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Generator gas line shut off switch

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2 Frazzled

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Generator gas line shut off switch
« on: April 11, 2020, 02:38:50 pm »
When we were at the factory last fall we had our generator serviced and Doug installed a cut off switch on the gas line. He then turned the gas off using the switch and ran the genny dry. The switch is at the front of the generator. I'm assuming that means it is between the pump and the genny. We were thrilled because we don't have to exercise it regularly. It should be all good until we need it then we turn the switch on, let the gas pump in and start her up.

That was the plan. Reality is that it won't start again. Service was done in mid-November. It has sat since then. We are about to run North - 2500 miles, to our next volunteer job. We plan to stop only for gas, water and dump stations. We're traveling with a high risk friend that can only do 200 miles per day so it will be a slow run. If we take too long we'll need to get more food. Since boondocking is our main plan, we hoped to have a generator.

Questions:
- Where is the generator fuel pump? I'd like to whack it in case it has vapor lock (I don't smell gas after our starting attempts).
- Could the pump be damaged trying to push gas against a closed switch? I'm assuming the pump keeps running while running the genny dry.
- Does anyone have the switch and know any tricks?

We're rolling with or without a functional genny. We'll be driving every day so batteries will stay charged. It just would have been nice to kick the genny on to nuke food or power the electric coffee pot. We're set to handle everything with the stove top if necessary.

All assistance greatly appreciated!

John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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donc13

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 07:44:09 am »
I presume you hold down the start switch in the OFF position for 30 seconds to fill the carburetor before trying to start the genset.

While priming, you should hear the genset fuel pump running.  It will sound like a series clicks.

No, fuel pumps are not affected by trying to push against a closed switch.   Since the fuel pump is electric, my presumption is the "switch" simply disconnects the power from the fuel pump.  Check the wiring if you can.

The PC plant is closed, but you can leave a message and will be called back.... Look at Tina's post in the general section of the forum in the Plant Closed thread.
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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2020, 07:11:26 am »
The switch might be better called a shut off valve. It is on the fuel line itself. Works like the valve on our fresh water drain. John says the pump was clicking. I'll be crawling under the rig today to try to trace that line and find the pump. It occurred to me to check the altitude dial also but we last ran it near sea level which is where we are so it should be fine. Still plan to check.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2020, 09:09:36 pm »
When starting and even maybe when priming, the clicking is from the hour meter.  It is NOT from the fuel pump.  The fuel pump to the Onan makes a constant humm or buzzing sound.  If you can't hear it when inside your PC, have someone else hold the primer in while you listen outside underneath the generator.  No humming or buzzing sound means the fuel pump is not working.  If that is your situation, check the supporting fuses and circuit breakers on the generator.

Remember that to prime the carb, you press the start switch in the opposite direction of start, and hold it there for as long as necessary to get fuel to the carb.

It has been a long time for me, but I seem to recall some kind of reset switch on the generator in plain sight when the green cover is removed.  Check that too.......check that first.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 09:13:54 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2020, 06:05:10 am »
We now smell gas and opened the carburetor drain thingy and gas came out.
- Fuel? Check, has gas in carburetor
- Air? Check, can feel it coming out exhaust as she cranks
- Spark? Check, pulled cap on plug, can see spark. Can't get plug out to check gap.

She just flat out won't turn over. I'll look for a reset button.  Hopefully we can find an Onan repair shop along our route. We roll today. It hit 100 Sunday but even one day of driving will get us out of the extreme heat. We're hoping we won't need the genny but it would be nice.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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Sarz272000

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2020, 07:12:48 am »
See Jatrax instructions on resetting generator below.  Perhaps battery is low.  Try running engine and trying to start generator.

https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3286.msg27698#msg27698

If it is cranking and getting spark and gas, spark plug would be next. Why canít you get it out?

Ron S
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 07:14:36 am by Sarz272000 »

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2020, 04:39:49 am »
The spark plug is in super tight and the angle is bad for good leverage. It was extremely difficult getting the cap off the plug but we made it that far and were able to ascertain that we were getting a spark. Well be in an actual campground tonight so we'll give it another go.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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2 Frazzled

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2020, 02:05:43 pm »
Update is... No update. We didn't get the spark plug out, didn't do the reset, stopped trying to start it. We've been on the road close to two weeks with no desire to lay over anywhere so no messing with it. Once we land in northwest Washington, we'll give it another go and hunt a mechanic if need be. After we veg a while.

Lots of driving, no playing, no touring, no restaurant meals, sleeping in rest areas and parking lots... Not our best trip but almost over. Just a few more days.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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Sarz272000

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2020, 04:08:57 pm »
2 Frazzled

You are strong beyond belief.  Cannot even imagine what you are going through.  Wishing you safety and comfort. 

Ron S

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2020, 08:46:21 am »
Nah, not strong. We're just being good. Trying not to get sick. Trying not to pass anything to others in case we picked something up but don't know it. We're trying to avoid whining so we are simply making comments about all the places we would have stopped if things were open - and logging them on our mental to-do list (should have written them down). We're like kids with our noses pressed to the glass of a candy shop. We're saving our adventure pennies so some day we can go inside and buy whatever we want.

I've spent quite a few hours with our newish map on my lap - National Geographic Road Map Adventure Edition. Lots of little labels of cool things to see and do when the time comes around. Many interesting spots on the map don't have signs on the highway or are poorly signed. You have to know they are there, which is where the map comes in to play.

Of course, If we stopped and played at all the places that interest us, this trip would take YEARS! Which is OK with us. We'll be back!

John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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CalCruiser

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2020, 01:18:04 am »
John or Holly- Check your pm inbox.
Goin' where the wind goes...

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2020, 12:18:06 pm »
Thank you CalCruiser, got your message.
Holly
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Mike Atwood

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2020, 04:24:40 pm »
One thing you might look at.
when mine would not start I found that the automatic choke was sticking in the open position.
see the attached picture.
on the left is the choke with the rod attached to the auto choke spring on the right.
with the engine cold if the choke on the left is in the same position as pictured it is stuck in the open position.
gently grab the connecting rod and gently move it to the left.  it shouldn't take much and once unstuck the spring should finish closing the choke.
hopefully! the generator will start much quicker.
until you adjust it, you will probably need to do the same thing each time you do a cold start.
here is a web page with a good description on how to adjust the automatic choke.
http://www.2001mirada.com/onan-generator-choke/
hope that helps!

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2020, 06:34:23 am »
Thanks Mike! We did play with the choke when we were trying to start it and it made no difference. I don't think ours is sticking.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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stanclem

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Re: Generator gas line shut off switch
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2021, 08:59:55 pm »
So, what was the resolution to your genny problem?
Hope you got it fixed.