Getting ready for new generator....questions (of course!).

Messages
218
Location
MI
I didn't crank it yesterday. I picked some gasoline up last night and added some Stabil to it. Gotta oil it up today and fire it up. I'm going to round up a couple of electric heaters and figure out somehow to partially enclose them somehow so they'll cycle on and off. I like the size of the generator, it really isn't as big as I thought it would be but it is wider than I envisioned. It's easy for me to read specs but hard to visualize them. :)

One thing that does cause me a little concern is security against theft. I live rural and the generator sits in an opened ended garage. Many years ago I had a small Coleman 1800w suitcase generator and a small air compressor stolen out of there. I'm pretty sure it was some local dopeheads who had been by earlier looking for scrap metal and who I ran off the place. Proving it is another story, though. :mad: We've been here 30+ years and have had four instances of theft (one breaking and entering event).<sigh> Currently I've got the generator and my big tiller cabled together with a lock. Anybody got some good ideas on securing the generator (and tiller for that matter)? I've got no lockable shed to secure it inside of. I've got plenty of chain and can come up with more locks.
An old trick motorcycle guys use to help keep their carbureted motors running even after long-term storage is to use a little 2-cycle oil in the gas.

I add 1oz of TCW-3 marine 2-cycle oil to a 5 gallon gas can, in addition too the Stabil (the blue marine kind). The oil mix is only 640:1, so there is not much in there. It is enough oil to help fight corrosion when you run the carb dry and store the generator. It leaves a slight oil film in the carb and engine and also in the fuel tank. I like the TCW-3 marine stuff because it has corrosion inhibitors and it is ashless. The oil also helps lubricate the carb and intake valve, too.
 
Messages
1,618
Location
Watertown, New York
I've found either MMO or 2 stroke oil seem to help like Red Ride says.
Seems to prevent corrosion in the carburetor and reduce the "ethanol sludge", especially if you use ethanol fuel. The 2 stroke oil likely provides better upper cylinder lube than MMO, but I have used either with similar results.
Probably best if paired with stabilizer for longer term storage.

Did you get that beast fired up yet?!
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
Ok, I got some iron's out of the fire.

I still haven't got to talk with the propane guy but we'll get there.

Today I oiled it up with M1HM 10w30 and added one gallon of gas. I've got two 1500w heaters hooked up and I can hear them cycling on and off so that's good. I got the magnetic dipstick that I had ordered and installed it before running. After running five minutes I checked the oil and found very fine metal dust already collecting on the tip! It's fairly easy to crank...took me a three or four pulls and it fired on up...it takes some effort to pull the cord but it's not bad. I'll let this gallon of gas run through it and check the oil and put another gallon in and run it out.


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Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
I ran the generator out of gas twice, one gallon at a time. It is getting very close to 1-1/2 hour per gallon with the two 1500W heaters loading it up. I had the heaters cycling on and off and would walk by all along and tilt the heaters to add some extra loaded/unloaded variances. At that fuel usage it looks like I'll get about nine hours with the 6 gallon tank. A couple of places stated it had a 9-10 hour run on a tank of gas so I'm about right in that range. Not great fuel efficiency but it'll run what I want it to run. Hopefully, when I get the propane hookup squared away I'll feel more relaxed about fuel availability and usage.

Since running it and letting it run out of gas today with the heaters connected I've read that I shouldn't let it run out of gas.<sigh> Hopefully I haven't done harm to the generator the two times it ran out of gas today. I won't be doing that anymore.<sigh>

The generator seemed to do fine. I did notice that when the heaters were off that that it would move from around 60.5Hz to around 63Hz. When the load was reapplied it would drop back to around 60.5Hz. I'm not sure if that is normal or not.

The engine seemed solid and ran smooth. Louder than expected...more like an idling lawnmower. It takes a solid pull to get it cranked but it started up well with the OE spark plug. After a couple of oil changes I'll replace the OE plug with one of the NGK Iridiums.

