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allthumbsdiy 11-01-2012 07:06 PM

Making emergency repair to portable generator
We are going on day #3 without power.

Though I owned a Generac Wheelhouse 5550 portable generator since 2004, like some others I neglected to test it every month (I last tested it over the summer) it neglected to start when I needed it most.

I was lucky enough to find a replacement at the last minute; however, I would like to get my old one up and running so that I can loan it out to my neighbors.

The engine is a run of the mill, Briggs and Stratton 5500 watt (46 amp) motor than can handle up to 8500 surge watts.

So far, I have:

1. Replaced my spark plug with a new one (with proper gapping)

2. Flushed and replaced old gas with new (plus Sta-Bil mixed in)

3. Used carb cleaner to clean the fuel inlet jet

4. Took apart the carb bowl and thoroughly cleaned varnish and gunk

5. Replaced air filter

When I attempted to start, it ran semi-smooth only under full choke for about a minute before it died.

Then it promptly "vomited' gasoline via air filter.

Can someone walk me through what I can do to get this thing up and running?

Bondo 11-02-2012 05:24 AM

Ayuh,.... My guess is, ya gotta pull the carb off, 'n rebuild it, or replace it...

DexterII 11-02-2012 05:31 AM

I agree; sounds like the carburetor needs a complete overhaul and cleaning, or replacement. I would also change the engine oil and replace the fuel line(s).

oh'mike 11-02-2012 06:59 AM

Remove the carb---remove float and needle valve---clean well and reinstall---your float bowl is the center of this type of trouble---this usually works---

allthumbsdiy 11-02-2012 07:18 AM

Thanks guys.

I will take the carb off and clean it thoroughly and change the oil.


This is what I took off from the carb to clean. Is this the parts you are referring to?

Due to demand, B&S does not have enough parts on hand so I need to be careful when I disassemble the carb.

I also found a useful video on youtube in case others are in a similar situation (Briggs and Stratton 10hp Generator Carburetor Repair)

joecaption 11-02-2012 09:18 AM

That's it. It was sticking that why the fuel was coming out the air intake.
The two I just got running where both plugged up in two places, One was right where the fuel shut off valve was, the other was the center port in that white plastic plate the float is attached to.

allthumbsdiy 11-02-2012 01:46 PM


Rather than trying to clean the carb still attached to the engine, I took it off the engine, removed the rubber gasket inside to protect it from the solvent, and blasted any and all holes I could find.

I think it actually runs better than my new generator!

Thanks to all for your suggestions and advices!

PS. For others in my situation, my generator runs much smoother with 93 octane premium gas. Though it is more expensive, I highly recommend it over regular gas.

Arnold Ziffel 11-02-2012 08:39 PM

Fantastic story! A team effort - a bunch of people chipped in advice and it worked! Those who chipped in advice just helped a flood victim get some semblance of survivability back.


Originally Posted by allthumbsdiy (Post 1043323)

PS. For others in my situation, my generator runs much smoother with 93 octane premium gas. Though it is more expensive, I highly recommend it over regular gas.

And thanks for telling us about your generator running more smoothly with 93 gas. The extra cost isn't much considering the few times you run a generator.

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