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Old 05-12-2010, 12:08 PM   #1
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My Honda EU2000i hates me... please help.

I bought a Honda EU2000i generator about 3 years ago to use on my boat. I has very low hours and continues to start on a single pull and seems to be running smoothly. I have never needed to tune it.

We bought our first Airstream this past April Fools Day.

Last weekend I bought a second Honda generator, EU2000i "Companion". We don't need an air conditioner where I live, but when we travel, it's a requirement for my survival (health issues), so I had to spring for the extra grand.

I will now attempt to make a very long (and confusing to me) story a bit shorter.

This is what occurs when using these generators on our trailer.

Front Receptacle:
Connecting the power cord from shore power, there is a 20 second delay before any power in the Airstream. The power then stays on. It is my understanding that THIS delay is normal.

Connecting to our 3 year OLD Honda 2000 generator, has 20 second delay, then power to the entire trailer cycles on and off every 20 seconds.

Connecting to our NEW Honda 2000 generator, there is a 20 second delay, then all power comes on and stays on.

When we run the 2 generators in tandem, there is a 20 second delay, then power to the trailer cycles on and off every 20 seconds.
When the cycling happens, we can hear some sort of "clicking" in the breaker box. So far, there has not been any need to reset any of the circuit breakers.

Side Receptacle:
When we connect to the side receptacle, there is no delay when we hook up to shore power as well as either or both generators in tandem. Power comes on immediately to the entire trailer with no cycling on and off.

As long as I connect the tandem generators to the side receptacle the air conditioner works fine, as well as everything else in the system.

Based on the above, it is my impression that there is something wrong with the 3 year old Honda BUT this problem only manifests itself when connected to the front receptacle.

I figured I better find out what you folks think before I take it to a shop. Am I misunderstand how this is supposed to work... perhaps I missed something in the AS manual?

Oh, yes, I am properly connecting the gens to each other when running them in tandem.

I called the head guy at my dealers shop... he doesn't have a clue.... and frankly, THAT really disappoints me.

Please help.....

Dan
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:22 PM   #2
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Additional:

To be clear, when I power the trailer from my house power, all is right with the world with either receptacle.

Also, the batteries are at full charge and we have not had any other electrical issues nor have we done anything electrical to the trailer.... yet.

My brain hurts....
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:28 PM   #3
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Sorry about this, but I thought of something else.

When I say that the 3 year old gen has low hours, this is what I mean.

I bought it new. I used it for 2 days, about 30 hours, during a power outage. I used it for about 45 minutes while we were on a month long trip on our boat. That's it...
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:30 PM   #4
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I'm not going to be able to help with the answer but I think another question that might come up is:

What happens when you try to use the "older" honda for something other than the Trailer . . . say a 1600 watt blow dryer plugged directly into the generator?
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
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hopefully some1 will post something useful but until then...

the delay on my unit (using the front plug) is about 3-5 seconds, not 20.

regardless it reads like u have tried all the shore/genset/plug location combos...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator113244 View Post
I bought a Honda EU2000i generator about 3 years ago to use on my boat. I has very low hours and continues to start on a single pull and seems to be running smoothly. I have never needed to tune it....
does this mean no basic maintenance for 3 years or perhaps just oil changes?

mostly definitely begin with the basics, inspect/clean/change d'plug, clean the spark arrestor and so on.

my older 2000 gets more carbon deposits if started/run but NOT used under load regularly.

and with a minimally used/started unit 3 years old FRESH everything is important (plug/oil/clean air filter/spark arrestor)

see posts 14/18 24/25 here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...000i-5154.html

and a bit more info here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ern-60240.html
__________

the other 'investigative trial' is to plug some HIGH draw item directly into the parallel set up and observe.
__________

btw the 'eco' button is supposed to be OFF on both units for parallel use.

some folks DO use eco n parallel and report no issues but the owner's manual suggests otherwise.
__________

it's also possible some of the connections/wires are LOOSE, fouled or otherwise buggered at the front/30 amp plug...

and the vibration of the gensets triggers the malfunction.

so try a LONG cord up front and inspect the marinco box/wires.
__________


cheers
2air'
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:51 PM   #6
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Air2... I will cover all of those things. Thanks.

All I have ever felt needed to be done was change the oil and keep the gas clean.

The manual talks about a 20 second delay on my unit.... but I don't know jack about this stuff.

You might have identified the problem, as one thing I didn't try was running them with the eco off. I guess I missed that in the manual. Looks like I'll need to carry more gas... grrr.

Dan
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkR View Post
I'm not going to be able to help with the answer but I think another question that might come up is:

What happens when you try to use the "older" honda for something other than the Trailer . . . say a 1600 watt blow dryer plugged directly into the generator?
If I can find the dryer, I'll give it a try. My bride never uses a dryer and anymore all I need is, well, not much. LOL
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:16 PM   #8
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the gensets also have red/yellow?/green lights on the plug side...

this SHOULD change colors IF the genset is being overloaded.

a typical household vacuum is 12-14 amps or about 14-1500 watts.

this is a good test load for 1 genset and easier to leave RUNNING than a hair dryer...

space heaters are also a good load at the typical 1500 watt size.

cheers
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:27 PM   #9
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Air2,

Gotcha... space heater it will be. I couldn't find the hairdryer.

