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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought a Westinghouse WGEN9500DFc (9500 watts, dual duel) and after spending 5 hours to install the high-altitude carburetor kit and the propane nozzle for the 3,000 to 5.000 ft altitude, I was able to start the unit with gas and tested the power from one of the plugs - worked OK. But the unit will NOT START with PROPANE. I started with gas and switched to PROPANE and the unit stopped after the gas ran out after closing the gas feed. I tried to start just with PROPANE, but no luck. I tested all cables for leak and no leak. The PROPANE FUEL gauge showed middle full in green area.
I am not sure what the step would be ... The unit is new and it was purchased at LOWES, I just got the high altitude kits (one of the carburetor and one for the propane valve) last week. I also, started with gasoline, closed the gasoline, so no residual fuel would be left in the carburetor and then tried to switch to propane, with no success. I repeated the same, and tried to start with propane, with no success. How do I check that indeed there is PROPANE flow into the engine chamber? How do I check that the unit propane valve works? etc. How do I fix this? I purchased the unit at LOWES in Prescott, AZ and I live 1.5 hours from them. They offered to come and pick up the 230 lb unit as return, but after waiting for a month, after ordering the high altitude kits and after spending 5 hours in installing the kits and testing the unit, I would rather know how to fix he PROPANE NON START, NON RUN problems. Can anyone help? Thank you so much. Roberto Ancis
 

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Re-check your propane supply. With the hose disconnected at the generator side, do you smell propane go out the hose when you open the valve at the tank? I know that's rather unorthodox. The right way is of course to use a pressure gauge and make sure that it's at or around 7 in-W.C.

With the hose connected to the generator, do you smell raw propane coming out of the exhaust during or after cranking?

We know that overall, the engine is fine as it runs on gasoline, so only the propane circuit is suspect. Do you see the choke closing (if automatic choke) while cranking? These units don't have a prime/purge button (should be capital punishment for not including one), and relies on the choke to be closed to generate the vacuum pulses to open the demand regulator and feed propane to the carb.

One other thing that jumps out at me is that the demand regulator may be mis-configured from the factory. There's usually an adjustment screw where that grey plastic or rubber plug is. It controls the diaphragm sensitivity. I believe that loosening the screw makes the demand regulator less resistant to incoming pressure from the hose and vice versa. Not sure about that but it may be worth a look.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re-check your propane supply. With the hose disconnected at the generator side, do you smell propane go out the hose when you open the valve at the tank? I know that's rather unorthodox. The right way is of course to use a pressure gauge and make sure that it's at or around 7 in-W.C.

With the hose connected to the generator, do you smell raw propane coming out of the exhaust during or after cranking?

We know that overall, the engine is fine as it runs on gasoline, so only the propane circuit is suspect. Do you see the choke closing (if automatic choke) while cranking? These units don't have a prime/purge button (should be capital punishment for not including one), and relies on the choke to be closed to generate the vacuum pulses to open the demand regulator and feed propane to the carb.

One other thing that jumps out at me is that the demand regulator may be mis-configured from the factory. There's usually an adjustment screw where that grey plastic or rubber plug is. It controls the diaphragm sensitivity. I believe that loosening the screw makes the demand regulator less resistant to incoming pressure from the hose and vice versa. Not sure about that but it may be worth a look.

View attachment 11818
Thank you so much for your assistance. The fact that when running with gasoline and switching to propane with the unit switch, kills the engine, seems to indicate that propane is not reaching the combustion chamber. I will try another propane supply cylinder today and also call W customer service/tech support and see what they say. I will certainly follow the 'smell' test and your other excellent suggestions. However, I suspect an incorrect or faulty regulator setting. Will keep you informed. I must say I am disappointed at the QC of Westinghouse that allows a non-working unit to reach retail.
 

