dangit! generator won't start

noddaduma

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I just had to post here to vent about Murphy's Law and generators before big storms.

Performing my monthly and pre-big-storm generator check today, and it doesn't start. Several hours later, here I am looking for carb rebuild kits:

Let me summarize the chain of events.

- Key was left in "on" position. Battery's drained. Ok so I'll recharge it.
- Antique hand-me-down battery charger which survived my moving van fire but apparently not forever is finally not working.
That's fine, I go get one at Wal-Mart.
- Wait 5 hours for battery to charge. Decide to stain a bookshelf while waiting. Forgot to change into project pants and ruined a good pair of
jeans (I'll take the blame on this one).
- Generator turns over, starts, but dies right away.
- Check gas. Gas smells like turpentine. What?! Arrrr. I think back to last month when I ran all the older gas thru and then filled it with new gas.

Apparently it was not new gas :( I smell the gas can I had used...the can sitting right next to the bottle of fuel stabilizer. It's bad too. Somehow that can of gas made it past my preparation process.

Drain gas and put new gas in. It still starts and dies. That tells me that I have a nice coat of varnish inside the carb / clogging the jets.

So I need to rebuild the carb. Ok, that's fine. Call around to find a repair kit locally. That's when it hits me. It's New Year's Day!! *shakes fist at the gods* I decide to share some new oaths and curses with the neighborhood.

I have been defeated by Murphy's Law. I want to give up. But of course I can't. Big snow a comin'.

My wife is out on errands, and so I asked her to look for Mechanic in a Bottle or Sea-Foam. Maybe that will help. I'm also wondering if I should go ahead and tear the carb down, clean it out, and put it back together w/ the old gasket (o-rings?) just to get through this storm. I learned long ago on cars of old that reusing old carburetor gaskets is a bad idea (runs rough, leaks), but I figure at least it'll get me through the storm in case our power goes out.

Ok I feel better. Going to pour myself a stiff one.
 

fencer

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That Sea foam is awesome stuff and where it turned over, it may do the trick.

I treat every can of gas i fill with it before I leave the gas station.
 

Fixxah

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I would use the old gasket. They hardly ever break. Carb cleaner or an air gun will clean the jets in a jiffy. Might want to have a spare kit after all is said and done.

-Proud to be dad every day, a licensed plumber most days, and wish I was a shoemaker on others.
 

blindfire

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I just had to post here to vent about Murphy's Law and generators before big storms.

Performing my monthly and pre-big-storm generator check today, and it doesn't start. Several hours later, here I am looking for carb rebuild kits:

Let me summarize the chain of events.

- Key was left in "on" position. Battery's drained. Ok so I'll recharge it.
- Antique hand-me-down battery charger which survived my moving van fire but apparently not forever is finally not working.
That's fine, I go get one at Wal-Mart.
- Wait 5 hours for battery to charge. Decide to stain a bookshelf while waiting. Forgot to change into project pants and ruined a good pair of
jeans (I'll take the blame on this one).
- Generator turns over, starts, but dies right away.
- Check gas. Gas smells like turpentine. What?! Arrrr. I think back to last month when I ran all the older gas thru and then filled it with new gas.

Apparently it was not new gas :( I smell the gas can I had used...the can sitting right next to the bottle of fuel stabilizer. It's bad too. Somehow that can of gas made it past my preparation process.

Drain gas and put new gas in. It still starts and dies. That tells me that I have a nice coat of varnish inside the carb / clogging the jets.

So I need to rebuild the carb. Ok, that's fine. Call around to find a repair kit locally. That's when it hits me. It's New Year's Day!! *shakes fist at the gods* I decide to share some new oaths and curses with the neighborhood.

I have been defeated by Murphy's Law. I want to give up. But of course I can't. Big snow a comin'.

My wife is out on errands, and so I asked her to look for Mechanic in a Bottle or Sea-Foam. Maybe that will help. I'm also wondering if I should go ahead and tear the carb down, clean it out, and put it back together w/ the old gasket (o-rings?) just to get through this storm. I learned long ago on cars of old that reusing old carburetor gaskets is a bad idea (runs rough, leaks), but I figure at least it'll get me through the storm in case our power goes out.

Ok I feel better. Going to pour myself a stiff one.
The better and more relevant question is, "How is your booze supply?".
 

W.E.C

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spray the crap out of the carb with carb cleaner gumout. ,take off the filter and poke it in past the choke.

a little fresh high octane gas in the carb- spray in starting fluid to start it. check fuel line from tank.

worked on my honda engine. ymmv.
 
