Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kipor IG1000P Review

Quick review of Kipor sinemaster IG1000P
This unit was sent to me for review, by the good folks over at Kipor Power Systems North America. I wanted to give them a special shootout, because without them and companies like them, I wouldn’t be able to do many of my reviews for you guys. With that being said, this is not a paid review, I don’t work for Kipor, I don’t own any stock in the company and I am not being forced to say nice things about this unit. I’ve only been provided a sample unit for testing and evaluation.
The IG1000p is an inverter style suite case generator, with 900 running watts and 1000 surge watts. It features a 53.5 cc 4 cycle, engine, which is kept inside of a double walled sound enclosure to keep the unit between 54 and 59 db when running. It also features a 0.7 gallon fuel tank, allowing the unit to run for up to 4 hours at the maximum 900 watt rating. It produces clean sinewave power, similar to that of utility power and comes in at hundreds of dollars less than its popular competition (I’m speaking of Honda and Yamaha). Like its competition, it features a high quality proven design, that’s been around since the early 2000’s, it has the ability to be paired with other units in its series via a parallel kit (ig2000p ig2600p) and comes with a 2 year warranty for residential use and a single year for commercial.  The unit is C.A.R.B. and EPA compliant, allowing it to be sold in places like Canada and California (which usually have the toughest emissions standards, resulting in a lot of generators being banned from sale there).  Safety features include a low oil shut down and inverter overheat protection

This unit was mainly designed with portable power in mind, with a dry weight of only 30.8 lbs. I found it interesting that the unit actually weighs nearly a full pound less than 5 gallons worth of gas (31.5 lbs). It lasts longer, provides more maximum wattage and is still lighter than most rechargeable type power packs and many mobile solar solutions. It’s possible uses includes camping, tailgating, power outages, yard work, powering small power tools ,recharging  small solar systems during  storms or low sun months and can even be used for small outdoor parties.
The IG1000P comes with a few accessories, including a brass spark plug tool, dc charging cable, oil filler cup, spare bosh spark plug as well as the owner’s manual.
As far as the exterior goes (go over exterior features) drain hoses on front going from carb
Hidden is the inverter unit, the main difference is no surging, variable rpms clean power.
Like having 2 generators in one