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Roberto, I have that same gen set to which I have installed the high altitude kit; Assuming you bought your kit from Westinghouse as I did. I live in the Arizona high country and know of the Lowes you mentioned. The calibrated orifice which goes on the outlet of the generator mounted pressure regulator was the easy part. The carburator main jet was the harder part in that hoses and brackets need to be removed to get the space needed to get to that carburator float bowl and main jet. Assuming you have the propane supply hose and vapor canister hose reattached correctly, check the propane supply system that gas is flowing. Be aware that the valve on the tank has a free flow saftey cut off valve. If the gas flows to fast the valve cuts the flow off. My method for hooking up a tank is to connect the tank to the generator gas regulator using the supplied connection hose regulator assembly. Then slowly open the tank valve so as not to activate that free flow safety device. To reset a triggered safety you must close the tank valve and de pressurize the line and start over. Since the gas regulator does not have a purge button, the first start typically takes 3 start cycles. I reduced that to halfway through the 1st cycle by loosing the input hose fitting at the regulator to let some gas leak out. When I smell gas I tighten it up. This affirms there is gas and purges the supply line to to the regulator. I have been running mine on a 20lb tank during my exercise tests. It has been working fine for that. But do know that the small tanks may not be able to transfer enough heat from the environment to the propane being vaporized to keep it's temperature and therefore the gas pressure in the tank high enough. During our summer Monsoon power outages in Arizona the air temperature is high enough to allow the small surface area propane tanks to absorbe enough heat to keep the pressure up. While running on propane feel the tank, if it is getting icy cold, you might place the tank in the warm air flowing out from behind the generator. No propane leak. Right? I do not use the propane tank swap service. Instead I bought some larger tanks from a propane delivery service and take them there for refilling. The tanks were cheeper to buy and the price per gallon for the propane is much less. On par with Costco propane prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roberto, I have that same gen set to which I have installed the high altitude kit; Assuming you bought your kit from Westinghouse as I did. I live in the Arizona high country and know of the Lowes you mentioned. The calibrated orifice which goes on the outlet of the generator mounted pressure regulator was the easy part. The carburator main jet was the harder part in that hoses and brackets need to be removed to get the space needed to get to that carburator float bowl and main jet. Assuming you have the propane supply hose and vapor canister hose reattached correctly, check the propane supply system that gas is flowing. Be aware that the valve on the tank has a free flow saftey cut off valve. If the gas flows to fast the valve cuts the flow off. My method for hooking up a tank is to connect the tank to the generator gas regulator using the supplied connection hose regulator assembly. Then slowly open the tank valve so as not to activate that free flow safety device. To reset a triggered safety you must close the tank valve and de pressurize the line and start over. Since the gas regulator does not have a purge button, the first start typically takes 3 start cycles. I reduced that to halfway through the 1st cycle by loosing the input hose fitting at the regulator to let some gas leak out. When I smell gas I tighten it up. This affirms there is gas and purges the supply line to to the regulator. I have been running mine on a 20lb tank during my exercise tests. It has been working fine for that. But do know that the small tanks may not be able to transfer enough heat from the environment to the propane being vaporized to keep it's temperature and therefore the gas pressure in the tank high enough. During our summer Monsoon power outages in Arizona the air temperature is high enough to allow the small surface area propane tanks to absorbe enough heat to keep the pressure up. While running on propane feel the tank, if it is getting icy cold, you might place the tank in the warm air flowing out from behind the generator. No propane leak. Right? I do not use the propane tank swap service. Instead I bought some larger tanks from a propane delivery service and take them there for refilling. The tanks were cheeper to buy and the price per gallon for the propane is much less. On par with Costco propane prices.
Thank you so much for your direct past personal experience. I tested the output of the propane supply regulator and it is OK. I tested the pressure reducing valve on the generator and there was no propane flow. Westinghouse is sending me a new generator pressure reducing valve (regulator). Let us hope the replacement will fix the problem. I will most certainly follow your procedures as soon as I receive the replacement generator regulator. Thanks.
 

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I tested the pressure reducing valve on the generator and there was no propane flow. Westinghouse is sending me a new generator pressure reducing valve (regulator). Let us hope the replacement will fix the problem. I will most certainly follow your procedures as soon as I receive the replacement generator regulator. Thanks.
You realize, right (?) that there will be no flow from the "pressure reducing valve on the generator" until there is a partial vacuum applied to the output port of that pressure reducing valve?

