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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Predator 3500 - surge capability while in eco mode?

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road-runner

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Posted: 09/10/19 11:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's all about the kinetic energy of the rotating mass, and the capability of the engine to add energy on short notice. Both are larger on the higher power generators.


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opnspaces

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Posted: 09/11/19 01:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DSchmidt_2000 wrote:


I already own a Yamaha EF2000is but it struggles to start our fridge and/or freezer in eco mode.

Because of lawsuits, Edison is saying they could turn power off for days when it's dry and windy out. Figure I should get ready.

Thanks

By your post about Edison shutting off power I'm assuming you're talking your household refrigerator and freezer. While it never hurts to be prepared that really sounds like nothing more than a lot of sabre rattling by the utility.

Something doesn't sound right about your appliances. My EU2000i stays in ECO mode and powers up my refrigerator, chest freezer, household lights, and a computer or two. When a compressor kicks in the RPM's increase, but nowhere near full throttle. But then again my situation is going to be different than yours.

But as to your question, you might do some experimenting before you buy anything new.

For example, does the current generator struggle to start only the refrigerator or freezer singly? Or are both units trying to start at the same time and adding a bunch more load? Normally the compressors will not cycle on simultaneously, except for maybe the first time you plug them in after the power goes out. So if the generator can manage each unit individually; Then plug in the refrigerator and when the compressor turns off and the RPM's drop then plug in the freezer. After that just leave both units plugged in and they will usually cycle at different times.

If your generator still struggles on a single appliance you might want to consider the age of the appliances before you consider a new generator.

How are you powering the house? Are you using a transfer box, or suicide cable to power the house? Or are you running individual extension cords to the critical loads only?

As far as the Predator, no I don't have any experience or videos. But it is a Harbor Freight product and I would not be surprised if your Yamaha 2000 outperforms the 3500 Predator. Even if the Predator is stronger, I would keep the Yamaha fueled and ready as a backup in case the Predator dies.


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DSchmidt_2000

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Posted: 09/11/19 08:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone for your feedback! I'll start scouring for a coupon for the Predator 3500.

opnspaces wrote:

By your post about Edison shutting off power I'm assuming you're talking your household refrigerator and freezer. While it never hurts to be prepared that really sounds like nothing more than a lot of sabre rattling by the utility.


With the lawsuits and the damage from the Thomas and the Camp Fire (which also killed a lot of people) I don't think they're bluffing. This past weekend they did in fact shut down power due to high winds up above Santa Barbara.

Quote:


does the current generator struggle to start only the refrigerator or freezer singly?

If your generator still struggles on a single appliance you might want to consider the age of the appliances before you consider a new generator.

How are you powering the house? Are you using a transfer box, or suicide cable to power the house? Or are you running individual extension cords to the critical loads only?

As far as the Predator, no I don't have any experience or videos. But it is a Harbor Freight product and I would not be surprised if your Yamaha 2000 outperforms the 3500 Predator. Even if the Predator is stronger, I would keep the Yamaha fueled and ready as a backup in case the Predator dies.


My testing was done back when I first got the Yamaha. My takeaway then when comparing to other peoples experiences with the Honda was that I should have gotten the Honda for its better surge capability.

Fridge is 1997 vintage. I used a 25' 12ga extension cable for my testing. From memory (I need to repeat this as the testing was many years ago) with only the fridge connected to the generator, and after letting the head pressure equalize, the startup time in eco mode was 2-3 seconds. With only the freezer connected (2005 vintage), while in the eco mode the startup time was so long that the thermal overcurrent breaker tripped on the freezer before completing. That freezer compressor uses a PTC starter - the start field gets weaker with time as the PTC heats up. So if it doesn't start quickly, it won't. In non-eco mode things are better but I wouldn't trust them together, especially the freezer with that PTC starter.

I own the Yamaha EF2000is, a Wen 56200 and a Pulsar 2000W inverter. The Wen has the best surge capability of the three. The Pulsar and the Yamaha are a close tie.

