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

Messages
506
Location
Hedgesville, WV
I was surprised when I looked up your generator to see they claim that it will run on a 20lb tank with the included hose. If I were you I would have to test that and if it works well then keep the gas tank empty and just run on propane. If you have other OPE you will have gas around just in case but with propane you dont have to worry about bad gas or carb deposits and its still portable. When the propane guys get you a hookup to the big tank you will have access to plenty of fuel for emergency backup and no worrys about draining anything. You still need to fog the cylinder and close up the engine when storing long term but not having to mess with gasoline is a huge convenience.
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
I think you have the right idea. Set the generator up for long term storage and not worry about long term fuel storage. Keep some gasoline on hand for the odd OPE needs...lawnmowers, chainsaw, etc.,. That makes sense. I need to get busy on my propane hookup!

Btw, I find where they mentioned how long it would run on a 20lb propane tank and I went to Home Depot's website. When I went to the webpage it showed a $50 drop in price for the generator. I contacted customer service and they said it was showing the old price on their screen. I sent them a screen capture and they're refunding the $50 to me! :D
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
It is stated that using propane the generator gets 6.5 hours on a 20lb tank. A full 20lb tank holds 4.6 gallons. This gets me very close to the fuel economy of gasoline. I've got it figured that the generator will get roughly 0.71gph on gas and 0.69gph on propane. Naturally the wattage will be less on propane but still sufficient for what we need! (y)

Even if the big propane tank only has a hundred gallons or so in it it will still last a long time!
 
Messages
218
Location
MI
@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
Those 'empty tank' instructions will leave old fuel trapped in the fuel line and a little in the bottom of the tank.
Re-order #2 and #3. This will drain the last bit from the tank and fuel line.
1 - Empty tank (siphon and run gas out of carb or run generator to empty unloaded)
3 - Drain carburetor (if it has a drain bolt...need to check)
2 - Shut off fuel valve.
 
Messages
218
Location
MI
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.
Stabil Marine 360 does NOT raise the vapor pressure of the gasoline. If it did, the little bottle of Stabil would balloon out in warm weather due to the increased vapor pressure and it would vent like opening a can of soda when you removed the cap.

Stabil adds anti-oxidizers and other bits to the fuel to help it from oxidizing, protect from ethanol and to prevent corrosion in metal tanks.
 
Messages
500
Location
VA
It is stated that using propane the generator gets 6.5 hours on a 20lb tank. A full 20lb tank holds 4.6 gallons. This gets me very close to the fuel economy of gasoline. I've got it figured that the generator will get roughly 0.71gph on gas and 0.69gph on propane. Naturally the wattage will be less on propane but still sufficient for what we need! (y)

Even if the big propane tank only has a hundred gallons or so in it it will still last a long time!
You can buy 100Lb propane tanks at places like tractor supply, Lowes etc.
20Lb tanks can be problematic when trying to run a decent size gen, depending on gen load and ambient temp (propane bottle temp). My tri-fuel 9K will freeze a 20Lb bottle.
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
A quick update... I haven't had much to comment on as I've been on a holding pattern for the last week or so in regards to the propane hookup. The propane service guy came by this yesterday. He thinks the regulator on the 500gal tank will work. The generator calls for a 1/2psi pressure and the regulator appears to be a dual-stage regulator that is 1/2psi. The information from Champion stated that the generator also requires 152,000btu/hr and this was *not* addressed. So, I've got to get back with him about that part.

The guy seemed willing to do whatever it takes to get the generator going. He also said that the most direct way of hooking to the tank would be installing a "T" at the tank and running a complete new line from tank to generator. That would save having to dig up the old line, tee into it, etc.,. It makes sense to run the new line and we're only talking probably using maybe 15 feet more pipe than we would tee'ing off the existing line.

He said he would make me a metal-covered flex-line up. I was looking at a 15' flex line with the hookup point be right beside the garage wall. I've read, though, of some people having problems with flex lines over 10' long. Maybe I need to shorten it to 10'?

As it stands, it looks like it'll be a couple of weeks before they can get to it.

It's been mentioned a couple of times to "fog" the carburetor before storing. How do you do that and what do you use? Thanks.
 
Messages
506
Location
Hedgesville, WV
You dont really need to fog the carb if you are going to run propane but if your running gas and you want to fog it get a can of Fogging oil, warm up the generator on gas, remove the air filter and spray the fogging oil in the air intake until it stalls out. Thats it, but you cant run the engine out of fuel this way so it leaves allot in the jet passages and bowl unless you have a bowl drain. I have used this method and the biggest draw back is that the excess oil will attract dust and dirt and it gets sticky after a long time in storage. I would just fog the cylinders by pulling the spark plugs and using the straw it comes with spray the oil in the plug hole and pull the engine over a few times. Then put the plugs in and slowly pull the engine over till you feel the compression stroke and leave it there. With the choke on to close the butterfly and the engine on compression to close the intake and exhaust valves its pretty sealed up and a lot less messy.
 
