She's Almost Here

I Screwed Up

I run my generator under load every month, so I was fully prepared to fire it up tonight as I refreshed my wife's memory on how to hook it up.  No such luck.  It would start great, but after about 10 or 15 seconds, it sputtered out.  I tore down the carburetor and cleaned it up, no luck.  I drained all the gas (which I'm pretty sure was treated) and tried again, no luck.  I did the carb once more, but nothing.  It almost seems like the generator part is not spinning fast enough to put enough pressure on the engine to keep it running (at least, that's my purely no mechanical skills guess).  We heard a local big box had a bunch of gennys on the floor, but by the time we got there, they were gone.  They expect a truckload overnight, so my wife will meet them there when they open in the morning.  She'll have them help load it in her rig, but it will have to sit there after she gets home. 

Yep, I'm heading out at Zero-dark 30 in the morning for a 24-hour shift in the heart of the storm.  Down there, we should be getting full hurricane winds by early evening, peaking at near 100 mph.  Up here, we should just have some lower end tropical storm force winds, maybe with some gusts up to 70 or 80 mph.

If we lose power at the house,which we probably will, then my wife will be OK overnight and I'll set it up and fire it up when I get home.  We might lose some things in the fridge and freezer, but if we keep power long enough, we should be OK.  We're biting the bullet on the new genny in anticipation of being without power for several days to a week.  I've got a guy who I'll get the broken one to next week, then we'll have two working setups, and you know, two is one, and one is none (as this episode demonstrates.)

What I Did Right

Other than the generator fiasco, our prep planning went as it should.  I came home a little early today (my normal west bound I-64 ride is about an hour, today was almost 2 hours with all the voluntary evacuation traffic) and got my last few items checked off...  I went up on the roof and cleaned out the gutters, ratchet strapped the patio chairs to the big patio table, and put the grill, other chairs, umbrella and flag pole in the shop.  If the genny would have done right, my plan would have been perfect.  Oh well.  Murphy should always be an expected, if unwelcome, guest.

More Radio

Tomorrow morning at 6:35 I'm on the Lee Brothers Patriot Radio show on AM1140 WRVA.  You can listen on the radio if you are in central Va., or on www.WRVA.com, or on the I "heart" Radio app for your smart phone.  I'll be updating them on storm conditions and what listeners can do for last minute preps.  I will probably be on again Sunday morning with Jimmy Barrett's  special storm show to talk about the aftermath.


  1. You probably already know this trick but I'd put some water bottles in the freezer to function as additional ice packs. This will buy you a little more time without power before you start loosing stuff to spoilage.

    I've had great luck with the 1qt & 2qt Gatorade bottles withstanding freeze/thaw cycles. There's 2 2qt bottles of water in each of my vehicles that have withstood Minnesota weather for several years. Yes, I've rotated the contents, lol.

    Good luck this weekend,

  2. I had a lawn mower that did the same thing to me and I did the exact same thing you did to try to fix it (rebuilt carb, new gas, mess with carb again). You might have heard this already, but... did you change the spark plug. After a year or so of messing with that lawn mower I changed the spark plug (though the old one would spark) and it stayed running. I'm no expert, there it is. On a side note, the day I got this mower running my in-laws for my b-day bought me a new one, so I have not messed with the old one since so for all I know it may still be messed up, but there it is.

  3. Thanks guys. Michael, I'll try the spark plug. I had not thought about that.


Please feel free to comment on my posts. I do ask that you keep the language clean. I reserve the right to moderate comments and will delete any that violate the principles of respectful discourse or that are spam. I will not delete your comment for simply disagreeing with me.