When starting a generator, new or old, there is a lot more to consider than just the fuel level. To help you out with that, we have laid out all the steps and precautions that you need to better understand how to start a Honda generator. So let’s get started.
Things to Know Before Pulling the Lever
Listed below are the things you need to do before starting a generator.
1. Read the User’s Manual
The user’s manual is usually the first thing we throw away when unpacking a new item. However, for products, like a generator, a manual is quite essential. It educates about every nail on the item, clearly stating the do’s and don’ts for safe use. Therefore, find it and read it at least once before starting your generator.
2. Check for Fuel Leakage
New generators usually come fuel-filled, which can lead to leakage during transit. Remember, tilting the generator more than 45 degrees can move the fuel out of the tank and into other parts, which can be dangerous. Therefore, it is essential to check the fuel level and leakages before starting the generator.
Moreover, if the power outage is due to a storm or heavy rain, the chances are that some of your property or household items, including the generator, would have been damaged. If that really is the case, it’s better to repair the damage first. One way to protect your generator in such situations is to keep it in a generator tent.
3. Keep the Generator Outside
Never use a generator in any closed area, even a shed or garage. Remember, 20-25 feet away from the house is a safe distance to run a generator. That’s because generators discharge carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that kills within minutes without any warning. When released in a closed area, even with open doors and windows, you can imagine what this merciless gas would do.
4. Use Fresh Gasoline
You need gas to run a portable generator, but it has to be fresh. If left to sit in the tank for long, the ethanol in the gasoline turns it ‘bad’ or ‘unusable.’ This makes it super difficult to start a generator. Not only that, but stale gasoline can also damage the engine.
Apart from gas, check your oil level too. Lower than the recommended level can overheat the engine due to lack of lubrication. Thereby, make sure to fill the oil tank up to the specified line.
5. Unplug Any Cords Connected to the Generator
Keep the generator load-free during the startup process. Connect any cords only after you have completely started it.
How to Start a Honda Generator – Let’s Pull the Lever!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to finally starting a generator.
Step 1: Turn On the Fuel Valve
Turning on the fuel valve allows the fuel to flow into the carburetor and kick off the generator starting process.
Step 2: Turn the Choke Rod
A choke rod/valve controls airflow into the carburetor. Turning it on by moving it to the left helps start the engine, especially in low temperatures.
Step 3: Find the Engine Switch and Turn it On
Honda generators come with different switches – can be a flip switch or a button. If you have the flip switch, you’ll need to pull the recoil cord afterward. However, with a start button, you don’t need the recoil cord.
Step 4: Tug the Recoil Cord
Pulling the recoil cord should finally start the engine. Pull it once and let it get back to the original position. If this doesn’t start the engine, try again.
Tip: If the engine doesn’t start after several tries, bring the choke to the middle position or ‘half run.’ Tug the recoil again. Once the engine starts, turn the choke back to its previous position.
Let’s Get the Power Running
Leave the generator running for about 5 minutes before connecting it to the house. Also, make sure to flick on the circuit breakers before you start to set up the connection.
Based on your needs, there are different ways to connect a generator to the house. If you only need to power a few appliances, you can use an extension cord. But for a full-house power supply, you’ll need a transfer switch. Considering these requirements, below, we have highlighted some of the ways you can connect the generator to your house.
1. Extension Cords
If you need the generator to power a few appliances, using extension cords is a good idea.
Here is a simple rule to remember. Extension cords have numbers on them. A higher number means it carries lower power and vice versa. Therefore, a higher number cord, for instance, 16-gauge, is suitable for light-duty appliances, like lamps or Christmas lights. However, a 10-12-gauge cable is safer overall and ideal for heavy-duty appliances, like a refrigerator.
2. Convenience Cords
With convenience cords, you can power multiple appliances together. Simply plug it into the generator and extend it to the area where you need to power the most appliances.
3. Through-the-Wall Kit
This method saves you from the mess and dangers of cords. To set up this type of connection, you need to link an outdoor power inlet with an indoor power panel. It may require drilling through the wall.
Once done, connect the outdoor power inlet with the generator and ultimately get the current flowing through the indoor panel. Plug in the appliances to power them up.
4. Transfer Switch
Using a transfer switch is the most convenient way to power your house through a generator. However, it requires time, money, and an expert to initially set up the connection. With a transfer switch, you can supply power to the main circuit panels, which support critical loads. This way, you can easily power ceiling fans, light, and other hard-wired appliances with a generator.
Note: Power cords come in various amperage readings -20-Amp, 50-Amp, etc. You need to choose the one that matches your generator power outlet. Also, be careful about the connecting ends of the cords. The side with a straight blade goes into the generator and the other one into the power inlet.
Warning: Do not plug in your generator directly to an indoor power outlet.
You do not want your generator to take a million years to start, especially during a power outage. You can make a checklist of everything to do before pulling the recoil cord for a safe and faster start. Also, choose an appropriate connection method to ensure secure usage.