Fix my Generator

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SteveHGraham
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Fix my Generator

Post by SteveHGraham » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:48 am

A couple of days ago, I ran my portable generator so I could weld. It's a Champion generator from Tractor Supply (Chinese).

This thing probably has less than 10 hours on it, and the last time I used it, I ran it dry to keep fuel from drying up in the carb.

I could not get it started. I disconnected the low-oil sensor, and it didn't help. Finally, I got it going by shooting carb cleaner into the intake. Now it absolutely will not start without this step.

It runs, but if I open the choke fully, it quits. I'm not getting full performance, so the welder burps and causes problems.

I'm thinking I should take the carb off and soak it in Sea Foam for a couple of days, but I thought I'd ask if anyone here has any ideas. It's really annoying to take precautions to protect the carb and still have a machine that won't start.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

John Hasler
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by John Hasler » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:56 am

Float-type carb? Gravity feed fuel? Ran on full choke when hot before?

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NP317
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by NP317 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:04 am

If it's a carbureted engine, then my neighbor's brush cutter had the same symptoms, after sitting for a winter.
We removed the carb for cleaning and inspection. Visual inspection found the main jet was clogged.
A simple poke of the jet passage with a brass pin, and the engine returned to proper operation.
It was most likely an "old fuel" issue.

'Hope your solution is that simple.
~RN

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by SteveHGraham » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:07 am

The fuel feeds by gravity. Don't know about the carb. It ran fine when I bought it.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:51 am

What RN said.
My Generac did the same thing after sitting for only three months, and it was cold, windy, and the power was out. I took off the bowl, cleaned out the main jet, and made sure I had gas coming through the needle valve, and put it back together. Fired right up after that....which was nice. It was getting cold in the house too.

Suggestion.....
Especially with today's gasoline which has 10% ethanol, carbs get plugged up. Stuff looks like hard water build-up. I started using Stabil in all my temperamental little gas-burners for winter, and the ones that don't get used often, and have't taken a carb apart since I have done so. Cleaning carburetors was routine.
Also, with my Generators, I fire 'em up every three months and run 'em for thirty minutes, whether I need to or not.

Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

John Hasler
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by John Hasler » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:58 am

Bill writes:
Especially with today's gasoline which has 10% ethanol, carbs get plugged up.

I find that carbs are much less likely to clog with modern fuel. Forty years ago a carb allowed to sit full of fuel until it dried was sure to be coated inside with a visible layer of varnish and had about a 50% chance of being plugged. Now it's a rarity, though it does happen. The deposits that do form are also much easier to remove.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:10 pm

John Hasler wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:58 am
Bill writes:
Especially with today's gasoline which has 10% ethanol, carbs get plugged up.

I find that carbs are much less likely to clog with modern fuel. Forty years ago a carb allowed to sit full of fuel until it dried was sure to be coated inside with a visible layer of varnish and had about a 50% chance of being plugged. Now it's a rarity, though it does happen. The deposits that do form are also much easier to remove.
Agree, it's no longer the red-brown varnish that builds up, as it did with older leaded gasoline's, but can be troublesome none the less.
It generally takes longer, and it's a different type of build-up.....more like scale in a water pipe. My Generac was the exception.
My garden tractor kept losing power. Same thing....I cleaned the carb, cleaned all the built up scale in it which was a lot, and back in biz. That's when I started using the Stabil.
I think much has to do with the water content in the ethanol fuels too. Much of what I have cleaned out was probably corroded aluminum and pot metal, no doubt from moisture.
I keep the tanks full all the time now too.
And, a new gas station in town sells the ethanol free gas, so that's what I buy now. Costs more, but helps a bunch too.

Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

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BadDog
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by BadDog » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:18 pm

Yes, every year I have to go through my mower, chipper, and string trimmer carb. Basically just clean and blow out, reassemble, and runs all summer. But every year, same as you describe. Tried Stabil too when storing wet, or running dry, doesn't seem to matter.

I often also find hose damaged by the ethanol that you can't get away from here in the summer without driving down south (or local airpark) and paying a premium for your pleasure. Over time, replaced with Tygon tubing, but still can't find primer bulbs that hold up more than a year.
Russ
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warmstrong1955
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:34 pm

I wonder if the Phoenix heat has a lot to do with your problems too Russ?
I remember getting some long sitting gasoline engines running when I lived in southern Arizona, and the only thing to do was to dump whatever gas was in the tank, clean the carb, blow out the lines, as well as replacing many, and put in fresh gas. All the 'good' stuff in the old gas had long since evaporated away.

Glad I only have one lawnmower that has a primer bulb. It's a Tecumseh, and is about 6 years old, and the bulb is original. I feel impending doom on the horizon now......
I have replaced plenty of hoses though. I got a variety pack of Tygon hoses, of various different smaller sizes, for the chain saw, string trimmer, and the like. All still bright yellow, so appears to be holding up much better than the original.
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

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BadDog
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by BadDog » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:44 pm

My experience and thoughts exactly.

My string trimmer uses the bulb, and it's been one a year for the last however many. I've tried local repair packs, and now about half way through an online bulk pack of 10. And I've got to get the the lawnmower running next weekend to deal with the crop of weeds that sprang up due to all the rain we've had in the last weeks. So I'm certain it's going to be a carb cleaning in store. I sprayed them last weekend, so by next they should be dry enough to cut without gumming up the mower deck too badly (those blasted gummy/sticky yellow puff ball weeds).

Oh, and forgot the pressure washer with it's Honda engine. Same problem. If it sets more than 5 or 6 months (not uncommon), it's time to go through the carb...
Russ
Master Floor Sweeper

Harold_V
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by Harold_V » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:34 pm

Using Stabil appears to be a good idea, one I endorse.

While it's out of my way, I now purchase ONLY alcohol free fuel for the few gas driven tools I have. The only one that has experienced any carb problems is the rider mower, and that was likely why I no longer use anything else. I have never removed the carb, so it still doesn't idle, but it runs fine once above idle speed.

As far as starting goes, my pressure washer, as an example, will start on the first pull, and it doesn't matter how long it's sat unused. Not too long ago I started it after it sat for a couple years. Before storing, I run it dry by turning off the gas supply, and keep the tank full, along with Stabil.

One more comment. I have NEVER had to replace those little fuel primer bulbs, not even after as much as ten years. Likely because they never see alcohol.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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BadDog
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Re: Fix my Generator

Post by BadDog » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:55 pm

I wish it were easier to get non-alcohol fuel here. But the only option I know of it way downtown, or pay 3x the price for av-gas at the local airport. But even that's likely a win when compared to time and parts, so should probably make the point.
Russ
Master Floor Sweeper

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