Generator woes

January 28th, 2008

I went to Dublin a couple of weeks ago with work, to be enthusiastic about BAS to Irish schoolchildren at a big exhibition, and whilst I was away it rained a lot in Cambridge. Upon my return, I pulled the starting handle on my ever-faithful Honda generator and it wouldn’t start. Oh dear. One of the features of Honda engines is that they are extremely reliable, and the little EU10i generator has performed brilliantly for as long as I’ve owned it. It nearly always starts on one pull and is quite happy to look after itself – the nifty electronic engine management stops it automatically if it overheats, runs out of oil, etc, etc, and so it’s virtually foolproof. I put two and two together and reckoned that the wet weather was possibly to blame. The generator does normally live on deck (it’s unwise to keep petrol in a closed cabin near to sources of ignition, and against the Boat Safety Regulations) and it did once have a rather nice Honda waterproof cover until it blew away in some very high winds a month or two ago.

I brought the generator inside to try and dry it off, but still nothing. So I eventually took it down to the Honda agents, Elliotts, in Bar Hill, just outside Cambridge, where they serviced it and solved the problem, which turned out to be water in the fuel tank and carburettor. This cost me £60, but they did do a service (oil and filter change, new spark plug) at the same time, which I’d been meaning to do anyway. To avoid further expense in future, I shall be keeping a strong plastic bag strapped over it whilst it’s living outside!

The fact that the internet contains virtually no information about possible faults with an EU10i shows how reliable they are – so I’m blogging this in the hope that anyone else who has a wet generator that won’t start knows to either take the machine to be fixed or cleans and dries the carburettor and fuel tank themselves!

3 Responses to “Generator woes”

  1. Cy Says:

    Can you not fit a glass fuel bowl underneath the fuel filter to check for water ingress? (the water sinks) Or just crank the system over with WD40 sprayed in the air intake to enrich the mix?

  2. Michael P-J Says:

    The generator is tiny, and the whole thing is encased in a neat plastic case, which makes it tricky to get at the mechanics without taking it all apart. And I’m not happy taking apart petrol-powered machinery inside the cabin, where the risk of igniting the petrol vapour is pretty high! I nearly did try the WD40 trick, but I could only half-remember what you were supposed to do.

  3. Random Writings » Blog Archive » Honda EU10i generator repair hints Says:

    […] ght. It was dripping wet from the thick fog we were having, and it occurred to me that the last time it had died it had done so after Cambridge had experienced torrential rain. Some pr […]

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