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Coleman generator It was not stored with either fuel or oil in it. I opened the fuel bowl and it appeared OK -- nothing obviously stuck that I ould tell. is there somewhere else to check?

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  • htreblat1 Sep 05, 2008

    The spark pug is dry. Inside the top of the fuel bowl where the gasket is there is a silver ball bearing looking thing inside one of the housing inlets/outlets -- is it supposed to move when pushed with a screw driver? It may be frozen if so.



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I bought a powermat 5k gen. never used it. tryed to start it when hit by hurricane ike, it wouldnt crank. sprayed starting fluid. it would run as long as i kept spraying. then i knew it was getting fire. which in my case, was starving for fuel. removed carb, cleaned out main jet with a strand off of a wire brush. put it back together and it cranked on the first pull and is running as i type this now for the last 16 hours.

Posted on Sep 20, 2008

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A couple things... i presume you have already put it back together. but dirt in the fuel line will not allow fuel thru and that appears to be the problem.... the float controls a tiny valve... the theory is the float shuts off the fuel supply to avoid fuel spillage.

ensure there is proper movement of the float up and down.

if that appears fine... attempt to start it a few times.... afterward pull the spark plug... is it wet (fuel) ?


Posted on Sep 05, 2008

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My answer:

Almost 90-95% of all the Genset problems found by the factory approved Genset Service Centers are related to the fact that people don't read the OWNERS MANUAL first, and just didn't put OIL in the Genset (or the right amount) - as they are shipped from the MFR without OIL in the units to begin with!!!! (See esp #3 and Final Notes below as well)

And here I thought everybody KNEW THAT!!

I guess sometimes you just have to ask the most OBVIOUS ??'s first huh (dumb as " it " may sound)?

If you bought your Genset from other then a Home Depot Store, and it's still under warranty - then you will have to contact that outlet, and see what they have to say or hopefully can do for you.

Esp all those Gensets that are Made in China and have flooded the USA market in the last 10 years or so - no thanks to our representatives in WASH DC that's for sure. It's a wonder this country even functions with all this "inferior" Made in China JUNK that keeps prematurely failing before it's normal time. Sad to say the least!

Some other obvious things to CHECK for that may be the cause of a NO start condition even after adding proper gas & oil to the brand new Genset:

1 - Some Genset gas tanks come with a gas cap "blocking insert" under the gas cap that should be removed according to your manual if it states this. (Read manual section on "First Time Starting")

2 - Is the gas tank shutoff valve FULLY OPEN? By the same token (even if the Genset is or isn't brand new) does it have an in-line fuel filter anywhere in the gas line? If not then esp read #5. Always check as well the AIR FILTER for proper cleanliness (if oiled type), or clean appearance if it's a paper element type. Clean or replace as needed!

3 - Is the RUN SWITCH set to ON or RUN position (this is purely an "Electrical ON-OFF Switch" usually a single-pole single-throw type btw, and it can go bad with high usage)? Does it move freely from OFF to ON? Is it working properly? Test it using a known good quality DVM or OHM meter! It's contacts may have become tarnished just from sitting around too long? Esp where you have saltwater conditions in the surrounding air! This switch actually & electronically is wired in REVERSE so that when switched to the ON position the wired contacts are OPEN thus letting the Ignition Coil fire for SPARK. When switched to the OFF position the wired contacts are now CLOSED thus connecting (or switching) the "Control Board" logic voltage signal (usually anywhere from +3 to +12 VDC upon start-up) to GROUND - thus cutting the RUN voltage to the Ignition Coil fire - as in SHUTDOWN. On some model designs there also may be a separate IDLE CONTROL SWITCH and POWER REGULATOR BOARD for better POWER LOAD self-regulation depending on constant variable loads placed on the Genset as related to the work-site demands. If there is NO VOLTAGE OUTPUT but yet good engine RPM function - then I would look at this part first and then #8.

4 - Is the choke being set to the proper position with or without using Ether spray to the Carb?

5 - Does the Carb have a Yellow or Black wire coming off of the bottom of the Float Bowl? This goes to the GAS CUT OFF SOLENOID mounted in the Main Jet inside the Float Bowl. NEVER CUT THIS WIRE as some know-nothings have suggested here and elsewhere in postings, as there are better ways to test the solenoid without doing that! If equipped with one - This anti-dieseling solenoid has to work properly or else flooding will occur with the gas shutoff valve OPEN.