Most of us refer to that valve as a "Demand Regulator" because it will not allow any fuel flow until there is a vacuum applied to it. That feature ensures that there is no fuel flow unless there is engine vacuum. In other words, if the engine stops rotating for any reason, fuel flow also stops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You realize, right (?) that there will be no flow from the "pressure reducing valve on the generator" until there is a partial vacuum applied to the output port of that pressure reducing valve?

Most of us refer to that valve as a "Demand Regulator" because it will not allow any fuel flow until there is a vacuum applied to it. That feature ensures that there is no fuel flow unless there is engine vacuum. In other words, if the engine stops rotating for any reason, fuel flow also stops.
After I spoke with Westinghouse customer service and they told me they would send a second regulator, I asked myself if the regulator was a demand regulator, as you so well pointed out. In such case, the replacement will not very likely fix the problem. I looked for how the Westinghouse propane fuel system integrates with the gasoline engine functions, but could not find any descriptions of how it works. As you sound like an expert, what do you think the problem might be - a working gasoline operation, a non-start and non-switch propane operation. What should I check? Thank you again so much for your information.
 

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Seems to me trouble shooting is centered around fuel delivery. Regulator - Check for proper operation (your doing that). Since you had it apart to install the calibrated orifice, you ensured no debris fell into the regulator I trust. Check that the propane supply hose from the regulator to the carburetor has no obstructions. Doubt it has but all the obvious has been looked at. Grasping at straws here. A previous contributor rightfully commented that demand regulators only supply gas when there is a pressure imbalance between the ambient and outlet orifice. If you have done any SCUBA you know how that works. Check that the spark plug does not have excessive gap. Use .022" for propane instead of .032" for gasoline. (mine ran on the stock 0.032" gap though) If you are committed to propane you can run one step colder spark plug and gap it to 0.022". Some even advance the spark timing a couple of degrees to enjoy increased power. I may after the warranty expires. On another note. As I write this, the air temperature outside is 87°F making the calculated density altitude at my 5000 ft ASL home 7,240 ASL. This is why I install the 6000-7000 orifice for summer and the 5000-6000 ft orifice in winter. Takes about 10 minutes. Not using gasoline here so after the initial main jet mod to 5000ft, I don't bother with the main jet in the carburetor for summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for your suggestions ... do you know if there is an adjustment on the pressure reducing valve welded/bolted to the WGen9500DFc to adjust the propane initial flow rate (this is not the valve regulator tubing that comes with the unit, but what they call the pressure reducing valve)? Thanks.
 

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I studied the exploded diagram to learn the pressure reducing valve is what we are calling the demand regulator. That device has an adjustment spring in it but the word is not to mess with it as the adjustment must be such that it delivers the correct amount of gas for the entire range of loads. You mentioned Westinghouse was replacing that part. Question? When you are attempting to start the machine using propane as the fuel, can you detect the odor of propane gas in the exhaust? Seems if it was pumping fuel through the engine it would exhaust unburnt and would be detectable.
 

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Sorry for nit-picking. Not sure if it's just mis-communication or if the support agent is mixing up the regulators.

They actually call the demand regulator a pressure-reducing valve? That seems like a misnomer.

All this time I thought that the pressure-reducing valve = pressure regulator. It takes raw propane tank pressure in the 100-200 psi and reduce it down to around 0.5 psi.... the very definition of a pressure-reducing valve.

A demand regulator on the other hand is more like an automatic on/off switch for propane. It will only pass propane when there's demand (ie. engine vacuum), hence the name. With the engine off, the demand regulator prevents the fuel from getting through. A cranking/running engine however will present a vacuum and will cause the demand regulator let fuel through.

