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Kipor sinemaster KGE 2000 Ti generator with digital invertor hands-on experiences
Monday, 28 January 2008
We’ve been travelling with a Kipor Sinemaster KGE 2000 Ti for almost 2 years now. It’s a Chinese build generator rated at 1600 Watts using a 220 volts digitally simulated Sine wave. Although it still works when we need it, getting it to work wasn’t always such happy experience. Based on the many times and circumstances we used the Kipor Sinemaster KGE 2000 Ti, to our opinion it’s absolutely essential to have some knowledge of it’s internals. Without you’ll definitely end up without power in rogue conditions. Also read about running a portable WOLF 9000 AC unit on the Kipor Sinemaster KGE 2000 Ti. The Kipor Sinemaster KGE 2000 Ti is a generator in the low to mid price range with reasonable performance. I didn’t have high expectations but at least expected it to work when needed. So far it did but it took quite a bit of fiddling with its internals.

Kipor generator starting / crank problems

The first few times the Sinemaster KGE 2000 Ti started without any problem. It needs about 6 -10 pulls on the starter cord to get going. Sometimes a few more with a growing feeling if it will ever start.

The first “no-start” was because of a low-oil level warning. Checking oil level wasn’t really a convincing “low oil” level but adding a bit more oil made it start again. Looking back it was probably because of a tilt in the terrain – the oil got to one side in the sump simulating a low oil condition. It didn’t had any signs of high oil consumption, specially not after a few hours of use. After this it ran without a problem for several hours.

The next “no start” came after 3-4 minutes operations. Enough petrol, enough oil, level surface and clean air-filter – it should start. So next check was the ignition. The sparkplug was a little black but not totally dirty. After cleaning it, the Kipor started again and ran for several uninterrupted hours. Still the spark plug cleaning didn’t feel like it was the reason for the no-start.

From here used the Kipor several times, no problems. Even at higher altitudes where the Kipor manual suggested fitting different fuel jet which we didn’t have. Even at 2500 meters it started immediately without any tinkering to the carburettor.

So far so good, but the next “no-start” was a hard one. Including spark plug cleaning it just didn’t start at an altitude of 1000 meters. And the spark plug really gave a clear spark…did it? Checking again it didn’t spark even when removing the cable plug, no spark. Overload was not possible because there wasn’t anything connected. Again a lot of checking, everything seemed ok. It should start but it didn’t – even up to a blister on my fingers from the cord. The manual said contact service.

Kipor generator ignition switch blocked

Anyhow at that time I was in Almora – Uttaranchal – India.
Kipor TGE 2000Ti Ignition switch
Sand blocked the ignition switch
So I basically I’m the service guy myself. It was a quick decision, take the darn thing apart. After about one-hour I had checked the carburettor fuel jet, fuel lines, cables anything. Nothing wrong here. Then my eye fell on the on-off switch – it’s a joined fuel and ignition lock. The small ignition switch was a bit dirty – sand has stuck to it.  Looking closer I saw a small grain of sand wedged between the switch button and the housing. That was the reason of the “no-spark” situation. This el-cheapo switch can very easily jam with sand – it has no protective cover. Specially beach sand can easily slip inside through the vent holes in the bottom. Also the wire clamps on this switch felt like they could easily slide off because of vibration. Anyhow this was the cause of a 3 hour service session and a tour of the internal components of the Kipor Sinemaster KGE 2000 Ti. This was after an estimated use of about 50 hours.

While taking the Kipor Sinemaster apart I noticed the sump breather hose connected to the air filter was bend and almost closed.

Also the fuel jet inside the carburettor was fixed so tight it didn’t turn without damaging it. I left it there and cleaned it with air pressure. The rest of wiring and components seemed ok to me.

Kipor Generator Fuel Pump Leak

The next situation wasn’t a classic “no-start” but one of serious danger.
Kipor TGE 2000Ti fuel pump
Leaking pulse membrane fuelpump
This was in Dubai at the beach after several cloudy days with rain. Having filled the fuel tank I  noticed a fuel leak. I was checking for the infamous “grain of sand in the ignition switch” and instead I saw fuel dripping on the same switch! The drips came from the fuel pump – not good! In fact very dangerous – I already imagined myself extinguishing the generator in flames. I drained the fuel tank and opened the whole thing again. The fuel pump housing didn’t show any cracks and under pressure it seemed ok too. It has a vent hole in the middle which could probably leak fuel from there. But it didn't. Had I overfilled the fuel tank?  The fuel pump housing is at the same level of the middle of the fuel tank. I couldn’t find the cause and assembled the whole thing again. Filled up the tank with a cautious 1 litre of petrol. No leak. 2 litres no leak. I decided I’d give it a test run first well away from anything. It ran for about 1,5 hour without any fuel leak. So far I kept the cause to overfilling the fuel tank, however I’m not totally sure. From a safety point of view a rather dangerous situation anyhow.

