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 > Genset carb upkeep:  drain it and/or exercise it? Both?

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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 02/18/21 12:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KD4UPL wrote:

The point of running a generator under load every month, according to Onan anyway, is to produce heat in the windings and help dry out moisture.


That is a pretty much "CYA" statement.

The "windings" of all generators just like any good AC motor are DIPPED in a INSULATING AND MOISTURE PROOFING VARNISH..

The windings are then heat cured in an oven and then HiPot tested to ensure no electrical leakage or breakdown of the insulation before windings are installed.

As long as your gen is not sitting out in the yard in the rain and the windings are not directly flooded by water there is no "need" to "produce heat in the windings to dry out the moisture"..

Besides, the very second you shut it down the moisture held in the air around the gen WILL start redepositing back on and into the windings.. You simply cannot fight the fact that the air holds moisture right up to 100% humidity.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 02/18/21 12:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

Yes, if I could find non-ethanol gas in California, I would use it. I think that there is non-ethanol aviation gas, but I don't think that it is available to the general non-flying public.

Stabil helps, but I used to get "GCS" (gummy-carb-syndrome) even with Stabil, until I learned how to drain the carb after every use. You know you have GCS (which is an acronym I have just invented -- you're welcome!) when your generator starts to idle very rough, surging and "loping."

So far, I am not hearing anyone say that I need to first exercise the generator monthly and then drain the carb?? Is there a consensus?


I don't "exercise" my gens monthly, but I DO drain the carb of fuel.

I cannot buy Ethanol free gas either, not Av or Racing gas, Av gas requires having a legit and current FAA issued Tail number, racing fuel requires a valid race track driver pass for that day of purchase.

I have found that E10 actually stores well for a long time provided the container is WELL SEALED. That rules out leaving fuel sit in the carb bowl.

Generally my gens spend 2-3 months at a time sitting and not being run, I close the tank valve and let it run out of fuel or shut of the fuel and gen then remove the little drain plug in the carb until no more fuel runs out. been doing this for 30+ yrs with all of my small engine equipment and only have had to clean the smaller 4Kw gen carb jet once.. My tractors, pushmowers gens, weed trimmer, chainsaws all have worked very well just by removing fuel from the carb before storing (storing is more than 1-3 months of no operation to me).

The exercise to "heat up" the windings is more of a CYA thing by the manufacturers..

As I explained in an different post, the windings are dipped in a varnish coating which is baked on.. Just like most good quality AC motors.. Surely you don't run around your house turning on all of your AC motor drive items just to "heat up the windings to drive out moisture"..

A generator power head IS the same thing as a AC induction motor, no need to treat a gen power head any different from a AC induction motor.. Just don't submerge into a lake and expect it to work by "drying it out" though without some problems.

Lynnmor

Red Lion

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Posted: 02/18/21 12:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many generators need some residual magnetism to get the production of electricity started. It is possible for that to be lost over time, so I wouldn't want to leave a generator sit for years without exercising it.





2112

Texas

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Posted: 02/18/21 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I ran my champion open frame generator about 4 years ago during Hurricane Harvey. Once I no longer needed it I drained the carb and fuel tank, blew them dry and stored it. I pulled it out this weekend for this Texas freeze mess going on. I filled the tank and it fired right up. It ran 80 hours non-stop without a hiccup. Once I no longer need it, I'll blow it out and store it until who knows when. Hopefully forever.

If I know I'm going to run it in the next few months,I do nothing. Just put it in storage.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 02/18/21 01:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor wrote:

Many generators need some residual magnetism to get the production of electricity started. It is possible for that to be lost over time, so I wouldn't want to leave a generator sit for years without exercising it.


While you are correct, in practice, as long as the manufacturer used the proper steel designed for electrical use (yes, there ARE specialty steels designed specifically for electrical use) AND you do not shut the gen down under full load there will be enough residual magnetism left in the steel to start the generating process even if the gen sits for months or yrs...

Shutting down a gen under a full load can alter/remove the residual magnetism much faster than letting a gen sit for 10 yrs.

Watched my Dad bring back to life folks gens that were built in the 1950's-60's that for one reason or another sat not used for 20-30yrs and never had an issue with them not having enough residual magnetism and would generate voltage as soon as the engine started. Always was engine issues with those old gens he fixed for people..

rhagfo

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Posted: 02/18/21 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

deltabravo wrote:

Fuel Stabilizer and Ethanol free gas is all I do to mine.


Ethanol is the big gummer of fuel systems, using Ethanol free gas is the best thing you can do for your gen set.


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Matt_Colie

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Posted: 02/18/21 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For Profdant:

Pure Gas

Try here.

Matt


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Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 02/18/21 03:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you to Gdetrailer.

I have been telling those I could about the post WWII varish for years now and people keeps saying that this is not what (fill in the manufacturer) has in the manual. (A manual that probably has a 1943 copyright date). Then I try to ask if the person advising this also sells parts?

Alcohol is an issue because it collects water and then precipitates and that mix is corrosive. SO DRAIN the thing.....

Matt

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 02/18/21 05:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Matt, thanks for that map -- incredibly, I live ten minutes away from TWO of those scarce ethanol-free gas sources. It never would have dawned on me that auto racing supply companies would have their own special gas pumps!

I guess there is an upside to living in a huge dense urban area like Southern Calif -- the goods and services available are nearly unlimited. (And so is the traffic.)


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whjco

Lexington, KY

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Posted: 02/18/21 07:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I shut off the gas and run the generator dry (with load disconnected) if I'm going to be storing it for over 60 days. I always put Sta-bil fuel treatment in the gas and have had good luck with it. I use it in my antique cars, too.


Bill J., Lexington, KY
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