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Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?


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Old 06-26-2010, 04:37 PM
krazzz krazzz is offline
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Default Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Starting Problem – Propane Generator
Hello, I recently acquired three Generac MC10000 propane powered generators at an auction. All three have less than 30 hours on them so I know they should run fine. They are 10,000 watt generators powered by a 19hp Briggs and Stratton twin cylinder engine. It has a Beam T60 regulator and I have it hooked up to a full 20lb tank. When I crank it over the engine tries to start but it is acting like it is starved for fuel. It sputters for a bit but then I can start the engines on starting fluid and they will continue to run as long as I keep the fluid going. I can safely rule out compression, spark, and timing. They are all acting the same so I am wondering if it is something to do with my tanks. I have tried 3 different 20lb tanks but none of them work. I have even hooked two tanks up to one generator and it didn’t work. Could the problem be with the valves on my tanks? There is some type of purge valve or something on the back siAlso, if someone has other troubleshooting advice or info on how to adjust the regulator that would be great. I’m sure it is something simple but I just can’t figure it out.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:47 PM
Kit Kit is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by krazzz View Post
Starting Problem – Propane Generator
Hello, I recently acquired three Generac MC10000 propane powered generators at an auction. All three have less than 30 hours on them so I know they should run fine. They are 10,000 watt generators powered by a 19hp Briggs and Stratton twin cylinder engine. It has a Beam T60 regulator and I have it hooked up to a full 20lb tank. When I crank it over the engine tries to start but it is acting like it is starved for fuel. It sputters for a bit but then I can start the engines on starting fluid and they will continue to run as long as I keep the fluid going. I can safely rule out compression, spark, and timing. They are all acting the same so I am wondering if it is something to do with my tanks. I have tried 3 different 20lb tanks but none of them work. I have even hooked two tanks up to one generator and it didn’t work. Could the problem be with the valves on my tanks? There is some type of purge valve or something on the back siAlso, if someone has other troubleshooting advice or info on how to adjust the regulator that would be great. I’m sure it is something simple but I just can’t figure it out.
Had the same problem on a propane forklift had to get a tank that allowed liquid instead of vapor now has been running three years no problem
kit
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:00 PM
krazzz krazzz is offline
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Default Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

I know this is the Onan forum but there isn't a lot of activity on the Generac page. I think my problem is something that is general and not specific to the brand of engine. Thanks in advance.

Starting Problem – Propane Generator

Hello, I recently acquired three Generac MC10000 propane powered generators at an auction. All three have less than 30 hours on them so I know they should run fine. They are 10,000 watt generators powered by a 19hp Briggs and Stratton twin cylinder engine. It has a Beam T60 regulator and I have it hooked up to a full 20lb tank. When I crank it over the engine tries to start but it is acting like it is starved for fuel. It sputters for a bit but then I can start the engines on starting fluid and they will continue to run as long as I keep the fluid going. I can safely rule out compression, spark, and timing. They are all acting the same so I am wondering if it is something to do with my tanks. I have tried 3 different 20lb tanks but none of them work. I have even hooked two tanks up to one generator and it didn’t work. Could the problem be with the valves on my tanks? There is some type of purge valve or something on the back siAlso, if someone has other troubleshooting advice or info on how to adjust the regulator that would be great. I’m sure it is something simple but I just can’t figure it out.

Is it just a matter of changing out the valves on my tank or do I need to get special tanks? How about tanks made to run forklifts?

I forgot to ask. What is the proper procedure for starting a propane engine? I can't find any manuals online and it is entirely possible that I doing something wrong. What is the button on the back of the regular for? Does that have something to do with starting? If someone could give me a quick step by step procedure for starting that would be great.
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:34 PM
krazzz krazzz is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

I forgot to ask. What is the proper procedure for starting a propane engine? I can't find any manuals online and it is entirely possible that I doing something wrong. What is the button on the back of the regular for? Does that have something to do with starting? If someone could give me a quick step by step procedure for starting that would be great.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:36 AM
Kit Kit is offline
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Default ropane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Not sure but believe you have to buy a different tank in my case went to my local propane dealer he took old one in and sold me new one. He also pointed out that the liquid one had a screwed in plug along with the liquid valve and that if tank pumped empty (tank under pressure) then a qualified place could switch from vapor to liquid however mine was a lay down tank and had to be mounted on lift properly to work.
Let me know if this works out for you
THANKS KIT

Used to work on propane fueled school buses.
They always started with no assist and good when cold out (no choke required) However on cold days occasional freeze up of regulators was a problem don't remember a regulator with a button on it (was 30 plus years ago) The mind is not the first to go.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:16 AM
Isaac-1 Isaac-1 is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

This is just based on what I have read on here in the past, I don't have a propane powered anything. Some T60 pressure regulators have a priming button on the back that gives a squirt of propane into the engine for starting.

