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. 03/26/2019Undestanding how OAUTH scopes will bring the concept of APPS to your Domino serverWhile a full description of OATH is way beyond what I can do in this quick blog entry, I wanted to talk a bit about how "SCOPES" interact with the already rich authorization model used by Domino. Thanks to the fantastic work by John Curtis and his team, the node.js integration with Domino is going to be getting a rich security model. What we know is that a user's authorizations will be respected through the node.js application to the Domino server -- including reader names, ACLs, Roles, and so on. The way ...... 
  2. 02/05/2019Toro Yard Equipment - Not really a premium brand as far as I am concernedDear Toro Customer Service, I arm writing about the following machine: Toro Power Max 1120 OXEModel:38654S/N:31000#### Specifically, bearing part #:63-3450 This is the part ($15 online / $25 at the local dealer) that caused me to raise my objections on-line. This piece of garbage is supposed to be a bearing. It carries the shaft which drives both stages of the auger. The shaft passes through the bearing (which is what bearings do) after the auger drive pulley as the shaft goes through the back (engine ...... 
  3. 10/08/2018Will you be at the NYC Launch Event for HCL Domino v10 -- Find me!Come find me in NYC on Wednesday at the Launch Event if you're there. I really do want to talk to ...... 
  4. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects.  
  5. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino? 
  6. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back. 
  7. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
  8. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? 
  9. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertising 
  10. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction 
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.