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Old 12-15-2006, 03:20 PM   #1
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Yamaha EF2800i

My Yamaha EF2800i ordered from Wiseguy Sales arrived last week. It was well packaged wlth the original box inside another box that provided a cushion of styrofoam peanuts. Good timing as the Pacific Northwest just got slammed by a major wind storm .

The generator ships with no oil in the crankcase. That's understandable and they provide ample warnings to people in the form of paper flyers, stickers and in the instructions. As a backup there's a low oil shutdown built in so worst case is someone will just get frustrated by not being able to start it up. Filling the crankcase is a bit of a pain and the fill level is the same as the "spill level". A plastic extension would have been a nice touch. Other than that I think the design is pretty slick.

The noise is a little more than I'd hoped for. Certainly not as quite as a Honda eu1000 or eu2000 but then again it's got a lot more cranking power. It's lacking in a sealed up case and sound proofing like the Hondas or the Yamaha EF2400i which is OK. I'd rather be able to get to the workings so I can convert to propane. I'll also be on the lookout for some sort of "dog house" enclosure that can protect it from the elements and provide some additional noise reduction. That said, the noise isn't too obnoxious. Why you hardly even notice it inside with the TV on . And the neigbors generator, a cheapy 5,000 watt job completely drowns out the noise of our little Yamaha. At the far end of the house you can barely hear it running. Standing next to it you can talk albeit in a raised voice. You wouldn't want to sit next to it for an extended period of time.

Still looking into the propane conversion. There's an advantage in having it set up for "low pressure". First off it would mean that since it's after the regulator on the trailer it would benifit from the auto change over of tanks. I wonder if it would keep running though when the tanks switch? Also, low pressure would be what would be needed to run it off natural gas. Having it set up for natural gas would mean an endless supply at home during power outages. The propane on the trailer would run it for several days but with storms of this magnitude the power may be out for that long and finding stations with power to get more propane could be hard. That's not to mention unbolting and transporting two large tanks.

Being able to run directly off the propane tank would mean I could tie into the "extend-a-stay" fitting or run directly off exchange cylinders. This would be much more convenient for situations when I want to take the generator somewhere without the trailer. I guess there's always the gasoline option for that. The problems with gas are transporting it is a pain and, as now, there are no service stations open until power is restored. I guess the other option is to keep the old regulator from our trailer for instances when we want to run the generator on propane and don't have the trailer. That may be the path of least resistance. Building a box that has two regulators and a fitting arrangement so that only a hose needs to be run to the generator would be a nice clean arrangement and probably the easiest way to keep all options available.

-Bernie
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:27 PM   #2
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I have the Yamaha 1000 from US Carb that has the propane pre-configured.

I had to buy an adapter part, but other than that, it's a grea quiet generator. Nowhere near the power of the 2800, but to me it was a happy compromise of want vs actual need.

Our 1000 came with an oil fill extender, battery charging cables, spark plug remover tool and it too was shipped without oil, though US Carb did place oil into it to test fire it to make sure the propane kit worked.

After that test they drained the oil and shipped it to me. I was amazed how very little LP this unit consumed. I barely put a dent in a 20lb tank and ran it for the equiv of nearly 16 hours. Some folks say it would use more propane than gas, but I'll be honest, I doubt the accuracey of those comments having used this in a real world situation, at between 1/2 and 3/4 load regularly.
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:42 PM   #3
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Interesting data point on the use of propane. Did you opt for the dedicated propane conversion or the Tri-Fuel? From what I've read the dedicated conversion is much more efficient because it rejets the carb and introduces the gas at the optimal point rather than between the carb and aircleaner. Propane doesn't have the energy density of gasoline but it also doesn't have the problem of trying to atomize the liquid which likely makes it about a wash.

-Bernie
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:11 PM   #4
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Hi Bernie and thanks for the detailed report!

Question, what is your reason for going with the larger heavier 2800.

Will it run an AC unit?

Michael
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:30 PM   #5
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There is a company propanecarbs.com They offer tri fuel adapters this lets you use gas' low pressure LP or high pressure LP Ph#1-877-4-ALT-FUELS or 1-877-425-8383
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:27 PM   #6
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Michael,
Yes indeed the EF2800i was choosen over the eu2000 because from all reports it would "comfortably" power the AC on the trailer whereas 2000 watts "might" run the AC. It was questionable if it would work at all and there was a strong case to indicate the even if it does work pushing the margin may be bad for the life expectancy of both the generator and the AC. I was also rather shocked to find the startup current for a home refrigerator would likely exceed the capability of a 2000W generator. The Yamaha 2400 was a stong contender. Quiter and about the same cost but still on the border of being able to run stuff like the home refer and the AC. If I knew for sure it would do the job I probably would have gone that route. Only drawback is if you're running on gasoline the run time is less because of a small tank.

