How to Clean a Generator Carburetor

A clean carburetor can improve your generator performance by as much as 30%. When the engine burns fuel more efficiently, it means less pollution and extended engine life.

However, the buildup of harmful deposits in the carburetor can render your generator ineffective. And if not cleaned promptly, it can damage other engine components.

Therefore, one of the most crucial generator maintenance routines is carburetor cleaning. All you require are the appropriate tools and materials.

This article will walk you through cleaning a carburetor step by step so that your generator runs at optimal efficiency every time you turn it on.

Tools and Materials Needed      

  1. 8mm socket with ratchet
  2. An old rag
  3. A flathead screwdriver
  4. Carburetor cleaner
  5. Fuel line clamps

How to Clean a Generator Carburetor

6. Pliers

How to Clean a Generator Carburetor

7. Pipe cleaners

How to Clean a Generator Carburetor

8. Air compressor

A Step By Step Guide on How to Clean a Generator Carburetor

Step 1 – Prepare a Work Space

Ensure you have enough workspace and a place to store all of your tools and supplies before you begin. You’ll also need a space to spread out all of your disassembled pieces, so they don’t get jumbled up or lost.

Step 2 – Remove the Air Filter Housing

To remove your carburetor from your generator, you need first to remove the air filter housing. It is usually secured by one screw on the front and several 8mm screws to the engine.

To remove the screws, all you’ll need is a screwdriver and an 8mm socket with a ratchet. Some models may also use zip ties instead of screws. If you can’t find them, check underneath or inside. Be careful as these parts are easy to lose.

Step 3- Remove the Fuel Line from the Carburetor

Now that you have access to the carburetor, remove the fuel line from where it is connected. The fuel line will be attached to the carburetor by a small clamp that will readily come loose by twisting it off with fuel line pliers.

However, be cautious because removing the fuel line will undoubtedly result in gas spillage. In that case, a rag can provide additional protection and wipe up the spill.

Step 4 – Completely Drain-All Gasoline from Your Carburetor

In most carburetors, you will find a small flathead screw that holds down the plate covering the opening where fuel flows into the carburetor. Loosen the screws enough so that gas can pour freely from the fuel bowl into your drain pan without spilling.

However, some generator models lack an adjustment screw and include a tube extending from the carburetor’s bottom.

Step 5 – Unbolt the Carburetor from the Engine Block

Remove all bolts and the wires underneath connecting the carburetor to your generator engine block. Depending on the intricacy of your generator, the number of bolts will vary. Use an appropriate socket wrench and make sure each bolt comes out easily.

Once they’ve been removed, slowly lift off the carburetor and place it into a sealed container. You’ll also want to keep things like nuts and screws sorted as you go; doing so will make reassembly easier later on.

Step 6 – Disassemble Your Carburetor into its Various Components

Next, you’ll need to take apart your carburetor. While it can sometimes be difficult depending on how complex your carburetor is, there should be four main components:

The first is the bowl that holds all of your fuel, where your float mechanism sits. Second is the jets and needles that regulate how much gas gets pushed into the engine. Thirdly, the throat and nozzle determine what size spray comes out of those jets. And finally, a throttle valve to regulate airflow.

That said, use a toolkit, pliers/wrench, and other tools as needed in this step.

Step 7 – Clean all The Disassembled Parts

Since gasoline and some other cleaning products might be caustic, you’ll want to put on rubber gloves at this point.

First, you’ll want to remove all excess, caked-on dirt using carburetor cleaner. Make sure not to use anything abrasive as that will scratch and dent the components of your carburetor.

Next, you’ll want to rinse off the main jet and inlet needle. Pay attention, especially at the end of each jet. As such, have some good-quality pipe cleaners at hand to remove any debris that remains, which could adversely affect performance. Also, make sure you clean both sides of your diaphragm.

