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Ask Mark Dotson Your Own Question
Mark Dotson
Mark Dotson,
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 10
Experience:  Master Service Technician at Mark The Mechanic
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I have a generac 14kw generator that has always started

Customer Question

I have a generac 14kw generator that has always started good. I have the oil filter and battery heaters on it, we had a bad storm and cold snap Christmas day and evening with on and off power outages. it started sometimes and then not. It was suppose to do a weekly test start last night and failed.
JA: Do you have fuel in the tank? If so, is the shut-off valve open and the fuel clean?
Customer: do you have any ideas
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: It is propane on a 1000 gal tank at 46% full
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: Will start for a test run with the main power on
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Mark Dotson replied 7 months ago.

Hi, my name is***** and am happy to assist with the problem you are having. I am sorry to hear about the problem you are having with your machine.

One of the things that sticks out is that you have had the cold snap. Carburetors on propane generators don't like to start well on very cold days and they have a heater for that as well.

Being your tank is below 50%, you can also have a low pressure problem that is not providing enough propane pressure to push the gas through the lines to the carburetor.

A battery that is beginning to fail will also cause this issue of a no-start for the exercise test.

I would perform a battery test to see how many amps that it is putting out first before I went onto the next item.

If this concludes our troubleshooting, please rate my response. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask. My goal is to do my best to help you remedy your small engine problem and continue to keep my high rating as a Technician.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I gave it a small shot of starting fluid to see if it was a fuel problem, also I had the propane filled. It cranks very good and has a built in battery charger, so I don't think it is the battery either. I guess I'll check the plugs, other than that, I'll have to see if I can find a tech.
Expert:  Mark Dotson replied 7 months ago.

If it is not starting on starting fluid, my next course of action would be to check the perform a compress and leakdown test. If the valves are out of adjustment, it will cause low compression that will not allow it to fire. A valve adjustment is not very difficult to do if you want to perform it yourself. It is possible that it is the spark plugs, but with propane there is very little carbon build up on them and they rarely are the issue.