TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3 EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 17.35 DATE: August 27, 2017
SUBJECT: IS YOUR GENERATOR READY?
It may be a little late for Field Day this year, but it's still a good idea of maintaining your emergency generator. You never know for sure when you'll need it again to provide emergency power. You want to have it ready for use when you need it. A few things you may want to check is the fuel and oil. When was the last time you used the generator?
If the generator operates on gasoline, how old is the gasoline that is left in it? It's a good idea to keep the fuel tank full of gasoline since you don't know when you may need to use it, and you don't want to go running around looking for a can of gas to fill it. If you leave the tank full of gasoline it's a good idea to put some fuel stabilizer in it whether you plan on using it for a while or not.
When was the last time you changed the oil? If you don't remember, or don't have a record of it, then it would be a good idea to change it, just to be on the safe side. Your operating manual should tell you how often the oil should be changed. Most of the time that is given in running, or operating hours.
When you're finished using the generator, how do you shut it down? Do you just flip a switch to turn it off? I think the best way to shut a generator down is to turn off the fuel going to the carburetor, and just let if run out of fuel. That way there's no fuel left in the carburetor to get old and dry out, causing it to clog the jet holes. Even though you may think there's no water in the gasoline, it gets in there, and that too can cause problems in the carburetor. Letting it run out of fuel also sucks any water out with it.
Another thing you might think about is leaving the generator motor piston in a the compression stroke cycle. This is easy to do if it's a rope start unit. Just pull on the rope until it reaches the compression cycle. You can tell the compression cycle because that's when it gets hard to pull the rope. By leaving the piston in the compression cycle, means that most of the air in the cylinder is gone and that both the input and exhaust valves are closed and no outside air, or moisture, can get into the piston cylinder. Moisture can cause rust to build up on the spark plug points, and to cause rust or pits on the cylinder walls.
Do these few items and you will have a generator that's easy to start and ready to use when you need it.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV