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Old 11-01-2017, 08:04 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by RamblerGuy View Post
I may have missed it, but I didn't see anyone post that the Onan generator has a drain screw on the carburetor. Just put one paper towel under the carburetor and back out the screw a few turns. One paper towel will catch all the gas that drains. Be sure to tighten the screw or you'll have a nice fire when you start it the next time.

Like others I add stabilizer to the gas before I take it to storage. I drive around and try to slosh the gas to mix it, then run the generator long enough to get the treated gas to its carb, then drain it.

Of course, it's better to put the stabilizer in the tank and then add gasoline so it mixes as you fill it, but I never plan that far ahead. If you completely fill it with gas and then add stabilizer, you can't mix it very well by driving. The gas essentially moves back and forth but doesn't turn over and mix.
I talked to a service guy @ ONAN of IN the other day,,, I ask him what do people do that can't get to there units to run there generators for whatever reason,,, he told me a lot of MH owners run there MHs down to about 1/8 of a tank of fuel then run the generator till it is dry !!!
I ask him if it would not be easier to add a shutoff valve ??? He said yes we do install them for folks sometimes !!! I told him it was to bad ONAN did not install shutoff valves when they built these generators,,, he said nothing !!!
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:08 AM   #42
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I talked to a service guy @ ONAN of IN the other day,,, I ask him what do people do that can't get to there units to run there generators for whatever reason,,, he told me a lot of MH owners run there MHs down to about 1/8 of a tank of fuel then run the generator till it is dry !!!
I ask him if it would not be easier to add a shutoff valve ??? He said yes we do install them for folks sometimes !!! I told him it was to bad ONAN did not install shutoff valves when they built these generators,,, he said nothing !!!
You would think the builder of the RV would put in a shutoff since they are building the unit!
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:19 AM   #43
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You would think the builder of the RV would put in a shutoff since they are building the unit!

RIGHT ON !!!

Like the genarator I have in the garage !!!

But if they did that,,, how could they sell fuel pumps & Carburetors,,, and charge $100 an hour for labor ???
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:45 AM   #44
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RIGHT ON !!!

Like the genarator I have in the garage !!!

But if they did that,,, how could they sell fuel pumps & Carburetors,,, and charge $100 an hour for labor ???
I meant Forrest River, not Onan.
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:59 AM   #45
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My 2013 Sunseeker had a similar issue with the Onan. My first trip out the fuel pump died. It wouldn't have been that big of deal but it was 90 degrees and we were dry camping. I had to bring it to an Onan dealer and they fixed it for no charge.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:28 AM   #46
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I am not sure installing a shutoff valve would be as simple as I first thought,,, as some one said it would have to be ahead of the fuel pump !!! When we go down to ONAN of IN. I will ask them where they install shutoff valves !!!
I have given the generators I have in the garage with shutoff valves some thought,,,
I believe the reason they have shutoff valves is because they have NO fuel pump !!!
Fuel is feed by gravity,,, making it very simple to install a shutoff valve !!!
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:31 AM   #47
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I am not sure installing a shutoff valve would be as simple as I first thought,,, as some one said it would have to be ahead of the fuel pump !!! When we go down to ONAN of IN. I will ask them where they install shutoff valves !!!
I have given the generators I have in the garage with shutoff valves some thought,,,
I believe the reason they have shutoff valves is because they have NO fuel pump !!!
Fuel is feed by gravity,,, making it very simple to install a shutoff valve !!!
They do sell 12 volt fuel shut offs.
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Old 11-02-2017, 02:13 PM   #48
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The MOST important thing to remember with all small engines is you CAN NOT use gas with any ethanol in it. Always use NON-OXY premium. I bet your carb had nothing wrong with it other than bad gas in it. And the dealer would rather replace it and get a lot more money out of you then to just clean it out!! But if you keep only non-oxy in it. It can be stored for many many months without the gas breaking down. Ethanol gas breaks down in a little over a month. And you do have to run them "exercise" very often.

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Old 11-02-2017, 02:22 PM   #49
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The MOST important thing to remember with all small engines is you CAN NOT use gas with any ethanol in it. Always use NON-OXY premium. I bet your carb had nothing wrong with it other than bad gas in it. And the dealer would rather replace it and get a lot more money out of you then to just clean it out!! But if you keep only non-oxy in it. It can be stored for many many months without the gas breaking down. Ethanol gas breaks down in a little over a month. And you do have to run them "exercise" very often.

