Brand new Generac generator and it won't start

baymee(LehighValleyPA)October 28, 2012

Customer dropped off a brand new generator. Just put in fresh gas and it won't run on anything but "Choke".

First thing was to check for water in the bowl. No.

Removed the carb. Took it apart and checked all the jets for dirt. None found.

Even though it's under warranty, we are going to take a direct hit from Hurricane Sandy tomorrow, so forget about replacing it. There are none and the electric might be out for several days or more.

Checked the plug. Sooted. Expected that because it only runs on choke position.

As soon as you try to open the choke, even slightly, it stalls.

Does not respond to carb cleaner in the throttle, at all. Usually if the jets are blocked, it will at least have some response to carb cleaner. No response at all.

Has compression. Can feel the resistance at TDC.

I don't suspect the carb, but what else would cause this?

I think it's a Chonda engine.

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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Does say Predator on engine with honda type carb. most need main jet open screw brake off easy so lube up before try turn out. Gen sets to run fast if can hold to idle see if run off idle jet after warms up you increase speed some without choke. This running may loosen up main jet passage. But betting on main jet not set right.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 8:08PM
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I had the main jet out. It's not blocked.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Gee whiz, I was gonna start cussing out old Tecumseh carbs after struggling most of the day with the one on my gen-set. If somebody like you is in the weeds over a carb then all I can suggest is an intake leak. Maybe a cracked manifold? Off timing? Good luck, my friend .

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 9:17PM
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I purchased a brand new Generac GP5500 from Grainger yesterday and it ran great for for 20 minutes while powering a fridge. After a few hours I moved it to where the power comes in and connected the ground wire terminal to a its own grounding rod outside the house. When I pulled to start it there was a loud pop and some smoke from near the intake. Initially I thought the ignition blew out but a spark tester showed that that the voltage in the spark wire can jump quite a gap. After driving around for a bit w/ the generator I was able to start it again but shut it off within 30 seconds instead of letting it run. It wouldn't restart. After carrying the generator up a slope and ensuring a full tank it started again but it was shut off again within about 30 seconds, even though I probably should have let it run. Again, it wouldn't restart.

Is it possible the plug is fouled already? I see a relay or some kind of saftey switch connected to the on/off knob but doubt that us it because the spark tester showed a spark. I have yet to remove the plug but will try that as soon as I get the right wrench tomorrow. Any suggestions? Did you find any resolution to your issue yet baymee?

Generators are tough to get here after the hurricane and the sales are final given the special situation. Repair shops, even authorized repair centers are too swamped to take a look. On top of that the town and power company are also too overwhelmed to get to the big mess in our little neighborhood, so it'll be at least a week before we get power. I've read GardenWeb a great deal in the past for appliance advice and the community has been very helpful, I'd appreciate any input. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 1:40AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Baymee find cause it was low oil level switch unplug wire see how runs first fill with oil see if run set level place in cold weather oil run back down slower this give switch signal needs oil. fill to top if plug on side oil pan put all oil can get in there.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 2:35AM
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Reposted from the lawnmower forum:

It turned out that tomplum's thought on the low oil shut-off module was right. Unplugged the wire and both run perfectly. Faulty module.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 5:34AM
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Found the problem. The popping sound I heard was not electrical but the engine detonating/backfiring. That blew apart the flimsy plastic part in the choke and sent it and a metal plate into the air filter. Once I choked the opening manually with my hand it fired right up. I'd be extra careful!when moving the choke back and forth by hand, seeing how flimsy it is.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 2:58PM
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when my power is out I don't shut the gen. off. Ran mine for 5 days straight. I didn't want to take the chance it wouldn't refire at 22 degrees during Ice storm. I was lucky durng that storm some had no power for 2 months. I can do this cause I know what condition my genset in in.

IF YOU do this you have to be extra careful gassing it up. DON"T SPILL gas over the hot engine!

Luckily mine doesn't have the knock-offs engine on it. Ran prefectly for 13 years. Which reminds me I need to fire it up and let it run 5 mins. been 4 months since it last quarterly operational checks!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:12AM
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My solution: if generator is brand new, make sure it is on level ground. Pick up one end of the unit and shake it around. Worked for me after about an hour of checking gas, oil, spark plug, air filter, etc. etc. I guess I might have had an air bubble or some issue with the fuel.

Once I did that the engine coughed a little and started up. Been running great for over an hour.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:22PM
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After 4 days without power, my brother-in-law was able to get a new generator. Imagine his anger when it wouldn't start. It is now the third Generac with a bad low-oil module. 3250 Watts.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 2:14PM
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where is wire for low oil module? my nieghbor bought generac ay lowes ran it one day next ran then just stopped running ,oil & gas good.cant find sparkplug to check for spark.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 11:06AM
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You'll see the single wire coming out of the block, probably near the oil-fill plug. It's probably the only wire you'll see coming directly out of the sensor, screwed into the block.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:49PM
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I bought an 8kw Generac home generator that runs on natural gas. I had it wired into the house and plumbed into the gasline. It was certified,registered and started by the local company that sold it to me the morning before we got hit with Hurricane Sandy. I thought "what timing". Later that night the power went out,15 seconds later the Generac generator kicked on and we had the needed power. SIX HOURS LATER THE BRAND NEW GENERAC GENERATOR BURNED A HOLE IN A PISTON AND STOPPED! The generac customer service people could care less. My little coleman generator powered the fridge and the sump pump for three days straight and that little coleman generator is 10 years old! Iam told a new motor is coming for the Generac but have yet to see it. Whey spend the 3k when 300.00 will be more reliable.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 8:06PM
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Wow, what a stroke of bad. I was just looking at Consumer Reports because I want to get a Honda generator. I was really surprized when Generac was rated #1 and Honda was down around #3 in the same class.

$600 compared to $2000 in price. I wonder how much that article can be trusted.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 8:11PM
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I've owned several generators:
Coleman Pro-Gen 5000
Honda EU2000
Honda EU3000
Makita G2800R
Multiquip GA 3.6HA
Robin RGV2800 (currently own)
Honda EU3000 Handi (currently own)

I would NOT touch Generac with a 10-ft pole! My brother bought one from Home Cheapo and it was leaking oil from the block on day 3. Honda has the better reputation but I am very impressed with the Robin/Subaru product. Arguably a better value than the Hondas. Any opinions or comments?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:57PM
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After I read the story in Consumer Reports, I saw my buddy at the Honda dealership. They handle Honda generators and since they are a Briggs dealer, they also can sell Generac.

I commented that I might get a Generac because it was so highly rated and much less expensive. How often do I use a generator?? Maybe a day per year???

He told me a story about Generac and how repair parts are almost impossible to get. One guy dropped his brand new unit off the truck and broke the back cover of the generator. It took 5 months to get the part. He said that any Honda part is available overnight.

Just some food for thought.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 6:41AM
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My parents power in CT was out for almost 2 weeks thanks to Sandy, they have a 20,000 KW Generac unit, air cooled that runs on propane. It ran the whole time non stop without a hitch.

We were without power for 11 days here in NJ, and we have a 22,000 KW Generac unit on order, should be installed in December. Apparently the larger units are easier to get a hold of. The unit we ordered has a 4 cyl car engine in it and can run the whole house including heat / air conditioning, all appliances etc. I am not going without power again, 11 days was a major hassle.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:11PM
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