Honda’s New EU2200i Inverter Generator

I love the outdoors and having a portable power supply when camping away from home is a must for me. Having a backup power supply at home comes in handy too. The issue is, how do I fulfill one or both of these needs without breaking the bank? A portable generator.

Honda offers a remarkable range of generator models. They have 7 types of EU Models, 3 types of EM Models, 4 types of the EG Model and 7 types of the EB Models making a total of 21 models to choose from. Of these, the EU2200i Inverter Generator meets my needs best.


Features

Power

Not all equipment operates with open frame portable generators. This is because most home devices are sensitive. They require ‘clean’ power with less than 5% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) to operate smoothly and to prevent any damage. To change dirty power to clean, you need to buy an inverter.

With the EU2200i Inverter generator however, I do not need to buy an inverter because the generator itself has one. It suitable for most of the house appliances without risk of damage. It delivers 2200 watt 120V of clean power.

Double my power with parallel capability

If I need more power, I can connect the EU2200i Companion with a regular EU2200i to get up to 4400 watts of power using a simple parallel cord and I do not need an external parallel kit. It can also parallel with all EU2000iK1/T1 models.

Noise

The EU2000i Companion operates at 48 - 57 decibels making it ideal for camping and other quiet activities. At home, it is quieter than most people having a conversation over a drink.

Size and Weight

With 20 x 12 x 17 inches dimensions, this generator is small in size and weighs less than 47 pounds. It is exceptionally light and portable, fitting in almost all places you can pack luggage in the car during a trip.

Fuel efficiency

Thanks to the Eco Throttle System, it can deliver almost 8.1 hours on less than a gallon of fuel depending on the load. At full throttle, it runs about 3.2 hours on a single tank. For basic household or camping needs, it easily lasts overnight.

Fuel shutoff ("Fuel Off")

Previous Honda models had a switch oscillating between ‘on’ and ‘off’. That meant the generator would go off while still loaded with fuel and draining the carburetor had to be done manually. The EU22000i however has an extra position “Fuel Off” which is between ‘On’ and ‘off’.

This position allows the engine to continue running until almost all the fuel in the carburetor is used up and the engine goes off. This ensures the generator is not left with stale fuel in it. The base of the carburetor also has a flat head screw attached to a draining valve for those who still want to drain the fuel the old school way.

12v - 8.3A unregulated DC output

Though requiring an optional charging cord, these plugs allow charging of 12-volt automotive type batteries like a car battery. Though I can’t jump start my car with it, I can still get out of the danger by charging my flat car battery in the wild.

Light Alerts

The generator has three lights that give the following signals

• Oil Alert - Protects the generator by shutting the engine off when low oil is detected. The light turns red when engine oil is low.

• Overload Alert –If you draw power at 2200 Watts for a longtime or above it, the red light will come on and that means we switch off the generator, disconnect the gadgets causing the overload and restart the generator. In case of continued overload, the electric circuit breaker kicks in and switches of the generator.

• Output Indicator – This lights is green when the generator is on. It means the outlet cables are taking out the right amount of power from the generator.


Eco Throttle switch

This can be a bit confusing, but when the Eco Throttle Switch is ‘OFF’, it means the generator is running at full throttle. If you want Fuel economy though for most of the uses in the house, I would recommend to have the Eco Throttle On. This allows the generator to slow down to match the power demands and this way the generator can run for 8 hours for one full tank. The Switch however should stay at 'OFF' when starting the generator.

Spark Arrestor/muffler

It meets the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards for areas where spark arrestors are mandatory to operate. It is also U.S. Forest-approved safe to use in parks and forests. This is ideal for an outdoor person like me.

Electronic Circuit Breaker

Protects the generator from a power overload. The overload alert should be red by then. When too much power is being drawn, the circuit breaker switch will pop out. Before restarting the generator, push it back in.

Environmentally Friendly

Eco-Throttle allows the generator's engine to automatically adjust to power needed by the applications in use. This slows the engine speed and reduces the exhaust emissions.

Control Panel

The entire control panel is located at the back and not the sides. This is important because during storage, the typical thing is to slide the generator into the storage space head fast. If the controls were on the side, there is risk of damage when sliding it in and if they were at the front, they could be banged against a surface. I therefore find that the control panel being at the back reduces the risk of damage. In addition, it is a one stop shop. Everything you need is there.