Messages
218
Location
MI
Run some 2-cycle mix through the engine, then run it dry and drain the carb. This will leave a protective oil film inside the carb.
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
Thanks for the replies, guys. It seems I'm all over the place trying to figure out how to utilize the generator. I do want to be able to run off either gasoline or propane but my primary focus will be on propane as it definitely appears that will be the better "storage situation" for both fuel and engine.

@samven , what you described above sounds like a simple process for storing the generator... Fog the cylinder, and close the intake/exhaust ports off along with choking the carb.

Now, my question is regarding doing maintenance runs with both gasoline and propane. In my mind, it seems the best way would be to run a little gas through the engine, with some 2-stroke oil mixed in,...run it until it stalls unloaded. Follow that with a short run on propane. Then close the engine up as samven described. Does that sound about right?

Also, I'm been reading in the manual about starting (and stopping) the engine on propane. Definitely a different process than starting it up on gasoline. I've got a bit more studying to do on that.
 
Messages
218
Location
MI
Once you fog it, I don't see any reason to then run it on propane.
I don't fog any of my engines, so maybe someone else can chime in.

If I have a long-term storage situation, I do:
- Warm up the engine
- Change the oil
- Run the engine with a light 2-cycle gas mix (1oz/5gal + Marine Stabil)
- Drain the tank and run it dry
- Drain the carb bowl
- Pull the spark plug and put a teaspoon of oil in the cylinder
- Pull the engine over a number of times to allow the piston to coat the cylinder with the oil
- Install the spark plug
- Pull the engine over slowly until resistance is felt on the compression stroke. (valves are closed, sealing the cylinder)
- Say good night and put it away in the garage

I've stored engines for years this way.
 

Intheswamp

Thread starter
Messages
62
Location
South Alabama
Thanks for the feedback, Ride_Red. In situations where I'll be powering my house my plans are to run solely on propane. But, I *do* want the ability to run on gasoline, too, so during maintenance runs I'll run it on both fuels.

I think setting up the generator for long-term storage is my best course of action and maybe only do an annual maintenance run. Anything up to around eight hours of outage is tolerable, but at that point the side-by-side refrigerators will have to be powered back up. We *may* experience and outage of that duration once a year...more likely once every two or three years. Naturally, hurricanes and tornado systems are wildcards. We live about 20 miles on the east side of I-65 south of Montgomery, AL. Most storm systems in the past have followed I-65 in a northeasterly direction barely missing our area. There is almost an imperceptible topo ridge that semi-parallels I-65 on the west side that I believe helps channel the storm systems roughly along that interstate. The storms that passed south of Birmingham recently with so much destruction were further west but much larger/wider than the usual systems and the edges appeared to travel the I-65 path. The edge of the system was less than ten miles west of us. Seems storm systems are getting larger and stronger so it's possible that the every-year-or-three frequency of needing to run the generator may get more frequent.

Running with propane seems to be the best overall fuel to run for ease of storing not only the fuel itself but also the generator. So, to keep it exercised for running both fuels I had figured first to run gasoline through it then to run propane through it which would help to remove any residual gasoline left in the engine. But, maybe I need to do the opposite and run propane first and then gasoline so as to get the inside of the carb and cylinder with a light oil film to protect against internal corrosion....????

Or, should I worry about running gasoline during maintenance runs? The only reason to run gasoline would be if my propane tank was getting low and gasoline was available *or* if I needed to haul the generator to somebody else's house to help them out. ????

For the process that you described above, how long would you feel comfortable with storing the generator?
 
Messages
1,567
Location
USA
If your generator has a electric fuel pump, you don't want to run it dry for storage. That will burn up the fuel pump just like on a car.

Just use ethanol free, or/and lace it with Stabil/TCW3 and leave it topped off with the tank completely full.
 
Messages
218
Location
MI
I have two generators... a little EU2000i and a larger EP2500.
I use the little EU often. Quick to setup during power outages, easy to take camping, outdoor events, etc. I use it less than 50hrs a year, but it gets run every few months.

The larger generator gets used during power outages only, and that's only if we loan out the little EU to a neighbor or if we need to do a load of laundry. Other than that, I try to run it at once a year (if I remember to). I store all my engines as outlines above. They always start when I need them too.

I use the same gasoline in my generators as I do in the lawnmower all summer (and winter storage). When I take the 5gal can to the gas station, I put the Marine Stabil and also 1oz of 2-cycle TCW-3 oil in it right there at the pump. I keep a couple of 5gal cans at the house for emergencies. I cycle the gas by burning it in my lawn mower and also my motorcycle. Mid-winter, I'll dump a can in my car to cycle it if its getting old. Gas at my house is usually less than 6 months old. I have gone over a year without any issues before, but we get seasonal gas in Michigan so I try to cycle it around those switchover times.
 
Messages
218
Location
MI
So the small EU is good. Should I spend the extra $ for a Honda? What brand is yours?
I have a Honda EU2000i. Honda now sells an EU2200i. It has a little more power and a larger engine. So far, reports about the 2200 are good.

It was a stretch for me to pay up the $$$ for the Honda. So far, I have not regretted it. It has been uber reliable and it performs well. There are other choices in the market for about half the price and I have seen both good and bad experiences posted about them. You pay your money and take your chances.
 
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