The Generac 6866 iq2000 Portable Generator with 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts
If you are new to the Generac name, you probably want to know: How do their portable generators stack up to Honda? Where are they made? What can they power? We will answer these questions and more as we take a look at these nifty little machines.
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- 1 The Generac 6866 iq2000 Portable Generator with 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts
First, let’s talk about the features
The Generac iQ is a true sine wave inverter generator. Being an inverter generator means that the power output is electronically controlled and this gives the generator some advantages. The engine can run at variable speeds, depending on load. This can save on fuel, wear and tear on the generator, and reduce noise when you are not pushing the generator to its max. True sine wave means that it will work well for electronic devices.
The generator operates in three modes, economy, standard, and turbo. You select the mode, depending how much load you need it to power. There is a load meter, called a power bar, that can help you select the level and keep you from overloading the machine.
There is a handy light up fuel gauge, so you don’t have to open or try to look through the fuel tank, to know how much fuel you have. Even handier, it calculates an estimated run time remaining, at your current burn rate.
This model is parallel ready. This means, you can buy two generators and run them, in parallel, to supply power to one system, such as an RV, through an optional Parallel kit. The kit comes with a single 30-amp 120V twistlock receptacle. This gives you the ability to run one generator when you don’t need much power and two when you need more. RVs usually come equipped to be supplied with this type of receptacle.
What do the wattage numbers mean?
The first number is the 1600 watts. This is the maximum load the generator can sustain continuously. The second number is 2000 starting watts. When many appliances, such as refrigerators and air conditioners start, they use more power than when running. This generator can supply a 400 watts of extra power for these appliance to start.
So, what can I run with it?
The short answer to this is, you can probably run your refrigerator or a small window air conditioner with one generator and your RV air conditioner or a large window unit with two generators running in parallel. You can also see the label label on your appliance to find out how much power it needs. For a more detailed answer, see our article on portable generator sizing.
Generac vs Honda
It’s well known in the generator world, that Honda is the company to beat, or even meet in quality, loudness, and portability. Yet, it is the Generac name that comes out on top in google searches. In a search for “standby generator,” brand dominates the top three spots. One spot is with its own site and the other is by the two largest retailers mentioning Generac in their site descriptions. It’s not until the 4th spot that another brand is even mentioned.
In a search for “portable generator,” It’s mostly retailers on top. Further down, Generac actually beats Honda in this search for the product they are supposed to dominate. This makes sense though. Generators are to Generac, what cars are to Honda. It’s been their bread and butter since they were founded in 1959. Generac is the home generator pioneer all others are out to beat.
All this said, Generac has come and gone from the portable market and is a recent new re-entrant into this market. It came back in 2008. So, the company has not has as many years of recent experience making, marketing, and refining small generators. There is less information for people to have opinions about as other top brands.
Generac makes a big deal about their generator being the quietest generator on the market. They mention it on ads and on YouTube. There they do a nonscientific measurement by testing one of each brand’s generators with a meter. Generac wins but not by much. The reality is, the inverter generator is just a quieter technology. If you need something quieter, you’ll need to step over to solar.
The Last thing you want to have happen, is when the power goes out, your generators is out too. So how does this machine stack up? The generators is rated at 4 stars vs 4 ½ stars for a Honda. This means there are a few more people having troubles with it than Honda. A lot of them seem to have with things I suspect are user error. A few got returned. Some people had trouble getting it to start. None complained of noise. The Honda issues were similar except there were some complaints of noise. The majority of users of both generators had good experiences but Honda did have better customer satisfaction and fewer 1 star reviews.
There are a couple differences in the operations of the two machines. The Generac has different modes, depending on the load that you must manually select. The Honda does not. Generac makes like this is a feature but I see it as a bug. It means it’s one more thing to think about and do when loading your generator and when changing the load. The Honda will adjust on its own.
Parallel operation works differently, as well. For Generac, there is a separate hardware with a 30 amp receptacle to parallel them. With Honda, there are two different versions of the generator. One is a companion generator. To get a 30 amp socket you need one of these companions, as the socket is on the generator itself. The hardware to connect them, amounts to just wires though.
Where are they made?
They are made in Wisconsin.
The Bottom Line
These are nice little machines. They cost less than their closest competitors but Generac has had less time in the portable market to work out kinks. All products come with some risk of defect, when you purchase them, Even Honda. The Generac has a little more risk than other top brands but their customer service is quick to respond. Generac Generator Dealers include Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowes.