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

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
3,721
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
I am hoping that we get a report on what problem, if any, is discovered and what fix it required. That knowledge is always useful to have.
I do wonder about the natural gas fueled generators, because I now realize that the city gas line systems are a lot more complex than just an array of pipes. After that disaster in New York where they did not connect the pressure regulator sense lines correctly I realize that gas distribution is subject to flood damage as well as stupidity. That is an uncomfortable realization.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
6,893
The pump on the compressor was a Quincy (which, at the time, was owned by Colt Industries)
Does that go along with the saying, "guns don't kill people ,people kill people"? Air compressors don't kill people, people kill people.:) (and no that isn't a political statement just meant as a joke)
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,512
Great find! Around here people throw out nice stuff all the time, the general procedure is knock on the door to be sure it's out for trash. Most of the time people are happy to see it go to a home other than the landfill. That's very similar, or maybe the same generator my neighbor got on special at home depot. He was so excited that it runs everything in his house, including central air and hot water heater. Then I asked him, how in the world are you going to come up with enough gas to keep that thing running in the days immediately after a storm when stores and gas stations are not open? Let us know what the outcome is!
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,079
Reminds me of a 51 Ford PU truck a guy in college gave me. I had him sign the title over to me for an old non-running truck that had sat in his yard for nearly a year with flat tires and towed it away. Spent a lot of time and money getting it back to barely running and then he had the unmitigated gall to start telling everyone at school about how I stole his truck from him. Some things people think are FUBAR is pure gold to others.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
4,468
Really nice find. Check out the basics as mentioned and then see if it starts. If the engine runs it's a good start. Then move along to the electric and see what you have. My sister lives in a fairly affluent neighborhood and it's amazing what finds its way to the tree lawns. They even have a few days a year when people can put out anything they don't want for others to drag away. Post back as to how things go when you check it out.

Ron
 

Thread Starter

SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,452
We didn't get our usual bulk pickup last Tuesday due to hurricane Dorian. Therefore, bulk trash is accumulating at the curb. The generator was sitting on top of a bunch of tree branches, clearly being toss out.

After charging the battery and connecting it up and checking the oil (needed to have some be added), I was going to see if it would fire up using starting fluid alone, so I removed the air cleaner. On the first crank, about half a cup of gasoline came roaring out of the intake. I mopped it all up and cranked again and again, about 2 ounces of more gasoline came gushing out. Not wanting to crater a piston with hydrolock, I removed both spark plugs. I cranked some more, with more gasoline pouring from everywhere. My conclusion is that the float needle is stuck in the open condition, not metering fuel due to the unit being stored with gas in the carb for years. This is as far as I have gone so far. I'll remove and CLEAN the carb tomorrow (maybe...), then try to repeat my original test. If I'm lucky, I still have two good pistons.

More later...
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
4,468
I am hoping that we get a report on what problem, if any, is discovered and what fix it required. That knowledge is always useful to have.
I do wonder about the natural gas fueled generators, because I now realize that the city gas line systems are a lot more complex than just an array of pipes. After that disaster in New York where they did not connect the pressure regulator sense lines correctly I realize that gas distribution is subject to flood damage as well as stupidity. That is an uncomfortable realization.
My primary backup whole house generator is natural gas fired but can also be run on LPG with a simple turn of a valve. Through every scenario imaginable in the 30 years I have been in this house the natural gas supply has never failed.

We did have one natural gas problem here in the Cleveland, Ohio area though. A large regulator failed and allowed the natural gas pressure to surge. Older furnaces and devices using a pilot light (always on) ended up with a few fires. Fairport Harbor fires blamed on a failed pressure regulator.

The street I live on in the Cleveland SE suburbs is peculiar in that we have a high pressure side of the street and a low pressure side of the street. The only difference being the residences on the high pressure side have a regulator at the meter (upstream) while on my low pressure side there are no individual meters. Anyway over the past 30 years the most reliable utility here has been the natural gas service. I guess if I were really concerned I could add a few large LPG tanks. Additionally most smart newer appliances and things like my generator use a fuel solenoid and if the pressure exceeds a given set point they shut off the supply.

When and if all else fails there is my little gasoline fired portable 4.0 KW generator out in the garage. Just wish that thing had electric start. :)

Ron
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
4,468
My conclusion is that the float needle is stuck in the open condition, not metering fuel due to the unit being stored with gas in the carb for years. This is as far as I have gone so far. I'll remove and CLEAN the carb tomorrow (maybe...), then try to repeat my original test. If I'm lucky, I still have two good pistons.
Stay on it. Been there and seen that many times. Every spring the tree lawns are lined with stuff people never drained the gasoline out of.

Ron
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,512
It's not uncommon for the floats in those gravity fed carburetors to slowly leak. It will probably run fine, but if it sits unused then the gas tank slowly drain into the motor. The fix is a proper petcock in the gas line that you turn off when it's not in use. I had a riding mower that would do this, and if you forgot to turn the gas off then a couple weeks later whatever was in the gas tank was now in the oil.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,079
If you can find it, marine gas has no ethanol and does much better for storage than regular automotive gasahol. Never hurts to put a shot of Stabil in it either.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,512
Stabil also helps plastic somewhat. I have a pile of gas cans, some have translucent spouts. The one I put stabilizer in stayed white significantly longer than the non-stabilized gas can, which turned yellowish pretty quickly. Stabilizer is not magic, but definitely helps. I use it in everything except the car.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
3,721
Or the loose 30 Ghz 80 Gsps LeCroy scope in a dumpster Dave Jones eevblog founder found.

Cover off, loose AC connection inside.

BINGO, $ 300K find.

https://www.eevblog.com/2017/03/31/eevblog-984-worlds-best-dumpster-find-300k/


I am sure if I look hard enough in Fort Knox I will find a loose pallet of gold bullion, stay tuned.


Regards, Dana.
Once, while emptying my waste basket into the dumpster where I worked, I noticed that somebody else had dumped a bunch of books into OUR dumpster. I grabbed one and it contained an envelope wit $530 cash in it. I said nothing to anybody about that find. And after a radio club swap, while cleaning up, I was offered a "junk" oscilloscope. "Junk"because the cover was missing several screws. I took it, with 2 probes and the power cord, and when I got it home, it worked, a 2 channel 20 MHz scope. 3 standard screws and it is just fine. That was the total extent of the repairs required.
 

Thread Starter

SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,452
Then I asked him, how in the world are you going to come up with enough gas to keep that thing running in the days immediately after a storm when stores and gas stations are not open? Let us know what the outcome is!
Around here, gas stations are required to have generator backup for their pumps. A lot of grocery stores also have them.
 

Thread Starter

SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,452
I cracked open the carb today. Here's what I saw:





I think that it is confirmed that the original owner used it for one hurricane, then just stuck it in the corner of his garage without prepping it for long term storage. I stuck the carb in some Berryman carb cleaner to soak for a couple of hours and it cleaned up nice. I've got it all reassembled, but rain stopped me from proceeding further. Tomorrow, I'm going to replace the oil and try a simple starting test with starter fluid.
 
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