Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Two Weeks Ago It Was LP Gas

Today, it's Idaho Power.  No electricity.  The backup generator didn't start at first, probably because of air in the LP gas line.  But eventually it started manually, ran for a few minutes then stopped.  Don't know why.  The backup power runs the kitchen appliances and outlets, well pump, pressurization pump, and furnace.  Idaho Power is seldom inoperable for very long, so I doubt evacuation will be necessary.  No ISP (those outlets are not on backup generator) but I am using my cell as mobile hotspot.

Adding to the fun, the 7800 mAh battery in my cell failed.  I am using the backup battery recharged by the cell phone battery pack.  But this won't last long.  Next step: put cell phone in TrailBlazer to charge.  GM keeps cigarette lighters hot even with engine off.

Two hours, five minutes without electricity.  When it came back, all the circuits fed by the backup generator were still off.  I turned the transfer switch control from AUTO to OFF and back to AUTO and everything was fine.


  1. What size (wattage) and Brand is your genset?

    How often, and how long do you exercise the unit?

  2. Generac Guardian 6KW on natural gas; 7KW on LP gas. Exercise weekly.

  3. I have a similar: Honeywell (Costco re-branded Generac) 17k NG. Ensure that your exercise run-time is longer than the default. There are a number of reports on this causing an issue. You want to be able to bring the unit up to operating temp and hold it there for at least 20 minutes to boil-off/evaporate any condensates in oil or on windings.

    Also, there a a number of reports of the unit sucking snow into the intake and then the air-filter, then the it melts and refreezes after shut-down.
    Check your air-filter. Some owners have built overhangs and baffles to prevent snow inhalation.

  4. It's also possible that the propane line got moisture in it during the work on that system. If the other appliances work, than concentrate on that line. I'm not familiar with your genset, but it comes down to two likely problems: ice blocking the line, or water/ice in the carb. Could also be a loose connector in that line.

    Since you don't mess with propane:
    Looks like you'll have to have your HVAC guy out again, or someone who specializes in those types of engines, if he doesn't handle them.

    It would seem that the line(s) were opened to atmosphere when they were working on your earlier problem. I'm thinking this sort of problem should be a normal thing for your propane people to be aware of, and dealt with preemptively. Someone dropped the ball.

  5. Will: I think he was not aware of that line. Once the snow melts away, I will give it a bit chance to run.