Harbor Freight 800 Watt Generator Users Group


Harbor Freight 800 Watt Generator Users Group

OK, you have your solar system up and running. It's time to prepare yourself for anything so you must have a Harbor Freight 800 Watt Generator. This is the place to share your experience with these generators both pros and cons.

Members: 51
Latest Activity: Aug 5

Discussion Forum

Harbor Freight 800 Watt Generator - Extended Run

Started by Steve Brown. Last reply by dave simmon Oct 14, 2013. 3 Replies

Say folks, 1st things 1st, I can't say enough good things about my Harbor Freight 800 watt generator and always buy the additional warranty for 12 bucks. I am on my second generator now; just flat…Continue

Tags: extended, run, generator, watt, 800

New 800 - Runs Rough - Adjustment ?

Started by Terry Smith. Last reply by Rick Westerfield Sep 29, 2012. 7 Replies

I just bought one of these units for charging solar batteries when they are lagging.Problem is it seems to be running rough on new fuel and oil. Only a couple of hours on it and wondered if the carb…Continue

HF Generator Performance Under Load - Quite Acceptable

Started by Rick Westerfield Sep 29, 2012. 0 Replies

Hello,   I have tested the generator for AC voltage and frequency under a moderate and a heavy duty load and generally speaking, it does well.  It tends to run high on frequency so clocks and any…Continue

Current Harbor Freight Coupons

Started by Renewable Ray Sep 22, 2012. 0 Replies

Surely you are not going to buy one of these generators without the infamous 20% coupon. This one is only good until Sept. 23rd 2012. Let's try to keep some current coupons up!…Continue

Comment Wall

Comment by Cody G on September 13, 2011 at 1:29pm

I have been running an Animal Rescue for over 14 years and these last couple of weeks have been the worst as to donations.  Because of this we lost our electricity on April 19, 2011 due to non-payment and a $2,500 balance on our electric bill.  I thought this was the end of the Rescue and 48 dogs would have to be euthanized.and close the rescue down.  I was up against the wall and didn't know what to do. 


For some reason I called the Harbor Freight Store near me and explained our situation and the Manager I spoke with was an animal lover who had rescued many animals themselves wanted to help us and bought a 800 watt generator for us.  I was so grateful to him for helping us and brought the generator back to the Rescue and started to use it to run lights, a mini fridge to keep our medication cold and our computer.  It brought life back to the rescue.  The building wasn't pitch black anymore.  It was enough to give me a reason to keep going. 


The cost to run it is about $10.00 a day depending on the cost of gas.  Since then we have received a couple other 800 watt generators as to donations and we sort of swap them around to not burn up the generator.  It's now the middle of September and were still open and running this rescue.  We also have our electric bill paid down to about $1,800 and hope to have it paid off by the end of the year and our electric back on by January or February 2012. 


If it wasn't for the help received or these little generators that run the necessities we need we would of closed.  This little generator is a power house and runs on peanuts.  A couple of weeks ago we got our 1st solar panel kit and between the 2 we have been able to keep going and hardly suffer from not having electricity.  I hope this helps those thinking about getting one of these little generators.  They work great and will surprise you what they can run.

Comment by Geekster Dave on September 13, 2011 at 1:47pm

Thank you for this group Ray - a great idea and considering the HUGE outage in SoCal this past week, good and timely too.

We have the HF 6.5 kw generator here at home, (item #66603), and throughout the outage, used it to operate our fridge, and via some *very* long outdoor extension cords - those of our two closest neighbors, (along with fans, cell phone chargers, etc.) - I have since been contemplating jumping on the next HF sale of these 800 watt units for a more portable solution. We have a Duracell 600 for emergency portable power, but I want to keep that for Ham radio purposes - and think the 800/900 watt generator may be the perfect, reasonably priced, solution.

Comment by David Potter on September 14, 2011 at 4:55am
I don't have one of these yet, but i've been looking and thinking about grabbing one as a backup to my 6.8 Kw Genny.
Comment by rick depalma on September 15, 2011 at 8:32am

Thanks Ray for starting this discussion!

