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Personal review of the

DuroMax / DuroStar 10000 Watt Hybrid
Dual Fuel Portable Gas Propane Generator


 

Why I Bought The DuroMax Generator


After a big storm passed thru my area the power suddenly went out and it couldn't be at a worse time because the temps were going down to 12F, with no heat or water I was worried everything would freeze. A friend give me a small generator Honda EU2000i inverter generator to use until the power came back on. The house temp was already down to 42 so I cant tell you how happy I was to have heat again. Inverter generators are far better with sensitive electronics than a standard generator so I could run the big screen TV or PC with no worries.
Most inverters are used for RV's or Camping in the 1000-3000 watt range, above 3000 watts the price goes up very quickly.

When the power came back on 2 days later I started looking for a 5500 watt generator which was more in my price range and had enough power for an average house. While searching the internet I bumped into the DuroMax 10000EH (EH=Electric Start - Hybrid)
After comparing prices there was no doubt this was a great deal at "Factory Authorized Outlet" $599.99 w/free shipping.
The price is now back up to $1499.99 so if you missed it, sorry : (
Note: I've seen it on sale as low as $499.99 then back up to $1499.99 two days later. My advice would be to add the page to favorites and check every day for the price to drop, you may save yourself hundreds of dollars by waiting. Of coarse there is a chance the price wont go down again, but I've been watching it for months and it seems every couple months the price drops but only for a day or two then back to 1499.99.
 

Generator Arrives

The generator arrived in 3 days in a cardboard box strapped to a wooden pallet. I cut along bottom seams of box then lifted off the box, the box will be used to cover generator during storage as shown here. The generator wheels, legs and tools to put it all together were inside box along with bag of electrical plug ends (no cable, just ends) to fit each outlet on generator that was not listed as included items.
I lifted up one end of generator (not as heavy as I thought) and slid a 2x4 under it to hold it up while I put the wheels on, then did the same thing on other side to put on the legs. I attached the lifting handles and rolled it off the pallet. I looked it over and found the owners manual wedged under the gas tank totally out of sight (fire hazard if you don't find it) The generator ships without oil so I filled it with 1 quart 10W-30.

The battery was already installed but the positive wire was disconnected for shipping. Pulled off the tiny plastic cap covering battery terminal, located the battery positive wire hanging nearby the battery and connected it to positive terminal of battery, the negative wire was already connected.
The generator is now ready to start.
 

Test Run


The generator runs on both propane and gas but I only plan to use propane, no more bad gas, gummed up carburetor or flooding. I bought 2-20lb propane tanks but if you want to use bigger tanks the generator has its own regulator. I bought the 2-20lb tanks w/gauge from U Haul for $60.00 free shipping. Hooked up the propane tank and purged the gas button on regulator a couple times, w/ choke off  started generator.
Amazingly it started rite up. I let it run for about an hour to charge the battery, there's an indicator light on generator panel showing battery charging, when light goes off battery is charged. I also found when using propane and the generator is cold you don't use the choke, when hot you give it half choke. This
video was the first time I ran generator just to see how loud it was and to check the volt meter The volt meter was reading 120 and 250 volts. I was expecting it to be really loud but wasn't as bad as I thought, about as loud as a standard gas lawn mower.
Time to hook up electrical.
 

Back Feeding House from a Detached Garage

 

For the record I'm not a certified electrician, what I did is not by code.
If you don't feel safe around electricity have a professional do it, 240 volts is very dangerous!!


 For safety reasons you should never run a generator inside a garage due to carbon monoxide poisoning, propane does burn cleaner than gasoline so fumes are not as bad, but I also have two large garage doors I can open for cross ventilation when the generator is running. I will soon be adding a short piece of flex tube on exhaust to run the exhaust out the garage. There are many advantages keeping it in a detached garage, you wont have to move it when power goes out, you keep it out of the rain or snow and its much quieter away from the house. Back when my garage was built I ran 240v from house out to garage just incase I needed it, but never used it, now I will be using it to back feed 240v from generator in garage to power the house. Here's a simple diagram
how it works.

Needed to buy items:
Conntek 50A power cord + 50A Power Inlet box ($150.00)
Square D/Homeline 40A double pole breaker ($10.00)
1 - 8ft 3/4" conduit plastic pipe ($3.00)
2 -3/4" terminal adapters - w/locknuts ($2.00)
4ft of 6/3 wire non metallic sheathed w/ ground ($3.00 per ft)


Lets Continue.

I shut off the breaker in house that powers the garage, this disables the sub panel in garage but I also shut off the MAIN breaker in garage to be safe. I attached the inlet box next to sub panel so the knockouts on side of sub panel and inlet box were straight across from each other, I punched out the knockout holes in both boxes then cut a length of conduit to bridge between the two boxes. I then added terminal adaptors and locknuts to each end of conduit to finish it off. Now all I have to do is run the cable thru the inlet box and conduit pipe into the sub panel leaving extra wire incase I want to move the breaker to a different spot later. Here's a picture of finished inlet box and conduit

Connecting the cable to inlet box plug you will find 4 letters on the back side of plug G-X-Y-W. The X and Y are the 2 hot wires and the W is the white neutral wire, the G is ground. Stuffing the 6 gauge wire into inlet box was nothing less than a nightmare, the box wasn't very deep so the wires had to be manipulated into place to get the front of the inlet box back on. Here's the manual for the inlet box.

