A problem with my generator (Honda EU3000)


Old 01-02-11, 05:22 PM
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A problem with my generator (Honda EU3000)

18 months ago I bought a used Honda EU3000. I only used it once, but start it every month and run a hairdryer for a few minutes. 6 months ago it started fine, ran the dryer on low fine, but started coughing badly on high. Since the gas was a year old, I pumped out what I could and replaced it, but it didn't help. I figured the carburetor was gummed up and took it into a Honda dealer. He said the carb was fine, I just had some water in the gas.

It ran fine for 6 months. Yesterday I had trouble starting it. Okay, it was cold and the gas was 6 months old (yes, it had stabilizer in it). It ran the hairdryer okay on low, but started coughing on high. I ran it for 10 minutes on low, and it was okay on high then.

Do I have water in the gas again?!
Before the EU3000 I had a EU2000 for 7 years without any problems, and another generator for 5 years before that; they never got water in the gas. The first time might have been still from the last owner, but it is supposed to be out now.

Any ideas why I am having these problems,and what I should do about it?
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Old 01-02-11, 07:13 PM
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Location: USA
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You can start it up once a month as much as you want, the problem is the gas is not being changed out. Generally on the base of the float bowl, there is a screw near the bottom, not the one that secures the bowl, but a drain plug.

I generally start mine from time to time, but drain a few ounces out first. This doesn't mean that I will get out any crud but generally the water or bad gas in the base of the tank or line from the fresh refill.

Of all my power equipment, I make sure the generator is always on a "ready status". I generally keep a gas can full of fuel that is maybe a month old at the most. When I run the generator, I put about a half-pint in and it does the job..thing is, I run it dry.

I replace the fuel line every year...it's not molded and is about a buck and a half...never know when the insides start drying out.

As far as your's is concerned...I had a similiar prob with my sis' lawn tractor. Once the bad fuel was run through, I had to take the carb off and thoroughly clean out all the tiny passages and clean the main jet...no prob since.

Antother thing to check is the fuel filter..cheap insurance to change it and may be clogged up. She was using a fine membrane-type filter, once we switched to the pleated paper type...it ran fine. Both are see-through inline filters but the pleated works the best..not as finicky with dirt.

Another thing is when you get a can of BG44K for your vehicles, dump about 3 ounces in a 5 gal can and run it through your equipment...keeps the valve seats clean.
Old 01-03-11, 10:41 AM
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Gas has ethanol in it now, and it loves to pick up moisture from the atmosphere. If the tank isn't air-tight, it will pick up moisture. If the tank is metal, not air-tight, and not full of gas to the top, it will develop condensation when the temps rise and fall, adding to the moisture problem. I suggest keeping the gas in a gas can with an air tight lid and stabilizer in it, not in the gas tank on the generator. Keep the gas can full to reduce the tendency to get condensation in it (it won't if it's truly air-tight). When you want to run the generator, put some in and run it, then when you want to put the generator away, drain the gas, remove the bowl drain on the carb and drain the carb, then put it away dry.
Old 01-13-11, 08:12 AM
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Tried it again this morning...

I appreciate your help, but before trying them, I tried the generator again this morning. It started on the 3rd try, which considering that it was 15* isn't too bad. It ran the blow dryer on high immediate. So, it was pretty satisfactory.

The last time I ran it I shut the gas valve and let it run out of gas, which I hadn't done before. Might that have helped, or was it just happenstance?

One thing I noticed is that the EU2000 that I didn't have any problems with in 7 years had a gas vent then needed to be opened and closed; the EU3000 doesn't. Could that be contributing to my problems, or does the EU3000 have some sort of autoventing system?
Old 01-13-11, 08:36 AM
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A clogged vent in the fuel cap might shut it down after it ran a while but I've never seen it prevent one from starting. If you suspect the vent just unscrew the cap to allow it to vent. I don't think it will help though.

Fresh gas is very important. Turning off the fuel and letting it run until it quits will help prevent the carb. from varnishing up but the fuel in the tank still gets old. The finer, lighter hydrocarbons evaporate away and those tend to be the ones that ignite easier. Over time your gas goes from easy starting gasoline to acting a bit more like diesel. It will burn but it does not like to instantly ignite in a spark engine like fresh gasoline.

I also have an EU3000 and it recently became very hard to start. I traced it to a clogged air filter. It had been in the back of the truck running when someone was using the tailgate as a workbench and cutting a lot of wood. The air filter was packed with saw dust and I also got a lot out of the engine's fan & cooling fins.
Old 01-13-11, 02:39 PM
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A clogged vent in the fuel cap might shut it down after it ran a while but I've never seen it prevent one from starting.

Actually I mean that it was always open and might encourage condensation; while the valve on the EU2000 might prevent that.

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