Saturday, December 19, 2015

Generator Fuel Pump

If you remove the generator access door and look at the carburetor, towards the bottom is a largish Phillips head screw. This is the carb bowl drain. Draining the carb bowl during storage goes a long way in keeping the gen-set happy. When loosening or removing the screw, a little gas will drip down - just put a bowl down to catch it.

With the gen set prime/start switch right there on the unit, you can push the prime button and instantly see if the bowl is filling up again. Without taking anything else apart, this will be and aid in trouble shooting. You can hear the pump working, but if there's not gas entering the bowl, the first thing to check is main fuel tank level. Next would be the fuel shut-off solenoid at the bottom of the carburetor bowl. The solenoid has two wires going to it, ground and positive. You'll need to remove the wires to unscrew the solenoid. It is easily cleaned of gunk and put back in service - no parts needed.

When I did mine, I removed the whole carb to get at everything, as I didn't know it was just the solenoid causing the no run problem. So I'm not 100% sure the carb bowl can be removed without removing the carb itself, but I suspect it can be.

In any case, if you get in the habit of draining the bowl before longer storage, a gunked up fuel solenoid should not be of concern.

BTW - The reason for the recommended monthly gen set run is three fold. To heat up and dry the generator windings, to exercise the motor, and importantly to  re-magnetize the generator's stator core. It is the residual magnetism in the core that allows the gen to start making electricity. If left too long with running, one may need to "flash the windings" to get the generator to function again. (Doable with the "flashing coil with two drill motors" trick (search internet using that term for instructions), but still a pain that's easy to avoid.