Demand regulator mounted on the gen (left), and pressure regulator (pressure-reducing valve) mounted on the tank (right).
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I studied the exploded diagram to learn the pressure reducing valve is what we are calling the demand regulator. That device has an adjustment spring in it but the word is not to mess with it as the adjustment must be such that it delivers the correct amount of gas for the entire range of loads. You mentioned Westinghouse was replacing that part. Question? When you are attempting to start the machine using propane as the fuel, can you detect the odor of propane gas in the exhaust? Seems if it was pumping fuel through the engine it would exhaust unburnt and would be detectable.
Thank you for taking the time to review the diagram. I was a bit confused as in the part list of the diagram, Westinghouse seem to call a pressure reducing valve (2.4 in the diagram) what is typically a demand regulator. While the pressure reducing valve is part of the hose they provide to connect to the propane tank. This been said, I do not see in what they call the pressure reducing valve (that should be called regulator instead) the orifice for the vacuum control diaphram
I studied the exploded diagram to learn the pressure reducing valve is what we are calling the demand regulator. That device has an adjustment spring in it but the word is not to mess with it as the adjustment must be such that it delivers the correct amount of gas for the entire range of loads. You mentioned Westinghouse was replacing that part. Question? When you are attempting to start the machine using propane as the fuel, can you detect the odor of propane gas in the exhaust? Seems if it was pumping fuel through the engine it would exhaust unburnt and would be detectable.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review the W9500DFc diagram. I was confused as it calls the regulator of the unit, installed on the W9500DFc, a pressure reducing valve (item 2.4 in the diagram and the parts list). It looks like a (demand ?) regulator, but at the same time typically a demand regulator has a third orifice activating the inside diaphragm when a vacuum is provided, thus allowing the propane to flow. The external hose they provide to connect to the propane cylinder, looks like a pressure reducing valve instead. I must say I am a bit confused. I will try and restart with the propane option and see if I can smell propane in the exhaust. If I do, I must find a way to adjust the air/fuel mixture to enable vaporized propane detonation. Thank you ... it should not be so difficult to start a new dual fuel engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry for nit-picking. Not sure if it's just mis-communication or if the support agent is mixing up the regulators.

They actually call the demand regulator a pressure-reducing valve? That seems like a misnomer.

All this time I thought that the pressure-reducing valve = pressure regulator. It takes raw propane tank pressure in the 100-200 psi and reduce it down to around 0.5 psi.... the very definition of a pressure-reducing valve.

A demand regulator on the other hand is more like an automatic on/off switch for propane. It will only pass propane when there's demand (ie. engine vacuum), hence the name. With the engine off, the demand regulator prevents the fuel from getting through. A cranking/running engine however will present a vacuum and will cause the demand regulator let fuel through.

Demand regulator mounted on the gen (left), and pressure regulator (pressure-reducing valve) mounted on the tank (right).
View attachment 11839
You are correct. I wonder why the confusion of terminology. Also, I do not see a third orifice in the demand regulator on the Westinghouse 9500 unit for the vacuum activation of the regulator. Any suggestions to start the engine with the propane option? Is there anyone who knows where I could find an operational manual explaining the W900DFc operation in the propane mode, with a list of how the external pressure regulator works, how the demand regulator works and how the carburetor solenoid works with the propane option and how is the vacuum signal communicated to the demand regulator (assuming they have a standard demand regulator)? Thank you for your time and excellent observation.
 

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You are correct. I wonder why the confusion of terminology. Also, I do not see a third orifice in the demand regulator on the Westinghouse 9500 unit for the vacuum activation of the regulator. Any suggestions to start the engine with the propane option? Is there anyone who knows where I could find an operational manual explaining the W900DFc operation in the propane mode, with a list of how the external pressure regulator works, how the demand regulator works and how the carburetor solenoid works with the propane option and how is the vacuum signal communicated to the demand regulator (assuming they have a standard demand regulator)? Thank you for your time and excellent observation.
Essentially, there are just two orifices on a demand regulator, an inlet and an outlet. There may be other holes present like the pressure-equalizing vent which is not connected to anything but must be kept open and unobstructed for the valve's normal operation.

The vacuum I speak of is from the actual pulses from the engine during the intake stroke.... the cycle in which it normally pulls air and fuel from the carburetor venturi. But instead of pulling gasoline from the jet, it's drawing on the demand regulator to open up and give it propane. It does so because the outlet of the demand regulator is directly connected to the carb venturi. Without that vacuum or pull from the engine, the demand regulator stops propane from flowing.

Unfortunately, the technical operation of the regulators are not included in the manual as they're typically separate and practically non-serviceable entities (like you don't get a separate explanation how the AC adapter works on your laptop). It's supposed to be something that's already been pre-configured and should've just been plug-and-forget. But they still do break and it's important to recognize that it has.
 
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