I bought a 6200 watt Briggs & Stratton portable generator to get me thru
after a hurricane (Wilma 9yrs ago?). I've changed the gas and oil and
started it with a load every other month for 9 yrs. I run the motor dry
each shutdown and put a load on it while I'm running it. I forgot this
winter and let the stabilized gas go bad. Fairly sizable pieces of rust in
the float bowl like half a penny.
Is it time to put it out on the curb or do I go thru the hassle of
borrowing a truck and taking it to a shop ?
If you've ever been w/o power at your home for a couple weeks when all the
stores run out of new machines you'd know where I'm coming from.
Clean out rust flakes, clean out the carb and it should be just fine. I
usually don't even dismantle the carb, but rather just place it whole in
a heated ultrasonic cleaner for a while, then blow it dry with
compressed air. This is usually enough to clear it if it's not too bad,
and then I'll put some B12 fuel system cleaner in the gas to help clear
any remaining gum.
On Friday, May 9, 2014 6:44:46 PM UTC-4, Pete C. wrote:
If it has rust, the needle valves etc may be shot too.
If it were me, I'd just buy a rebuild kit that has new
needle valves, gaskets, welch plugs, etc. You can get
them for most common carbs for ~$10. Take it apart,
clean it, re-assemble. One thing to keep in mind is
the rebuild kits I've seen don't include the carb to
intake gasket, you have to buy that separately.
No reason I see to toss out a generator that is otherwise
Mine's a Power Boss about that age with a BS engine. Nothing in manual
speaks of engine life. Mine is running well but I don't use it that
much. I keep it full but run it every once in a while and change the
stabilized gas every couple of years.
Had problem with my snow thrower and put out my back pushing it up loose
boards into the back of my SUV. Have bought ramps after that.
Learned a couple of things. One you may get someone out to fix it.
Friend told me he could have done it. Second some shops will pick up
and deliver. Suspect it will cost extra but could be worth saving you
I think I'd figure out where the rust is coming from, too. I'd guess the
tank so it would be an ongoing problem. There are commercial solutions like
Kreme that when used following the proper procedure, will seal the tank.
What I've had success with is filling the tank with a phosphoric acid
solution and letting it sit for a while. Phosphoric is available at Home
Depot, usually in the masonry area. Phosphoric will strip the rust, but not
attack the underlying metal like hydrochloric. Also, phosphoric leave a
phosphate film so the inside of the tank won't instantly rust.
Next, while you're at Home Depot, pick up some of the two part epoxy people
use to lamimate stuff on bar tops and other decorative projects. Let the
tank dry, plug the holes, pour in a batch of epoxy, and swirl it around
until it sets.
Good catch, Detective!
Most lawn mower mechanics don't know much about chemistry. Of course, most chemists don't know much about lawn mowers either.
But the most ignorant of all are the idiots that mandated ethanol in our fuel supply. ;-)
I may be just old and cynical. But, most of the
improvements forced on us by government have not
worked out well. Such as the CFL bulbs that don't
work where it is cold, and which contain toxic
That works to keep junk out of the carb. For smaller engines, check the bike
There are a number of small inline or right angle styles to fit in tight
spaces rather than the larger automotive varieties. That doesn't address the
rusty tank though which may eventually rust through and leave you with a
bigger repair problem. I never had a snow blower but some of the bike tanks
are designed to look streamlined and pretty also design in low points that
collect water and never drain.
Of course, with a cheap snow blower it might not be worth going for the long
tanks rusting out are pretty common, and can leak whatever fuel is in the tank possibly causing a fire:(
a buddy of mine would remove rusty tanks and put gravel or some such in them and had a way to vibrate them. he would removel the gravel, clean the tank and solder any holes
he reported tanks were expensive:(
Unless there are other problems you did not mention, your generator is
well worth repairing.
As others have said, you need to address the rust problem. There should
be a fuel filter inside the tank or attached to the fuel valve, that
would have stopped any rust particles from getting to your carburetor.
The filters are often a plastic screen that does not react to gas. I
wonder if your filter is missing or damaged?
You could clean the tank and coat the insides per RBowman's suggestion.
If you intend to take it to a repair shop, they will most likely
recommend replacing the tank. That might be cheaper than paying the
labor cost of repairing the old tank.
Another option is a radiator repair shop. The local one will coat a gas tank
for $50, which isn't a lot more than buying the supplies and doing it
yourself. As you say, it depends on the availibility and cost of snow blower
tanks. Tanks for older bikes can be hard to find, often in no better shape
than the one you have, and are probably the wrong color so salvaging them is
I'm a little surprised the tanks aren't plastic. If aesthetics don't enter
into the picture, that has to be a less expensive approach.
A length of chain works pretty good and is a lot easier to fish out than
gravel. Often the filler has a neck that extends a little way into the tank
so gravel won't just pour out.
I'm NOT recommending this technique but it certainly is creative. It's a
little too close to the log splitters that are a big screw that bolts onto
the rear hub for my liking.
All in all, I'm happy with the phosphoric acid approach rather than
mechanical stuff. Phosphoric is pretty benign; read carefully and you'll
find it's in your Coca Cola which is probably why Coke is used as a rust
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