In Brief: Sportsman GENTRi9K Portable Generator
Sportsman GENTRi9K Portable Generator seems like a decent generator at the price range but with some limitations. We would say that there are some units that you must consider before buying it, as there are a lot of better options out there. Explore and find out.
Sportsman is a brand of great name and popularity because of the kind of generators and products it brings to the market.
The tri-fuel option the company provides in its generators is one of the factors that have gained popularity to the company.
The generator we talk about today is the Sportsman GENTRi9K tri-fuel powered generator. Like the name suggests, it is a generator that can run on three fuels and provide 7200 Watts of running and 9000 Watts of surge power.
We will get into the detailed review of the product, of course, since you’re here for the same; but before we get started with the evaluation, here is a YouTube video to take you through a tour for the product:
And here is how our product looks like:
Design, Dimensions & Weight
The body of the generator is like any other conventional generator. With an iron frame around the components and the control panel on the front, it looks quite neat and organized.
The body comes with wheels for enhanced portability in lawns and camping sites so that you can place it depending on your convenience.
Along with this, it comes with a fold-away handle so when you do have to take it to places, moving it about won’t be much of a problem.
The dimensions of the unit, following the conventional L×W×H rule, are 31”×25”×26”, respectively. Talking of the weight, it weighs 216 pounds, which is heavy enough and can not to be carried around.
Evidently, the unit is bulky, but having wheels makes portability a lot better. The two wheels are placed towards the back along with two-foot stands on the front, so placing the unit at a specific place wouldn’t let it roll away.
The unit isn’t the best choice if portability is your prime concern. It is quite bulky as compared to some of the other models.
Table: The product is heavier than most of the generators in the market
The engine of the Sportsman GENTRi9K is a 420cc 15 horsepower 4 stroke OHV engine with a frequency of 60 Hz.
The unit having such an engine is capable of powering up all the basic appliances of your home and maybe also a bit more.
Including your refrigerator, TV, incandescent bulbs, fans, dryers, washing machines, coffee makers; at the time of power outage, you can be absolutely carefree of the amount of power you consume.
For the output generation, the generator has a rating of 7200 Watts (continuous power) and 9000 Watts (surge power).
With the given power rating, you can operate even the heavier and more power-consuming electronics.
Continuous power and surge power, in case you’ve been wondering, are not the same. Continuous power is the power an appliance draws throughout the time it is operating. The consumption will be continuous in this case.
In surge power, the appliance will draw a momentary or instantaneous amount of power to power itself up, and this additional power is termed at peak wattage.
For power output, the generator disappoints the audience when it comes to comparison with some of the most popular units.
A lot of other generators have better power output and can be other options for you to consider.
Table: The power output is not the best
Fuel and Noise
The biggest advantage of this unit is its capability of utilizing three kinds of fuels for its operation and not just one.
The fuel used should be 100% contamination-free and free from sulphur, water and dust which can be harmful for the engine.
If these things aren’t paid attention to, the service time may be shortened.
- The fuels to be used can be LPG, Natural Gas or Gasoline.
- Make sure that if you’re using LPG, you will have to first connect the regulator hose to the Natural Gas Tank and then to the gas inlet.
- If you’re using natural gas, you must get in touch with a qualified technician before the installation.
- If you’re using gasoline for the fuel, the company recommends it to be unleaded gasoline with 87 octane rating or higher.
Noise is a huge concern for many of the consumers out there. It is very difficult to find a generator with more power rating and less noise levels; which is the case here, too.
The rated noise level for the generator is 80 dBs, which is very loud for operation in the neighborhood.
You can expect a few knocks on your door regarding the issue with the noise, so if you plan on buying this unit, be prepared.
CARB compliance is one of the major factors in deciding whether a generator is indeed capable and competent enough or not.
The unit here is CARB compliant and thus, meets all the emission regulations and is safe to operate in the Californian regions, thus, broadening its consumer space overall.
The engine tank capacity for the model as stated by the company is 7.4 gallons or 28 litres.
This does leave behind a couple of its competitors since a tank capacity beyond 25 litres isn’t very common and something you get for the given price range.
The generator runs for almost 10 hours on full tank at 50% load capacity, which makes it reliable enough for long power outages in states prone to hurricanes and floods.
Similar to the power output generation, the noise levels aren’t very impressive. If you’re looking for a quiet unit, this, perhaps, isn’t the best option for you.
Table: The noise levels are very high for the GENTRi9K
When it comes to fuel capacity, the unit does pretty well. The tank capacity is better than a lot of generators, and so, is a good option to consider.
Table: The fuel capacity of the unit is fairly better
Corresponding to the fuel capacity, one would expect the generator to have decent operational hours as well. This isn’t the case here.
Table: The operational hours of the unit aren’t very remarkable
Display & Control Panel
The control panel of the unit is neatly organized and the normal and RV outlets are well and distinctly visible. We here provide an image of the control panel so you can have a rough idea of the basic features this unit has to offer:
- 120V AC Outlet: This receptacle provides 120V AC supply to the appliances connected to the outlet.