Hopefully one of the experts will be along soon

Ike
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:39 AM
KEB KEB is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Certainly not an expert, but here's a couple things to check.

First, the button on the back of the regulator is a primer which allows gas to flow when its held in. Serves the same purpose as a choke on a gasoline engine.

Second, check to see if there's an electric or vacuum operated cutoff valve. The purpose of this valve is to automatically shut off the flow of propane if the engine stops for some reason. You have to override this shutoff until the engine is up to speed. An electric cutoff may be operated from an oil pressure switch. A vacuum cutoff will have a line to the intake manifold.

Keith
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:11 PM
hoppyhunts hoppyhunts is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Krazzz, do you have a regulator attached to that tank? The Beam T60 is a liquid fed 2-stage type regulator, meaning it is dsigned to have direct tank pressure. I don't believe you are going to get liquid withdrawal from a 20lb tank either. Make sure you have a liquid-withdrawal tank (forklift type), and no regulator ahead of the Beam T60.
The button is basically a primer. It can aid in starting at times, but usually if you need it, something else is wrong.
One drawback to using a liquid converter, is the residue it leaves behind, which looks like molasses, and is just as thick when cold. It is something that needs to be cleaned from this type regulator occasionally. It's been a long time since I've seen a Beam up close, but most other types have a drain hole for that purpose. It drains much easier when the regulator is up to temp from the engine running.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:44 PM
krazzz krazzz is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Update to all. Using starting fluid I was able to get it to take over on the propane and stay running on its own. It took about a minute running on the starting fluid before it would run on its own. I let it run for about 30 min and it ran well. I turned on the idle control and it idled down ok and would crank back up when I put a load on it. After shutting it down I tried starting it immediately without the starting fluid and I couldn't get it going again. At least I know the engine is ok and that my problem is 100% with the fuel delivery side of things. Now to answer your posts.

1. Yes it has a separate regulator in place before the Beam T60. Looks like a standard BBQ type not sure of the pressure, probably ~12psi. Only two of the generators have this extra regulator and the third does not. They look to have been set up this way for a long time.

2. This does have the vacuum cutoff. How do you override it?

3. I found a couple old 43lb forklift tanks. The owner uses them for his grill so how can I know if they are the liquid withdrawal type or if they have been converted? He said they don't have the safety valve and unlike my BBQ tank, if you open it with nothing attached the propane will come out. Do you required to mount these on their side or will they work standing up?

Thanks for all of your input. You have all been very helpful. I look forward to your future advice.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:31 PM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

The data I have is that a Bean T-60 needs Vapor feed at TANK PRESSURE. The T-60 replaced a Garretson Model S2 with the same need of Vapor at Tank pressure. NO Primary regulator needed. The line for the vacuum fuel lock should be connected somewhere on the intake manifold between the carb throttle plate and the engines intake valves. Intake may need or has been modified by installing a fitting of some type.

Kent
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:04 PM
krazzz krazzz is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Do you have any PDFs or some other manual for this regulator? I have been searching everywhere and can't find anything other than a picture of it. The vacuum cut-off appears to be installed correctly and the hose is in good shape. It goes to a fitting in the intake manifold just below the carb. So does this mean that I do not need a special tank and that my standard 20lb BBQ tank will work? I was about to buy those other tanks tomorrow but I might hold off now until I hear more.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:06 PM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

I also forgot to mention that when a vapor line is first connected between a tank and a load like a engine, when you first turn on the tank you have a pressurized column of air in the said line. this air must be purged before trying to start the engine. I first realized this with a LP power ventilating heater I have. This is an old piece of Bell Telephone equipment that has a 3 HP Briggs fueled by LP powering a 300 watt generator and a fan. the fan is in a small LP fuel forced air furnace. I has a primary regulator, a regulator for the furnace section and a Garretson Model SD for the demand regulator. I have about 10 feet of hose between the ventilating heater and the LP POL tank fitting. For sometime I complained on how hard this unit was to start. Then ONE DAY it dawned on me that I, when I first connected the tank, I was trying to start the engine on the slug AIR that was ahead of the LP vapor in the LP line. I now connect the tank, 20 LB LP, turn on the tank valve and press the primmer button UNTIL I smell the LP's odorant. The engine will then start on the first or second pull of the starter rope.
Do not laugh at this little unit like I once did. I go it as it was the First small engine I had that was LP fuel. I thought 300 watt. What good was it. I found out three years ago during an ice storm caused six day power outage. This 300 watts was enough to shelter a man and his wife in their home. They were on city water but needed power for their pellet wood stove. This little HUUUUMMER did it. It is a 3600 RPM unit that ran for six day powering their stove, a extra fan to circulate heat and a compact fluorescent bulb for light.
TO QUOTE BTPOST " Some electricity is better than NONE"
Kent
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:13 PM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

I have a new T-60 in it's box. I can check to see what info is with it if I have not lost the info. The box is open and I have had it three years. It came with a generator I bought that a guy had burnt up during the Ice storm of three years ago. I do not know when I will get a chance to look at the info. as we Had to put Dad in the Hospital last night.