6 - VERY IMPORTANT - Is the Carb Float stuck in the CLOSED position not letting gas into the Main Jet? If the Genset is brand brand new and truly has never been fired up even once and used, such as like that of 2-3 years or longer from actual date of purchase, then that Carb Float may very well be stuck CLOSED. Worse yet - the Main Jet may be clogged with MICRO DEBRIS coming down from the new gas tank - esp if there is NO FUEL FILTER present in the fuel line. I've heard of this happening more then just a few times myself. You might try and TAP CAREFULLY on the bottom or side of the Float Bowl with a hard rubber hammer first to try and see if you can dislodge the stuck Float inside. If there is that colored WIRE (see #5 again) at the bottom of the Float Bowl on your model - DO NOT HIT THAT GAS SHUT-OFF SOLENOID WITH THE RUBBER HAMMER - as you WILL damage it! If this dislodges the stuck Carb Float to the point that the Genset now wants to run to some degree better then before, but not fully 100% better and to spec - then you definitely still have Carb Float and/or fuel delivery related issues, and/or MICRO DEBRIS in the Carb Bowl or Main Jet inlet. If the Genset begins to run great - as it should - and continues to do so - then your NO FUEL or NO RUN problem is solved! I would still take the Carb Bowl off and clean out the whole Assy there just as an added precaution anyway as you just never know. When Gensets are truly needed in an emergency condition you just don't want to RISK anything!! NEVER FORCE ANYTHING EITHER!! It's possibly that you might have to loosen slightly, and/or totally remove the Float Bowl (usually 2 screws) to see if indeed any gas is getting inside to the Float at all. If gas comes out readily but still no gas is getting into the Main Jet and intake then you purely have a DIRTY CARB issue and nothing more! If you're not smelling gas through the air filter box then you are FUEL STARVED. ALSO - Many a brand new shipped Genset will have some kind of NEW gas tank (usually metal gas tanks only) MICRO DEBRIS inside the tank itself or even in the rubber gas line (I've heard of this problem before, and seen this myself 100's of times with cheaper rubber hoses). That is why an added in-line FUEL FILTER (if your Genset has none) is SO important!! Usually a common $2-3 item at any auto parts store. Once gas is added to the tank all this micro debris is set free to enter into the CARB FLOAT BOWL, and that is where Carb problems will start - even with a "brand new" never run before Genset!!

Posted on Sep 10, 2008

  • Frank JR
    Frank JR Sep 10, 2008

    PART 2

    7 - As dumb as this next ? is to ask I have
    to ask anyway -
    Are you
    getting GOOD spark at the spark plug? Again - see #3 AND check the
    engine OIL LEVEL as well. The LOW OIL sensor is actual another ON-OFF
    type switch and if the level Some units ship with the spark
    wire cap disconnected and it may look like it's on the plug, but in
    reality it really isn't fully connected! If you are getting a good
    spark then it's highly unlikely that the Maintenance-free
    Magnetron® electronic ignition would be bad. Fouled
    spark plug - YES - bad Maintenance-free Magnetron® electronic
    ignition - hardly.

    8 - If your Genset is used and said to be ? years old, and it just indeed
    might have some high RUNTIME HOURS on it - it just could very possibly
    be what sounds like to me (and I personally HAVE SEEN this
    happen myself firsthand) that the generator brushes are nearly shot
    - as in almost worn out. They may be getting too too hot - as from
    excessive current draw at point of contact, and thus the generator
    sensing circuitry itself is doing an electrical CUTOUT!!

    An added protective Genset "Control Board" circuit feature - that may
    or may not be built into your Genset - is one that is in the Generator
    Head circuitry itself and
    may indeed be linked to the engine as a type of REV LIMITER or CUTOUT
    on the Maintenance-free Magnetron® electronic ignition.
    Just depends on how sophisticated and expensive your Genset is? Thus
    protects by preventing RUNAWAY and OVER-VOLTAGE conditions rare as that
    may be by today's BETTER designed Gensets (DOES NOT include the cheap
    made in China junk). Again - read your operators or service manual as
    it should have a pretty good
    troubleshooting section in it unless you don't have that anymore or
    never got one if you bought it used to begin with.

    If you unscrew & remove the Generator brushes for servicing yourself, and they are indeed
    below the recommended length (or worse case they are indeed totally
    worn down) then that most likely is your starting or output problem right there. If you are having Output problems as well.

    If you choose to replace the old brushes with new ones yourself - be
    very careful when seating the new ones - as to their insertion and cap
    retainer tightening. Never over-tighten those black plastic-like brush
    retainer screw caps - for if you break one (hard to get immediate
    replacements is why), or fracture one it could cause the Genset to fail
    under LOAD, and that very well could do some severe damage to the
    generator part itself. Take your time doing it, and be patient!!

    It has to be one of the CHECK scenarios listed above, as I've covered every
    possible cause short of a broken wire somewhere - which in that case
    you will have to schematic trace and DVM or Ohm-meter out wire to wire contacts.
    This being the least likely scenario from experience.

    If you indeed find the Float Bowl assy to be the cause of dirt
    contamination or varnish build-up clogging the Carb, and you need a
    walk-through of taking it apart, cleaning it out, and then
    re-assembling it again - as well as re-adjusting the fuel mixture Adjustment Screws - just give me a shout here, and I'll walk you through it step by step.

