I personally installed a Generac natural gas stand-by generator 5 years ago, after a freak October ice storm knocked out electricity in this area for nearly 2 weeks.
The Generac has worked flawlessly over the last 5 years, including the weekly exercise it does to ensure integrity, except for one HUGE problem:
Every year or so, a $5 rubber part which Generac calls a "bellows" ruptures without warning, leaving the generator totally unable to start / run.
This rubber bellows is nothing more than 2 inch long corrugated and flexible connector which provides a flexible hose connection between the carburettor air input and the air filter's air output. Once it ruptures, the air/fuel ratio is grossly changed, and the engine will neither start nor run. The rupture is not especially visible, and only has to be the size of a pin-prick to spoil the mixture and prevent combustion.
Generac uses a flexible coupling of this type to absorb vibration which the engine and attached carburettor create, and dissipate it and isolate it from the separately mounted and isolated air filter, which sits in an adjacent chamber next to the engine.
No doubt the heat and vibration of the engine do a real job on this rubber part, and I have been replacing them as they fail, only to have the replacement fail less than a year later.
I spoke with Genrerac's local parts distributor, and then with a factory Generac parts manager, hoping to find a replacement part with a better life expectancy. When the first one failed during the warranty period in the 10th month, I was told by the Generac service technician that this was a common problem, and that Generac has issued a newer and better bellows to fix the problem. He assured me that I would NOT see this happen again.
He lied, or was ill-informed...... I am now on my 4th one, and was told today by Generac that there are no new or replacement alternatives they are aware of.
The one and the only part they sell to do this job can be seen at:
Now that those of you with the patience to read this far know and understand my predicament, I am posting here with the following questions:
1. Are there any high-temperature hose materials which can withstand the engine compartment temperatures and vibration which I might use instead, which would allow me merely to make a direct 2" long connection? The ID of the hose is 1.5", and should be a pretty standard, easy-to-find size.
2. If I use a replacement coupler which has the flexibility of a "bellows" to allow it to dissipate vibration in the same manner as the current part, are there other flexible couplers which exist which would allow a more permanent / durable connection?
3. If there are no superior parts to be purchased because options 1 or 2 above do not exist, is there a 3rd option to treat this rubber bellows in some manner to strengthen it and make it far less vulnerable to heat and vibration?
Presumably somebody must make a flexible coupler for 1.5" diameter connections which can take the heat and vibration better than this $5 rubber part.
To avoid digressions, I want to point out here at the onset that the Generac is otherwise working properly, the engine is not vibrating excessively, the temperatures are not rising excessively, and the usage is extremely light, nearly all of it being the weekly check-out self-test. Unfortunately 10 months of self-test seems to be enough to destroy this part. I am very much aware that replacing this part on a preventative maintenance schedule every (let's say) 9 months would quite possibly solve the problem, but I am really not interested in doing so if there is some reasonable alternative, even if the part cost is much, much higher.
I am open to any ideas and suggestions, and much appreciate your time in reading this, and possibly replying. Thank you very much.