Trouble starting my Generac XG8000E generator

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  #1  
Old 01-04-15, 06:01 PM
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Trouble starting my Generac XG8000E generator

I have a 2-year-old XG8000E which I try and run every few months for 30-60 minutes to keep the fuel fresh, etc... I keep little fuel in it and try to run it dry each time. I also have some Stabil in it as well.

The problem is that nearly every time I try and start it, it won't start (it 'chugs' when I hit the start button but never starts).

The problem first started about a year ago when I was testing it during a really cold stretch here in CT. I asked my electrician (who sold it to me and installed the transfer switch) to see what was wrong. He said it was just due to the extreme cold, and I watched him check a few parts and ultimately he ended up unscrewing the cover to the air filter, removing the filter, and spraying a starting fluid in the small opening (I think an air intake maybe?). He then hit start and it immediately fired up.

Since then, any time I've had trouble starting it, a quick spray of starting fluid in this same location works like a charm.

Of course, I'd rather not have to do this.

Any thoughts? Is this a sign of a larger problem? Does it indicate something is wrong? Am I simply not using it frequently enough?

Thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-04-15, 06:47 PM
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Frequency of use is pretty much it. Generators on standby have a useage problem by their application. Residual fuel in the engine and fuel system separates and the resulting varnish causes problems. You can run an engine dry, but you really can't get all the fuel burned out of it. The Stabil helps a lot and some of the cleaners take out the varnish on start up and running, but in the sitting period those evaporate,

On top of that if you have a fuel pump on the engine it takes a little cranking to get the pump and fuel system primed - gas in the carb, etc.

What you're having is the typical seasonal start up issues, but every couple of months. If you wanted to crank it up for say fifteen minutes every month, it may take care of the start up problems, but you'd probably get tired of doing it.
 
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Old 01-04-15, 07:03 PM
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If your using ethanol fuel your always going to have issues.
Find a place that sells nonethanol fuel. Or at least add an additive that counter acts the effects of it.
It sucks moisture out of the air and destroys the fuel lines and the diaphragms and o rings in the carburetor.
 
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Old 01-04-15, 10:35 PM
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Also, make sure the choke is closing fully. If it's not, this will cause the problem.
 
  #5  
Old 01-09-15, 01:15 PM
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Generators are some pain in the butt machines most times. When you are having the starting issue, does it help (or have you tried) yanking on the throttle that hooks up to the carb? I had a small portable one once that was like that, it would not start on its own but if I played with the throttle shaft it would fire right up. Sometimes it needs a little fuel.

As far as sitting, the best options are to drain the gas as much of a pain as it is. If the line does not have a shut off switch it would be good to install one, that way you can run off what is in the carbs or drain the crabs and be set to go with gas in the tank and a dry engine.

Sometimes giving the carb a toot of air with a compressor can force fuel through the ports and it will act much like when the starting fluid is applied. Not that it makes things much easier. Another option is to pull the air filter and then block off the air intake hole with a rag and your hand. This will make it so that every bit of the suction the piston offers as it retracts will tug on the fuel in the carb.

I have to agree with others, it comes down to almost molecular issues regarding fuels. If you can find an easy way to drain the gas from the carbs, it might be smart to spray just a dab of WD40 into the carb. Just a little bit will help with the build up of gunk, and will keep the lines and seals from drying out. If not too much WD40 is used it has no issue burning off and is perfectly safe. You do not want to fill the carb but rather only coat the inside a little.

Overall, I got so sick of dealing with the generators that I have that I slowly through the years built up a collection of batteries and inverters and since then have never had to deal with generators during power loss.
 
  #6  
Old 01-15-15, 05:47 AM
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If you have natural gas or propane available, you can also do a tri-fuel conversion that will allow the generator to be run on propane or natural gas in addition to gasoline. Even if the carburettor is gummed up with gasoline it'll still run on gaseous fuel.
 
  #7  
Old 02-08-15, 10:39 AM
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Trouble hand cranking

I have not regularly charged my XG8000E, not realizing I should, and I'm sure the battery is dead. Til I get a new one, I'm having trouble hand cranking it.

If i plug the charger in, I can hear the starter turn, but the engine doesn't turn over. If I then hand crank, it starts just fine.

Not sure what I'm doing but I'd like to be able to start it without external power should that go out in a storm. Thanks for any advice.
 
  #8  
Old 02-10-15, 11:20 PM
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Your charger is not designed to run the starter. You will need to start it either by hand, or with jumper cables off a vehicle,lawn mower, etc.
 
  #9  
Old 02-11-15, 03:30 AM
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Thank you, Justin. I'm having the dealer pick it up to install a new battery and, at his recommendation, a trickle charger, which will free me from having to worry about this again. These very fine generators have a design flaw: a battery that can't be reached unless you remove the gas tank and a charger that has to be precisely used. Live and learn.
 
  #10  
Old 03-18-15, 02:18 PM
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Sorry the late follow-up and thanks for everyone's advice. I've been using fuel additives and continue to have the start-up problem (testing it every 2 weeks). Is there anything else that can be done/do I have a 'bad' generator? I can't imagine that everyone that has this generator, and uses it somewhat infrequently, has to go through what I go through (unscrewing the filter cover, removing filter, spraying starting fluid in there, putting back filter, re-screwing filter)...

Or is there somewhere easier that I can spray?

Thanks again.
 
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