Kent
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:25 PM
krazzz krazzz is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

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Originally Posted by K D Redd View Post
I have about 10 feet of hose between the ventilating heater and the LP POL tank fitting. For sometime I complained on how hard this unit was to start. Then ONE DAY it dawned on me that I, when I first connected the tank, I was trying to start the engine on the slug AIR that was ahead of the LP vapor in the LP line.
I thought about that because I have about a 15 to 20ft hose. I can however smell the propane when I push the purge valve. I also know this isn't likely the problem because after I let it run for 30 min I tried to start it again and it wouldn't fire up. It ran well once it was started so I am leaning to the vacuum cut-off or an issue with the tank. I am also going to get the primary regulator out of the equation.

Thanks for your input. I hope your dad improves soon.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:38 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Sounds like your little unit is a MOPECO heater/blower. They used either a 3 HP B&S or a 4 HP Kohler, and were used by utility companies for venting and heating manholes and work shafts. Great little units until the stainless steel heating element burned out, then what a pain to rebuild! Most were painted 'safety yellow'.

Your 20 pound cylinders, if they have the modern safety valve, may not work well with your generaters. The safety cuts off gas flow, if it exceeds design limits. We had this problem with trying to start a restored oil field engine - the tank kept shutting off the gas flow. We had to go to a 100 pound cylinder (NO safety), to get rid of the problem. The twin cylinder engine may demand too much gas for the new 20 pound tank to deliver properly, due to the government imposed safety valve.

One reason for the valve was to prevent the average person from refilling the little 20 Oz. propane tanks. (you used to be able to refill them by buying an adapter and turning the 20 pound cylinder upside down, you could refill the small cylinder in 20 seconds). Biggest problem was people would fill 'till gas/liquid flow stopped, thus overfilling the small tank with liquid. The small tanks would later vent off excess liquid, when they warmed up, creating an explosion hazzard. The new 20 pound tank valve now shuts off if tipped, or if gas flow exceeds a certain specified flow rate. Your engines may exceed this rate, like our oil field engine does.

Yes, you have to purge the gas line after hook up, if it has been open to the atmosphere for more than a minute or 2. try using a larger fuel bottle, without the safety valve, and see how you make out.

Andrew.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:27 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

I DO NOT have ANY 20 LB LP tanks with the OPD valve. I have so many of these tank it would break me up changing the valves. I DO NOT have any problem when the 20 LB taynks are empty as I have the need fittings and hoses to fill them from larger tanks. I got them all filled early this spring as the former LP tanker that I put a manuer spreader bed on needed a new service valve installed because the owner BROKE the knob off the liquid service valve trying to turn it THE WRONG WAY to turn it off. I got a small hole drilled in what was left of the stem. I then drove a T-10 Torx bit into the hole which enabled me to turn the valve off. I then fill all of thr 20 LB tanks I had plus some my nephew had to recover as much of the LP as possible. When the level of liquid in the trucks fuel tank got below the level of the liquid tap, I ran the engine on the truck untill the tank was empty. This took an hour. It was this or vent the tank so the valve could be replaces.

Kent
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:44 AM
hoppyhunts hoppyhunts is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

I copied this information out of the Propanecarbs.com:
The Beam 50 / T60 Propane Regulator is a two-stage, tamper-resistant, liquid gas pressure regulator designed for use as a propane regulator. It contains both a primary and secondary chamber, and operates at tank outlet pressure. The 50 / T60 is suitable for OEM and field conversions using liquid withdrawal up to the unit’s rated capacity of 60 hp. It features tamper-resistant idle and primary pressure adjustment screws. The T60 is also the replacement for the Garretson S2 regulator.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:47 PM
krazzz krazzz is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

Okay, I am getting mixed reports. Some say I need a vapor and other liquid. Does anybody have proof as to which one I need? Is it possible to run it on either?
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:10 PM
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Talking Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

You need a Professional Gas Generator Man to come evaluate your Hardware, and then setup your Genset with the REQUIRED Bits that need Integration, to make it all run correctly. To Bad Gunny or Billy isn't in your neighborhood.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:19 PM
krazzz krazzz is offline
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Default Re: Propane Generator won't start, not enough fuel?

I would love to find a "Professional Gas Generator Man (or woman)" in my area. I have called several shops that I thought might service them but I haven't had any luck. If somebody knows anyone is western PA I would like to meet them. I can also provide pictures to anyone if they want to take a look.
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