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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Genset carb upkeep:  drain it and/or exercise it? Both?

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profdant139

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Posted: 02/17/21 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've got an old Honda 2000 -- it runs great, and I want to keep it that way.  So every month, I run it under load and then also drain the carb.

(I should add that I use SeaFoam in my tank religiously.  I mean that literally:  I pour in some SeaFoam and then pray that my carb will stay clean. [emoticon] )

So is it overkill to both exercise the generator and drain the carb?  Or can I just get away with draining the carb after every use?

My thought is that the purpose of exercising the generator and draining the carb is the same -- to keep the carb from gumming up due to the ethanol in the gas.  But if I just drain the carb after every use, doesn't that protect the carb sufficiently?  

Or does monthly exercise provide an additional benefit that draining the carb does not?

Your expert wisdom will be greatly appreciated!


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Lynnmor

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Posted: 02/17/21 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It all depends on how frequently you use the generator. It only needs exercised once a year, and only needs drained if it will be stored over a month. Also, snake oil is a waste of money.





JimK-NY

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Posted: 02/17/21 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Honda 2000i is over 12 years old with lots of use including 2 years full time travel. I have never drained the carb, and never added Seafoam. I did clean the air filter once or twice and changed the spark plug after about 8 years of use. I do try to remember to run it once every few months but often forget. I change the oil every year or so.

It runs great.

Matt_Colie

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Posted: 02/17/21 06:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unless Honda has changed to a bad idea, that carburetor is designed to be drained. How is that for an answer. If you plan to leave it alone for a long time (more than a couple of months) or just don't know when you might want it again. Get some "Fogging Oil" or Marvel oil. Get it warn and turn the fuel off. As it starts to sputter, fog the engine until it is stopped. Now, turn the crank until you feel compression. This means both valves are closed (and the points as well if it has). Now drain the carburetor and put the machine someplace safe.

Apart from the fogging, this is what it used to say in all the Honda manuals and there are reasons for all of it.

The old thing about running the electric end at load to warm the windings is left over from WWII. Everybody has used much better varnish on the windings for the last 60~70 years.

Matt - a ship's engineer by trade


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KD4UPL

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Posted: 02/17/21 07:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The point of running a generator under load every month, according to Onan anyway, is to produce heat in the windings and help dry out moisture. It has nothing to do with a carburetor getting gummed up because Onan recommends the procedure for propane powered generators.
I have no idea if Honda recommends this same procedure for the same reasons. I have no idea if, as Matt suggests, this procedure isn't necessary anymore. I know it was in the manual for my 2003 Onan RV generator.

Downunda

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Posted: 02/18/21 04:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can buy a kit from Hutch Mountain that allows your Honda to use all of the fuel in the carby before shutting down. Using this option after a trip when you don't plan to use the genny for a while saves you draining the carburetta manually. I fitted one as I didn't want fuel residues gumming the carby up.

Pipeman

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Posted: 02/18/21 05:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I owned a 4000 W Onan. I always used Stabil in the gas. When it was done for the season I would drain the carb and forget it until the next camping season came around. Now I have 2 Honda 2000s that I can parallel run if needed. I still use Stabil and I drain the carbs at camping season end, fill the gas tanks, put the covers on them until next camping season then I drain the oil and start them up. Been doing this for years. No exercising in the off season. Works for me.


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JimK-NY

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Posted: 02/18/21 05:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

According to the Honda manual all that is needed for 2-6 months of storage is to use fuel stabilizer. If you really want to give it extra TLC, I would use alcohol free gasoline for storage.

deltabravo

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Posted: 02/18/21 06:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fuel Stabilizer and Ethanol free gas is all I do to mine.


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profdant139

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Posted: 02/18/21 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, if I could find non-ethanol gas in California, I would use it. I think that there is non-ethanol aviation gas, but I don't think that it is available to the general non-flying public.

Stabil helps, but I used to get "GCS" (gummy-carb-syndrome) even with Stabil, until I learned how to drain the carb after every use. You know you have GCS (which is an acronym I have just invented -- you're welcome!) when your generator starts to idle very rough, surging and "loping."

So far, I am not hearing anyone say that I need to first exercise the generator monthly and then drain the carb?? Is there a consensus?

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