Powermate PM0497000.04 8,750 Watt 389cc 13HP Honda GX390 Gas Powered Portable Generator
|Average Customer Review: ( 52 customer reviews )
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79 of 81 found the following review helpful:
Gotta love a Honda. Feb 09, 2011
By Southern Gentleman
The generator was shipped and delivered quickly. Instructions for handle and wheel kits were accurate, and everything we needed was in the box.
Although I hadn't planned to do so, I purchased and installed a six-circuit transfer switch. This generator has more than enough power to have gone with a larger transfer switch, as it turns out.
I love Honda products. Once I put in the gas and oil, I anticipated having at least a little difficulty with the first start-up, but to my delighted amazement, the first pull on the starter rope resulted in a smooth-running engine cadence. A beautiful sound.
I highly recommend this item, and Amazon had the best price.
Best of luck to you all.
59 of 63 found the following review helpful:
Worked beautifully during Hurricane Sandy for 3 days straight Nov 14, 2012
By John R
The price seems to fluctuate between $1,200 & $1,300, so wait it out if you're able (depending on your likelihood of a blackout). Obviously, after Hurricane Sandy, this and other power-related goods have been long sold out.
My house, along with most others in Northeast NJ, had a prolonged blackout during Hurricane Sandy from downed power lines across the state. While mine was "only" 2.5 days (some coworkers didn't have power for 2 weeks), I'd found that a blackout causes not only inconvenience, but a morbid sense of vulnerability. It doesn't matter if you have a shack or a mansion; you NEED a generator "just in case". It proved to be the case for me within 5 months of owning a home. Ideally, you'd have something like a 20KW Generac standby generator that runs on natural gas (like the typical stove-top) which is automatic and can power the entire house, but it is quite expensive ($10K range) and takes up a lot of outdoor space.
Instead, I have this high capacity gasoline generator with a garage 240V receptable and basement 2 transfer switches for my main & sub electrical panels (10 toggle switches total to manually flip between grid & generator power). Otherwise, you'd need to run a LONG 120V power extension cord (or upto 4 multiple) from the generator to a power strip for each of your appliances, while risking a cord overload fire hazard and leaving upstairs unpowered.
The "accessories" assembly probably took an hour, with most of the time spent looking for the correct size tools and bricks to prop up the generator for wheels, grounding, and handle assemblies. Do the assembly as soon as you receive the generator, since it may take longer than assumed, especially in the dark.
This gasoline generator is compact in comparison to a natural gas standby generator, but bigger than the typical cheap gasoline generator that you can lug in a car. You'd need more than 2 people to load this generator into an SUV or a truck (definitely won't fit in a sedan). Its 7,000W running / 8,750W peak capacity is probably overkill for most homes, but the large 8 gallon gasoline tank and efficient engine powered for roughly 15 hour stretches my large refrigerator (spoiled/no food = bad), Zoeller 1/2 HP sump pump (flooded basement = bad), Fios router (no WiFi = suicide), outlets for multiple laptops & smartphones, stovetop hood (as needed), kitchen lights, hot water boiler (hot water in fall/winter? Yes please), and master bed lights & TV/cable box (WTH's going on out there?). I didn't need to worry about each watt an item used AND had a long time between fill-ups. If you don't need the generator running non-stop at moderate load, you can easily go 24 hours on one 8-gallon fill-up.
WARNING: when you shut off the generator using its power switch, you may get a loud & bright backfire from the opposite side of where the power switch is (the other wide side). Aside from being scary, it's a fire hazard. Instead of using the power switch first, turn the fuel regulator valve to off (you would've turned the valve to on the during startup sequence per the chassis's stickererd directions), prior to switching off the generator.
With (this or another) generator, you should also purchase:
1. Quality power cable: I have a 20' 30-Amp 14-gauge 240V power cable ($64 in 7/2012, $100 in 11/2012) that connects to the relay switch adapter, but even if you don't have a 240V adapter, you'll want a quality 120V cable. Last thing you want during a storm & power outage is an electrical fire.
2. At least two 5-gallon No-Spill gasoline cans, even if you don't fill them (87 Octane gasoline; higher's fine, but a waste of $ for this generator). Gasoline cans were sold out days before the hurricane hit, and you'll want to stock up on gasoline to avoid crazy long lines, or at least BE able to get gasoline. My experienced neighbor has 6x 5-gallon cans; I have 4x 5-gallon & 2x 2.5-gallon cans. Of them, I have 2x 5-gallon Eagle cans, which are almost double the price of the plastic No-Spill 5-gallon cans, but the Eagles' shape/size/weight are impractical for short-term use (but great for long-term storage of gasoline).