This past weekend I paralleled the Pulsar and the Wen and together in eco mode they effortlessly started my 1HP air compressor (being used as a test motor load). Singly, the Pulsar won't start the compressor even in non-eco mode. The Wen will start the compressor in non-eco mode but only if the starting pressure is zero. The Yamaha, like the Pulsar, won't start the compressor in eco mode or not.

The Yamaha will be sold soon. Yamaha's selling point of the fuel gauge is gone as mine doesn't work anymore - something swelled in the mechanism so it's jammed. The poor surge capability too makes me not want it. Figure I can sell it and put the $$ towards the Predator to leave at the house.

road-runner

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Posted: 09/12/19 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Harbor Freight catalog shows the list price of the Predator 3500 as $799.99. At a minimum you should be able to use a 20% coupon to get it for $640. They have 25% off coupons for holidays, Labor Day being the most recent.

otrfun

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Posted: 09/12/19 05:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

road-runner wrote:

My Harbor Freight catalog shows the list price of the Predator 3500 as $799.99. At a minimum you should be able to use a 20% coupon to get it for $640. They have 25% off coupons for holidays, Labor Day being the most recent.
Can't use the HF 20-25% coupons on their Predator generators. All stated clearly on each coupon---in very small print, of course--lol!

otrfun

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Posted: 09/12/19 05:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A inrush current capable clamp-on ammeter would quickly answer a lot of questions about (a generator's) inrush current capability. This is the current necessary to start an inductive load like a RV a/c or residential fridge, compressor.

A few years ago we took two Honda EU2000i's (solo and paralleled), an EU3000iS, and a Champion 3100 inverter, and checked inrush current with the eco mode on and off powering a number of RV a/c units (13.5k and 15k's with LRA's of 50a, 63a and 70a). The Champion 3100 had the highest inrush current (by far), followed by the paralleled EU2000i's. Surprisingly, a solo EU2000i had almost the same inrush current as the EU3000iS. It's easy to establish a good baseline with whatever appliance you're testing by checking the inrush current using an outlet with good commercial power first.

All the anecdotal reports I've heard/read about the Predator 3500 inverter generator seems to show it has excellent inrush current capability. It might even be on par with the Champion 3xxx inverter generators which have a very high inrush current capability. The only significant negative with the Predator IMO is the difficulty obtaining parts for it through HF. Their MO is simple replacement, not repair.

BTW, manufacturers typically rate the "surge" current capability of a generator over a period of several seconds on up to 30 minutes. This is very different from inrush current which is typically measured in ms (milliseconds).

DSchmidt_2000

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Posted: 09/12/19 10:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

otrfun wrote:

A inrush current capable clamp-on ammeter would quickly answer a lot of questions about (a generator's) inrush current capability. This is the current necessary to start an inductive load like a RV a/c or residential fridge, compressor.


Thanks for the info. I did buy a Mastech clamp DMM with inrush capability back when I bought my Yamaha. Thanks for the reminder - I forgot all about it. And thanks for doing the testing back then. Searching for info on the Predator, it looks like people haven't really done your type of testing on it. Or at least uploaded it for viewing.

FWIW, HF has the Predator 3500 on sale right now for $689.99 and they're running a $10 off $100 with no restrictions so it should bring it down to $679.99. Not sure if I should wait and hope it goes lower to go for it. Anyone know if generators are on the tariff list?

MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 09/13/19 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never attempt to assess the intelligence of the California government. You'll only embarrass yourself the next skit.

road-runner

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Posted: 09/13/19 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

otrfun wrote:

road-runner wrote:

My Harbor Freight catalog shows the list price of the Predator 3500 as $799.99. At a minimum you should be able to use a 20% coupon to get it for $640. They have 25% off coupons for holidays, Labor Day being the most recent.
Can't use the HF 20-25% coupons on their Predator generators. All stated clearly on each coupon---in very small print, of course--lol!
I got out the magnifying glass, and you are absolutely correct. Now I have to find something to help get the foot out of my mouth!

shastagary

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Posted: 09/13/19 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

predator sale Coupon 46027880. Use In-Store or Online.

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