Just bought a Generac 2200i

Feb 15, 2021
My wife saw a Generac 2200i inverter generator at Menards and picked it up for my birthday for $444 after the 11% discount. I ran the included oil in it for a tank worth of fuel. Dumped the oil this afternoon, it definitely had some greyness going on with some flecks of silver, glad I changed it. I decided to run super tech 5w-30 synthetic in it since it’s the oil weight the manual suggests and I always have a jug on hand.

Do any of you guys own a Generac 2200? What oil are you running? Any issues or things to look out for with this generator?

So far I like it, easy to start, it’s light, it’s quiet and came with lots of accessories the Honda 2200 didn’t come with such as the battery charging leads, tools and a cover. We’ll see if it is as durable as the Honda. It’s usually not the oil that kills these, it’s letting ethanol fuel sit in them for a couple years or the inverter board gets fried it seems.

we’ll be using it mainly for remote fishing camps so we can charge the boat trolling motor batteries and I can run my portable a/c unit and heater in my tent , (yes I know I’m a wiene, but a comfortable wiene).

Is it the more recent model with the black sides, or the older model with the all orange case? The new recent model is probably very good.

If it is the older model (all orange case no black sides ), and it has the black rubber prime on the side it is a good version to buy, but if it is an old model ( all orange case no black on sides ) and does not have the black rubber prime bulb on the side, but does have the pump built into the fuel-cap to pressurize the fuel tank to prime it, then it is a bad designed model and the electric section to generate power will fail with little use, and cost too much to get fixed.

WD-40 is your friend, and before storing it, it would be a good idea to:

1) empty all the gas,
2) run it dry, tilt it a little to get the place in the gas-tank where the fuel pick-up gets the gas at the lowest point, but not enough of a tilt to trip the engines low oil shut-off switch.
3) pull the cord slowly and stop when you feel the compression resistance, so the valves are closed so the valve springs are not in full compression.
4) spray down the inside of the carburetor with WD-40. If you see any small holes in the carburetor be sure to spray some wd-40 into them. They are what can clog up and cause problems. Note WD-40 is combustible and if you pull the cord after you sprayed it, it may start.
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The 12 volt output of these small generators ( if it has that option ) is not regulated, and does have a lot of ripple in it, and will probably put out too much voltage if you try to run any 12 Volt DC item directly from the 12 Volt output of the generator with-out a 12 Volt battery also connected. And if you do that usually you will burn out and damage what you tried to run.

And you can easily over-charge a 12 Volt battery with these generators and destroy the battery. Consult the generators manual and see if is says how many Amps the 12 Volt output puts out. Then find out the reserve of the battery. That reserve is calculated at 25 amps. So multiply 25 by the number of reserve minutes and that will tell you the Amp minutes capacity of the battery. Then divide that amount by the amount of current the 12 Volt out-put of the generator puts out and that is the maximum time you can connect it to charge up that battery if it was fully discharged.

In general the 12 Volt out-put is best for only putting enough charge on a battery to get a dead battery charged enough to start the vehicle it is in. Such as charging a discharged battery long enough to put 1/4 to 3/4 charge on it and not trying to charge it to full charge. Again, it is easy to over-charge a 12 Volt battery with these unregulated 12 Volt out-puts of these small generators.
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This is great info! I wondered about the 12v side, when I tested the unit charging my boat I just plugged it into the onboard boat charger because I was worried about an overcharge situation. I guess the 12v outlet is a good feature in an emergency. it also has USB ports that are supposed to be regulated to charge sensitive phones ect....

This unit is the new orange with black sides unit, there’s no primer bulb at all on it. It has 2 normal household outlets, a 12v outlet and a usb outlet.
Change the oil often during the first 50 hours of running to flush out the break-in glitter. Also, always disconnect all power cords before starting and before stopping the generator.
Yeah, seems good so far. The build quality is as good as the Honda 2200 we used to use.
Any synthetic will be solid. Change the oil everytime when it turns on from a house power outage.
So I did my second oil change today after another 4 hours of run time (super tech 5w-30 synthetic), it was run 2 hours pretty hard. The oil came out pretty glittery. Clearly needs more break in time. Will run it another 4 hours and see how the oil looks. Hopefully it’ll be less shiny, lol.
I added a magnetic oil dipstick and ran it a few more hours this week and the oil is now mostly glitter free so I think I’m done with the break in. I have been using it around the farm and store it out in the unheated barn. Its been in the mid 20’s in the mornings when I start it and as long as the choke is on and the eco mode is off it starts within 2 pulls.
The newer Generac 2200's (GP2200I) are part of a line of generators that are foreign made (usually in China or Vietnam) and distributed across many different brands-- Pulsar, Westinghouse, Generac, Powermate, the list goes on. They're all identical except the name and often the front panel. So they're not really Generacs per se, they just have Generac's name slapped on them.

That doesn't make them bad generators, I have the Westinghouse version and it's been fine so far. Does rated power and very quiet and efficient with fuel.
Yeah, I guess for $444 it’s gonna be Chinese. I hear the Honda’s are made in China too so I guess as long as it’s engineered correctly. Should mean lots of available parts in the future if all these brands are the same.
Yeah, I guess for $444 it’s gonna be Chinese. I hear the Honda’s are made in China too so I guess as long as it’s engineered correctly. Should mean lots of available parts in the future if all these brands are the same.
Hopefully that's the case. I had to return the first one I received because it wouldn't run without the choke being on, and the pull handle mechanism broke the second day. The second one I have no complaints but do treat it gently, especially on the pull handle which seemed to be a fairly common complaint.

I paid about $450 for mine, so I'm thrilled with the performance (and even quality on the second unit) for the price.

I didn't realize they were all the same until my friend bought the Generac 2200, and it was identical to my Westinghouse interally and the exterior case. Front panel features seem to be what sets the units apart.
People tend to abuse the pull starter on small OPE. I gently pull the cord until I feel it catch, then give it a heave. My neighbor just grabs the cord and yanks it. I can hear the insides of the pull start clank loudly when it catches. It's just a matter of time until the cord snaps or the dogs inside the pull start shear off.

Treat it with reasonable care and it should live a long life.