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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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How often should I run my generator?

Hi, I usually run my generator monthly for 10-20mins, but with being in a wheelchair it takes quite a while for me to setup and stuff even though I have it 90% already setup, so how long can I let it sit for without running it.

I think it is a Honda clone 2800watt and so far it has started first touch of the key monthly everytime and appears to to run well, but I have heard these clone engines can take some starting if you let them sit longer then a month ? The only good thing the generator has going for it, is that I keep the petrol with stablizer in, but the machine is outside in all weathers with a waterproof heavy duty cover on, so its easy for me to use and get going.

Last edited by speedy2019; 09-09-2019 at 05:04 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 05:34 PM
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The answer to that question depends on the generator (quality) as much as how you take care of it between start ups. Also, how cold does it get where you live?

If you run the fuel out of the carbs and drain the last drops, plus the stablizer in the fuel tank, you can get away with every few months. Obviously after a certain amount of time, you will want to use up ALL the gas and exchange it for fresh gas, so your 10-20 minutes a month (or now, every other month) may not be sufficient for that.

Depending on your generator, you can do what I did and perform propane surgery on it.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Well with it not being a true honda I guess the quality wont be as good, but I try to look after it as best that I can. I did try switching off the petrol tap and letting it run till the carburetor was empty, but it jumped and spluttered, so I haven't done that again since, but it still started first touch the next time even tho the carburetor was empty.

In the next week or so I am going to get my mate to help me change the oil ready for the winter as the oil that I have been using isn't great for low temps(bog standard SAE30 oil 4c-30c temps) and I have notice it takes longer to start as the temps drop. So Im going to change it for 10w40 oil, then that should be good all year round and might improve the starting when its cold aswel? The temps dont rarely drop much below -10c during the winter in the United Kingdom

I can get a conversion kit to make the generator run from both petrol and propane, but I havent properly used the generator yet, and I dont want to spend money on it, if its not fit for the job. I bought it for emergency power for when I have powercuts, but since buying the generator in feb-april time of this year, I havent had any powercuts. Typical!!!

Last edited by speedy2019; 09-09-2019 at 06:50 PM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:54 PM
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I would recommend you obtain Stabil 360 Blue Marine Fuel Stabilizer.

You can safely leave fuel in your generator for up to 2 years with that in the fuel. No need to drain or dry the carburetor.

It breaks up moisture in the fuel and suspends it but most importantly, coats all the internal passages with a unique coating that resists corrosion and pitting. It also contains an ethanol conditioner that helps keep the ethanol from becoming gummy.

It is truly amazing stuff and works. it costs about $16 to treat 300 gallons. Some people use the Red Stabil but it does not contain the coating protection or the ethanol stabilizer and it costs quite a bit more.



To clarify - I'm not a Predator, but one of my Generators IS
HarborFreight Predator 3500 Inverter

Last edited by Predator; 09-09-2019 at 11:56 PM.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 01:23 AM
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IMHO if you were storing your genset in a garage, etc. I'd consider extending your starting/test intervals. As it's stored outside under a waterproof heavy duty cover stay with the monthly interval. My rational is that storing under a tarp, etc. causes condensation which can play havoc with electrical switches, contacts, etc. Also, the generator head is an electrical item which doesn't like moisture/condensation, hopefully your "runs" include putting some type of electrical load on it. e.g. plug in a shop light.

I concur with using Stabil, whatever color you choose is much, much better than just trying to use the mystery gas we are forced to buy today. Every time I empty a fuel can I add Stabil so I don't have to think about adding it later. I also periodically put an ounce or two of SeaFoam in all small engine gas tanks which keeps the fuel system clean and happy.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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I put about 200-300watts of load on the generator when I run it and use this stuff in the petrol.......


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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Yesterday, I started the generator after about 2months of it being standing and it took about twice as long to start then normal, but once it fired up it ran nice and smooth. Is the not starting todo with the petrol starting to go bad in the carb, even though I have treated the petrol?

Also I have just bought some oil for the winter, 10w40 as I couldnt find any 10w30 oil that wasn't semi synthetic and you guys says new engines prefers semi synthetic oil?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedy2019 View Post
Yesterday, I started the generator after about 2months of it being standing and it took about twice as long to start then normal, but once it fired up it ran nice and smooth. Is the not starting todo with the petrol starting to go bad in the carb, even though I have treated the petrol?

Also I have just bought some oil for the winter, 10w40 as I couldnt find any 10w30 oil that wasn't semi synthetic and you guys says new engines prefers semi synthetic oil?

Depends on what you treated the petrol with. Some things work, some don't.
Also depends on the fuel used, the atmospheric conditions where the genny is stored.
Could also be something else.

I found that Seafoam is not that good at stabilizing fuel with any ethanol in it.
Tried everything. The stuff I postd above seem to work the best. On US fuels anyway. On 'Petrol", ymmv

To clarify - I'm not a Predator, but one of my Generators IS
HarborFreight Predator 3500 Inverter

Last edited by Predator; 09-26-2019 at 06:43 PM.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedy2019 View Post
Hi, I usually run my generator monthly for 10-20mins, but with being in a wheelchair it takes quite a while for me to setup and stuff even though I have it 90% already setup, so how long can I let it sit for without running it.

I think it is a Honda clone 2800watt and so far it has started first touch of the key monthly everytime and appears to to run well, but I have heard these clone engines can take some starting if you let them sit longer then a month ? The only good thing the generator has going for it, is that I keep the petrol with stablizer in, but the machine is outside in all weathers with a waterproof heavy duty cover on, so its easy for me to use and get going.
The best advice I can give you is to use 100% gasoline then treat that fuel with Sta-bil plus 1 oz of Marvel Mystery Oil to 1 gallon of fuel. Now for the most important part when you shutting down the engine an ready to store it, shut off the fuel supply an allow the engine to continue to run, as soon as you hear the engine starting to lose speed start closing the choke to hold the speed, soon you will need to add more choke until it's completely closed an the engine stops. This will completely drain the carburetor. You can now allow the engine to set for 6 months or longer w/o fuel issues. Now that said every 30 days you need to turn the engine 720 degrees (2 complete revs) plus 240 degrees to place the valve springs into a different set. I have engines that /setsat for over 2 years start on the second pull. Just make sure to turn the fuek back on an wait about 1-2 minutes before trying to start them. HTH Kenneth

Once you know how a device, system, ect operates, finding the root cause in the event chain is easy. Until then, you will always be chasing/repairing the effects. Learning is a life time event, if you want to outsmart, whatever item you want to repair.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 06:16 PM
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If your fuel has ethanol (I don't know if that's typical in the UK), then using fuel stabilizer is a very good idea. Personally, I would close the fuel shutoff, and run the engine until it dies (as has been described), when shutting it down.

Hopefully someone will weigh-in on the 10W40, vs 10W30. I would prefer to stay with 10W30, if possible. My concern would be that the first number (10) is the cold-weather behavior. So that's good; for winter, you don't want straight 30 weight. But as the engine and oil heat up, I'd expect it will now behave like 40 weight oil, not 30. That might be a little too-thin for the engine.

KRE, I'll confess that's the first time I recall hearing advice about rotating engines periodically, and by specific amounts, to help with valve springs. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'll offer that I've never done that, and am not aware of having any valve-spring issues. In the interest of simplicity, I personally would feel OK with skipping this part of the process.
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