Hard starting generator

I leave my generator (Honda EU2000) full of stablized gas and run it for 5 minutes every month or two. As the gas ages it get harder and harder to start, though it seems to run fine once it starts. I use the generator for something or other about once a year, so it gets some fresh gas now and then. (I haven't used it since April 2004, and it took 15 pulls to start today; so I replaced the gas. Tonight it started on the first pull. I put the old gas in my car, which had nearly a full tank already, figuring that dilute wouldn't matter. Seemed to start and run normally; was that okay to do?)
Any way of starting the generator a bit easier when the gas is old, that won't be harmful? At an auction I saw them spray something into a go-cart to get it to start. What is that, and is that a bad idea?
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Nah, used according to instructions, nothing bad will happen. You spray a couple puffs into the air cleaner and they start right up. There are lots of brands & kinds; visit an auto parts place; they all have them. I use Sure Start, but just because it's there when I reach for the shelf.
Just don't get fancy & try things the instructions don't tell you to do: like filling the cylinder head wth the stuff. If a motor can run, it'll usually start and saves a lot of the back!
:I leave my generator (Honda EU2000) full of stablized gas and run it for 5 : minutes every month or two. : As the gas ages it get harder and harder to start, though it seems to run : fine once it starts. I use the generator for something or other about once : a year, so it gets some fresh gas now and then. (I haven't used it since : April 2004, and it took 15 pulls to start today; so I replaced the gas. : Tonight it started on the first pull. I put the old gas in my car, which : had nearly a full tank already, figuring that dilute wouldn't matter. : Seemed to start and run normally; was that okay to do?) : : Any way of starting the generator a bit easier when the gas is old, that : won't be harmful? : At an auction I saw them spray something into a go-cart to get it to start. : What is that, and is that a bad idea? : :
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They sprayed starting fluid, which combusts very easily. I'm not sure if you do this but try turning off the gas valve when you aren't using the generator

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Try turning off the gas valve, and letting the generator run until the carb is dry. With a little priming, it'll start much easier the next time. Tom
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You should always store the genny without gas in the tank. When you test run it, pour in a little and run it until it is empty again. Keep your gas in cans and roll it over through your car or boat periodically so it stays fresh.
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Leaving gas in any motor for more than 6 months even with stabiliser is not the best thing gas still deteriorates but slower. Most manufacturers recommend only 3 months gas storage, you do risk gumming the carb. Sure Either-Starting fluid works, but needing it indicates a gummed carb or junk gas, why risk it for a 100-150$ carb rebuild.
A gen needs only to be run every 6 months to keep the gen head from possibly loosing residual magnatism, any load induced while running will remagnatise-charge the field.
Running for just 5 minutes doesn't fully heat up the oil to burn out blowby pollutants in the oil. I keep my gen empty of gas and pour in only enough for a 30 minute test, and run it dry. A test must include a load even 100 just watts, to be sure the gen head stays magnetized.
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On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 23:58:21 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Wrong, wrong wrong! This will promote varnish buildup on the carb and it will get gummed up and cause problems faster than stale gas.
This is even moreso on something like a generator where it is being constantly run for short bursts.
The system is designed to remain wet with fuel.

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I use premium grade gas in mine and have had no problem. I use a marine gas stabilizer. If you still have problems try using an octane booster. Then there's always spraying starting fluid as a last resort.
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"I use premium grade gas in mine and have had no problem. I use a marine gas stabilizer. If you still have problems try using an octane booster. "
What does octane rating have to do with any of this? As far as I know, the octane rating is only a measure of the fuels resistance to premature detonation, which isn't an issue with a small engine, nor does it have anything to do with how easily an engine will start.
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You could try STP carb cleaner fluid. Worked for me.
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sometimes with old gas, you need to squirt some ether on the air cleaner filter. The highly explosive ether vapor helps get the motor started.
Go to the auto parts place, ask for ether starting spray. They'll know what you meant.
Reminds me of the power cut in 2003, I think it was. Couple friends of mine had a Honda generator full of old gas. Squirt of ether on the air filter, and it fired right up.
I also dispose old gas by pouring it into the gastank of my truck. Works for me.
From painful experience: Never screw the spark plug out, and squirt ether into the spark plug hole. That's how a "helpful" neighbor killed my Dad's generator. Dried the cylinder, the piston siezed, and it threw a piston rod.
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Gasoline has a very limited lifespan - about 6 months without, and 12 months with fuel stabilizer. After that it deteriorates rapidly. Also if you leave gas in an engine without running it, the entire fuel system will get gummed up. One of the worst thing you can do for an engine is leave gasoline in it when it is not being used. Same as with lawnmowers, motorcycles, chainsaws, etc. Always run the engine out of gas, and drain the carbs if possible, when the engine isn't being used.
Rotate your gas regularly as you already do, and to clean out the fuel system use a product called Sea Foam which works much better than the other fuel system cleaners.
Starting fluid is a last resort. Not really good for the engine but can get just about any engine going if nothing else works. Keep in mind that will only start the engine, but if the fuel is old or the carbs gummed up, it won't run very well anyway.

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once
I add a little bit of acetone to my fuel. About 3 oz per 10 gallons of gas. Much easier starting, handles heavy loads better and stops the backfiring after shutdown. Exhaust fumes are less acrid too.
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