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Sounds like a stuck float or needle valve.. Take the carb apart and clean it well with gumout making sure gas will flow thru the ports. Reassemble with the old gaskets
 

RHJJ

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If it is a Honda engine or knock off? Pull the fuel bowl and spray carp cleaner into the pickup tube. This has worked for me and saves time pulling carb.
 

noddaduma

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Ok the wife just got back with some mechanic in a bottle. I did manage to keep it up and running, so that stuff is cycling through now with fresh gas. We'll see how it goes.


The better and more relevant question is, "How is your booze supply?".
My supply is Excellent. If I have to rebuild the carb, at least I'll be able to do it drunk!





Shelter in place.

Haha yeah right. :D Up here in NH (as you'll soon find out) we join the many throngs driving around to see how bad the roads are. It's a family outing!
 

Chris

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I have always worried about missing the stabilize step. Part of the putting cans in the car to go get fuel is to put the stabilizer in then. This way, I get 3 chances.

1. Stick it in when I load the cans
2. Add it when at pump
3. Add when I get back home.

The one time I opened the cans and found them dry, I stopped, wrote a note and stuck it to the can. Remembered when I got home. Still have the residue of the duct tape on that jug.

All gas cans get stabilized regardless of what time of year. Only gas in the car is never treated. The scooter gets treated from Sept to April.

As for the genny, the best move now is to try the chemicals mentioned above. Once you get it running with good gas, that should flush/dissolve any problems. Let it run a while and be sure to put a load on it.

Telepathically uploaded via Google implants.
 

Golddiggie

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There is plenty of puckers and margarita mix to make up for it.
Not to me there's not... I don't drink those things, so they have little value to me. I use vodka (Skyy) to make vanilla extract, otherwise I'd never buy it.

Oh, and I have something in the neighborhood of 30 gallons of beer in keg (plus additional fermented items). So, to me, he's really light. [rofl2]
 

Palladin

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I was going to make fun of you for that first pantry pic, but the White Birch makes up for the lame selection of hard stuff.
This, exactly what I was going to say.... Maraschino cherrys ???? Where's the JD or Old Grandad ??? Those are the staples of any good storm!
 

noddaduma

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Ahem.

Those are Maraschino cherries in white lightning



Honestly, I lost my taste for JD and the like back in high school some 25 or so years ago. Only type of that stuff I've had since were celebratory bottles of Glenfiddich after successful missiles shots when I worked for the Navy. I'm pretty much a beer guy these days. That first shelf is mostly the wifey's. She bought a shaker with some mix drink recipes on them so we've been buying ingredients as she tries new drinks.
 
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Just spray out the carb with carb cleaner. The tiny holes that feed the jets are what plugs up generally. It probably dies as soon as the choke opens due to a lack of fuel. This is why I run mine out of fuel every time I use it. If there is no fuel in the carb it cant gel up.
 

noddaduma

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I haven't seen Everclear for sale since I left the South. My brother and I would mix Everclear with Dr. Pepper to drink at parties when we were teenagers.


When I was growing up, there was an old man down the street who ran his own still. I'd borrow some from time-to-time for use in the gas tank.

Now that my mom is retired, she's trying her hand at setting up a still as well. I told her I hope she doesn't go blind!
 

RDG

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Just spray out the carb with carb cleaner. The tiny holes that feed the jets are what plugs up generally. It probably dies as soon as the choke opens due to a lack of fuel. This is why I run mine out of fuel every time I use it. If there is no fuel in the carb it cant gel up.
+1. This is how I do it. Never a problem getting it started.
 

quincy

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Fill the generator tank with some Everclear, drink half of the remaining Everclear, don't smoke for about 1 hour, start generator until Everclear is gone. Finish remainder of Everclear, Refill gen with fresh gasoline. Be careful not to mix Everclear with gasoline or you'll have a big head in the morning.
 

pthomas65

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Sounds like a stuck float or needle valve.. Take the carb apart and clean it well with gumout making sure gas will flow thru the ports. Reassemble with the old gaskets
Happen to me a couple of times. Drop the float bowl the float will then drop, it you don't see the needle valve drop down with the float it is stuck and won't allow any gas to feed into the carb from the gas tank. If it is stuck in there just pull it out, clean it and reinstall.
 
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I was going to recommend giving Sea Foam a shot, but it looks like that's been well covered already!
 
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