Bought a house with a 1.7Kw Generac. It is set to run once a week for 30
It also has reminder notice for service and it was overdue for oil, air
filter & plugs so I changed everything.
Now, about every other week, it doesn't run and I get the error message that
it had an over cranking error. Other weeks it starts fine automatically.
I rechecked the gap on the plugs and they are correct and I don't know what
else to look at.
I can start it manually, but it does crank for about 10-15 secs before
Since it's natural gas it would not seem likely that
it's a carburetor problem, as the usual suspect there
is gasoline that fouls things up. I would make sure
that nothing is blocking the air intake, eg rodent nests?
Beyond that, don;t know how those natural gas carbs
work. Presumably there is some orrifice that meters
the gas out. If possible, check that to make sure it's
not partially plugged, etc.
I'd then take a look at the spark. Take out the spark
plug, reconnect it to the ignition wire, ground the body
of the plug to the engine and crank it a bit. See if you
get a good spark. Be aware that with the plug out
you will get some natural gas coming out of the plug
hole and you don't want that to ignite. Probably best
to put a spare spark plug in there
while doing the test.
I would think the battery would be on some kind of
battery tender that is AC powered, but if it's not
then running it 30 mins each week could be for that
purpose. If it's not, then I would think running just
10 mins would be fine, would be less wear on the
unit, less fuel used, etc. Less than 10 mins the muffler
might not get hot enough to drive condensation
out. levaing moisture inside and it could lead to
premature muffler failure.
FWIW, my 14Kw Generac generator has a 12 minute test/run cycle per
week...and I think its only at half throttle or so. The battery is on
the built-in maintenance charger and is kept charged by utility power.
I said 2 hours because that is what my manual for the Gnerator in my
motorhome says. Stationary units may differ and probably do depending
in size, type and such.
Personally I think 2 hours is too long and 14 minutes isn't enough. 30
minutes seems about right. :-)
Regapped the plugs to .30, instead of factory recommended .40. Pulled the
battery and it is dated 07/08. Would you change it? Info from previous
home owner was in error as far as battery age. So, Generac 17KW generator,
would you replace a 3 year old battery.
With the .30 gap, it started on 2nd try and no over cranking errors.
WI, I don't want to be out there when it's 20 below zero, but 3 years old,
doesn't seem that old, at least not for a car battery. Generac different?
The Generac user forums show clear evidence of poorly designed
Generac chargers which can overcharge the battery, shortening the life
considerably. Some people have resorted to using external float chargers
instead of the Generac (built-in) charger to ensure better battery life
and also avoid exploding batteries, another rare but serious consequence
of poor charger design by Generac.
I replaced my 5 year old battery just a few weeks ago, on the theory
that 5 years was a "safe" and prudent replacement interval. The cost of
a new battery was about $80, and well worth it for the additional 'peace
of mind' as far as I am concerned.
Not sure what battery types are available in the
size it uses, but if you can find a lead/acid battery
that comes without acid, a solution might be to
buy a battery and have it available in case you
need it. If you don't put the acid in until you
put it in service, it should have an indefinite
shelf life. And with the acid in it will have enough
energy to crank the generator.
That's a very good point. If it won't start with the
factory gap, I think you're right. And that should
be checked out, because it may be on it's way
to total failure.
Battery may be getting a little weak. We had a similar generator that
charged off the generator and I dont think the regular runs would
fully charge the battery after each crank. Cure was adding a battery
charger that ran off of commercial AC. The charger was connected to AC
via a inexpensive timmer that allowed it to charge for an hour a
day.We got a couple of more years of life out of the battery. I think
the next battery probably lasted longer because it was getting a
better charge. A weak battery can also cause a weak spark that can
effect starting. The only thing you did to it that I think could have
likely caused the condition is changing the air filter. A dirty
airfilter may have been causing a richer mixture some what
compensating for another problem it may have.
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