Propane Carbs has a lot of good info. I'll have to talk to them on the phone as well as US Carburation. I'm still hoping to find a local source. Haven't found anything on the net but haven't tried calling around yet either.

-Bernie
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:58 PM   #7
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Bernie---Are you aware that the output of your gen will be less on propane ??? I had a 2800 but traded for 2 Honda 2000's . The 2800's noise level as you've found out is marginal. Mine wasn't bad on low throttle but moderate throttle and above at at goveror speed as in running the AC or Micro, it was louder than I wanted. Also mine was at full "grunt" when running the ac at altitude. I am sure it wouldn't operate the AC on propane where i live {5000 ft} my 2cents---pieman
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
Bernie---Are you aware that the output of your gen will be less on propane ??? I had a 2800 but traded for 2 Honda 2000's . The 2800's noise level as you've found out is marginal. Mine wasn't bad on low throttle but moderate throttle and above at at goveror speed as in running the AC or Micro, it was louder than I wanted. Also mine was at full "grunt" when running the ac at altitude. I am sure it wouldn't operate the AC on propane where i live {5000 ft} my 2cents---pieman
Actually the engine on the Yamaha EF2400 and EF2800 is the same 5.5 hp OHV engine. 5.5 hp is the equivalent to 4.1 kw, so even with downrating for propane fuel and a little altitude there shouldn't be a problem getting the full rated output from the generator.

I have a EU2400 with a dual fuel conversion kit I installed from Carburetion & Turbo Systems, and I tried running the AC on my Bambi on a 97 degree afternoon here in Tucson, elevation 2,400', ran it for a couple of hours, no problem, I think it's 11k btu. (My goal is not to camp anywhere that I need AC, but you never know)
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snake
Actually the engine on the Yamaha EF2400 and EF2800 is the same 5.5 hp OHV engine...
I have a EU2400 with a dual fuel conversion kit I installed from Carburetion & Turbo Systems, ... the AC on my Bambi on a 97 degree afternoon here in Tucson, elevation 2,400', ran it for a couple of hours, no problem
Thanks for the info. Did you mean EF2400 Yamaha or the EU2000 Honda? I thnk I looked at Carb & Turbo and didn't see a Yamaha kit. But I've yet to get on the phone and talk to people. The dual fuel claims are only a slight reduction in HP at full load because of the additional inlet restriction. For high altitude and cold I'll bet propane is a good or better than gas because it doesn't have to be atomized and you can easily adjust the mixture to compensate. Most gas carbs are jetted for sea level.

You're right that the engine is a real work horse. I managed to get the red overload light to flash when I plugged in a sump pump while the generator was already running a coffee maker and chest freezer but the engine never even seems to be working hard. Haven't tried the AC on the trailer yet since it's been near freezing. It had no problem with a chest freezer and two refrigerators at the same time. The house microwave (~1600 watts) gives it a workout. We unplug the refrigerator when we want the micowave (living off grid for a week because of a wind storm that hit the Pacific Northwest last week). Likewise with the blow dryer but see less dimming of the house lights using the blow dryer than when we've got normal power!

-Bernie
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
Bernie---Are you aware that the output of your gen will be less on propane ???
This is plain untrue. I have tested my unit for maximum wattage and I get full wattage/amps out of propane as I could with gas.

The 1000 from USCarb is propane only. The 2000s and up are bi- and/or tri fuel.

Here is a link to the US Carb site that states that gen output is less on propane. My real world test results running on propane support the comments on this site:

http://www.yamaha-propane-natural-gas-generators.com/faq's.htm

There are folks who have said I'd only get say 900watts peak out of a 1000 watt peak gen on propane. We'll, I ran a 985 watt electric chain saw off my Yamaha 1000 on propane, cut some good size wood and the Yamaha on propane didn't skip a beat. Using the suggestions out there that it is up to 10% less than gasoline, this generator would not and should not have been able to power a 985 watt chain saw, yet it did. Until you get one and have real world tests to back it up, it's all just plain hearsay IMHO.....
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:16 AM   #11
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Bernie, I've got the Yamaha E-something-2400, got it from Wise Sales too!

