Woke up pre-dawn to the sound of a UPS beeping. Sure enough, the power is out. Check the temperature... ZERO degrees. Nice! I waited 15-mins or so and then used my phone to report the outage on the power company website.
Next step - fire up the generator which is a Honda EU6500is.
It is in an unheated area and I always keep a battery tender attached. I flip the key and it cranks normally.... and cranks....... and cranks. WTF? Over the next 10-15 mins I intermittently crank the engine until the tiny internal battery is near depleted. This beast has a pull starter but it pulls sooo hard that even during the summer pulling the rope just drags the 250 lb generator across the porch. I'm starting to get quite disappointed as this generator has always started although I never tried it when it was quite this cold. I run it every other month, I use non-Ethanol gas, I change the oil and install a new spark plug every November...you know... always ready to go (or so I thought).
My last resort was to get my Clore JNC660 jump box out of the car and try hooking it to the internal generator battery. The internal battery is equivalent to a small motorcycle battery and luckily I was able to just barely get the large alligator clamps to make contact on the tiny terminals.
So again... crank... crank... crank... intermittently over the next 30-mins with warm-up breaks in the house. I was just starting to gather up my stuff and get ready for the house to start getting cold when I though I crank one more time and VIOLA.... the b*stard sprang to life. I was never so glad to hear the purr of an engine in my life.
I must say though that I am quite disappointed in Mr. Honda as it failed to perform when the chips were really down. On the flip-side, Mr. JNC660 jump box proved to be a life saver and performed admirably.
Thinking about what I can possibly do differently... even though I run it every other month perhaps I should run it every other week as long as this sub-freezing weather continues which is supposed to be for at least another week. They were already calling for daytime highs of 10F and night time lows of 3F for the next few days but we already have that beat.
It's now 9:40am and I'm just sitting here now waiting for my PowerBack alarm to start tweedle-deedling to let me know the power has returned.
UPDATE: just received a text message from power company saying repairs are delayed... no ETA on restoration. Nice.