I purchased one of these but before I did, I read up on the reviews so I fell its important to let everyone know that using a better spark plug vs the one that came with it is well worth it as it does run smother. It has seemed to quiet down a bit (its not a honda) as you run it longer through the suggested break-in period. I picked it up on sale for $89.00 and felt it was a great deal especially the run time on a gallon of gas. Also following the long term storage  recommendations is important.

Comment by Geekster Dave on September 15, 2011 at 9:30am
There is a temptation to treat one of these like a 2 cycle lawnmower - BUT - if you are going to use it as an emergency generator only, you will want to be able to RELY on it operating in the expected manner when you need it.  DO NOT skip over the instructions on maintenance, (particularly break in period), and storage, (particularly draining fuel tank AND fuel lines plus coating cylinder with a spoon of oil). Simply stated - don't let yourself get complacent over stuff you plan to use in an emergency. 8-)
Comment by Big Moe on September 16, 2011 at 10:20am

Hello All,


I've been away awhile and will get caught up on all of my reading over the next couple of days.  But let me tell you a short story about this generator.


When I first bought the HUD house that I am currently renovating I needed power. SO being on a budget I went to harbor frieght and found then generator. When I bought it (about 3 years ago) it was on sale for $109 and I used a 20% coupon on that price to bring it down to about $90 after taxes.  The original 800w unit that I bought did not look like the current model. It was a bit different looking unfortunately I do not have a picture of it.


Anyway. This unit completely powered my destruction of the home. I used it to power two kerosene torpedo heaters, my lights, a floor model stereo and to charge the batteries of my cordless tools. It did this with no hiccups and used very little fuel.


After about a year and a half the return spring for the pull starter broke. I took off the pull starter and shorted the spring. It worked another month then broke again. I was at the local Harbor Freight getting a few more panels about a week later and the manager was talking to me. I told him about the generator and he asked me to bring it back.


Long story short... he replaced the unit with the current model at no charge. The new model works good.. but I do miss my old unit. It seemed to use a bit less gas and put out a bit more power without a fuss.  Now I run the house and all the tools off my solar array. The generator is a good backup when I need to supliment.


Overall.. a great generator... my cousin does have one that looks just like it that says 1200w. It has a larger breaker on it compared to mine.



Comment by Dale Marshall on September 19, 2011 at 12:46am

I need to get one of these little buggers sometime. Just to have the back up just in case. I'm considering this or a 2500 watt. Depends on the funds at the time :)


Comment by Cody G on September 23, 2011 at 4:07pm
Can you wear out these little generators?  I have a question...  Most of you may know that we are temporarily using this generator to run our Animal Rescue.  We run it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We are on our 3rd Generator,  I don't think it's because we try to run to much off the generator because they have a relay switch to automatically switch off if you try to charge to much.  It's not because you burn up the engine because of no oil, because we mix the oil in with the gas.  Does anyone know what happens?  I first start to get notice that generator is starting to die is it makes a different sound and ideals down.  I have tried to remove the generator and rebuild it, clean it out and hook it back up.  It makes no change and sounds the same.  Does anyone have any suggestions I can do to bring these 2 generators back to life?  Or just keep them for parts and except the fact that if you use these things 24 hours a day 7 days a week they will eventually wear themselves out.  We are hoping to have our large electric bill paid off by the end of the year and get our electric back on by January or February 2012 at the latest.  This little generator puts out enough power to run the lights we need and mini refrigerator to keep our meds cold and also runs our computer.  Anyone with any suggestions please let me know.  Otherwise we will just go ahead and run this 3rd generator until it wears out also and then buy a 4th one until the end of the year when we can get our electric back on.  Thanks for reading.
Comment by Big Moe on September 23, 2011 at 4:31pm

Cody... why not buy the extended warranty and take the units back as they break?  I truely don't know why they are failing, but I would not continue to buy them without a warranty.  Then you only have to buy one and get it replaced as it fails.


I only had one fail and it was the return spring for the pull starter. Otherwise it worked like a horse for over a year. Nearly full time use every weekend at least 14 hours each day.



Comment by Dale Marshall on October 10, 2011 at 12:02am
I missed the sale. I was like OMG..I forgot


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