Carb & Turbo didn't have a kit for the 2400, but they did offer one for the 2800, so I decided to take a chance since the engine is the same. I have a machine shop, so I figured that if necessary I could modify the stuff to fit.

It took a little work to make brackets to fit the low pressure regulator inside the 2400's housing, I also had to make a linkage to actuate the priming button, which seems to be essential for easy starting. It takes about 2-3 seconds to prime, then it always starts on the second pull of the cord

Carb & Turbo quoted me a price of about $250 for the kit, including the high pressure regulator, but my credit card was hit for only about $240, including shipping. they shipped the kit the next day.
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snake
Bernie, I've got the Yamaha E-something-2400, got it from Wise Sales too!

Carb & Turbo didn't have a kit for the 2400, but they did offer one for the 2800, so I decided to take a chance since the engine is the same. I have a machine shop, so I figured that if necessary I could modify the stuff to fit.
You went for the tri-fuel option or "spud in" propane only ? I haven't decided for sure which way to go. In case of emergency it might be nice to be able to revert back to gas and it does make it somewhat more portable. That said I hope to never have to run on gasoline after we convert. You said the kit included a high pressure regulator? Is that to screw into a propane tank when you aren't using the trailer or do you tie into the trailer's tanks prior to it's regulaor? Any knowledge of if you're setup will also run off natural gas and what that would entail?

We finally got power restored late last night. It was exactly one week "off grid". It was nice that the tank on the EF2800 is able to keep it running for over 12 hours in a real world situation. In fact it was only using 2-2.5 gallons of the 3 gallon capacity running the blower for our gas furnace plus the refigerator full time. We were able to watch DVD's, run computers, make coffee and use all the lights. When we wanted to run other high current items like, the microwave or blow dryer we'd unplug the refer. Didn't have to do that to run the coffee pot though.

My mother-in-laws house was also without power for almost as long and we'd shuttle the generator up there every evening to power the chest freezer, two referigerators and the sump pump. With the freezer and both fridges running I saw the overload light blink briefly on the generator when the sump pump started up. It didn't trip the breaker and ran the sump pump just fine but I decided at that point to only run the freezer and sump pump at the same time and plug in the other refers after the basement was drained.

Hauling the generator in the back of the van was all the convincing my wife and I need that the propane conversion is a necessity before we take it camping. The van still smells like gasoline and hauling gas around is not only stinky it's dangerous. My in-law has an SOB so no issue with propane there. Plus, I'd much rather run an exchange cylinder around in the van than gasoline any time. The fumes from running on propane are much less obnoxious that gasoline too. And of course it would run for days off the propane supply on the trailer which eliminates the refilling hassle of shutting down everything as well as spilling gas and getting the stench on your hands. If we can set it up to tap into the natural gas then we'd be able to run indefinitely.

Does anyone know if a generator will continue to run when the regulator switches tanks? How about other propane appliances like the pilot light in the furnace and water heater?
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:58 AM   #13
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Power....

I'm glad you got the generator... PM me if you need anything from powered up Seattle. I'm sure you know this, but don't run that generator inside or in the garage. For others out there, there's been people killed in this storm from doing just that (oh yeah, and the occasional indoor BBQ too).

I believe propane and natural gas have two different gas molecule sizes. There are different size orifices for ovens and the like for conversion between gasses. I'm not sure about for powered equipement though.

Funny, when we ran out of power, I was thinking about pulling out the generator... but merely to hook up the cable box and router.... I missed my AS forums and couldn't get online! We had heat from the gas fireplace and hot water. I could also powerup the gas stovetop. Kind of like camping.

A field trip to the local coffeeshop with Wifi cured me.

Marc
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:46 PM   #14
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Greetings,

I, too, have a Yamaha 2800. I purchased it because of output, which does run my AC quite nicely, its inverter power supply (runs my computers perfectly), and because of weight 65#. Yamaha has two versions of this generator and mine has the GFI circuitry, nice when dampness is present! I run on gas but I have considered converting to propane. Oh, I've had the unit for nearly three years, saved my bacon twice (literally) when hurricanes shut down my house power. It ran the 'fridge, my extra freezer, a TV, and several lights. As is said in the Navy: "Works good, lasts a long time."

Just a note for public consumption!!

Take care,
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