the occasional black out and power loss so long as you use common sense to maintain it. i dont care if JESUS HIMSELF built your honda generator, if you leave the same gas in it for 4 years - your carb will need to be cleaned.

    now - i am not saying that honda and honda clones are of equal quality and reliability, but something has to be said for a $650 ETQ generator with a pure sign wave, that makes more power (7250 cont) and will keep my lights on just as well as a $3,000 Honda with 5000 cont watts.. furthermore, after your 2 year warranty expires on your $3,000 honda, you can enjoy the $100 an hour labor rate, and $1200 repair bill god forbid you ever need to bring it to a dealer for repair - THAT YOU WILL DO since you spent so much money for the "best"
    me on the other hand - if my $650 generator gets used 3 times in years, i will feel i got my moneys worth out if it, and it it dies - i will toss it the garbage or sell it for parts, and buy another brand new generator with another 2 yr warranty for less than you paid for the labor alone on your repair bill..
    - unless your a contractor using the thing on remote jobsites for 30 weeks out of the year, you have no need for a $3,000 portable generator anyway, because this is who these things are made for. for $2400 you can buy a 12kw whole house standy unit at costco made by generac, thats completely automatic, runs off natural gas, and is big enough to run 2 central air units along with most of your home. lastly - I hate to break the news to all the honda guys, but honda is not the "top of the line" when it comes to reliable generators. i work for a major utility company, and you will not find ONE honda generator on ANY utility truck.

  • bogey123
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    After Sandy had us without power for 11 days and having to drive 30 miles each way to get gas (and wait on 45 min+ gas lines once I got far enough west), I had a 22,000 kw Generac that is fueled by natural gas. The motor is a 50hp Mitsubishi 4 cy car engine and the thing is pretty quiet. Can't beat it either as it turns itself on, runs the whole house including heat and a/c..

  • fperkins
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I spent a lot of time researching generators and trying to find the best and most economical fit for my family. Ultimately I decided on the Powerstroke with Honda Engine that Costco is selling for 1k. I figure I get the reliability of the Honda engine and the coverage of Costco return policy for all the other components that are not Honda related. I actually wrote a blog entry about my journey in finding the right generator. Let me know your thoughts.

  • evdpgh
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    "22,000 kw Generac"...I doubt if many people reading this thread (which is 6 years old) are planning on spending $10,000. on a generator.

  • ltcboy
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I can say this, I bought this generator back in 2007. I added the tri fuel adaptor so I can use NG or gasoline. This generator has done an outstanding job. I have used it and I have also lent it to friends that had their power out and it ran flawlessly. I have the generator outlet wired into my panel as an interlock and have a NG outlet right there. I have used the PowerBoss and it lights up my whole house, except central air. Those of you that had doubts on this gen set as being a Chonda where wrong. I had to contact Honda for a replacement part and they did verify that the engine on this set is indeed a Honda. This was a great deal at the time. I have since bought a Black Max 7000 watt gen set for my parents. This was roughly the same cost and it too comes with the Honda engine.

    Mike

  • groingo
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Since we all use portable generators in one form or another I thought it may be a good idea to pass on the latest scam I uncovered involving Westinghouse Portable Generators to those who may be skeptical "if it looks to good to be true it usually is".

    Here are the facts on this latest scam using an old US company name to sell cheap Chinese products of which I am 100% confident after in depth research and speaking to Westinghouse and their Support Supplier (Billious) that the reviews are definitely being "Stacked" and their claims of a dealer network False.

    I called Westinghouse Corporate and yes this is a legit sub division of Westinghouse Electric Company, now sit down and get ready, I called 10 of their Dealer Support numbers (From their own site) for my area and beyond (that Westinghouse shows are their authorized service centers) and 100% said they either never heard of them or or NOT providing factory support for Westinghouse products, this is a typical Chinese (Dumping Ploy), like All Power, Powerhouse, ETC and on, they just grab numbers from a phone book and post them as their support centers and it gets even better.....replacement parts are either non existent or you have to be a service dealer to get them from Billious....see where this is going...it's called a brick wall and what happens when people buy PRICE and not Product!

    Billiou's is the service and support supplier unfortunately they ONLY sell to Support Dealers and if you are not a registered Support Dealer and you need a part you are S.O.L. to make matters worse, even they are having a hard time even getting parts period.

    Best advice.....AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE, this is NOT the same Westinghouse company we grew up with., think Maytag, Whirlpool, Speedqueen, Lakewood, Pelonis and the list is endless of former US companies now in Chinese hands but still using their trusted names.

    Finally, in their manual they warn NOT to buy or used for life support or medical support....that pretty much says it all to me!

  • groingo
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Since we all use portable generators in one form or another I thought it may be a good idea to pass on the latest scam I uncovered involving Westinghouse Portable Generators to those who may be skeptical "if it looks to good to be true it usually is".

    Here are the facts on this latest scam using an old US company name to sell cheap Chinese products of which I am 100% confident after in depth research and speaking to Westinghouse and their Support Supplier (Billious) that the reviews are definitely being "Stacked" and their claims of a dealer network False.

    I called Westinghouse Corporate and yes this is a legit sub division of Westinghouse Electric Company, now sit down and get ready, I called 10 of their Dealer Support numbers (From their own site) for my area and beyond (that Westinghouse shows are their authorized service centers) and 100% said they either never heard of them or or NOT providing factory support for Westinghouse products, this is a typical Chinese (Dumping Ploy), like All Power, Powerhouse, ETC and on, they just grab numbers from a phone book and post them as their support centers and it gets even better.....replacement parts are either non existent or you have to be a service dealer to get them from Billious....see where this is going...it's called a brick wall and what happens when people buy PRICE and not Product!

    Billiou's is the service and support supplier unfortunately they ONLY sell to Support Dealers and if you are not a registered Support Dealer and you need a part you are S.O.L. to make matters worse, even they are having a hard time even getting parts period.

    Best advice.....AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE, this is NOT the same Westinghouse company we grew up with., think Maytag, Whirlpool, Speedqueen, Lakewood, Pelonis and the list is endless of former US companies now in Chinese hands but still using their trusted names.

    Finally, in their manual they warn NOT to buy or used for life support or medical support....that pretty much says it all to me!

  • Marc Butler
    last year

    I bought that Costco generator, 16yrs ago. Its still working very well!