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Old 10-28-2019, 02:39 PM   #1
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Honda EU2000i Propane/Cold Weather operation

I have a Honda eu2000i converted to Genconnex propane. Has worked fine, but last night I was helping out some friends who are out of town, by winterizing their trailer at their storage unit, as temps are headed to single digits. They would have experienced some expensive damage for sure, starting with their water heater...they owe me big time :-)

I took my compressor and generator and a full 20# propane tank. Could only get the genny to 'burp' a couple times...would not start. I heated a pot of water and poured it on the regulator...was able to get it going finally.

I shut it off for a few minutes, while I had a fully pressurized compressor, and did my first blowing off all the fixtures and low points. Then when trying to restart the generator again after pulling the 'primer' knob to flow propane...no joy. It would run (no load from compressor) for 3-4 seconds, then die. It actually sounded like I was experiencing the bad spark plug cap problem outlined in this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ps-172577.html. But my Serial Number is EACT-1606773 which is well before the numbers that had the problem (they started at 162xxxx).

Has anyone experienced problems getting their propane-fired Hondas to fire up in 20sh degree temps? I'm wondering if heating the regulator with water got it going the first time, but then exacerbated the problem when I turned it off and let it cool for 10 minutes...and freeze up even worse, restricting propane flow?

My concern is that with solar I have not needed the generator, but with any winter camping and protracted furnace use, my luck will run out...and I don't want to discover a problem with the genny when it's 15 degrees and I'm out in the field.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:46 PM   #2
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Sold my Honda 2000 with propane conversion for same issues in cold temps. It would start fine on gas, but temperamental on propane. Got the Champion 3400 with dual fuel and electric start which works fine.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:22 PM   #3
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Peter,
This is what I found. May have been because your tank was full and the propane would not gas off with so little space and the cold temps. How cold was it?
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:24 PM   #4
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Peter,
This is what I found. May have been because your tank was full and the propane would not gas off with so little space and the cold temps. How cold was it?
Thanks Ronnie.

It was higher than 20 degrees and the tank was full. Could be something to this theory, as when I poured hot water on the regulator, I also poured some on the tank, warming up the OBD valve and tank itself. Then it started and ran fine. It was after I shut it off and it all cooled that it wouldn't run again.

What I left off my post is I then cranked the heat in the truck and put the tank (hooked to the hose) on the floorboard and let it sit in there for 5 or 10 minutes or so till it all warmed up...with generator outside the truck (but tank inside with door open a little for hose exit) the generator started again.


I think in future if winter camping I'll heat the tank and hose/regulator in the truck for 10 minutes or if I have any problems with starting. Once it was running, it was fine. The restarts after it all cooled down for awhile were the problem. Genconnex also says to try pointing the exhaust at the propane tank to warm it up with that as well.


Good news is that this will be a rare need, I don't winter camp much without electrical hookups, if at all.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:22 PM   #5
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I just got back from camping in cold temperatures (20’s) and high elevation (up to 9,000 feet) and I had trouble with mine as well. I could usually get it started on the 3rd or 4th pull, but it would normally die after about 10 seconds. After several attempts it would normally stay running. My tank was only about 3/4 full.

When I got home (elevation 400’ and temps in 50’s), I put in a new spark plug and it still took 3 pulls to get it to start, so it was not the plug.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:46 PM   #6
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Honda EU2000i Propane/Cold Weather operation

Interesting Bill thanks for the feedback. The fact that it runs ok once it gets going is interesting—so it’s not necessarily a propane tank/regulator issue. Especially at 9000 feet is another factor. Did you have the high elevation orifice installed?
Also note that Genconnex recommends using a Champion Z9Y plug with a gap of .020-.022 inch. I have not changed mine but plan to.
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:18 AM   #7
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Have 2 Genconnex Honda’s 3000 & 2200 Genconnex ships with a Black or low flow end which hooks to the propane tank switch to a red high flow problem solved
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:31 AM   #8
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:40 AM   #9
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Have 2 Genconnex Honda’s 3000 & 2200 Genconnex ships with a Black or low flow end which hooks to the propane tank switch to a red high flow problem solved
Genconnex show Red regulator pressure “Too High”
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:47 AM   #10
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Also note that Genconnex recommends using a Champion Z9Y plug with a gap of .020-.022 inch. I have not changed mine but plan to.
Genconnex now recommends NGK CR5HSB 0.020-0.022”

Of course I went with the NGK CR5HIX iridium plug. Smoother and Hotter.