I'll run through these additional troubleshooting things a little later today.

Dan
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:25 AM   #10
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I think what I'm confused about is the "front and side" recepticle? Is this on the trailer or on the genset? The only eu2000's I've seen are the ones with the two front outlets.. none on the side.

It sounds like for some reason the eco switch is kicking on and off on the old one, and lagging the load. Is the adapter for the shorepower tight? Do you have another 15amp adapter you could try and see if these symptoms continue? I suspect there's some loss of power that the newer one can compensate for that the older one can't. There shouldn't be so much required load at startup that it take that long to power up.. A/C is off at startup, correct?

FWIW, my EU2000 kicks in right away, no lag.
Interesting...
Marc
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:51 AM   #11
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hi marc

i agree the eco/lag issue may be at play but this is only happening at the FRONT trailer plug...
___________

a/s offeres a 'gen set prep' package for newer units.

this provides 2 marinco 30 amp connectors and an auto/changeover switch.

the 2nd/extra plug is located at the FRONT of the trailer, just above the A frame/behind the lp tanks.

while the standard juice connection is along the street side near da' REAR.

the nice thing about this feature is that shore power can be connected at either end of the stream...

which sometimes means 30 feet LESS cord.

and the gensets can be connected at either end of the trailer or left IN the TV using a very short cord.

((so the short delay (5 -20 seconds) is related to the switcher function IN the stream 4 front/side power))

cheer
2air'
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:52 PM   #12
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Does your trailer have a transfer switch - to switch between shore power and generator power?

We had one in our 2004 Classic, along with a remote generator interface plug in the front of the trailer.

To make a long story short, our transfer switch was improperly wired by the factory and it almost burned our trailer down.

John
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:38 PM   #13
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Ahhh... so us using "vintage units" just get used to hauling our cords around!

Ok, so yes, it seems like there might be something wrong in the trailer in switching the power front / rear.(And perhaps, a lesson on why it's not good to buy things on April Fool's Day... )

I suspect that for some reason your older gen is putting out some sort of low level surge of power every so often, making the trailer feel like it's "loosing" power.. tripping the transfer switch to the rear when plugged into the front. I also suspect that the transfer switch might "default" to the rear when power is not sensed.. so when it is on the rear plug, even if it looses power, it's already "looking" for power to come from the rear... so that's why it's not lagging switching from front to rear to front as it might do when the old gen is plugged into the front of the trailer.

Does it do this with the ECO off? Does the gen sound like it's revving up and down? Mine does this (and others have reported this) when it hasn't run in awhile. Leaving it off of ECO for a bit with a load on clears up the idle for me. I suspect the carb gets a bit gummed up from non-use.

My 2 cents!
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator113244 View Post

You might have identified the problem, as one thing I didn't try was running them with the eco off. I guess I missed that in the manual. Looks like I'll need to carry more gas... grrr.

Dan
Once you get the generator issues sorted out, is there any reason you can't shut down one of the generators, and turn the eco throttle on when you aren't using the a/c? (RTFM)
Also, when they're under load, the eco feature doesn't do a whole lot, only when under light or partial load. An a/c unit is not a light load, so the eco setting wouldn't matter as much.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:06 AM   #15
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EMS Power Switch

Dan,

I installed an EMS Power unit in my trailer. It is the EMS unit in my trailer that waits for the 20 to 40 seconds before allowing the shore power to turn on in the trailer. If you have one of these units, I believe you have to turn it off if you are using a generator. Something about the ground to the EMS get confused. The EMS does this to save the compressor in the air conditioner. Something about releasing the head pressure in the compressor on a power failure.

EMS stands for Electronic Monitering System. I purchased mine from Progressive industries.

It would be nice if this is your problem.

Mark
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:20 PM   #16
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Dan,

I installed an EMS Power unit in my trailer. It is the EMS unit in my trailer that waits for the 20 to 40 seconds before allowing the shore power to turn on in the trailer. If you have one of these units, I believe you have to turn it off if you are using a generator. Something about the ground to the EMS get confused. The EMS does this to save the compressor in the air conditioner. Something about releasing the head pressure in the compressor on a power failure.

EMS stands for Electronic Monitering System. I purchased mine from Progressive industries.

It would be nice if this is your problem.

Mark
Mark,

Thank you.

I hate sounding so stupid, but I do not know if I have a "EMS Power unit ", but I will know before the day is out. ;>)

I will need to study the thing, but there is an aftermarket gizmo mounted on the wall in the living area. This thing has to do with the roof mounted solar panel. It displays the battery state and status of charging from the solar panel. I'll take a closer look at it and it's paperwork today.