- Reset: The reset button enables you to protect the unit from overloads, thus saving the generator and your appliances from grave damages.
- 120V RV: This outlet has an output supply of 120V for RV connections to the generator.
- 240/120V AC: This receptacle is capable of providing both 240 and 120V AC current to your appliances, depending on your power needs.
- DC Reset: The DC reset button works in a similar way to the reset button mentioned above, only difference being that this one is designed for handling the DC outputs.
- 12V DC: This outlet supplied 12V DC current for battery charging purposes.
- Engine Switch: The engine switch is used to turn the engine on, off and switch it to run position while it is operating.
Start Up and Shut down
Performing proper start up and shut down of any unit is not really a task, but it for sure might seem like one if you don’t know the proper way and methods of doing so.
Starting and shutting the unit properly is very important, so as to protect your generator from any malfunctions, and for a healthier operating life of the unit as well.
Make sure that before you attempt to do either, all loads should be disconnected from the generator. Here is the full and detailed procedure to do the following:
- Connect one end of the red cable to the positive terminal and the other one to the solenoid.
- Connect one end of the black cable to the negative terminal and the other one to the bolt located on the mounting bracket frame.
- If using LPG:
Connect the regulator to the propane fuel tank and the other end should be connected to the gas inlet. The LPG cylinder should be mounted erect and vertical.
- If using natural gas:
Contact a qualified technician or specialist before the entire installation process.
- Turn the engine switch to on position.
- Turn the choke lever to closed position.
For recoil start
- Pull the recoil handle firmly until slight resistance is felt. Then pull rapidly. Do not let it snap back.
- When the engine has started, return the recoil handle back to its original position.
- For electric start:
- Turn the key to stat position and hold it like so momentarily until the engine comes to life.
- When the engine is started, release the key and turn the choke lever to open position.
- Disconnect all the electrical loads from the generator to avoid any kinds of damages.
- Let the unit run on zero load for a couple minutes to stabilize its internal temperatures.
- Turn the engine switch off.
- If the unit is operating on LP propane or natural gas, then turn the fuel tank valve to off position.
With a couple of bonus features, any product is capable of outshining even the most popular brands and establish its own benchmark.
Here are some of the additional features to this product that make it worth the money you spend.
- Dual Starting Modes: With the inclusion of both recoil as well as electric start modes, it enhances the users’ convenience to a great extent.
- Wheel Kit Included: With the inclusion of the wheel kit, the portability becomes very convenient, as moving such a bulky unit around without the help of those would have been quite a job.
The warranty period that the company services the product for is 2 years. The warranty, though, is generally 3 years for a lot of other models belonging to the same spectrum.
The consumers are entitled to claim the warranty on their product starting right from the date of original purchase of the product.
There are some exclusions as to when you won’t be entitled to claim the warranty on your product. The exclusions and terms and conditions on the warranty services can be found on the following link: http://www.sportsmanseriesbrand.com/warranty.html
For further details, you can visit:
Care and Maintenance
Proper and periodic care and maintenance of every product you buy is very vital. Not only it ensures a longer and fit operation of your generator but it also keeps it safe from all kinds of malfunctions and damages.
Thus, it is strongly recommended to follow these procedures at the specified frequencies:
- Every Use: Change the engine oil since stale oil might cause corrosion. Clean the air filter and fuel filter cap. Check the spark plug and change if need seems.
- Every Month: Check the engine oil level and the air filter as well. Repeat all which you would on every use.
- Every 3 Months: Check and change the engine oil as well as the air filter. Check the spark plug and clean the fuel filler cap.
- Every 6 Months: Check the engine oil level and clean the air filter and spark plug, too.
- Every Year: Check and replace the engine oil and the air filter. Clean the fuel filler cap and check the spark plug.
Consumer Review Analysis
For the most honest and transparent view of any product, the best place to check is the customer reviews section. We visited a couple of websites and recorded the customers’ experiences and their likes and dislikes for the product.
What customers like:
- Sturdiness: The customers praise how the unit is sturdy and strong, which enhances the ease of use and portability to a great extent. Bonus points on the body and its build.
- Tri-Fuel: Being capable of operating on three fuels, it is the most popular feature of consideration among the audience. The consumers are pleased with this unbeatable addition.
- Powerful: the reliability of the unit is pretty decent. The power rating, the run time and tank capacity – together all of them make this generator a very solid unit overall.
- Assembly: Assembling and putting the generator together is very easy unlike some of the units where arranging the parts together is a big task. The customers could easily fit it together and they are appreciative of the ease of use of the generator.
What customers dislike:
- Expensive: Though originally priced at $1597, it is available at HomeDepot for $889, yet, some consumers feel that for the set of features this generator offers, it could have been slightly cheaper.
