Owned for years, still works reliablly, and quietly!
I have owned this generator for almost four years. I live in Maine, where winters can be harsh, so a generator is as important as snow tires around here.
We do not lose power often, but when we do, the generator has performed perfectly each time. I custom-made a wire so that I could plug the generator into my transfer switch, and give power to our home when needed. Granted, it does not power everything in the house - it is a 2500 Watt/20 Amp model, which is a relatively small generator. That
... read more
said, running lights, TV, Satellite, fan-forced gas fireplace can all run at the same time. If we need to operate the toaster, microwave, or coffee maker (all run at about 1200 Watts continuous), we just need to ensure to use only one of those items at a time, and for good measure we unplug the fridge temporarily, so as not to overload the generator. This may sound like an inconvenience, but it is a lot less inconvenient than freezing your butt off in your own home during a snow or ice storm.
What is extemely important when operating this, or any other gasoline generator, is regular maintenance. It is all in the owners manual, that being: checking the oil before each use, oil changes (I changed mine every six months, regardless of usage), cleaning the air filter, spark plug changes, starting the generator up and running it every few weeks for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, closing the fuel valve and leave the choke open when not in use, keeping the generator clean, warm it up for a few minutes before plugging electrical components into it, only plug in one high wattage item at at a time, waiting for the machine to run smoothly before plugging in the next one, and do not overload it.
I own many small engine items, such as a lawn tractor, chain saw, lawn mower, chipper-shredder, and more. When I use this generator, I still cannot get over how quiet (relatively) it runs. I would not want to have a romantic dinner conversation sitting next to the machine, but whenever the power goes out in my neighborhood, where lots are one to seven acres, I can hear my neighbors' generators echoing more so than my own.
The manufacturer states that this machine can run "8 Hours at 1/2 Load on 4 Gallons of Fuel." Much to my surprise, however, during an ice storm in 2008, we once ran the generator for 16 hours without running out of gas. Granted, we were probably not running it at full or probably even half-load, but I was still amazed.
In addition, this machine has 12 Volt leads on it, so I have used it to jump start my car (dead battery) on ocassion.
The engine is made in China, which one would probably guess with the low price. The engine manufacturer is Chongqing Dajiang Power Equipment. Their engines are used all over the world for every kind of small combustion engine imaginable, from generators to motorcycles. I cannot comment on the reliablility of their other products, but this generator has performed well. I have not needed to buy any replacement parts for it yet (other than the spark plug), but you can buy them from All Power America, or Sears Parts Direct.
Following the same guidelines that you would follow to take care of your car, lawn mower, or any other gasoline powered engine, will likely give you years of reliable usage from this fine piece of equipment.