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View Poll Results: Who has spare parts for their Generator on hand?
Fuel line 1 16.67%
Spark plug 3 50.00%
Fuel filter 1 16.67%
Oil 4 66.67%
That plus more 4 66.67%
Don't need that stuff 1 16.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-01-2010, 03:21 PM
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Swampwood Swampwood is offline
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Exclamation Generator Maintenance check!



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I give everyone the homework to go out and start it up

I went out back yesterday, after coming home with 20 gal of the unleaded. Time to fire up the old Genny for a warm-up.. storm season is here.

Low and behold..
1. Float bowl stuck
2. Fuel filter clogged
3. Cracks and hole in the fuel line

Don't forget your regular dry runs, maintenance checks before it's needed!...and to keep ....

1. spare fuel lines
2. fuel filters
3. Carb cleaner and solvent
4. Starting fluid..makes the day sweeter

Well, an hour of carb, filter soaking and a new fuel tube.. I'm in back in business and.... I'm glad I didn't wait until the lights were out!
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:30 PM
Packitup Packitup is offline
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For about $200 you can convert a gasoline generator to run on either propane or gasoline or convert it to propane only.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:37 PM
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I can't see propane being a good idea for me where I'm at..hard to find and has to brought in by truck with limited access roads to my area. I could travel by boat for many miles in all directions to get gas.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:46 PM
Bullets~n~Beans Bullets~n~Beans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampwood View Post
I give everyone the homework to go out and start it up

I went out back yesterday, after coming home with 20 gal of the unleaded. Time to fire up the old Genny for a warm-up.. storm season is here.

Low and behold..
1. Float bowl stuck
2. Fuel filter clogged
3. Cracks and hole in the fuel line

Don't forget your regular dry runs, maintenance checks before it's needed!...and to keep ....

1. spare fuel lines
2. fuel filters
3. Carb cleaner and solvent
4. Starting fluid..makes the day sweeter

Well, an hour of carb, filter soaking and a new fuel tube.. I'm in back in business and.... I'm glad I didn't wait until the lights were out!
Regular maintenence is so very important. All of my small engines get fired up once a month whether they need it or not.

At work our small engines have to be ready for use "right now 24/7" so we start them up and check them weekly. After any amount of use they are not considered back 'in service' until they have been completely clean up, refueled, wiped down and restowed.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:17 AM
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I let it slip for 5 months and this happened.. I have to tighten up.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:25 AM
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We are in the same boat, Swamp. Hubby was going to let neighbor borrow ours but neither one of them could get it started.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packitup View Post
For about $200 you can convert a gasoline generator to run on either propane or gasoline or convert it to propane only.
How do you do that? Have you done it yourself and how did it go? Reliable sources of directions to do it? (EDIT: I just looked online, there are a lot of resources--are any better than others?)

I have a couple spare propane tanks in addition to the one connected to my grill; I'd like to have the backup capability with propane, which I feel more comfortable storing than gasoline.

Any idea as to the number of hours a generator could run off 20# of propane (plus or minus--depends on size, load, etc. I know)? (EDIT: I've looked on line and so far haven't answered this).

Last edited by goose3; 08-02-2010 at 11:50 AM.. Reason: See above
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:54 AM
2.0Dogs 2.0Dogs is offline
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.


Friday, February 27, 2009
Exercise your RV generator. It's important
When I worked at a RV dealership, every spring our service department was booked with appointments for generators that either wouldn't start, or if they did start they had that all too familiar surging sound. This was a result of letting the generator sit for periods of time without starting and exercising it. Lack of use is one of the biggest problems with generators.

If you have a generator, remember to exercise it on a monthly basis. In gasoline generators the fuel breaks down and gums up causing hard starting and surging problems. This can happen in as short a period of time as one month.

Always keep in mind when you use a generator there is carbon monoxide. You should always inspect the exhaust system on the generator set before using it. Do not operate a generator with a damaged exhaust system.

I once thought that I could avoid exercising the generator by adding a fuel preservative to the fuel tank and then running the generator long enough to get the preservative through the generator set. You definitely should use a fuel preservative whenever the unit will be in storage, but there are many other reasons to start and exercise the generator on a regular basis. Moisture build up can cause damage to your generator. When you exercise your generator it heats up the generator windings and eliminates this moisture build up. This monthly exercise regime also lubricates all of the engine seals and components and helps to prevent carbon build up.

SO WHAT DOES EXERCISING YOUR GENERATOR MEAN? For a gasoline generator it means that you start and run the generator with at least a 50 percent load for at least two hours each month. It is extremely important that you run it with this minimum rated load. Generators are designed to run with a load placed on them. Our motorhome has a 4,000 watt generator so I can either turn the roof air conditioner on in the summer time, which is about 2,000 watts or I can use a couple of small portable electric heaters if it's cold out. It's always better to let your generator run for longer periods than it is for short periods. Check your generator owner's manual for load ratings specific to your unit.

The bottom line is don't hesitate to use your generator and when you do use it put a load on it. A little exercise and preventive maintenance will keep you generator in top operating condition and provide many years of faithful service.
Posted by Staff Report at 8:15 AM
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:04 PM
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Thumbs up Generator

Going out to fire mine up right now. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampwood View Post
I can't see propane being a good idea for me where I'm at..hard to find and has to brought in by truck with limited access roads to my area. I could travel by boat for many miles in all directions to get gas.

Propane can be stockpiled and does not go bad like gas.

Assume the electrical grid is down/gone and that's why you're using your generator? Then your boat trip or drive is going to be a waste, gas stations won't be pumping without electricity.


