Well, I learned a lesson—but not without considerable pain to reinforce it. Gasoline really does go bad. A year ago I replaced the Yamaha ef3000iseb genny in my bus with a brand new model of the same ilk. Same rip snorting electron pushing device I had but with all the eco friendly junk like a charcoal canister and exhaust sniffer or something. I figured I was set for life. Not so. After only 24 hrs of metered use, the thing began surging at idle with wild fluctuations of rpm’s and flashing red lights. It worked fine under load but I’ll bet that wouldn’t have lasted. Per the net, this apparently isn’t all that uncommon regardless of the generator brand. The fix seems to be carb repair and gas tank cleaning.
I removed and dissembled the carb in which I found an amazing amount of varnish. I did a though cleaning of the float bowl and all the jets and emptied the tank. After reassembling the carb and adding fresh gas, the genny is purring like a kitten again!
Feeling good about my success with the Yamaha I decided to have a look see at the Powermate Genny on the pop up camper I tow with the bus Toad. I’ve only used the new PM once since I installed it about a year and a half ago. Damn thing wouldn’t even start! I finally got it to run on ether—but only until the either ran out. This is where the pain comes in. I put the PM on a work bench next to where the Toad was parked and proceeded to vigorously pull the starter rope. With each pull the genny moved closer and closer to the Toad until it was just close enough so that a good yank on the rope brought my elbow into contact with the edge of the rain gutter on the Toad. The result was a new hole in my shirt and a new hole in my elbow and a really pissed off tendon.
The PM is a knock off of the Yamaha, about a third the cost and half the power and a tad bit noisier. The carb looks like a miniature of the Yamaha and had clogged up in all the same places. It too is again purring like a kitten.
Lesson learned (X2) : Look before you pull the starter rope; add fuel stabilizer to the gas.