Fri. Sept. 4, 2020 – wow, the week zipped by

Slightly less hot, less humid- unless it rains.  Might be on the edge of a system and see some rain.

I spent yesterday morning on tax paperwork, and in the afternoon I worked on my gennies.

So I now have one working generator, one that runs but still needs a bit of love, and the big one that is still sitting there.

Most of the parts for my generators came in and it was not stifling hot out, so I headed out to get my hands dirty.   I started with the Honda eu3000is.  I replaced the O ring in the carb, cleaned the gas petcock, sediment bowl, and cut off the in tank fuel filter. Since I had to drain the tank for that, I wiped out the whole tank.  There was a little sediment, but the tank is designed with space below the petcock for sediment and water to collect.   Honda puts a lot of nice design touches on their high end product.   After that I tried to fire it up, without success, but when I looked in the tank, I noticed that the gas I used was cloudy with water.  Got that out, got a new can of clean gas.  Put that in.  Tried again, and it started on the first pull.  Now it runs. So I also replaced the spark plug. The fuel level indicator and battery arrived while I was working and I didn’t know, so those will go in later.

The problem now is rough running due to too much fuel. And when I use the bowl drain, there is air in the fuel coming out, so maybe there is air in the fuel line. Not sure where that could be coming in, maybe I’ve got a tiny leak around the petcock, or maybe the flow rate without the fuel filter, and with only a little fuel in the tank allows air to get sucked in with the fuel…  I can get it to run well by almost closing the petcock. Removing the air filter and box doesn’t make much difference, so I think it’s too much fuel, not too little air. I suspect someone adjusted the carb to run with the blocked fuel filter, and now it’s way too rich. Problem is, I don’t see how to adjust the mixture. Off to youtube I guess.  I’m not doing anything tricky until I have a new fuel filter installed anyway.

I shifted over to the old generac and cleaned the fuel tank out. I ordered a ‘dryer hose lint brush’ which is a round brush on a very flexible shaft to use as a scrub brush inside the tank. It’s a plastic tank but had sludge and some rust in it. The lint brush on  a cordless drill worked very well.  I’ll be using it on other tanks I’m sure.  Several rinses with old gas and it was sparkling inside. I installed the new petcock, put the tank back on and tore into the carb. I was expecting carb trouble since I didn’t drain it. And I was right. Water got in, and there was rust in the main chamber which froze the throttle plate closed. Most of a can of carb cleaner spray, some judicious scraping with a pick, some scrubbing with a pad, a couple of jets removed and cleaned, and everything went back together. It started on the second pull and ran smooth. I installed the new gas cap /fuel level indicator. It’s about 1/4 inch too long, but it works. I’ll change the oil and spark plug later. For now though, I’ve got a running gennie again. That gennie was a Y2K purchase, and first got used during Rita. It ran daily for 14 days during Ike. Still runs great with essentially no maintenance other than the obligatory carb cleanings. Heck, it sits outside most of the time. They don’t make them like that anymore.

Small engine repair, achievement unlocked.

I still need to have someone come out and get the big gennie running and connected.

Baby steps.  Making forward progress though.

I’m supposed to take a load to my industrial auctioneer today.  I have to call him first, which will give him a chance to beg off, and my wife needs to go to the office for a couple hours, right in the middle of the day, which blocks me from leaving the house for that time.  I really hope I can get a load delivered given all that.  I’ve still got a big pile of stuff waiting to go to my more ‘household and estate’ auctioneer too.  They’ve been so busy with off site auctions that they’ve had no time for my consignments.  Stuff is piling up waiting to leave, and it adds to everyone’s stress level.

I put the remote sensors in the freezer part of my new fridge/freezer, and in my “new” upright.   Stuck the receiver/display on the metal back door of the house.  It’s reading current temps (3F and 4F) and my next step is setting alarms.  I guess I’ll have to read the tiny little instructions… at least I can see the temps in all three freezer compartments and the fridge compartment without opening the doors now.

I guess I’ll be looking at the danged dishwasher next too.  There is always more to be done.

I consider it all practice for hard times.  (which are coming, btw…)  I’ve watched a lot of youtube vids of small engine repairs, electronic repairs, car repairs, even shoe repairs…  I’ve done a bunch of it too, learning the stuff they invariably leave out.  Most of it doesn’t take a bunch of tools, or a giant brain.  It does take a willingness to try and a humbleness to be open to learning how.  Try something outside your comfort zone.  The rewards go beyond saving money.

We’ve got robots and machines as force multipliers all around us.  We need to keep them running though, if they are to help.  Doing at least some of it yourself makes you more resilient, more ‘anti-fragile’, less a pawn, more independent.  And you’ll find a whole new list of stuff to keep stacking.

nick