I checked the oil between refills and the magnetic dipstick was already attracting some fine metal to it. I didn't check it after the second gallon of gas but will check it and probably change the oil tomorrow and I'll see what the dipstick collected with the second gallon's run. The oil change will come at only three hours but I figure I'll go ahead and drain it and the metal that it'll undoubtedly contain. Probably run it another three hours and change the oil again. Repeat the running and oil change again and call it "good". Sound good enough?
 
Messages
4,924
Location
Southeast
you’re probably well past “good enough.” Most get gas, oil, thrown in a truck and used in the mud and rain, or sit in a shed too long with congealing fuel.
 
Messages
4,624
Location
Ca.
I ran the generator out of gas twice, one gallon at a time. It is getting very close to 1-1/2 hour per gallon with the two 1500W heaters loading it up. I had the heaters cycling on and off and would walk by all along and tilt the heaters to add some extra loaded/unloaded variances. At that fuel usage it looks like I'll get about nine hours with the 6 gallon tank. A couple of places stated it had a 9-10 hour run on a tank of gas so I'm about right in that range. Not great fuel efficiency but it'll run what I want it to run. Hopefully, when I get the propane hookup squared away I'll feel more relaxed about fuel availability and usage.

Since running it and letting it run out of gas today with the heaters connected I've read that I shouldn't let it run out of gas.<sigh> Hopefully I haven't done harm to the generator the two times it ran out of gas today. I won't be doing that anymore.<sigh>

The generator seemed to do fine. I did notice that when the heaters were off that that it would move from around 60.5Hz to around 63Hz. When the load was reapplied it would drop back to around 60.5Hz. I'm not sure if that is normal or not.

The engine seemed solid and ran smooth. Louder than expected...more like an idling lawnmower. It takes a solid pull to get it cranked but it started up well with the OE spark plug. After a couple of oil changes I'll replace the OE plug with one of the NGK Iridiums.

I checked the oil between refills and the magnetic dipstick was already attracting some fine metal to it. I didn't check it after the second gallon of gas but will check it and probably change the oil tomorrow and I'll see what the dipstick collected with the second gallon's run. The oil change will come at only three hours but I figure I'll go ahead and drain it and the metal that it'll undoubtedly contain. Probably run it another three hours and change the oil again. Repeat the running and oil change again and call it "good". Sound good enough?

You can run it out of gas - but not with a load on it.

You should kill all loads before powering down, killing the gensets with a load its hard on the electrical head and the products.

Your genset exhibits the classic inexpensive single pole /frame genset tendency to run a bit fast cycles under low load and to sag a bit under high load.

What you have is loud, and will be louder under a big load - all kinds of strategies to deal with that / Dog house/ zombie box thing/ big car muffler etcetera / even plywood lean to can help vector noise
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
I didn't get to change the oil today and run it some more. Rains moved in this afternoon and looks like will be here a few days. Possible bad weather Thursday so I think I'll get some gasoline tomorrow...in case. The threat is really minor though. Seems the storms are increasing in number. I think I will change the oil and give it another three hour run...the manual says to give it a five hour break-in and that'll be a total of six hours. After that I'll change the oil and replace the OE spark plug with a NGK Iridium and see how it runs.

Meep, I guess I'm a bit OCD on some things. 🤪

UncleDave, thanks for clarifying how to run it out of gas. Would you store with an empty tank or full tank. Seems with an empty there'd be more chance of condensation forming in the tank. Go with some Stabil-360 and a full tank?

Glad to hear the varying cycle is mostly normal. Seems it must be designed to provide more close to 60Hz with a heavy load.

Yeah, I'm been playing with some ideas on building some sort of baffling structure that I can put up and take down fairly easy. Maybe some rigid foam panels and pvc pipe...with allowance for air and exhaust heat. It doesn't have to be perfect...just tone the noise down a bit. I'm curious as to how particular the CO shut-off is about things. The next time I run it should I try to add more load than the two heaters to it? I've got some 250w heat lamps I could add to the load...maybe even hook the refrigerators up...??