But I think your problem was related to fuel not spark.

https://www.ngk.com/product.aspx?zpid=41404
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:49 AM   #11
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Could be a problem with the propane supply line.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
Interesting Bill thanks for the feedback. The fact that it runs ok once it gets going is interesting—so it’s not necessarily a propane tank/regulator issue. Especially at 9000 feet is another factor. Did you have the high elevation orifice installed?
Also note that Genconnex recommends using a Champion Z9Y plug with a gap of .020-.022 inch. I have not changed mine but plan to.


Interesting question! I used the generator sparingly in Moab so I did not worry about it. When I got to the North Rim and it had problems, I installed the high elevation orifice. I thought that would be the answer, but honestly it did not see much if any difference.
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Genconnex now recommends NGK CR5HSB 0.020-0.022”

Of course I went with the NGK CR5HIX iridium plug. Smoother and Hotter.

But I think your problem was related to fuel not spark.

https://www.ngk.com/product.aspx?zpid=41404


And.....I replaced a NGK spark plug with a Champion and see no difference. Both were gapped to 0.02
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:37 AM   #14
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Hi

Regardless of the appliance, cold is never a great thing for propane. Pressure in the bottle drops with temperature. As you use gas, the liquid boils and that cools the bottle down, pressure then drops even more. Depending on just what the regulator needs for a minimum input pressure, you get trouble at some point. Tossing the propane bottle in the blazing campfire is *not* a recommended solution

Is bottle pressure what's going on here? Not at all clear, just a possibility. At roughly 20F the tank pressure should be around 35 to 40 PSI. It would drop to about 25 PSI at 0F

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Old 10-29-2019, 11:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
Has anyone experienced problems getting their propane-fired Hondas to fire up in 20sh degree temps? I'm wondering if heating the regulator with water got it going the first time, but then exacerbated the problem when I turned it off and let it cool for 10 minutes...and freeze up even worse, restricting propane flow?
Does your Honda generator have the "Cold Climate Technology" option? (see photo- it's the only model they sell in our cold corner of the continent).

It essentially uses an electric heating element to keep the air intake sufficiently warm so that the carburetor won't freeze up.

However I don't know if it would help with the starting up of the unit (I have a Hutch Mountain propane converter and have not experienced cold weather starting problems).
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:53 PM   #16
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Does your Honda generator have the "Cold Climate Technology" option? (see photo- it's the only model they sell in our cold corner of the continent).

It essentially uses an electric heating element to keep the air intake sufficiently warm so that the carburetor won't freeze up.

However I don't know if it would help with the starting up of the unit (I have a Hutch Mountain propane converter and have not experienced cold weather starting problems).


Nope...never heard of it!
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:03 PM   #17
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honda breather heater see pdf

Found this on the Honda site FWIW
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:17 PM   #18
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Somebody touched on the problem. It is the low rate of propane boil off due to low temperatures that causes low or no fuel flow . There are several easy solutions: use a: "L" Port 3-way valve connected to both propane bottles with a "Wye" on each tank. When the temp gets too low go to an intermediate position on the valve so as to feed off both tanks simultainiously. Caution: if you use an "T" Port valve the intermediate position will defeat your automatic change over shuttle valve and cause you to loose propane service to the trailer, think heater. One of our WBAC units boondock rallies in the winter and they have used insulated heated tank blankets and or exhaust to add heat to the tanks. All this is a chicken and egg problem. You really need to start off with warm bottles in order to stay ahead of the game. In other words start warming the tanks before the temp can shut you down. The best place to test this is in your driveway. Thats how I discovered the T/L Port problem. I had to do an emergency winterization to save the plumbing.
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:10 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=GMFL;2302767]Genconnex show Red regulator pressure “Too High”[/QUOTE

Well let’s see been hauling working repairing in the propane industry over 15 years been using my Honda 3000 for 7 years now my 2200 since released not only for the AS but as backup power for the house neighbors whomever plus during winter spring summer fall temps, so yea listen to what the lawyers say on the paper,change plugs, warm up tank in the truck, & whatever.
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