Hard starter


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Old 02-29-24, 11:29 AM
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Hard starter

My DeWalt generator (DXGNR 8000) is taking about 20 seconds to fire using the electric starter. It's winter and I'm in Michigan, so it's cold out there (in an open shed). That's ok as long as the electric starter is working, the battery is charged up, etc.. But I'm afraid if that ever failed, I'd have a hard time pulling the starter rope enough times. (I'm 72.) Do you think I should figure that she's just cold-blooded, and I need to be sure to keep the battery charged up? Or do I have a problem? It would be rather difficult to get it out & loaded into my car to bring to a small engine guy, so I'm hoping I don't have to...
 
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Old 02-29-24, 11:57 AM
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I find that fresh fuel is very important. Stabilizer can help prevent varnish from forming but it can't stop the lighter, more volatile components of gasoline from evaporating away. It's those lighter hydrocarbons that are easier to ignite. So, older fuel is harder to get going.

Also make sure your choke is working properly. If it's not closing as fully as it should it can make starting more difficult.

When stopping the generator you should turn off the fuel shutoff valve and let the engine continue running until it dies from fuel starvation. When you go to use it again the carburetor's bowl is mostly empty. So, the next time you use the generator turn on the fuel valve and wait 30 seconds or a minute to let the carburetor fill with fuel before attempting to start.

I don't like running an engine to charge the battery. It's hard on the engine and bad for the oil if you don't run it long enough. Instead, use a trickle charger. There are some small automatic ones that you can leave connected and won't overcharge and damage the battery.

Old gas is the enemy. I leave the generators fuel tank and carburetor bowl absolutely empty. I keep gas in two portable containers. Only when it's needed do I put fuel in the generator. Then I take one fuel can a month and put into my car. That way the oldest fuel is two months old. And, you have gas on hand if your car is low and you don't feel like hitting the gas station.
 
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Old 02-29-24, 12:14 PM
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Thanks Dane. I should have mentioned that I use only no-ethanol gas, and put Stabil in it when I buy it. I date the can and use it in my car when it gets to be a year old. Does that change your answer, or no?
 
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Old 02-29-24, 12:18 PM
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Sorry, I just reread your message and see you addressed the Stabil. Does no ethanol gas make much difference?

But I will try to check the choke, if I can.
 
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Old 02-29-24, 03:05 PM
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No alcohol helps and so does the Stabil but nothing can stop the escape of those finer hydrocarbons that easily combust. Automotive gas is not refined for long term storage.

My boat during summer when there is fresh gas in the tank fires up instantly. After winter storage there is a period where the engine takes more cranking to start. The fuel is non-alcohol and Stabil treated. It just looses it's "bang".
 
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Old 02-29-24, 04:18 PM
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Thanks Dane. That's disappointing, though, because I live in the country in northern Michigan where the power sometimes goes out for 4-5 days. So I keep 2 or 3 5-gallon jugs of Stabilized no-ethanol gas on hand, just in case (and for various power tools, etc..) That could get tiresome & expensive to dump into my car every month. But maybe that's just the cost of being prepared. What about no-ethanol gas? Do you use it? I hear that it works a lot better in small engines...
 
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Old 02-29-24, 07:55 PM
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I keep non-ethanol gas in sealed containers for around a year give or take. Usually 30 to 60 gallons for various things. I try to use up the oldest first. Keeping it sealed and in a cool dark place has a lot to do with the results I believe.
 
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Old 02-29-24, 08:15 PM
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First, I'm not the expert but, I have COPD and I cant pull on those starter/pull cords very long. If I try to start one of my small engines and it doesn't crank by the time I start giving out, I'll grab a can of starting fluid & give it a quick shot. Many times, it will fire up. That's just me though. If it doesn't continue to run, I've got another problem. I research from there. Sometimes, a quick shot of starting fluid will help when that gas has weakened and makes starting problematic.
 
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Old 03-01-24, 04:34 AM
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Dane--by "sealed" do you just mean you put the cap on your gas can after filling it at the pump, or do you mean some kind of gas that you buy in a sealed container?
 
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Old 03-01-24, 05:40 AM
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If you didn't have the start delay in the warmer weather, I would try placing a powered incandescent lamp near base of engine or getting a dipstick heater if they make one. Are loads connected to the generator when you are attempting to start the engine?
 
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Old 03-01-24, 05:56 AM
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Beelzebob-- It seems to have gotten worse recently. I'll have to see how the coming warm weather affects it. The warm light bulb might help, but if the power is out, I guess that won't work
No, my manual says not to start it w/ load connected. But thnx for the reminder.
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If you didn't have the start delay in the warmer weather, I would try placing a powered incandescent lamp near base of engine or getting a dipstick heater if they make one. Are loads connected to the generator when you are attempting to start the engine?
 
 

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