Thanks for all of ya'll's feedback and tips. They certainly have helped!
Ed
 
Messages
1,009
Location
Pennsylvania
The next time I run it should I try to add more load than the two heaters to it? I've got some 250w heat lamps I could add to the load...maybe even hook the refrigerators up...??
I can't recall if you have installed a transfer switch yet, but my advice would be to run it against the actual target loads. Keep in mind that your heaters are almost entirely a resistive load, but your household is filled with inductive loads.
 
Messages
218
Location
MI
As said above, remove the loads and then shut it down. It is safer for the appliances that you are running to disconnect them first. Also, the generator surges up and down while running out of gas. This creates voltage sags and surges that can kill appliances and also stress the generator electronics.

I store my generator with an empty tank and run it dry. I'll put some 2-cycle oil (1oz per 5 gallon) in the generator, splash it around in the tank to coat the insides, then run it dry. I then open the drain on the carb and get the last drops out of the carb bowl. The oil leaves a corrosion resistant coating on everything. Is it perfect? No, but it's better than bare metal.
 
Messages
506
Location
Hedgesville, WV
Check your carb bowl and see if it has a drain. Mine has the center bolt that is the main jet and also holds the bowl on but it has a separate bolt just off to the side that is the bowl drain. I always siphon off all the gas in the tank and then run the engine out of fuel. Shut off the fuel petcock and drain the bowl. This way there is no gas to form deposits and any moisture that might form in the tank cant get to the carb. Put the carb on full choke to close the butterfly and keep insects and dirt out. If you think it might be a long time before you need it you can pull the plug and shoot some fogging oil in, pull the rope a time or 2 to spread it around and put the plug back in. It can sit like this for years and mine has and still fire up on the 2nd or 3rd pull.
 
Messages
218
Location
MI
Also, when done doing what samven said above, pull the starter cord and turn the engine over slowly until you feel resistance. This puts the engine in the compression stroke where the intake and exhaust valves are closed and helps seal off the piston and cylinder from outside air and possible condensation during storage.
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
I can't recall if you have installed a transfer switch yet, but my advice would be to run it against the actual target loads. Keep in mind that your heaters are almost entirely a resistive load, but your household is filled with inductive loads.
I haven't got the transfer switch installed yet. But I see what you're talking about regarding just running resistive loads. We've got a cold snap (Easter cold snap) right now. Next week it will be warming up nicely and leaving a window or door cracked wide enough for a cord won't let the heat out, cold in. I may connect the inside and garage refrigerators up with some extension cords and run them for a while.
 
Messages
256
Location
South La
I keep my tanks full but do rotate the gas out every 6 months. Bad fuel I bet is the #1 killer of generators not in use and low/no oil when in use. M1 HM is my oil of choice for the gens. All 3 have it. If I get in a bind Delo 15/40 . Yes security is a concern for me. I have a Honeywell Alarm system for the house and can add a alarm contact to the gens.
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
As said above, remove the loads and then shut it down. It is safer for the appliances that you are running to disconnect them first. Also, the generator surges up and down while running out of gas. This creates voltage sags and surges that can kill appliances and also stress the generator electronics.

I store my generator with an empty tank and run it dry. I'll put some 2-cycle oil (1oz per 5 gallon) in the generator, splash it around in the tank to coat the insides, then run it dry. I then open the drain on the carb and get the last drops out of the carb bowl. The oil leaves a corrosion resistant coating on everything. Is it perfect? No, but it's better than bare metal.
I got some Marine Stabil 360 that I'm using. Do you think I should use some 2-cycle oil along with this Stabil? Stabil says that the Marin 360 formula protects against rust and corrosion. ??? Now after getting the Marine 360 I'm reading all kinds of things about it being the right treatment for storage gas, not the right treatment, meant for current use and not storage, good for everything....<sigh> As OCD as I am, I quit trying for perfection a long time ago...mostly. ;)
 