3. Synthetic 10W-30 motor oil & FUNNEL: Generator comes with one quart, but you'll need to top off the oil after about 10 hours of runtime. Recommended change is after every 50, but many people recommend first change at 20 hours or so (assuming non-synthetic); color of used oil confirms the adage. Generator will automatically shut off if oil's low. Synthetic lasts much longer than traditional for very minimal premium.
4. Head Lamp: Like a miner's flashlight. You may look dorky, but having 2 free hands while setting up and filling gasoline/oil into the generator will prove essential. Besides, trying to hold a flashlight between your teeth looks much dorkier.
5. Sta-bil: Gasoline stabilizer for longterm storage (1 year). 8oz should be sufficient (1oz for 5 gallons of gasoline); Sta-bil itself is only good for about 2 years after opening.
6. Shaker tube: Transfers liquids between containers by shaking the tube. Pouring 8 gallons of gasoline into a generator takes a LONG time (at least 30 minutes?) and is VERY tiring. This tube (or the like) can instead quickly do all the work.
7. Cable Lock: I figured I didn't need one in a nice neighborhood, but after days of others' power loss and apparent desperation, I feared finding out my generator got stolen the hard way. Buy a 25' lock cable & 2 locks for peace of mind.
8. Storage cover: Just a decent elastic canvas-type cover should do to keep off dust, bugs, etc., assuming it's stored in a garage or a shed. You wouldn't want electrical or intake/exhaust ports clogged by dust or spiders at an inconvenient time.
My friends got berated by their wife for not being prepared for the power outages. Don't be one of them (Happy Wife = ...), especially if you have children. At least get a darn flashlight... (better yet, a Coleman LED Quad Lantern).
45 of 48 found the following review helpful:
Last of the non-china Generators Feb 12, 2011
I bought one of these same generators from s-a-m-s club 2 years ago. Now when I go in there all I see are china units. This 13 horse generator is easier to start than my 10 horse briggs 5000 watt unit and uses less gas. I'm not saying the china units are bad, but I do know these Honda generators are perfect and almost impossible to find.
39 of 41 found the following review helpful:
My first Honda and Powermate disappointment, but AWESOME Amazon customer service! Oct 26, 2012
I have had significant problems with this generator. After topping off the oil and fuel, I turned the fuel selector to "ON" and started it up. After about 30 seconds of running, fuel started to pour out of the carburetor overflow. Talk about a fire hazard. It appears that the fuel float in the bowl is not rising or the needle is not sealing properly, allowing constant flow. Additionally, it puts out 134v at the moment, which trips all of my AFCI and GFCI breakers in the house that I have surge protectors on, as they feed back the extra voltage. What ever happened to quality control??? I think my unit went through QC at the end of a Friday or something, based on the other gleaming reviews of this product.
I have owned several other pieces of Honda power equipment, as well as another smaller Powermate generator and have never experienced issues like these.
I called Powermate to discuss the issue, and they stated I would have to take it to a Honda dealer for repair. The closest Honda warranty dealer to me is 45 minutes away, and I'll have to find a way to get it there as I don't have a truck or trailer. Very frustrating. Piece of junk.
Amazon kindly refunded the entire purchase price after I contacted them directly on 10/26/2012 after writing this review, and explained all of the issues. A++++ for Amazon customer service! However, I still have to leave a 1 star rating for the product as its initial quality was deplorable. It looks like others have had quality issues with these since I wrote my initial review as well.
30 of 31 found the following review helpful:
Honda Motor What More Can You Say?? Jul 13, 2012
By BB Machine
I have read the other reviews so I'll try not to repeat what has already been said, most of which I'm in agreement with. The assembly is pretty straight forward and the instructions on how to do this could be done better. My main gripe about this unit is the wheels. There is no straight shaft running the length of the unit and the wheels on mine tilt inward because (let's face it) with 8 gallons of gas, a generator, and Honda motor, this thing is very heavy. I'm quite certain I will be looking to re-engineer this problem after the wheels fall off, but until that time comes, I'll live with it.
For those of you who don't know this is not an "inverter" generator. Inverters are king of the hill when it comes to generators and they can cost you more than what you want to pay. Honda makes smaller inverters that run quieter because the engines can run variably to the amount of power needed through electronic control. The downside to inverters are their cost and repair cost if that would be needed. In the future I can see inverters being the norm for generators when they get cheaper.
I installed a transfer panel (Reliance) in my home to compliment my new generator. Some tips on transfer panels: make sure if you are thinking of running (and I don't know if this is a good idea for load balance issues) your central AC that you get a transfer panel that has a two pole 30 amp breaker or something similar to that. I didn't realize it at first but the transfer panel I bought didn't have enough 15 amp breakers for my use and too many 20 amp breakers that I didn't really need and NO 30amp breakers. In other words do your homework and check out what you have in your fuse panel to match the right transfer switch that you may need and you'll be OK.
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