Your last generator Maintenance Run

   / Your last generator Maintenance Run #21  

PILOON

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Aug 26, 2004
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10,929
Location
North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
Tractor
MT180D
From a chainsaw website I learned that one should always use high test gas in small engines as high test contains the least alcohol. The site even had a link to alcohol free database by region.
The alcohol deteriorates rubber fuel lines and rubber seals.
Since most gen-sets are Chicom based the seals and lines are probably rubber based I would always use pure or hi-test.
If your fuel line is puffy and soft it is probably rubber and should be replaced B4 particles clog the carburetor.
Owner's manuals on newer chainsaws state "Always use HiTest gas"
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run #22  

PILOON

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
10,929
Location
North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
Tractor
MT180D
From a chainsaw website I learned that one should always use high test gas in small engines as high test contains the least alcohol. The site even had a link to alcohol free database by region.
The alcohol deteriorates rubber fuel lines and rubber seals.
Since most gen-sets are Chicom based the seals and lines are probably rubber based I would always use pure or hi-test.
If your fuel line is puffy and soft it is probably rubber and should be replaced B4 particles clog the carburetor.
Owner's manuals on newer chainsaws state "Always use HiTest gas"
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run #23  

don45640

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
363
Location
jackson,oh
Tractor
918 allis-chalmers
Man! I can't believe any manufacturer would use rubber parts.Neoprene,yes,maybe,but rubber? I hope not! Another thing on that octane,you know,companies sometimes use ethanol to give them a point more on octane.Of course,it's not worth the trouble ethanol can cause in general. don-ohio :)^)
From a chainsaw website I learned that one should always use high test gas in small engines as high test contains the least alcohol. The site even had a link to alcohol free database by region.
The alcohol deteriorates rubber fuel lines and rubber seals.
Since most gen-sets are Chicom based the seals and lines are probably rubber based I would always use pure or hi-test.
If your fuel line is puffy and soft it is probably rubber and should be replaced B4 particles clog the carburetor.
Owner's manuals on newer chainsaws state "Always use HiTest gas"
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run
  • Thread Starter
#24  
OP
3

3930dave

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Joined
Dec 8, 2007
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8,547
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Canada
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Ford 3930
Can you explain to a plain ol' country boy what "a step inductive load is"? :)

1) Mostly just semi-tired geekspeak :cowboy: ..... I should have said stepped, as in sudden load transition.

Technically (good question, BTW), upon reflection, it is not that easy to connect a household item to a genny that does not present as a stepped (as in sudden transition) load. I know incandescent bulbs have a higher starting current (filament warmup) than running, and expect the same current pattern with a resistance element on an electric heater. Quartz tubes heaters; not sure.

2) What I should have expressed more clearly is that an electric motor (common household example of an inductive load) gives you a lot of bang for your buck as a test load. If you look at charts (typically found in a decent generators owners manual) that show Starting Watts vs. Running Watts for motors, you get a pretty good idea of how much more current a good sized electric motor draws at startup. We've all been around a shop when a heavy elec. compressor starts, you'll often get a dip in the lighting, even with the shop wiring in reasonable shape.

As a contrast, think of testing a 5kw genny, by plugging in a few lights. Common (except for work flloods) lights around home don't draw much more than 100w today, most not even close. Space heaters are good, but household ones max out about 1.5kw, and may not be that common where you live. By slowly adding smaller loads, you can work up to loading a gen to 50% or more of max load - a valuable test on it's own.

A sizable load, with a fast transition (ie. stepped ;) ) may highlight the early stages of a problem with a generator, where a slowly-added-equivalent-load may not. A poor electrical connection, or even a just-starting-to-seize-up mechanical regulator may be readily found once you fire up a good sized electrical motor (circular saw, etc).

I'm often too verbose (aka Ramble on Too Much :laughing:), but in this case, perhaps not !