- Customer Service: The consumers point out how the customer service of the company is a little unresponsive. This is a factor that can be improved which will definitely help the company grow.
- Noise: A lot of customers have expressed their concern on the noise levels. The generator is noisy compared to a lot of models of the same range and specs, and this is a very vital point where this generator lacks.
The pros and cons of the product are the most basic and prime factor of deciding whether to invest your money on a particular product or not. Here are the set of pros and cons of the Sportsman GENTRi9K:
- Tri Fuel: The feature that makes it the best choice among a lot of products is its inclusion of 3 fuels for its operation. The generator utilizes LP, NG and Gas and we think it’s a major bonus to the unit.
- CARB Compliant: Meeting the emission regulations of the Californian Air Board, the Californian audience can also buy it without any worries.
- Fold-Away Handle: This added feature makes a lot of difference to the portability and makes the unit even more convenient to carry about.
- Power Rating: Being rated at 7200/9000 Watts, the generator is capable of powering up all the basic appliances of your house at times of power outages so you never have to worry about your generator dying at odd times because of excess power consumption.
- Dual Starting Modes: With both recoil and electric modes of starting the generator, the user can have the unit to run as per their suitability.
- Battery Inclusion: The batteries in the unit are not included, and you will have to purchase your own battery with the specifications: 1/8″ L x 6″ H x 3″ W, 130 Min CCA (Cold Cranking Amps).
- Noisy: Aforementioned how the unit has a decibel rating of 80 dBs, the unit is pretty noisy. If your preference is a quiet or almost silent generator, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for.
- Bulky: Weighing 216 lbs, porting the unit to long or greater distances can be a huge task.
- Warranty Limited: The warranty being 2 years for consumer and 1 year for commercial purposes, it is a little less compared to a lot of generators of the same range.
This section is pretty much one of the most searched and most demanded part when someone has or is planning to buy a unit. Here are some of those FAQs answered for your simplicity and clearer view:
Will the box include a 30 Amp cord?
No. If you use natural gas, you should provide a natural gas hose as well as the cord. However, the propane hose comes with the box.
Where can the natural gas line be bought?
To run it on natural gas, you will need a regulator. You can purchase it online or offline.
With a 20-pound propane tank, how long can the unit run for?
The run time is approximately 7 hours.
Is the generator quiet?
With a decibel rating of 80, the sound levels of the generator are not very low. It can be heard distinctly even from afar.
Does the generator come with inverter technology to operate sensitive equipment?
The generator can power up appliances at home but it isn’t safe enough to operate sensitive electronics as it produces poor harmonic distortion.
What battery should be purchased for the electric start?
The battery as recommended in the manual is the Expert Power EXP12120 12 Volt 12 Amp rechargeable battery.
What is the minimum gas pressure that should be ideally there?
The supplied pressure should be 4-6 ounces or 7-11 inches WC.
What is the warranty period of the generator?
The warranty is 1 year limited for commercial purposes and 2 years for residential purposes.
To connect the generator, should it be connected to the household circuitry or directly to the appliances?
To power your equipment, you will need a transfer switch which should be connected to the breaker box.
What is the size fitting for the LP and NG?
The generator ideally has a 3/8” flair fitting.
Price-wise, the generator stands better compared to some of the units in the market. If you’re on a budget, you can consider buying this unit.
Based on all the pros and cons, here are our scores for all the aspects of the Sportsman GENTRi9K.
- Price – Standing at the second position on the price, the unit gets some points for being really affordable. 8.5/10.
- Performance-Based on the audiences’ reviews, the unit seems to be an average product in the spectrum. 7/10.
- Ease of Use – Operating on three fuels, it enhances the convenience in a great way, and so, wins extra points here. 8/10.
- Noise – Quietness isn’t what the generator specializes in, and is pretty noisy when compared to others. 6.5/10.
- Fuel Tank capacity – The tank capacity is fairly well for the unit. We rate it a 8/10.
- Overall – The overall score for the generator from our side is 7.5/10.
After looking at all facets of the product, we see it as a decent enough unit, though, we would say that there are some units that you must consider before buying it, as there are a lot of better options out there. Explore and find out.
Accessories enhance the durability and also the ease of use to a great level. Owning some accessories for your product is always a good idea; so here are few of them that you can consider spending your money on, too:
Generator Battery: Since the box is not inclusive of the battery, purchasing one will have to be a necessity. It will be required if you want to use the electric start to power your generator up, and here is where you can buy it here>
Generator Cover: Getting a cover for the generator will make it 100% weather and dustproof. If you’ll be storing the product in for a long time, this is one product that you should definitely consider buying>
Transfer Switch: To connect your generator to the appliances, you are going to need a transfer switch, which you can buy at any local store or online.
Overall, as we went through the specs and performance and all other features this product had to offer you for the price, it seems a pretty decent choice to make if you’re looking for some portable power to last you at times of power outages.
If it does not suit your needs, explore and compare the unit to different ones, and find your perfect fit! Happy shopping!
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