Curb Find of the Day - 15,000 W Generator!!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by SLK001, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. SLK001

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    Riding around today on my bicycle and ran across this sitting on the curb (where the trash goes):

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    Don't know if anything is wrong with it yet, because the battery was dead. If the battery will hold a charge, I'll check it out sometime this week. Pretty much the "Score of the Week"!
     
    narkeleptk likes this.
  2. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I can see the police report now. :p

    "Victim reports unloading their prized 15 kW from their truck to make their passenger's belongings accessible. Victim then drove two blocks to passenger's residence and, after unloading their belongings, returned to discover their generator had been stolen in the intervening time. Neighbors report white male on bicycle admiring generator and later returning in late-model gray pickup and taking generator."
     
  3. SLK001

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    It's rare to find a generator, but not unheard of. I "recovered" a 5.8kW generator two years ago. Anyway, it took me over an hour to horse that thing into my pickup in front of the "victims" house - it must weigh 500 pounds!
     
  4. MisterBill2

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 23, 2018
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    I recall that a co-worker had offered me a generator set that had "just quit working" after he replaced a broken duplex outlet. And the 220 outlet was also dead, showing zero resistance between the two hot pins. There were three wires to the duplex outlet, with each of the line terminals getting a wire from the 220 outlet, and a single neutral to the neutral side. He had not been aware of that removable jumper that ties the two outlets in parallel. Removing that jumper solved the fool's problem. Once again, a little knowledge is often dangerous, as this case certainly showed. Possibly the same problem on the found 15 KW generator. Or maybe it was run out of oil. I have one that I loaned out that came back that way. I kept it in case that person ever wants to borrow a generator from me again.
     
  5. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    There is an APB out for you!;)
    Max.
     
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  6. SLK001

    Thread Starter Senior Member

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    Luckily, I was wearing my Groucho mask!
     
  7. MisterBill2

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    Jan 23, 2018
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    It is really offensive that so many individuals presume that if they can't fix something, than it is not worth fixing, and worse yet, that nobody else should be allowed to fix it.
     
  8. MisterBill2

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 23, 2018
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    The very first step is to check out what is in the fuel tank. Don't risk damaging the engine. Then check the oil level and color, and then pull the rope and see if it spins and has compression. Then a shot of starting fluid on the air cleaner, if it starts then the ignition is OK and the compression and valves are OK.
     
  9. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    Who's presuming that nobody else should be allowed to fix it? :confused:

    At worst the previous owner presumed that if they couldn't fix it than either nobody else COULD fix it or that nobody else would WANT to fix it. But it may well not even presume that much; I've donated appliances to charitable organizations by setting them out by the curb and arranging with them to come pick them up. I certainly don't see any indication that they felt that nobody else should be ALLOWED to fix it.
     
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  10. MisterBill2

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    My comments were referencing my own experiences. "Your results may differ."
     
  11. SLK001

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    Folks around here will run their generators after a hurricane, then just shut them off once power is restored. They leave the gas on, so the gas leaves a terrible varnish in the carburetor, so that when they need it again in three or four years time, it won't start. They try and try to get it to start, then conclude that "it must be bad", so it is to the curb with it! I'm pretty sure that I'll have to remove the carb and soak it in carb cleaner to "de-varnish" the thing first. I can't believe the size of the thing - it's like a small car!
     
  12. WBahn

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    Ah, I thought you were commenting on the specifics implied by this case.

    I'm trying to think back to see if I've ever encountered someone with the attitude that nobody else should be allowed to fix something that they have thrown away -- and I don't think I can. However, I know I've seen several instances when someone has given or thrown something away that someone else turned into something valuable and then they felt that they had somehow been cheated.

    I had an uncle that ran a one-man appliance repair shop. He advertised free haul away of appliances, whether you bought anything from him or not. What he did not offer was free troubleshooting of appliances (though he would credit the diagnostic charge against any repairs performed on that appliance). If someone called him out to haul away an old appliance and asked him what might be wrong, he would tell them that he couldn't say unless he diagnosed the problem for a fee. Often times they would just have him haul it away (since often they already had a new appliance that had been delivered by someplace that did not offer free haul away).

    With refrigerators especially a common problem was the freezer frosting up (on a frost-free unit). He would get it back to the shop and the first thing he would do was to give it a blow job -- blow out the tube that led from the freezer down to the pan underneath that was specifically there to collect the water from the defrost cycle and let it evaporate. That very often did the trick and then he would clean it up, test it out, and put it up for sale for several hundred dollars. There were common problems with several types of appliances that were no-money fixes. He got more than a few dryers that simply had lint plugging their vents.

    Occasionally someone would learn that he was selling the unit he picked up from them just a day or two before and get upset and claim that he had cheated them out of a perfectly good appliance. At least one someone actually filed a police report for theft and then sued him on top of that. He won, but fighting it cost him quite a bit of time and money. I think this was in the 1970s. So after that he put together a haul-away agreement that was very specific in stating that the owner was relinquishing all interest to the appliance in exchange for free disposal and specifically mentioned that this included the case where it turned out that the unit was functional and marketable as is.
     
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  13. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    At least the OP got the joke!
    Max.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  14. profbuxton

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    Feb 21, 2014
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    Manager I worked for decided we needed a new drill press(floor type). Bought a new one and ordered store person to destroy the old one(still quite usable) cos didn't want co. to get sued if they gave it away.Same with a band saw. But had no problem when company shut down selling stuff via auction. And they threw away thousands of dollars worth of stuff also.
     
  15. WBahn

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    This is, sadly, not an unreasonable position for a company to take. As they noted, it wasn't even enough to have it hauled off as scrap, but they actually needed to destroy it to protect themselves.

    The company my dad worked for got sued because someone found an old small industrial air compressor in a scrapyard and took it and used it to feed air to divers. The divers died because of the oil entrained in the air and so sued my dad's company because there weren't warning labels stating that it wasn't to be used for human breathing air. The unit had been built and sold by my dad's company some twenty years earlier (the only reason the they even knew my dad's company was affiliated with the unit was because of the stamped metal nameplate riveted to the tank platen). The really sad part? They won the suit.
     
  16. MisterBill2

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 23, 2018
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    The sad tale about the air compressor once again proves that "You Can't Fix Stupid" is certainly correct. And it MUST have been a stupid, and illiterate, jury to believe that any compressor not labeled as oil free would be oil free. Not to mention that all breathing air needs to be filtered with an oil-removing filter.
     
  17. WBahn

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    Even if the compressor had been an oil-free compressor (which my dad's company most certainly did make and sell), the notion that the original manufacturer of decades-old equipment is somehow liable for the safety and performance of a unit that had been relegated to a scrapyard is even more absurd. But then the aviation industry routinely sees (and loses) suits over "design defects" in nearly century-old airplanes because they had features that were standard at the time but are not any longer (such as low forward visibility due to being a tail dragger). My dad's company was lucky in only one regard on this one. The pump on the compressor was a Quincy (which, at the time, was owned by Colt Industries) and they stepped up after the verdict against my dad's company and got the suit brought under their umbrella (I don't know the legal process by which they did that, but essentially they indemnified my dad's company somehow) and took over the appeals case. The verdict was thankfully thrown out on appeal.
     
  18. SLK001

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    Hey, stop hijacking my gloat-worthy thread!
     
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  19. WBahn

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    Think of it as advice for the future. If your new toy fails and all the food in your freezer spoils, you can always sue the prior owner and the manufacturer of the generator! :D
     
    atferrari likes this.
  20. Berzerker

    Active Member

    Jul 29, 2018
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    I'll give you $100 for it right now !
    Brzrkr
     
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