Messages
1,009
Location
Pennsylvania
I got some Marine Stabil 360 that I'm using. Do you think I should use some 2-cycle oil along with this Stabil? Stabil says that the Marin 360 formula protects against rust and corrosion. ??? Now after getting the Marine 360 I'm reading all kinds of things about it being the right treatment for storage gas, not the right treatment, meant for current use and not storage, good for everything....<sigh> As OCD as I am, I quit trying for perfection a long time ago...mostly. ;)
I prefer Stabil Marine 360 for anything I can store in an outbuilding. Using it on anything in the garage results in a strong smell of gas. Marine 360 raises the vapor pressure to prevent your fuel tank from breathing in humid air when it cools.
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
@samven , @Ride_Red , @passgas55 ....that's all good info! Thanks! I'm not sure how I want to store the generator...full tank or empty. Both options has their pros and cons. Here's what I see (subject to correction by people that know better than I do).

For storing generator with empty tank:
1 - Empty tank (siphon and run gas out of carb or run generator to empty unloaded)
2 - Shut off fuel valve.
3 - Drain carburetor (if it has a drain bolt...need to check)
4 - Put the carburetor on full choke.
5 - Possibly use some fogging oil in spark plug hole for long-term storage and pull cord a few times.
6 - Pull cord slowly until some resistance is felt, leave engine in that position to close exhaust and intake valves to help seal piston and cylinder.

For storing generator with fuel in tank:
1 - Shut off fuel valve.
2 - Drain carburetor (if it has a drain bolt...need to check)
3 - Put the carburetor on full choke.
4 - Pull cord slowly until some resistance is felt, leave engine in that position to close exhaust and intake valves to help seal piston and cylinder.
5 - Cycle stabilized fuel in tank at least every six months.

Still trying to figure out which gasoline additives/stabilizers to use.

But, I'm still planning on the propane hookup and need to figure out the above in conjunction with the propane. My weak mind is just grappling with it all trying to sort it out. I want to keep the generator capable of using either fuel should I need it. Maybe just keep the tank empty and store 3-4 jugs of gasoline, cycling it through my lawnmower and jeep. Every three or four months run a gallon of gasoline through it followed by an hour run on propane. "OCD Me" strikes again!!! :rolleyes:

Ed
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
I prefer Stabil Marine 360 for anything I can store in an outbuilding. Using it on anything in the garage results in a strong smell of gas. Marine 360 raises the vapor pressure to prevent your fuel tank from breathing in humid air when it cools.
I appreciate that. It is interesting that I filled a 5-gallon jug up yesterday and hauled it in my jeep. It wasn't long after filling it up that I noticed an increased gas smell. I got concerned that the new'ish can was leaking because the smell came on suddenly and fairly strongly. This was only after several minutes, though, so I don't know if the Marine 360 was causing that or if my sinuses were finally clearing up! 😀

Interesting on the Marine 360 creating pressure to keep humidity out. I've been pondering where I'll store the gasoline. I do not want it in the garage (open-ended garage) due to our propane gas hotwater heater located there...and it's pilot light. I've stored 5-gallon cans there for 30 years, sometimes a couple of them. But to have three or four 5-gallon cans is getting a bit much. Plus, what you shared about the pressure build up. I've got a couple of storage sheds but I'm not sure I want the jugs in them due to the heat in the sheds. I'm thinking of building a small shelter just for storing the gas...something with a good shade (it gets hot down here in the summer!) and good ventilation...basically something to keep the rain and sun off the jugs. I've got an old deck out back that used to have an above ground pool beside it...I'm thinking of a compartment beneath it...nice and shady and could be adequately sealed against rain...a simple floor on cement blocks and no gasoline smell/fumes in close proximity to anything.
 
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