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Technical Bulletin
My propane generator will not start, why?
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This is one of most common questions that customers have that will call our kit center.  Rule number one: “Blame the fuel components last!”  This may seem like a bold statement but the components in our kits have a long track record and they are very rarely the issue. We never say never, so let’s look at what may be the culprit. We will update this question periodically as we have time.

Here is a list of what we will ask a customer before even sending the call to one of the technicians.  They are listed in order based on the most common reason which is at the top:

·       What are you using for a propane tank?  

The troubleshooting section of our instruction booklets purposely has this question several times.  Why?  Because it seems to be the hardest to get a customer to even seriously consider.  If the fuel in the cylinder or tank is not “pure” propane, the engine will usually do one of several things:

Not try to even start at all - high ratio of air to fuel inside the cylinder

Hits or pops a little - less air fuel ratio

Will run as long as the primer button is held in - lower air fuel ratio

Will run but will not run smoothly or will not handle a load -  lowest air to fuel ratio

When a propane vessel is manufactured, the container is welded together with air sealed up inside.  Some cylinders are sold as “vacuum purged” which is helpful for BBQ grills but not engines.  A cylinder that can be used on a burner will not necessarily work on an engine.  The reason is the window of ignition is very tight.  If an air/fuel mixture is introduce into a CARBURETOR (which mixes air and fuel), no amount of this lean gas could run the engine.  The BTU content would be well below the threshold necessary for combustion.    

What is the best troubleshoot technique to eliminate the cylinder as the possible reason?

Simple.  Connect the system to a tank or cylinder that you know has been filled multiple times.  The key here is that you know it has been filled multiple times.  Most portable cylinders are not correctly purged when they are first used.  Once air is trapped inside, it usually takes no less than using ALL the gas up in the cylinder before an engine will even try to function correctly after it’s refilled.

If you are getting cylinder exchange type propane cylinders, pick the ugly ones.  You will have the best chance of getting a cylinder that has been filled several times. 

Please, save yourself a lot of time. Know for a fact that the gas is air-free before even thinking about anything else.  If you absolutely know the gas is clean, then let’s look at the next common issue.

·       Have you adjusted your load block?

Stay tuned…




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