Over to the sub panel I had to hook up the other end of cable. I stripped off about a 1-1/2ft of the cable sheathing exposing the 4 wires inside. I first hooked up the breaker by connecting the 2 hot wires (red/black) to the two terminals on the breaker, the order of hot wires to breaker doesn't matter - black/red or red black, just made sure the hot wires are screwed down real tight then snap in the breaker. The neutral (white) wire goes to the neutral bar with the other white wires and the ground (bare) wire goes to the ground bar with the other bare ground wires.

With the front cover back on sub panel its time to try it out. I hooked up the generator and let it run for few minutes then switched on all the breakers in garage EXCEPT the MAIN, remember the breaker in house powering garage is still off. Yeeepy, the garage has power.

Very Important:
THE HOUSE MAIN BREAKER MUST BE OFF before attempting to back feed house
 
Failure to do this can result in Explosion Fire or Death

Lets Continue.

 In the house I turned OFF the MAIN breaker then turned ON the breaker powering the garage. I went out to garage and turned ON the main breaker and the garage is now back feeding power to house. Yeepy the house has power. I tried the lights and everything was working fine, the generator wasn't even phased by lights. So I got bold and tried the burner on 240v stove, now the generator was working, you could hear the motor rpm drop.
So everything is working and Im ready for the next power outage.
 

Manual XP10000EH

This is the full PDF manual for the
XP10000EH Generator
 
Wiring Diagram

This is the wiring diagram I used to hook up generator
 
Comments

Its important to know what each breaker in your electrical panel goes to and write them down for reference. You can print this page then write them down. If they are not marked (mine wasn't) check each breaker one at a time then verify what went off. Its also a good idea to go online and find a wattage chart to see how much power your appliances use, this way you get a good idea of total wattage needed including surge watts.

Standard generators are said to have dirty power and shouldn't be used with sensitive electronics like big screen TV's or PC's. Although this generator has an AVR (automatic voltage Regulator) its still said it doesn't make clean power. I searched online how to make clean power and the results will take you in circles with many options from Line filters, Line conditioners, UPS, Surge protectors etc. Then others will say you don't need any of that "its just a scam", your sensitive equipment isn't as sensitive as they lead you to believe and its perfectly fine to run them. After all the research I come to this conclusion, just use a cheap TV and Tablet during outage, why take the chance burning up expensive electronics.

One thing about outages is you never know when the power is back on, here in my area the meters are digital so when the power comes back on you will see a series of numbers in the meter window. If you don't have a digital meter you can call your power company, they usually have an automated message or you can speak to a rep, or if you have a smart phone the power company should have a website that shows maps of outages in your area with estimated times the power should be back on. Another option is to use a non contact voltage tester by holding it to the main power cable that goes into the electrical panel, there is also a device that works like a voltage tester with a wire that wraps around the main power cable and sounds an alarm when power is back, found here.

The Auto Throttle is used to conserve gas by lowering RPM's to idle when there is little or no demand for power, it will automatically raise the RPM's when more demand is needed. The first time I tried this with main breaker on generator off (no demand) the generator did idle, but on the second attempt the RPM's went so low it almost stalls then RPM's jump back up and keeps repeating this, maybe it needs a load on it so more testing will need to be done.

The way I hooked up generator wasn't by code because I didn't use a Transfer switch or Interlock kit, one of these must be used to meet code. Unfortunately these are made for home Main Panels and not for Sub Panels in a detached garage.

A transfer switch basically stands between grid power and generator power to switch between the two sources. An interlock kit is basically a small piece of aluminum with slots and a couple screws that attaches to the front of electrical panel. This blocks the MAIN or GENERATOR breakers from being turned on at the same time, one must be off before the other can be turned on. One of these methods are required by code.

The generator had a couple safety issues, the propane hose attached to generator is stored near the exhaust, this could become a safety hazard if the engine is hot and the hose touches the hot exhaust, it could melt the hose. I had to wait for it to cool off before storing the hose. Another safety issue is the propane hose exits in front of the tire, so if you try moving generator and tire runs over the hose it could rip off. I also noticed when putting the lifting handles in down position when generator is running the one closest to exhaust gets hot.

Never connect a power cord with 2 male ends. Some will try and do it the "easy way" by cutting off the female end of power cord and putting on a male end, then plug it into a standard outside outlet to back feed 120v into the house or some may try this with a 220 cord and plug it onto a 220v outlet like (electric stove or drier) in the house to back feed. Although this may work its an accident waiting to happen, the male prongs on cord are HOT and unprotected. This is also known as a suicide cord.

 

 

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