Can I use starting fluid in a propane only generator?

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This summer I acquired a fairly new propane only generator. I haven't needed it but in case I do, especially in cold weather, if needed to get it started, can I use starting fluid?
 
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I have to wonder if you would encounter starting issues that would be helped by starting fluid in the first place. I can see where gasoline would have issues vaporizing at cold temps, but propane should be arriving at the carb as a gas. If it's so cold that the propane isn't changing state fast enough at the tank, getting it started with starting fluid isn't going to help that.
 
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I know the OP has a generator.
Google it. Many people report needing to use starting fluid in a propane forklift. Trying to theorize things doesn't always work in the real world.
 
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I've never had to use starting fluid in my propane fueled generator. Do you have a primer?
 
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My tri-fuel generator is very hard to start on propane. The carb has a safety diaphragm that only lets propane flow when there's a vacuum, which only happens during an intake pulse.

There's a primer override button, but it's still very finicky. I bet if it had electric start and could crank over a few times it would be fine. The forklifts at work crank for ~5 seconds before catching.

I start it on gasoline then switch to propane, which then works flawlessly.
 
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Using starting fluid typically only presents issues when starting 2-stroke and some diesel engines. In the former, it can cause lack of lubrication as the ether (a solvent) displaces or dilutes the gas/oil mixture. For the latter, it can cause pre-ignition due to the higher compression and ether does not play well with glow plugs and grid heaters.

In gas or propane OPE engines, it's safe to use.

FWIW, I have a gas/propane generator that starts on propane in all conditions. The same can be said for the half dozen propane forklifts at my work. I have heard stories from many folks that have trouble starting engines converted to propane (that were previously gasoline only), but in my experience, the ones equipped to run on propane from the factory start reasonably well even in the cold.
 

JLawrence08648

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It has something called a purge valve. It's 13hp, has electric start but no battery. The electricity does not go out often, this could sit for several years. Because it's propane I figure I don't have to start it often because there's no gas going stale, creating varnish.
 

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Jun 15, 2003
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I think the theory is the propane hose fills with inert air when you hook up a tank and need to "purge" said air via the pressure from the propane bottle before it'll go.

I consider it more of a primer. My carb has the same button.
 
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