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This can be caused by a condition I call “loading”. It indicates a short circuit in the generator. If you encounter this condition its important to stop the machine and seek advice. Some shorts can be fixed but if allowed to persist will certainly result in permanent damage to the stator or other parts of the generating circuit. Here is a link to a video I found on YouTube of an American chap who is trying to diagnose what he thinks is an engine fault in an old G400 generator. The moment he starts the generator any specialist would see that the generator is loading and struggling under the load of a major short circuit. The machine is loading so hard its trying to walk across the floor as you will see. Our American cousin however proceeds to investigate every possible wrong avenue until after 4 videos the smoke pouring out the back of the machine starts to give him a clue that its not an engine fault. It does provide a classic example of what a loading generator looks like.
watching this video of a loading generator and reading the paragraph above can save you a lot of time.
Its surprising how often problems experienced with Honda generators can be traced back to environment in which they have been used. Most Honda generators are designed to be run outside in the open air. Running them in a garage, shed, vehicle or hole in the ground will result in disaster and probably fire. When the air flow available to an engine is restricted in any way then the available air will be recycled resulting in overheating. There is a lot more to consider than simply piping the exhaust out through a hole in the wall. If the machine is not designed to run in an enclosure then don’t do it. There are generators available that are designed for enclosed operation like the Dometic and Electrolux range of Recreational Vehicle generators also referred to as RV generators or onboard generators. Honda also do an EV range of onboard generators but I don’t think much to them. RV generators cost a packet because designing and building a generator that runs safely in an enclosure is a very tricky business.
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by Peter Noble