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Something bad about the small generators !

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Nadja, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    This is something that happened to me last night. We had no sun yesterday at all, so last night about 6pm, I went out and started my 5.5 gas chinese screamer to charge up my batteries. No problem, even though this gennie is about 6 years old. At about 7:30, I went out and shut it down. As normal. Then about 8:00 pm, my wife and I took our dogs out for their evening "last call". My wife has a nose that can smell an ant fart at 1,000 yards. No joke. Anyway, as soon as we went out, she said she smelled gas. As we walked around the house towards the back, she said the smell was really strong. As ususal , I still smelled nothing at all. Well, she said , go check out the gennies. I did. As I walked up to the lean too where the gennies are, I even smelled gas.

    Upon further examination, I discovered that the plastic gas tank over the gennie had let go and the gas was dripping very fast out the bottom. Using a couple of coffee cans, and cutting the gas line from the tank, saved most of the gas. Bottom line, those plastic gas tanks, have an expansion fitting in the bottom which is also plastic, and given time, can let go. I doubt if I can find anything to repair it with, which means I will have to scrounge another gas tank for it like my Kohler.
    The tank for my Kohler is a steel tank made for a boat. They work well and are much safer then the plastic stock fuel tanks on most of these gennies. something to keep in mind for all of youwith this kind of tank. You never know when one of them will let go. The lean to with all three of my gennies in it, is at the end of my solar building. Should the tank have let go when the gennie was running, all my solar and other gennies would be toast ! Check your tanks out on a very regular schedule. Especially inspect the fitting at the bottom of the tank where your gas line is mounted from.
    kellory, rsbhunter, STANGF150 and 2 others like this.
  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    thanks for the heads up
  3. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    I read an anecdote from survivalblog last year after the hurricane back east. A guy had moved his goats and chickens to his garage for cover and the goats had jumped on his generator breaking his plastic gas tank. Prompted me to ensure I got a generator with a steel tank that I could repair if needed.
  4. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    In so far as I know, You cannot make a real repair on the plastic tanks. The fitting is pressed into the tank and no way to even put a compression fitting on it, short of cutting a hole in the top of the tank. And we all know that is not a good thing. Actually, I have a 12 gal steel boat gas tank, which feeds my Kohler 7k genni. I am going to put a brass tee in that line, and make if feed both gennies.
    Silversnake likes this.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Here is an example of a Primary Diesel Fuel System with a 36 hour Reserve Capacity. This is the system I use every day, here, to "Keep the Lights ON", and the Cabin Stove, and Domestic Hot Water going. The Main Tank is a 550 USG Dike Tank, with a Water Sump along the bottom of the tank that leads to the Water Tap Drain. The Main Fuel Feed is 3" above the Water Drain, and feeds the Racor 2020, 10 Micron Main Fuel Filter. The output of the Filter, feeds the Main Fuel Manifold, that supplies Both Gensets, and the Fuel Line to the Cabin Oil Cook Stove. Each Genset also has a Fuel Return Line coming back to the Return Line Manifold, which feeds into the 55USG Reserve Fuel Tank, just under the Fuel System Vent. All fuel in the Return Lines has been thru the Main Fuel Filter, both Primary and Secondary Fuel Filters on the Gensets, and the Injector Pumps, and Injectors. This means it has NO Contaminants in it, and is Polished Fuel. When the Reserve Tank is full, it overflows back into the Main Tank, which gives me 55USG of "Know Good Fuel", which will run my operation for 36 Hours, should I have an issue with the Main Fuel Tank, or Racor Filter. All that is required is to isolate the Racor Filter Output from the Main Fuel Manifold, and then open the isolation Valves on each end of the Reserve Fuel Bypass Line. This lets the Reserve Fuel Tank feed the Main Fuel Manifold, and fuel the System while any issues with the Main Tank or Main System are resolved.

    Attached Files:

  6. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    BTPost , this may be a stupid question, but do you have to anything special to mitigate for diesel gelling up there?
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You will NOTICE that I burn Diesel #1 in my Stove AND Generators,,,, The Gelling Temp for Diesel #1 is down at about -50F... The lowest temp I have ever had here is -15F, in 40 years. so I am SAFE from that issue, these days. I did have an issue, about 20 years ago, when the Fuel Supplier tagged a tank of Diesel #2 as Diesel #1, and pumped it into one of my Diesel #1 Storage Tanks. I did have some issues that winter, and the supplier had to fly out with a couple of 55USG Drums of PowerPour to mitigate the issue. That cost him a pile of Money, and we haven't had that problem since, with that supplier. This is another reason that I have a 36 Hour Reserve, so that if something like that happens I have 36 Hours to deal with the issue, before the Lights go out. I keep a Drum of PowerPour in Stock every winter, just in case..... YMMV.....No question is Stupid, unless it goes unasked...... ......
    kellory and Silversnake like this.
  8. rsbhunter

    rsbhunter Monkey+

    Thank Najda for another tip on keeping an off grid up and running. This is something that people looking to buy a small generator can do in ADVANCE to avoid a problem. In our part of the country, another consideration is to keep anything that is plastic out of direct sun...i have things that have just deteriorated because of sun and especially heat here in the desert S.W....bet more members join in with tips and things to watch for....rsbhunter
  9. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+

    There's some stuff called"Plastic Weld",that works real well for patching ABS plastics.
    I've used it for several projects,including patching mower,and dirt bike tanks.It comes in a two chamber tube,similar to some of the epoxy glues.It mixes the same way as JB Weld,but surpasses it by far for repairing plastics.
    The only thing is that I've only found it in one color,which is the same as one of the white plastic cutting boards.
    The last I checked it runs about $7 at most auto parts stores.
    Gafarmboy likes this.
  10. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    Thanks Matt. Plastic weld has been around for a long time. However, I do not feel compy "fixing a gas tank" that is plastic and mounts over the engine. IF, it should leak, """BANG""" and that is not something I want to happen.
  11. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    One of my 1970 sears cultivators has a plastic tank mounted on an 8 hp tappered bearing crankshaft Wisconsin Cast iron engine .
    I had to "boast" of what Heavy Duty was , not fuel efficient , but smelly & strong ;) .

    My fuel shut off is metal with a strainer in the tank portion , and the hole it goes in is (say 3/4 , fuel shut off 1/2 max OD on the barbs) I replaced the grommet that sealed the two .
    Is it that you could drill , hole the tank and use a grommet and fitting / fuel shut or just a fuel tap / 90* . They have many items on the Flee-bay , just finding them is a pain .
    Stens catalogue has many to chose from
    125-336_M. Link

    Link 2 to flee-bay
    Just to show what Im trying to post.
    125-336_M. 125-336_M.
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I can think of one way to repair it. They make a kit for turning any plastic gas can into a gravity feed (not a pressure tank) for any boat motor. I looked at the kit for use with my evinrude, because the tank I have is ten times more fuel than I could ever use in a weekend. The kit was available at Sizzle Marina, in Ohio, and I assume elsewhere.
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