Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I feel a bit like an idiot. I couldn’t get the generator to start, thought it might be a plug or something else, but since I was leaving town, I called someone. $200 to come look at it, + parts, but I had them come since I am not a small engine guy.

The tech arrived late, around 5, and we went down. Thankfully the generator didn’t start, just cranked and wouldn’t catch. Fuel on, things seemed to be working. So he decided to take off the air intake and hold his hand over it. He said sometimes air bleeds into the system with propane or natural gas and the thing won’t start. Fluctuating his hand slightly over the entrance, he got it to start.

We ran it for a few minutes, reconnected the air hose and it wouldn’t start. Repeat the procedure of taking it off and it started.

Hmmm. He checked the air filter (brand new) and it was fine. Then he said there might be something stuck in the airway. Sure enough there was: the choke.

Apparently the choke was stuck close and no air was getting into the generator. So it wouldn’t’ start. The tech flipped it a few times, reconnected things, and it started. We’re set for the winter, albeit $200 lighter, but with a little more knowledge.

None of the documentation says to check a choke valve, which is supposed to be automatic. Now I know, but I still feel silly that I didn’t think of it.

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