This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Took my Honda generator down to Hardware Sales small engine repair shop yesterday. They advertised a tune-up special and since I have not been able to get the generator to start I thought maybe they could clean up the carb and do any other maintenance it might need. It has VERY low hours on it so I really wantto keep it ingood shape. I use it aboard the boat as a way to top off the batterieswhen we are not on shore power for more than a few days. Itis a marine model meaning it hasa shore power cable plug built into it. So I simply plug in the sore power cable into the generator and the other endinto the side of the boat and crank up the generator. I keep the generator up on the cockpit roof so it is out in the open. No exhaust issues that way. The Honda is often described as the option most boaters go towhen they have no genset, don't want to spend the thousands ir would take to install one and and want the capablity of a generator. Many complain that a portabe generator is a CO hazard but claim the Honda, when properly vented, is less of a hazard. I don't know. I just know our Honda has been great without any sign of a hazardous situation. We do have CO detectors aboard. The Honda is also much quieter than most portable generators on the market so it is less likely to set off complaint from neighbor boaters.

Back to my story. Hardwares Sales saidthey would also fill the generator with synthetic fuel because it was more stable when the generator was not used for long periods of time like over the winter. The issue is that regular gas sittingin the unit tends to gum up those tiny injectors that inject the fuel into the cylinder making it difficult or impossible to start the engine when you need it. That forces you to take apart the carberator and clean it before the unit can be used again.The cost is usually arounf $80-100 for this service. I have been having to do this with my Honda dinghy outboard nearly every year and now my generator. Hardware Sales solution is to use synthetic fuel except whenever you are actually going to use the units. Then run regular fuel sans ethanol. Then as the use comes to an end each season, dump the fuel and run synthetic fuel through the system ridding it of regular fuel and leaving synthetic fuel in the lines. That way the engine is ready for non-use during the winter months. I don't know if this is a good idea but I am willling to give it a shot. The downside? A galllon of the sunthetic fuel runs $20 and I haven't found a less expensive source. So it is pricey but, as the Hardware Sales guy put it, you can pay $20 for the fuel or pay him $80-100 every year to fix the resulting problem. Well, when you put it that way....