Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

An amusing and productive -- if slightly irritating -- weekend

By Andrew Pollack on 10/19/2008 at 09:06 PM EDT

As I get ready for a long bout of travel I always get a bit rushed with things not done. It is exactly at this point that extra work pops up. First it was Ari's laptop that sucked a day of my time from me in a way I'll never get back. Just when I thought that was it, we had a power outage yesterday and the generator failed. All this while for some reason, I wasted too much time trying to be nice to someone who didn't even realize it. I don't do "nice" very often, so maybe I'm just not that good at it. lol.

Updated: I have something new to add to my security presentation tonight. Another epic fail by someone who knows half what they need.

Anyway, yesterday the generator simply didn't start up when the power went out. I went outside to take a look and found a red light on the panel (which they put INSIDE the lid -- my only complaint with this unit) saying it failed its last self-test due to over-cranking. I reset it and it started up, but after about 15 minutes the engine misfired and it shutdown. This is a 12kw Generac Guardian that's about 11 years old or so. I maintain it myself, but there isn't really much required. It's air cooled so there's no radiator, it runs on LP gas off the same big buried tank that fuels the heating system for the house, and it self charges its own battery. Mostly I just change the oil in the spring and the fall, change the plugs and so on. Before spending $300 to have one of the two area service people come out to look at this thing, I figured I'd give it a shot myself. As long as the problem is with the engine, I'm pretty comfortable working on it. I wouldn't really even attempt to work on the power generation side.

I pulled the spark plugs and found one of them to be pretty fouled and its insulator possibly broken. It came apart as I was taking it out -- I'm just not sure if I cracked it or if it was cracked and that's why the engine didn't run well. You can tell a lot about how an engine is running by looking at the spark plugs and the difference between these two plugs was remarkable. One was clearly 'normal' and the other clearly fouled with oil and showing detonation marks. I'm pretty sure that if there was a problem in the fuel system, both plugs would show signs of the problem equally. The same is true for a problem in the distributor. The problem has to be specific to that cylinder. That means a problem with rings, valves, plug, or plug wire.

On the great advice of Robert Persig, I opted to try the easiest to fix first. New plugs, new air filter, and a few hours later all seems to be well now. After it completed its self test, I gave it a real one by shutting power to the house off at the main breaker and letting the generator kick on and run things for while.

There are  - loading -  comments....

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back.BOOM. This will be as important for the platform as Traveler. If your company has ditched Notes and Domino, I feel sorry for you. For companies that do use Notes/Domino this is a game changer and Apple should be paying attention. Here's why: There are hundreds of little Notes client applications you'd never spend the time and money to build and deploy for your internal user base on IOS that we use Notes for all the time (those of us still using it). Now, those are suddenly ALL available on the iPad. ...... 
  2. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun LawsThese are my current thoughts on gun laws that would radically change the culture and safety of gun ownership in the United States without removing the rights of gun owners or compromising their privacy rights. * Please feel free to link to, or just copy, these ideas. It would be wonderful to see them spread widely and eventually become the basis for something to rally around and become legislation. Update: 3/3/2018 I added #7, increasing the age to purchase. Update: 4/27/2018 Please be aware that I am not ...... 
  3. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism?Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? I read a really insightful post a couple of days ago that suggested the use of social network funding sites like “Go Fund Me” and “Kickstarter” have come about and gained popularity in part because the existing economy in no longer serving its purpose for anyone who isn’t already wealthy. Have the traditional ways to get new ventures funded become closed to all but a few who aren’t already connected to them and so onerous as to make ...... 
  4. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertising 
  5. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction 
  6. 10/20/2015My suggestion is to stay away from PayAnywhere(dot)com  
  7. 08/07/2015Here is one for you VMWARE gurus - particularly if you run ESXi without fancy drive arrays 
  8. 08/06/2015The Killer of Orphans (Orphan Documents) 
  9. 06/02/2015Homeopathic Marketing: Traveler on my Android is now calling itself VERSE. Allow me to translate that for the IBM Notes community... 
  10. 03/17/2015A review of British Airways Premium Economy Service – How to destroy customer goodwill all at once 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.