Lastly, dry each part with paper towels until completely dry before reassembling them. Use compressed air for any final drying that may be necessary. However, be careful not to get any water in or around your carburetor as it may cause rusting.

Step 8 – Reassemble and Install Air Filter Housing

Place all new gaskets and O-rings and return each to its original position. Next, install each piece of your carburetor one at a time and make sure that each screw is securely fastened into place before moving on to the next.

Start by attaching the fuel bowl, metering rod, base assembly, and throttle lever arm. Finally, screw the airflow meter and throttle control unit together with four screws.

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With the carburetor fully assembled, reinstall the air filter housing cover using the 8mm screw. Please make sure not to overtighten the filter cover, or you may crack or damage it.

Final Step – Perform an Operational Check

Once your carburetor is thoroughly cleaned, it’s essential to check its performance. The first step is straightforward: fill up your gas tank and start your generator.

And since your engine hasn’t run in a while, you may not get it started right away. Wait for your engine to warm up for roughly 10 seconds, then start again. Also, verify that there is no fuel overflow. If there are none, your carburetor is completely sealed and ready to use.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Clean a Generator Carburetor

1. How do you clean a carburetor without removing it?

Use carburetor cleaning products such as Gumout Carb/Choke & Parts Cleaner to remove the dirt. Allow approximately 20 minutes to settle before running gas through it without an oil filter. For at least 15 minutes, vigorously shake your machine.

However, cleaning a carburetor thoroughly without removing it is practically impossible. This is because you won’t get to all of the components and spots where residue can accumulate.

2. What is the easiest way to clean a carburetor?

The easiest way is to use an aerosol spray made specifically for cleaning carburetors. Such sprays, however, can only disassemble small parts, and they cannot remove the deposits that have built up in your carburetor.

3. What is the best thing to clean a carburetor with?

The best solvent for cleaning a carburetor is a WD40 Specialist carb/Throttle Body Cleaner. It breaks down gum and varnish deposits to be wiped off more quickly and thoroughly.

4. How do I know my carburetor is clogged?

There are various reasons for this, including your generator running too slowly difficulty in starting, or failing after a long period of operation. Also, fuel spilling through the carburetor tank vents and wetting the spark plugs. Instead of being whiteish yellow, your exhaust pipe is black.

5. How often do carburetors need to be cleaned?

The frequency with which you must do so is determined by how often you use your generator and what you’re using it to power. This is because machines used for irrigation and construction become dirtier than those used to power lights at home.

Therefore, you should conduct cleaning every few months or whenever your machine isn’t performing as well as it should.

6. What causes a carburetor to get dirty?

The principal cause of dirt in carburetors is the fuel itself. Fuel absorbs moisture from the air. Gas becomes stale and oxidizes when it sits in a closed tank or storage container or is pumped through hoses and lines. Fuel with high water levels and other contaminants will coat your generator’s carburetor.

 7. Why is my carburetor not getting gas?

If your carburetor isn’t getting gas, it is usually because of two things: clogged jets or poor spark. First, check for any clogs in your fuel lines by using a fuel line cleaner or running some gasoline through them.

Next, make sure you have proper compression and ensure no cracks in either your carburetor’s diaphragm or gasket.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning and maintaining your generator’s carburetor will ensure peak performance. Moreover, it means you’ll have reliable power in case of emergency or natural disaster, giving you peace of mind.

Without proper maintenance, you risk expensive repairs and possible damage if something goes wrong with your engine.

Fortunately, cleaning a carburetor is an easy task that takes little time. Follow the above easy steps and make it part of your maintenance routine.

About Steve Stuart

Steve Stuart is an electrical engineer who developed interest on generators during his school years. After school, he became a generator enthusiast. This is after encountering power supply problems at the area of residence where he lived. Power would be on and off and so food would go bad and the room heater would go off especially during winter. After trying the different generator brands for several years, Steve now provides information on the available brands and products in the market today. Based on his experience, he gives the do’s and the don’ts when it comes to generator use.

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