Naahhh, let's be honest, it's probably just my ancestral Scottish blood kicking in...... I want to put my generator to work even as a Maintenance Run task, so vacuuming a vehicle seemed like a good use of gasoline - that, and I can't afford the daytime electricity rates so I'm getting tired of vacuuming in the dark ! :laughing:

Rgds, D.
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run
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#25  
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3930dave

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Canada
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Ford 3930
I have a very old 8HP 3500 approx. watt generator and as long as I run the Marathon gas with no ethanol:thumbsup:,I never have a problem even up to a year's storage.
Of course,I keep it in the basement,not out in the cold,which DOES make a difference.
Funny thing,a coupla' years ago, it WOULDN'T start.:mad:Finally found the culprit.......a shorted kill/on switch. New switch,no problems.
I always run a generator slightly overfilled on good synthetic oil. More generators have bitten the dust because of low oil than any other cause,it seems to me. don-ohio :)^)

Good practices Don, I do most of the same. My new gen has low oil shutdown, but I always check anyway - real shame to lose a motor over half a quart of oil.

Rgds, D.
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run #26  

cqaigy2

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West Cascades, Washington State USA
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PT 422
Thanks for the reminder!
I was getting things ready for this winter and the generator(onan 6500watt) wouldn't start. Found a fuse buried inside that was open, not sure what it went to but it started after replacing it. I've been told by a guy that used to work for public utility district that they would rent loads to run the generators with. He said they had blowers on them because they would get so hot. He said something about loading over 100% rated output for a specific period of time or the generator would "learn" to only put out what was the last highest load. I have to admit that i may have some of this wrong, but he sure seemed to know what he was talking about, whatever that was. :laughing:
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run #27  

don45640

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jackson,oh
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918 allis-chalmers
Yep,Dave!I tried to tell my kids that oil is the lifeblood of an engine and coolant is its sweat.LOL! don-ohio
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run
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3930dave

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Canada
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Ford 3930
Thanks for the reminder!
I was getting things ready for this winter and the generator(onan 6500watt) wouldn't start. Found a fuse buried inside that was open, not sure what it went to but it started after replacing it. I've been told by a guy that used to work for public utility district that they would rent loads to run the generators with. He said they had blowers on them because they would get so hot. He said something about loading over 100% rated output for a specific period of time or the generator would "learn" to only put out what was the last highest load. I have to admit that i may have some of this wrong, but he sure seemed to know what he was talking about, whatever that was. :laughing:

You're welcome ! I'm using log notes, and getting better about this, but wanted this thread as a public nudge (to me) to stay on track.

That might have been a magnetization issue on a big gen, would need to know the exact model, and get somebody online here that knows big gens well (ie. not me :) ).

One poster on here uses his actual house backup loads for testing - probably the most practical/relevant way to do it at home.

If that fuse that went on you is the inline old-school glass type (as opposed to the modern plastic automotive blade fuses), it is a good idea to check what the factory rating on the Voltage of the fuse is.

120VAC glass inline fuses tend to have a higher (relatively speaking, it takes a good ohmmeter to see the difference) resistance than a DC glass fuse (typically 32vdc rated, for example), at the same current rating.

120VAC glass fuses (at the correct current rating) will often appear to work OK in a low voltage application, but in a control loop, you may be introducing a voltage drop across the fuse that can give some equipment intermittent problems.

Yeah.... I got that Tshirt the hard way.... :cool:

Great discussion here... yesterday had me thinking that on-board generators in gasoline engined RVs probably have the roughest life. Few people are going to consistently treat (if at all) RV tank loads of gas with additives, and especially if the RV is mainly used at hookup sites, then these on-board gens will be spending a very long time sitting around with old ethanol gas in 'em.

I can see that keeping the RV dealers busy....

Rgds, D.
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run
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3930dave

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Yep,Dave!I tried to tell my kids that oil is the lifeblood of an engine and coolant is its sweat.LOL! don-ohio

Glad to hear they are being taught, and are hopefully listening.

Many don't , esp. when their parents just buy 'em a new whatever-they-destroyed-last. (I don't blame the kids, in this scenario).

Rgds, D.
 
   / Your last generator Maintenance Run #30  

unbidden

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Dec 22, 2010
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442
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R.I.
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Kubota BX2660
The best maintenance I have done in the last year was finding a "Fast Track" near me that has non ethanol gas for all my small engines.

Wish I had that option. I start my gen every 2-4 weeks and put a small load on it. It's fairly new so only one oil change thus far. I will drain the gas from time to time and refill with fresh gas and I use Seafoam in all engines that do sit for a while.
 
 
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