(Just throwing in my 2cents. If I were worried about making electricity after some distaster I'd be banking on propane. Personally, if the SHTF I'm not going to try to depend on electricity, I'll be more worried about food and water)
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:21 PM
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I have a 5500 kw genny and and while it may sit for long periods of time, after I do use it
I follow the directions that came with it. Basically let the genny run until it runs dry (out of gas). Then I change the oil, pull the plug squirt some oil into the cylinder, replace the plug and give it a few pulls to distribute the oil. If the air or fuel filter need maintainance I do it at this time. I store my genny with a cover over it to keep out the dust and dirt. I keep stores of gas in 5 gallon containers with fuel preservatives in it and rotate the fuel into my vehicle every 4 months or so and refill the containers. I usually do this when gas takes a periodic downturn in price if I can. One thing I've learned is that in a large power outage the gas stations can't pump gas without power so storage of a supply of gas is critical!
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:29 PM
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Ran both of mine yesterday. I try to do the monthly maintenance things on the 1st of the month (or thereabouts) so I don't forget them. Time to put the flea/tick stuff on the dogs too!
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:14 AM
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Just out of curiosity, of all those that run their generators dry for storage, how many actually drain the bowl on the carburetor? Normally, I run all my generators a minimum of every couple of months, but I got lazy for quite a while. I was guilty of this and when the generator wouldn't run right, it finally dawned on me to drain the bowl when I drained the tank. Now, since the fuel turned bad in the bowl, I'll be pulling the carb off for cleaning. On mine, the bad fuel messed with the needle valve and started flooding it out.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:35 AM
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I have one I keep in my well house to fire up the pump for the cows if the electricity goes out. I went to grab it the other day to fire up a compressor, and I couldn't even get the fuel cap off. So preventive maintenance is defineately a plus.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixgun67 View Post
Just out of curiosity, of all those that run their generators dry for storage, how many actually drain the bowl on the carburetor? Normally, I run all my generators a minimum of every couple of months, but I got lazy for quite a while. I was guilty of this and when the generator wouldn't run right, it finally dawned on me to drain the bowl when I drained the tank. Now, since the fuel turned bad in the bowl, I'll be pulling the carb off for cleaning. On mine, the bad fuel messed with the needle valve and started flooding it out.
I have never drained the bowl but this sounds like something worth looking into. Some makes may be easier than others to drain. FWIW my genny has sat for 2 years before I needed it and after filling the tank it started right up.
We don't lose power often but when we do it's usually for awhile. last year we lost it for 7 days, the record is 15 days.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goose3 View Post
How do you do that? Have you done it yourself and how did it go? Reliable sources of directions to do it? (EDIT: I just looked online, there are a lot of resources--are any better than others?)

I have a couple spare propane tanks in addition to the one connected to my grill; I'd like to have the backup capability with propane, which I feel more comfortable storing than gasoline.

Any idea as to the number of hours a generator could run off 20# of propane (plus or minus--depends on size, load, etc. I know)? (EDIT: I've looked on line and so far haven't answered this).
ETQ makes a 3500 watt propane model that is rated to run for 13 to 14 hours on a 20# bottle at 50% load.

I can see the conversion kits being worth the money, especially if you already had a gasoline generator. You could convert it cheaper than you could trade for a propane or dual fuel model.

Here is a little tip for those who have a small generator with a fuel pump and gas tank that sits above the engine. My brother has 2 Kawasaki generators and the fuel pump went bad on one of them. He couldn't find parts for the fuel pump. We got to looking at it and the gas tank sits above the carb. so he just bypassed the fuel pump and ran the gas line as a gravity feed to the carb. and it starts and runs better than ever.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:45 PM
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Bumping this up for everyone in Hurricane land.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:30 AM
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Default Important!!!!!!

Here is a reminder that I preach to everyone..... Listen, or it will happen to you.

Do not use gas with ethanol in it at all in anything except your car. The ethanol breaks down and will gum up your carb after sitting for a while. People say its ok if you use stabil or similar. Its not. Several of my buddies have had boat, motorcycle problems with this fuel. I will not put that crap into my genny, boat, skis, lawnmower, chainsaw ever again. You will be wise not to. If you cant find it, call a boat dealer and Im sure they can tell you where to buy it.

ALso, run your Genny dry if its going to sit for a while. minimum would be to turn the fuel line off and run the carb dry. But I keep mine empty, then every few months I pour a little into the tank, fire it up, and run her til shes empty. And I havent had any trouble with ANY of my stuff since using non eth.

TRUST ME ON ALL THIS. If not, do a little research on the web and you will find similar stories.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:52 AM
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I'd like to echo some things that have been said here, and throw out my own 2 cents. This is coming from my experience as a shop foreman at an RV dealership.

1) Exercise your generator at least an hour a month under load. Don't just crank it up and let it run, make sure something is attached and drawing power. 80% of the generator repairs we did were carb-related because people didn't run them regularly.

2) I see a lot of people talk about going with propane generators. My recommendation is to stay away from LP gens. They are horribly inefficient when compared to gas or diesel. Additionally, you will probably have issues with "freeze-up" when running LP, particularly in humid areas. All of the fittings/valves have to be exactly right, and even then you may have problems. I have always recommended to customers that they avoid LP generators, especially where RV's are concerned.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:38 AM
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Every 6 months I fire my generator up test the electrical output and RPM. I always use Stabil in the fuel turn the fuel valve off and run it till it quits before putting away. Another good idea is to use synthetic oil in the motor it will run 18%-20% cooler and its lubrication properties exceed standard petroleum oils it also extends maintenance intervals. In a SHTF senario maintenance like oil will be a hard comodity to come by. I also have extra oil filters and air filters on hand. I use to service generators in a small engine shop and it always amazed me during black outs that that was when most discovered they had problems with their generators we would sell alot at that point as well, more money then common sense I guess LOL
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