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Thats great advice for a genny with a separate fuel tank, but on a Motor Home ours draw from the main tank. We dont have a choice. At 55 gals. for a refill, cost becomes too expensive. Thats not counting on finding that fuel easily available.
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:02 AM   #50
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I still believe there must be a reason the ONAN fuel system won't hold up,,, I am sure the Ethanol is part of the reason,,, but that does not explain why other small engines have very little problems,,, even ones thet set either all winter or all summer !!!
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:25 AM   #51
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All small engine manufacturers have guidelines for storage that include the use of fuel stabilizer for ethanol or non ethanol gas if you do not treat your motorhome fuel tank the fuel in your tank is no more or less degraded than the fuel sitting in your generator the difference is the small passages in the carb will tend to plug easier. The need to exercise your generator is more important for keeping your generator side operating properly.
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:37 AM   #52
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I have always used a Stabilizer & Seafoam in our MH,,, in my other small engines I only use Seafoam,,, without having any troubles !!! Except for ONAN Generator !!!
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:22 AM   #53
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Onan did have a bad batch of fuel pumps a couple years ago and some people got them replaced under warranty. I understand your frustration when something does not work right as for me I have had 2 motor homes with onan generators first one 1700 hours and one fuel pump replaced my current one has over 2000 hours on it without a problem.
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:32 AM   #54
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Onan did have a bad batch of fuel pumps a couple years ago and some people got them replaced under warranty. I understand your frustration when something does not work right as for me I have had 2 motor homes with onan generators first one 1700 hours and one fuel pump replaced my current one has over 2000 hours on it without a problem.
THANKS for the INFO !!!
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:09 AM   #55
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So why do I not have to run all my gas powered engines 2 hours a month ?
It is only these POC Generators that tell you should run every month !!!
I have an old push mower I use sometimes to mow under our Pine Trees,,,
It like all my other small engines set in the barn all winter,,, and they all fire up and run fine in the spring !!! With only Seafoam in the fuel !!!
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Originally Posted by Wolverine 1945 View Post
I am not sure installing a shutoff valve would be as simple as I first thought,,, as some one said it would have to be ahead of the fuel pump !!! When we go down to ONAN of IN. I will ask them where they install shutoff valves !!!
I have given the generators I have in the garage with shutoff valves some thought,,,
I believe the reason they have shutoff valves is because they have NO fuel pump !!!
Fuel is feed by gravity,,, making it very simple to install a shutoff valve !!!
Im not trying to attack you here but it seems like there is a habit of not reading the owners manual...

My honda lawn mower says for storage to either run it dry or add a stabilizer, my yamaha gens say adhere to "storage preservation instructions" and they state to run the gen 1 hour in the manual, I just looked up my 2 stroke weed whacker and it says to shut the pet cock off and run dry, I just looked up GE and honey well manuals and they all prescribe to add a stabilizer and exercise the gen monthly. Even my toro snowblower tells me to "summerize" or run it dry.

A shut off would solve the problem of excercisng, since the purpose of the excerices is to keep the gas from degrading and clogging up the internals if you could get the gas out that would also solve the problem. Hence why almost every engine manufacture/service manual says to run it dry....

For why dont Onan or FR add shut offs as part of production, that is easy, the cost would be passed to the consumer, and with all the threads about "how much % off should I get" those guys wouldnt be happy either. So the easiest solution (as determined by the manufacturers) is not add the extra features to keep cost down and write in recommended maintenance (that isnt adhered to) which in turn leads to threads like this. Someone didn't read the manual and now it isnt working right and instead of accepting what the manufacturer said (I mean it is their product, shouldn't they be allowed to prescribed how their product should be cared for?) everyone argues, wherein I bet if the storage and maintenance section was adhered to the problem would most likely not exist.

I will step off my soap box now, it just erks me when someone admits to not doing what the manufacturer requires and then wonders why they have a problem...

Have a good day and like I said I hope you get it taken care of and when you do, please adhere to the manual and I bet you have way less problems.
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:36 AM   #56
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What I have found with small engines using e gas is rotten fuel lines, (mostly with chainsaws and line trimmers) and carbs that have sat idle for a time. The gas evaporates from the bowl and leaves a sugary grit behind that plugs ports and jets.
I know that newer small engines now come with fuel line that is compatible with e gas. Older engines, I have had to replace all the fuel line.
I can usually fix a carb by completely disassembling it and cleaning it.
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:07 AM   #57
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The Onan generator doesn't need a fuel shutoff. It has a drain on the carburetor. Just put stabilizer in the fuel tank, drive it to mix it, then run the generator long enough to get the treated gas through the gas line and fuel pump to the carburetor, then drain the carburetor. Draining is better than running it dry. If you run it dry, it leaves some gas below the jet.
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:40 AM   #58
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on the concept of adding alcohol to gasoline and diesel. As a former epa scientist, this issue is one where was there was division between the scientists and engineers from the beginning due to lack of data on long term effects of ethanol and little life cycle calculation but in the end agribusiness in the midwest and economists/defense policy makers (worried about energy dependence) carried the day and now we have ethanol in many fuels. There is little data on how many engines have been ruined and how many require special additives to prevent ethanol oxidation and phase separation because that research was discouraged by our government policy makers (why study something that was already determined) . There is incredible variability in the types of additives in the manufacturing process and blends also change seasonally and in different regions of the US depending on climate and availability of feedstock. I could go on and on but adding seafoam or stabil reduces oxidation thus reduces damage. Draining the fuel system before storage reduces damage from ethanol, living in a dryer climate reduces damage from ethanol, summer blends fuel have less ethanol and winter has more and also additional additives to slow water absorption. ethanol was banned in all aircraft in the 1960s because of the lack of data and predictability. It is a complicated subject and an ongoing debate without serious data and lots of opinions
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Old 11-04-2017, 08:44 AM   #59
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I agree it would probably cost Onan maybe $3 to add a gas shut-off valve !!!
God forbid we would have to pay maybe $5 more for our MHs !!!

About draining the carburetor,,, that may protect the carb,,, but not the fuel filter or fuel pump !!! As I said after having the carb replaced in the spring I have run the generator every month since then,,, it ran very well every month,,, until last week,,, now it seems the fuel pump is bad ???

Yesterday we got our little snow thrower out of the shed,,, where it has been since late December or early January,,, before I threw my back out,,, with only Seafoam in the fuel it started first pull !!! It is a cheap Remington snowthrower !!!

I know the best way to treat small engines is to run them when you can or run them dry or use gas shutoff valves !!!

No one will ever convince me that the gas system in ONAN generators is anything other than CRAP !!!
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:54 AM   #60
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I thought one of the reasons to exercise a generator under load was to help prevent loss of the field coil magnet's magnetism?
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