question on 3 year old generator (self-starter, battery equipped) stored unused
if unit was stored drained from fuel, is there anything detrimental to the
assuming it was brand new, used for 60 to 90 minutes and then fuel was drained
item stored ? the battery is totally dead of course, but what about the
oil sat for 3 years but is not colored dark, likely it would contain some
would it deteriorate just sitting?
anything else that I am not asking, but should ask ?
Depending on the storage location mice can wreak havoc.
You might have to re flash the field...
Field flashing is used when the exciter poles of generator lose their
magnetism and will not allow gen set to build voltage.. This sometimes
happens if a machine has not been run for long periods of time. To
rectify this problem we use a 12vdc battery to repolarize the exciter
poles by applying voltage to the exciter circuit directly. The gen-set
must be offline and proper polarity must be observed.. The gen-set or
voltage regulator manufacturer usually has procedure for this in manual..
Steve gave you a good lineup of the most common issues. Mild cylinder
pitting is possible depending on the storage location, and a stuck valve is
also a tiny possibility. In general, I would be optimistic that the thing
is just as good as new.
Depending on where it was stored, some problems you might want to
Rust in Gas tank if it is not plastic. Oil leaks from dried up seals.
The carb could have developed some moisture and be clogged. Corroded
Basically, check everything.
You drained it, but after that did you run it until it stopped
Depending on what opening you drained it from, there might have been
gas in the carb still, no?
I have 6 lawnmowers that won't start, and I think gas gum is the
reason for 5 of them.
One of them started last year after sitting still for two years, but I
think that was because I put Sta-bil in the gas two years earlier,
while I was still using the mower, so the stabil-mixed gas made it to
every part of the carb. If I knew how many times I was going to use
an engine before not using it, I might be able to put Sta-bil only in
a while before I stop using it, but since I never know, on imporant
stuff, I've been using it all the time.
Anyhow, that lawnmower worked last summer, but by August, I left it in
the hands of a friend who probalby didn't use stabil. When I got it
back, I added some, I had doubts whether it could work its way from
the tank through the line to the small passages wheich is where the
clogging occurred, but no time to use the thing enough. I should have
made the time. It wouldn't start this year.
Another one wouldn't start but I removed the carburetor bowl and
soaked a few parts in professional parts cleaner, which is
unfortunately not as strong as it was 50 years ago aiui, and didn't do
enough, but a wire through one passage got the thing running. The
actual jet, the last part before the gas goes into the flowing air,
shouldn't be cleaned this way, because you'll change the dimensions of
the hole, but then again, this isn't a car, only a lawnmower (or
generator) and one can buy a whole new carb if necessary, so if you
have wire thin enough, it's probalby worth doing. Your engine
doesn't have the performance demands under varying conditions that a
car does and there's probably some allowance possible in jet
I ended up buying an electric lawnmower, used, and for 10 dollars in
parts, that's fixed, and I'm going to try to give away the gas mowers,
any day now.
The cilinder is dry, removing the plug and squirting a foaming fogging
oil will lube it imediatly so you dont score it. On my unit first time
startup after sitting I start it on a cup of 2 stroke gas since it
lubes immediatly and the oil system will take alot more time, after
its running I fill it with gas. If you get no voltage out of it then
flashing it will be necessary, it should have been run every 6-12
months so this would not happen, but some bigger generators have a
circuit that removes this worry. Check the air filter and exhaust, gen
openings for nests, I had a mouse nest in my air filter. It should
have been stored with fogging oil, there is one that foams that coats
everything, you might have rust in the cilinder you cant see that
could have caused alot of damage, see how it runs. Even on new units
the first oil change is recomended after not many hours, change it
before it gets alot of use.
Are you considering buying this thing, or you already own it?
Could be a bear to get running again, could have issues making power as
well. If you are considering buying it, consider those things very
carefully and calibrate your offer low enough.
If you already own it, nothing to do but look it over for mouse & wasp
nests (removing those and replacing any chewed wires), change the oil,
try putting a little gas in, and see if you can get it to go. Perhaps
put some oil (a small spoonful or less) down the spark plug hole(s)
first to help with the likely pitting and flash rust and certain lack of
adequate lubrication as you start up there. If you can't get it to go,
take off the carburetor and clean it. If you get it running, see if it
makes power - if not, you may have to flash the generator. Letting stuff
sit without much more through preparation than "draining the gas" is a
recipe for trouble when you go to start up again.
If looking for "how to do it right" both fuel stabilizer and running all
your equipment with gasoline or diesel engines for an hour once a month
is good. Yes, it uses some fuel - but much less costly than the time,
parts and frustration you may go through if you don't. You can get away
with less often, you may shoot yourself in the foot if you do it for
less time (things need to get hot enough for long enough to boil off any
accumulated water). Local climate may well affect what you can get away
with (dry desert obviously will have less issues with condensate in the
oil than wet/humid areas.)
3-6 months at a very bare minimum. Personally I consider 6 months much
If intentionally arranging for long term storage, the first best option
is sell the thing and avoid storing it. If not that, then a much more
through preparation of the engine helps - running all gas out of it,
oiling the cylinders, changing and perhaps overfilling the crankcase
oil, covering intake and exhaust with aluminum foil - with a subsequent
need to undo all those things at the far end of storage. Generator
excitation loss is not something you can prevent, so about all you can
do to help with that if the thing cannot be run regularly is to document
how to fix it ahead of time, and include that in the unstoring
instructions - then make sure those don't get eaten by mice.
First and foremost, read the manual. Storage instructions are almost always
in there. Honda gives short, medium, and long-term storage instructions.
That selling idea does not work for me. Following a disaster, generator
stocks quickly disappear nationwide. If you don't already have one, you are
out of luck!
I keep an EU2000 "pickled" for long-term storage as per the manual, &
packed in a crate ready for shipping. That single generator is there for me
to use as a "backup for my backup" following a Florida hurricane or for use
by my daughter following any of several natural disasters that seem to occur
periodically in California.
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