View Full Version : Generator Dies When Switching Tanks

09-29-2016, 12:48 PM
Hi everyone. So I'm having an issue with my generator. I have two fuel tanks on board that's feeding the generator, each with its own open/close valve. The generator is getting fuel from the right tank, but not the left. I keep both valves open and the right tank depletes much quicker than the left. I closed the right valve to have the generator run off of the left tank, but the generator died from fuel starvation. I changed the water/fuel separator and inspected the fuel line from the tank to the separator and there were no issues. The fuel line had fuel in it between the tank and separator, for what it's worth. I then opened the valve for the right tank and it ran fine again. :confused:Any ideas what the problem could be? :confused:

09-29-2016, 01:40 PM
Sounds like a partial blockage in the fuel line, OR a blocked vent.

Try running the generator with the fuel fill to the tank open. If that solves the problem it's the vent. Check the vent, mud daubers love places like that, or the flame screen may be corroded to the point of blockage.

Could also be the anti-siphon valve if fitted. These are usually located in the fuel line right at the tank, and look like an ordinary hose barb. A light spring holds them closed until suction is applied, but they can stick. Sorry but you can't check them by blowing back through the line, they also act like a check valve. Remove the valve and blow through it in the normal direction. New ones aren't expensive.

Another cause could be trash in the tank blocking the fuel pickup. Removing the fuel pickup tube and cutting an inch or so off will get it above the trash.

Someone else may have a better solution.

09-29-2016, 01:57 PM
Stmbtwle, yes, one of the main engines also runs off of this tank and has no issues. I'll try running it with the fuel fill open and see what happens, but since the engine still runs I'm not sure if that will help. I'm almost thinking it's the pickup in the tank. No worries about using anything that gives off a spark. Working around that much gas makes me nervous so I'm paranoid cautious out what I'm doing and using.

09-29-2016, 05:47 PM
Well you have a start, I'm confident you'll find it.