Manual Recoil Start Housing

This has slight improvements from the EU2000 in that the Pull start rope housing used would get rope burn on the plastic housing. It was an aesthetic issue because the rope burned plastic looked ugly. In the EU2200i, the housing area is now all metal

Fuel Tank Cap Seal Switch Valve

The Switch valve can be turned on and off, and it seals the gases into the tank and prevents fumes coming out especially during transportation.

The Exhaust Pipe

Just like the control panel is at the front, the exhaust and muffler are at the back.

Maintenance

The EU2200i is simple to maintain because first it has color-coded components. Second it has a single captive screw (doesn’t fall off when unscrewed and remains on the cover) holding the engine cover. This screw can be opened easily even using a coin. A special feature is that this cover has a gasket that keeps it water tight.

The engine layout is efficiently straight forward and it is easy to get to everything.

1. Oil changes

The oil fill cover which also works as the dip stick is much larger and that has made filling and draining of oil easier. Attached to at the mouth is a small funnel that drains the oil when the generator is tilted. This funnel goes a long way to avoid making a mess.

2. Air Cleaner

It is housed under another cover with a similar captive screw. It takes less a minute to replace the air cleaner.

3. Spark Plug

The spark plug is located on the opposite side of the oil and air cleaner. It is at the top side near the handle and it is very easy to open the cover with your thumb or finger. Changing the spark plug is pretty straight forward and the plug is very easily accessible.

Attention to detail

The little things that shows this Honda model going an extra mile include the start recoil rope designed to reduce potential damage to the body of the generator, the start rope housing, gaskets on detachable parts and more ventilation areas.

Warranty

3 year residential and commercial warranty is covered from top to bottom for 3 full years.

Specs

  • Running Watts: 1800
  • Starting Watts: 2200
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.95 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Run Time at 25% Load: 8.1 Hours
  • Run Time at 100% Load: 3.4 Hours
  • Outlets: 125V AC 20 Amp Duplex
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • Dimension: 20 x 12 x 17 inches
  • Starting Method: Manual Recoil Start
  • Engine: 4-stroke OHC engine, 4300 – 5000 RPM
  • Engine displacement: 98.5 cc.
  • Material: Multi, plastic
  • Outlets: (1) 120V 13.3/16.7 A duplex - (1) 12V 8A
  • Warranty: 3-Year Limited
  • Certificates:EPA, CSA, CARB approved

The EU2200i generators can operate the following appliances

  • Refrigerator or Freezer
  • Microwave Oven
  • Incandescent Lights
  • Portable fan
  • Furnace Fan, gas or fuel oil (up to 1/3 hp)
  • TV / DVD
  • Hair Dryer
  • Coffee Maker
  • Computer
  • Garage Door Opener
  • Blender

Compare and Contrast

Disadvantages

  • No fuel gauge making it hard to know how much fuel is left in the tank.
  • Oil checking and changes are not as easy compared to generators of its class
  • Lacks an LCD display for easy monitoring of power, hours, and volts used.
  • Still has manual recoil start while other generators have an electric start button.
  • It is considered to be a bit on the expensive side.
  • It’s not suitable for heavy-duty appliances.

Overall

The Honda EU2200i is very reliable, durable and has the Eco-Throttle mechanism that is the ultimate fuel and money saver. It is the lightweight king and has low noise levels. The connection to double power is simple and just requires a cable as opposed to a kit. I find this to be a greatly beneficial because it means carrying fewer items when going on that road trip.

The Honda EU2000i can operate a wide variety of appliances and is perfect as a portable source of power be it camping or at home. In addition, the advanced microprocessor controlled inverter in vital in producing ‘clean’ power that can charge the most sensitive electronic devices such as the digital camera, mobile phone devices, be used for TV and laptops. I find this a great plus especially away from home during camping and recreation use.

In cases where more power is needed, the Honda EU2200i with its parallel capability you can easily connect to any EU2000iK1/T1 models to double the power. Whereas I can’t use it at a construction site, plus there are more suitable generators for such uses, this generator is unmatched for domestic uses.

It has 3-year full warranty going to show the trust the manufacturer has in their product. It is a great reliable generator boasting many satisfied users around the globe. Considering my intermittent uses, I don’t camp daily and there no power outages every week it will last long. It requires little to maintain and this model eliminates issues of stale gasoline in the carburetor.

Honda’s attention to detail is commendable. The engine layout, the housing and color of the entire generator, the gasket linings in the body covers of the generator that are opened often and the technology all packed in this generator are the ultimate value for money.

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