iGen2500 generator engine not running with fuel cap installed

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2,817
Location
Kentucky
A while back I posted about a Westinghouse iGen2500 generator I'd purchased that had several issues right out of the box, prompting me to return it to Amazon. I decided to give it a second chance, the item came back in stock and Amazon agreed to match the price I'd paid originally ($450 vs $600 now).

Got the unit and it fired right up, no issues whatsoever. I began my break in routine which is oil change at 1, 3 and 5 hours. The generator was at 3 hours when I did the second oil change. Afterward, I started it up to run a couple more hours but within a couple minutes of running it began surging until it died, acted exactly as if it ran out of gas. If you let it sit several minutes it will restart and repeat the same thing.

I discovered sort of on accident that there is no fuel flow when the gas cap is tightened. The carb bowl has a drain valve with a piece of clear hose attached. I wasn't getting anything out of it after cracking the screw, but when I opened the fuel cap, it began to flow like normal. I confirmed this theory by letting the generator run without the fuel cap, and it runs solid and never dies. As soon as you install the cap you get about 1-2 minutes run time and it will die every time.

Is there anything simple that might cause this? Hoping I can fix it myself and avoid another return to Amazon. I really like this machine but need to be able to install the gas cap! I'm baffled why the unit ran so great until that second oil change-- changing the oil requires tipping the unit on its side, and I may have turned it past 90 degrees, not sure if this could cause an issue like this. Any help / suggestions would be much appreciated!
 
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1,536
Location
Athens, GA
Odd that it ran for the 3 hours with no problem. Something could have moved in the cap during refueling, blocking the small vent that should be in it. Give the cap a good once over and look for a small vent. See if it's plugged.
 

92saturnsl2

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2,817
Location
Kentucky
Odd that it ran for the 3 hours with no problem. Something could have moved in the cap during refueling, blocking the small vent that should be in it. Give the cap a good once over and look for a small vent. See if it's plugged.
If I'm not mistaken the newer CARB approved small engines have a sealed fuel system with no gas cap vent. Though I realize that air has to enter somewhere to equalize pressure, I just don't know where.

I'll look the fuel cap over real close though and see if I can spot one, thanks for the suggestion.
 
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1,055
Location
Colorado
I own that genset and have over 20 hours on it and it is perfect. Of course I run Ethanol-free gas in it.... but it has been perfect.
Perfect.... usually around 10k-12k feet elevation.
 

92saturnsl2

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2,817
Location
Kentucky
I own that genset and have over 20 hours on it and it is perfect. Of course I run Ethanol-free gas in it.... but it has been perfect.
Perfect.... usually around 10k-12k feet elevation.
Seems like a fine generator, couldn't have been more pleased with it until this gas cap issue. Hoping I can get this figured out.

Did you install the high altitude kit on yours? Though without it, it will rich up the mixture which probably isn't a bad thing...
 
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1,055
Location
Colorado
Did you install the high altitude kit on yours? Though without it, it will rich up the mixture which probably isn't a bad thing...
I did not install the high altitude kit on it. I have thought about it... but it ran just fine at our boon-docking location this past fall.... at 10.4K elevation.
 
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998
Location
PR CA, USA
The new sealed gas caps are junk. My Honda Gx390 will die if filled completely with gas and the cap is tightened, open it and it fires back up. It’s a well known problem.
 
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1,536
Location
Athens, GA
Yes though it is not exactly sealed, there is a vent line from the air filter box to the top of the gas tank.

That makes sense, that way they burn the fumes, but seems like that could potentially cause problems.

If it were mine, and that were the only problem, I'd drill a tiny hole in the gas cap. Something maybe paperclip wire sized and be done with it, CARB be ****ed.

My little WEN 1200 watt inverter has an 'ON/OFF' on the gascap. I think it is meant to be sealed in the 'off' location, but I've accidentally run it for hours with the tank turned off, so I don't think it really works as intended on mine. Ohh well, so sad (not).
 
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The Honda eu2000 I used to own also had a manual tank vent, which had to be opened. The more recent Yamaha we own does not, but seems well sealed. It’s a good question - where does the air come from? Perhaps this tank vents to the intake tract.
 

92saturnsl2

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2,817
Location
Kentucky
Pretty sure that's an old manual-- I have a one that is a bit different. My machine definitely does not have a venting cap, I looked it over closely and it's as sealed as sealed can be.

I did however, look at all the fuel hose routing from the tank, and it appears the vent hose runs to a small charcoal canister. That canister isn't present in the photos of the manual you linked to, but is on mine.

So I assume this machine has been adapted to meet 2020 CARB evaporative emission requirements which all engines >80cc must meet to be sold in CA. This regulation puts limits on fuel vapor (hydrocarbon) release into the air, even when not running.

Now the good news--- I tried it after work today after the machine sat for about 24 hours and it runs flawless. I'm wondering if inverting the machine (for the oil change) didn't saturate (or fill?) the carbon canister with liquid fuel and prevent fuel venting somehow. Does this sound plausible?
 
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7,444
Location
North America
Now the good news--- I tried it after work today after the machine sat for about 24 hours and it runs flawless. I'm wondering if inverting the machine (for the oil change) didn't saturate (or fill?) the carbon canister with liquid fuel and prevent fuel venting somehow. Does this sound plausible?
Yup, totally.

Also love ctechbob's solution to drill a pinhole in the cap...
 

92saturnsl2

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2,817
Location
Kentucky
I've successfully run the machine to 10 hours with no further issues. I consider the break-in mostly complete, I tested it out to max capacity and although it works the engine real good, it manages a 2200 watt load just fine.

Pretty sure the venting issue I was experiencing was a result of inverting the generator while draining the oil, since then I've been careful not to tip it past 90 degrees.

This generator line is actually sold under several different brands including Generac. This particular Westinghouse model is unique in that it has the electronic display, which I've found to be quite accurate in measuring loads and fuel remaining, plus the hour meter is a great bonus feature. Wish the fuel level was measured in quarts and not liters though, but at least the two are within a couple ounces of each other. Completely satisfied at this point despite the first unit I received being a complete lemon, guess that will happen from time to time.
 
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