YESTERDAY, I took my generators to the local Honda shop where I had purchased both units. The tech is sharp and is known in the community for his competency. He liked me, so it only cost me $15.66 for him to troubleshoot the gens. ;>)

He had them for about an hour. He told me that both gens were in perfect condition, in tune, and in all ways they were within specs. Well, they should be... the Companion is new and the 3 year old gen has about 20 "easy hours" on it.

If I can't get the problem identified and resolved, I'm going to forget about it for this season. Both gens operating alone just fine, as well as working in tandem when connected at the side receptacle... so I can get through this camping season, I think. After the season, I may very well gut the electronics, and replace/upgrade all of it.

Maybe I'll get lucky today... it is a new day. ;>)

Dan
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:27 AM   #17
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Dans question

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Originally Posted by Gator113 View Post
Mark,

Thank you.

I hate sounding so stupid, but I do not know if I have a "EMS Power unit ", but I will know before the day is out. ;>)

I will need to study the thing, but there is an aftermarket gizmo mounted on the wall in the living area. This thing has to do with the roof mounted solar panel. It displays the battery state and status of charging from the solar panel. I'll take a closer look at it and it's paperwork today.

YESTERDAY, I took my generators to the local Honda shop where I had purchased both units. The tech is sharp and is known in the community for his competency. He liked me, so it only cost me $15.66 for him to troubleshoot the gens. ;>)

He had them for about an hour. He told me that both gens were in perfect condition, in tune, and in all ways they were within specs. Well, they should be... the Companion is new and the 3 year old gen has about 20 "easy hours" on it.

If I can't get the problem identified and resolved, I'm going to forget about it for this season. Both gens operating alone just fine, as well as working in tandem when connected at the side receptacle... so I can get through this camping season, I think. After the season, I may very well gut the electronics, and replace/upgrade all of it.

Maybe I'll get lucky today... it is a new day. ;>)

Dan
Dan...did you ever get an answer? I have the EXACT issue.

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Old 04-13-2013, 08:28 AM   #18
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I would suggest an electrician verify the wiring in the front power receptacle to see if there is a loose wire or some other abnormality in that device. I would also check the power cords for continuity in case a wire is frayed internally and the resistance drops the voltage from the generator.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:08 AM   #19
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This is a real head scratcher. However, from your description it all seems to point to a transfer switch in the Airstream. Most transfer switches (and I don't know the one in your rig specifically) have a small delay switch in them, plus a relay. The delay switch is connected directly across the input terminals, so when the generator (your front outlet) is connected a very small heater inside the delay switch heats up and then in about 20 seconds sends power to the coil of the relay which then connects the trailer to the front outlet. There will be a clicking sound when that larger relay pulls in.

Now, if, for some reason the little thermal delay switch is inactivated, the main relay will drop out (more clicking) and the power will stop.

Now why this is happening only with your old Honda, and not the new one is what bothers me and why it happens with the two of them connected together is another problem in my mind, but it still seems to point to the delay system switch in the trailer.

When you use the rear (main) power input to the trailer, both generators and the shore power all work properly. That is consistent with the default position of the main transfer relay, which is set to take rear inputs directly.

There is something going on with the transfer switch and the way it relates to the electronics on the old Honda that seems to be the problem. The electronics on the newer Honda seem to behave a bit differently. I do not think it is a Honda issue though, I feel it is a delay relay problem. When the two Honda's are paralleled the old one may be the control and cause both to act like the old (electronically).

Now, the only delay switches I have seen are little thermal ones, and they are very simple heat activated devices. But that does not mean that in this age of electronics that some other solid state kind is in your unit, and "fights" with the electronic controls in your old Honda.

That is my best shot. At least you know you can use the rear input to your trailer and both or either generators will work. If all else fails and you don't want to fiddle with it anymore, just use the rear input of power for your generators, rather than the front one which involves the delay system and main power relay.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:39 AM   #20
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The first thing I would check would be for dirty connections. It seems that the older Honda is not satisfying the requirements for the transfer relay to stay closed.

As far as the EMS, if there is one installed it is probably installed on the main shore power line and not the front generator input line, since inverter gens put out much cleaner power than you can expect from shore power. This is how I've wired mine.

The reason I would check for corrosion on all plugs and connections. Last week my EMS started disconnecting my shore power when I turned on my Electric water heater, a fairly high draw item. When I turned off the water heater the EMS would allow the power to come back on. A head scratcher since the EMS is testing the incoming electricity, not the stuff downline of the power distribution. The error code on the EMS showed an open ground. But the yellow power tester that came with the AS showed the ground was connected, but the ground test light seemed dimmer than normal. I cleaned my plug connections, and got a good strong ground indication and the EMS now likes the connection and I can run all my high draw stuff again.

It doesn't take much corrosion to screw things up.


BTW this is the transfer relay I have. I suspect you have the same.
http://www.parallaxpower.com/ATS301/...01%20REV_B.pdf
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