Kipor Inverter

For the digital inverter part there’s one thing I find particularly significant. When the generator runs out of fuel it does so with a revs going up and down during a few seconds until it dies. In this short period the inverter doesn’t disconnects itself but outputs a messy alternating sine wave. When it’s running at full load (1600 Watts) it’s not pretty to see that going up and down in just a few seconds. I expected the inverter to shut down at the first glitch and hold it down till the engine is off. It doesn’t - that’s a potential cause for damage to connected devices. And there is no warning when fuel is low – there’s only guessing or have a look inside the fuel tank with a torch.

For use in rogue conditions I can recommend taking a few extra things like:

-    Hand fuel pump (to empty the fuel tank for transport)
-    Watt meter to measure the amount of power connected
-    Engine oil in case the level is just a little too low.
-    Spare spark plug
-    Spare fuel jet
-    Spare fuel pump

Kipor Generator Performance

Looking back at the performance of the Kipor Sinemaster KGE 2000 Ti I can only say it’s not for those with zero-knowledge of combustion engines and electrics. The manual is written for an audience with a basic technical knowledge and a way with tools. There’s a lot about safety in the manual, almost every page has some warning. Would I buy it again? Probably yes, specially now knowing a bit more of it’s internals. It’ll probably last longer than the 50 hours of use so far. Spending triple the amount for a Honda generator of the same output rating to me isn’t worth it for only 50 hours of use over 2 years of use over 2 years.

Update 6 februari 2008::

After about 60 hours of operation the vacuum fuel pump has started leaking. Probable cause are freezing temperatures in Iran. The membrane of the fuelpump is leaking fuel - fuel comes through the vent openings of the vacuum side of the fuelpump. Temporary patch is to close these 2 holes with screws - leaking stops. When fuel is leaking it drips right on the ignition switch. Sand inside the housing can easily stick to the switch causing it to jam.

Update 8 februari 2008::

The fuel pump is a pulse / membrane fuel pump type. This type is used in many small engines where the fuel tank is positioned lower than the carburator. The pump uses the pressure of the sump to supply the carburator with fuel. The official Kipor fuel pump is sold for an outragous price - and it's a non serviceable. I'll look for a replacement other than Kipor.

Update 13 february 2008::

Honda eu20i fuel pump
Honda eu20i fuel pump
The Kipor Vacuum or Pulse fuel pump is replaced by an original HONDA eu20i fuel pump. The generator runs smoothly again. The part number for the HONDA eu20i fuel pump is 16700-ZT3-013 and costs 70 AED (€ 13,13 or 18 US$) in Dubai at the Trading Enterprises Company LLC located at the Sheik Zayed Road.

The leaking fuel pump causes side effects on the operation of the generator. In this case the pulse pressure from the sump leaked into the fuel line going to the carburetor. This causes the tiny fuel valve in the carburetor to open on the extra pressure. The carburetor overflows with fuel and the engine drowns. The excess fuel leaks out of the overflow tube at the bottom of the generator casing. Next to this, when the carburetor is not overflowing, the engine runs intermitted irregular with fuel and compressed air coming from the sump in the carburetor.

Honda and Kipor fuel pump
Kipor Sinemaster KGE 2000Ti Fuel pump
The probable cause for the Kipor fuel pump to start leaking is storage at freezing temperatures. The fuel pump can’t be drained easily. Below zero the fuel inside the housing can expand a little and can damage the membrane.

Update 17 October 2008::

The KIPOR KGE 2000 Ti can run the WOLF 9000 Portable AC unit easily. This 0.75 Ton AC unit comes with several handy features for cooling, dehumidification and timed control. Read about engine and generator run mobile AC units in our 2008 summer article.  

Update 6 november 2008::

Carburetor overflow! Again! - with fuel leaking from the drain tube. Inspection of the carburetor produced a tiny grain of sand in the closure valve with the rubber tip. Cause? Filling the petrol tank without the filter. It goes quicker but can result in dirt getting in the fuel lines.  
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