    Final Note: For all older used Gensets - Are you starting and running
    the Gennie for at least 10 mins every month (30 days) as required by
    most all Mfrs? Are you also keeping & running a good FUEL
    PRESERVATIVE/STABILIZER (as required) in each tank of gas no matter how
    often you run it? BEFORE you totally shutdown your Genset after running
    it (even those short 10 required mins every month) - are you first
    shutting off the gas supply completely, and then running the Genset out
    DRY from as much gas from the Carb Bowl and gas line as you can? Even
    though some "so-called" experts tell you not to do this - if you are
    NOT going to be running the Genset every 30 days or plan to store it
    for more then say 6 months at a time - THEN DO IT RELIGIOUSLY -
    otherwise you will VARNISH the Carb with contaminated GUNK buildup from
    STALE GAS! Happens all the time! Changing the DIRTY OIL frequently and
    adding the proper level of 10-30 (recommended), or 10-40 oil is VERY
    important as well. Your engine will use OIL esp if it's older with
    "higher run hours" on it. Keeping a good Maintenance Log makes GOOD
    SENSE as well. You
    should be doing all of these things as well - if you want a smooth
    running Genset when that real emergency does come up, and that Genset
    absolutely has to work 100%!

    That's about all there is unless you got a truly Defective Genset right from the start. Next stop - Home Depot!

    Best regards to all with the same problems, and hope I helped you out 100% - all political humor/truth aside.

    Please post me a reply as to finding this solution being the best
    resolve to your Genset problem there by following my recommendations
    above. Also please rate my troubleshooting fix as well.

    Keep me posted and I'll follow up as well.

    Best regards,


  • Frank JR
    Frank JR Sep 10, 2008


    A follow-up to my original post here with some added Powermate info
    that hopefully will get you an Operator's Manual, service for your
    Genset, and more - for all your Powermate Gensets out there if you
    follow-up on the info here.

    As you are now hopefully but painfully aware - Powermate has gone
    totally Bankrupt, and is no longer in business as of this past year or

    There is hope though - as I state below in the previous Footnote I posted to many having similar problems.

    Previous Footnote: It's too late now for all those out there that
    unfortunately bought these now still Brand New "unserviceable"
    Powermate units that won't start for whatever, whether still Brand New
    "NIB", or whether taken out of the box and still not used, and are now
    seeking some kind of service on them (btw it's a sign of the present
    day GOP ran economic woes we are in AND it will only get worse - CHINA
    is going on the very same downward path right now thanks to you know
    who - W!). If you buy anything today "made in China" you better be
    making a GOOD buying decision - otherwise you will be in the very same
    situation you are in now with your Powermate Gensets - as China is
    starting to collapse from within just like this USA economy of ours has
    been doing for the last 5-6 years to no end! All politics aside as well
    - as blame is put where it is deserved in my books and we can only
    blame YOU KNOW WHO! Sorry but true!

    NOW -

    Any inventory stock of their (Powermate) Gensets - that were once
    formerly sold in the USA & Canada - have been totally liquidated
    out to a company in Georgia I was told, and it was said to be true.

    I was able to get this NEW added info through another source said to be VERY accurate btw - so hopefully it is.

    That Company's name is PRAMAC, and their address and phone # info is:


    * Regional head office:

    1100 Cobb Parkway North C

    30062 Marietta, Georgia

    Phone: 770-218-5430

    Fax : 770 218 2810


    * International sales office:

    10100 NW 116 Way, Suite 10

    33178 Medley, Florida

    Phone: 305-888-9911

    Fax : 305-888-3711

    Site info:

    PRAMAC Global Gateway

    BUT -

    Before you blame me for any possible false Powermate info posted above
    in regards to that PRAMAC Co, or their contact info - read the GOOD
    NEWS below first.

    The GOOD NEWS is that I spoke with a very close contact inside Home
    Depot (not saying who so don't even ask), and that person gave me some
    very GOOD NEWS for those that act on it NOW!

    Not tomorrow - Not next week - Not next month - and certainly NOT NEXT YEAR!


    I spoke with my Home Depot Corp contact today (using your "not
    starting" dilemma - as my own - to get a response) to see if anything
    could be done from their point of view and here's what I was told to do.

    What I was told is that if I (you) bring in my (your) ORIGINAL HOME
    DEPOT CASH REGISTER DATED RECEIPT and speak to the (whichever Home
    Depot store applies here) Home Depot Store Manager there, and explain
    to them that the brand new never used Powermate Genset they sold me
    (you in this case) won't start - they would send your Genset out to
    their local Genset Service Vendor FREE OF CHARGE BTW, and hopefully get
    it started for you.

    Anything more then that - you would be on your own if it was damaged by you or someone else that tried using it improperly.


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