Monday, January 31, 2011

Honeywell HW2000i Generator Inverter - Part 1

This is another installment of the ongoing woes & joys of our portable generator/inverters aboard So It Goes...

See previous posts:
Last Thursday, we picked up our brand new Honeywell HW2000i portable generator/inverter.  We took the bus up to Sunny Isle and then walked down to VI Cargo (company that ships from Florida to St Croix). Paid our $68 for shipping & duty, and got a $20 taxi back to the Christiansted Boardwalk just a few steps away from the dinghy.

We got back to the boat before noon. We were looking at the unit to see where to put in the oil and Bob noticed that the carburetor appeared to be shock mounted. How strange... Turns out that the elbow connecting the carb to the motor was broken off which is why it was moving. This was so frustrating as we were looking forward to charging up the batteries and turning on the refrigerator.

I also noticed that the door to this area has damage to the plastic ribs on the inside that correspond to the air filter housing and carb which might be due to someone not taking the top to line up the door properly so it would close, but to give it a good whack. There was no damage to the box or to the exterior of the unit so this damage appears to have happened at the factory.

It says on the box not to return it to the store (bought from but to call this number.  I called and got an automatic recording that did the old "press 3 for company directory" menu things and when I pressed a number it would say "Didn't understand response".  The toll free number they gave didn't work from the USVIs... Aargh!

I looked on the internet for the website they gave in the manual (Northshore Power Systems). The lady who answered is a different company (Generac) which will now be handling Honeywell products but they aren't yet.  She called the toll free number for me to get a "real" phone number with a proper area code that I could call. She said that she told them our situation and that they don't usually give refunds (we don't want a refund, just a working generator). We would probably have to ship it to Florida to be repaired. I could call, too, but the expense and time wasted in back & forth & waiting for repair is too much.

In the meantime, while I was on the phone, Bob looked up on the internet someplace where we could buy a new part for our new, unused generator. I called up Fall Mountain Small Engine in New Hampshire and Tom was great! I sent a few photos of the damaged part and he's sending us a replacement part (the carb elbow) by US Priority Mail. It was only $15 plus postage (small flat rate box) so perhaps $20 which is what the St Croix taxi cost to transport the generator to our boat :)

I'm so happy that he has the part in stock and is willing to ship it to us by US MAIL and TODAY. So many companies are reluctant to ship via the US Postal System.

I have to contact Amazon and the Honeywell Registration/Warranty Department to tell them that our unit was defective but I'm just not up to it right now...

So we have a few more days without refrigeration or ability to run the battery charger.  We keep hoping we'll have enough sun to power the computers with the solar panels.  So it goes...

The quality of the Honeywell parts are not as nice as our Honda, but it was about half the price and maybe the Honda can be fixed.

More news to come...