When I first got the unit, the first thing I noticed was it was covered in oil.  I thought the worst and was ready to contact kipor, but I decided to do a google search first and found that this was a common issue.  The unit was shipped via ups (known to throw around a damage packages) and apparently was placed upside down long enough for any residual oil left from factory testing to leak out of the exhaust and or intake. The issue did not affect functionality, but did require me to clean up with paper towel before I could safely operate the unit. After the cleaning, I added conventional 10w-30 oil, filled up the gas tank and took the unit outside for the first start.  The unit to my surprise started with the first pull (after a series of primer pulls, with the ignition off to get fuel through the pump and into the carburetor bowl). The unit ran smoothly, but initially was quite noisy.  I took my phone out and measured a db level of 82 right next to the unit and around 75, 23 feet away (this was in the normal running mode).Running the unit in the smart throttle mode didn’t fare much better, with a difference of just a few db at the same ranges. This was far off of the manufactures claim of 54 – 59 db, but after a few hours of running, the unit seemed to quiet down.  Further running seemed to decrease the sound level even more. I can only assume that the exhaust portion of this unit needs to be broken in before reaching the desired level for a few hours.  My last measurements came in as low as 73 db right next to the unit, 61 db 23 feet away and as low as 56 db around 43 feet away. I’m sure the unit would have produced quieter ratings if it were tested as the manufacture does in an open field. I do real world testing, with objects in close range that would allow sound to be bounced around. Overall the unit is still very quiet and will be around 40 % quieter than a traditional generator. As far as voltage and Hz, I plugged in my p3 meter and found that the unit was outputting a steady 120 – 125 volts and 59 – 60 hz. Running AC items between 1 and 300 watts, the unit seems to like to stay at its idle speed. Anything high will result in increasing rpm’s depending on load.  The DC function only provides 5 amps, so the unit will pretty much stay at idle. The manual states that the unit needs to be in the full running (non smart throttle mode) in order to charge a battery, but I found that the unit still produced enough voltage to fully charge in the lower mode. You might charge slower, but that may be a good thing, since the full output mode brought a nearly dead 100 amp hour battery to nearly an overcharged level in less than 3 hours.
As far as issues, I didn’t notice too many, just that the gas filler neck is a little narrow, requiring the generator to be filled slowly to avoid spills. The unit is also somewhat high pitched, thanks to the tiny 53.5 cc engine. While it is quiet, the high pitch ness seems to carry sound further than a larger displacement unit of similar sound ratings.
After running loads for the first 10 hours an initial oil change is needed. This is known as the break in oil change, because it allows various bearings, seals and other components to be properly lubed for long service life and also gets rid of any contaminants left over from the manufacturing process.  I should also note that the manual specifies that the unit should not be run more than a 50 % or 450 watt load for the first 20 hours during this period. Subsequent oil changes come in at 100 hours of use.
I’ve been reviewing this unit for close to a month and a half, putting a total of 23 hours on it. The first 20 hours was spent with light loads, such as small fans, laptops, CFL light bulbs and battery chargers. I also ran larger loads, such as a 25 cu in side by side fridge and a few others, but only after the unit was properly broken in and the oil changed around the 10 hour mark. Running the test loads resulted in a total fuel consumption of only 2 gallons worth of fuel.  The AC loads were measured with a p3 kill a watt meter and dc loads with a standard multi meter. Sound measurements were taken with a free cell phone app and also a calibrated db meter in A weighting.  All of the fuel run through the machine was 87 octane, containing up to 10 % ethanol, which is the maximum allowed according to the manual. No fuels containing methanol are allowed. I treated my fuel with a special stabilizer, specifically designed for fuel containing ethanol, which is something that Kipor and many other manufactures recommend.

As far as overall likes and dislikes

Fuel savings (like having 2 generators in one with low idle)
Low sound output
Light enough to be placed high on a shelf for storage or during an emergency (Detroit flood). Also allows people who previously put off buying a generator because of high weight.
2 year warranty
Overall reliability (easy starts, consistent output, no weird quirks)

Narrow fuel filler neck opening…..most modern epa certified gas containers glug and will cause a fuel spill
Dc charging voltage is fairly high, when compared with other units and the alligator clips provided too small.
Besides that, no real problems with this unit

I know I have a lot of first time generator buyers who may be viewing this video and are looking for a few tips to get started
Get a fuel can of at least 2 gal, get regular 10w-30 oil, find something to drain oil and run the unit at least 15 feet away from house and other structures also don’t run near open windows.
Other tips include
Use automatic battery charger for unattended use
Use high quality synthetic oil after the break in period is over
Run the unit out of fuel for long storage, as the fuel shut off on this unit also acts as a spark interrupter….this allows fuel to possibly gum up the pump and carb and also rot fuel lines.
Also change oil as recommended
Use carb drainage screw and tube to get rid of all possible fuel
Get battery operator co2 detector
Buy power usage meter to figure out which of your items will run on this unit…..keep from overloading it…look for startup wattages. This will also help you check the health of the inverter unit.
Get a good heavy duty extension cord.
So in closing, this unit has been totally reliable for me, no real issues to speak of. I find it to be a great value compared to the more expensive units, because it has the potential to last just as long as them. After running it through its paces in 90 degree weather  for over 1 month and making sure it did exactly what the manufacture said it wood, I can confidently recommend this unit for you guys.

As far as additional videos, I’ll post a few demos of it running various loads at the end of this video, but I have already posted the initial unboxing / setup and the first oil change video available in the description below.

So as always guys, I hope you enjoyed this review, peace!


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