How to Clean a Carburetor on a Generator: A Helpful Guide (2023)

Do you have a generator that does not work properly?

A dirty carburetor is often the culprit. This wikiHow teaches you how to clean your generator's carburetor to keep it running like new.

No need to take your generator to a mechanic and pay for expensive repairs. With this guide, you can clean your generator carburetor yourself in a few simple steps.

Read to the end and learn how to clean your generator's carburetor!

(Video) [Start to Finish] Cleaning a Generator Carburetor for Beginners and How it Works

How does a carburetor work?

We will briefly introduce you to carburetor operation to help you assess operational problems and steps to correct them. A partial vacuum is created during the downstroke of the engine piston.

The difference between atmospheric pressure and this engine-induced vacuum forces fuel through the nozzles. This fuel is atomized into a fine mist ready for vaporization. All modern carburettors have an automatic mixture control.

You need an air-fuel ratio of about 6 or 8 parts air to 1 part gasoline during a cold start and 10.5 or 12 parts to 1 at full power after the engine has warmed up. The engine actually needs a 14.6 to 1 ratio, but small engines use some of the fuel for cooling.

Air (at high pressure, low velocity) flows through the air filter and through a known narrow the pit or the venturi,where you gain speed at the expense of pressure. This low pressure allows fuel to be drawn from the main jet (mounted inside the main outlet tube) into the venturi throat. The carburetor has three modes of operation: normal mode, when cold and in idle mode. Let's see the difference between the three modes.

  1. Normal mode or high speed mode:As mentioned above, the choke is in the open position and fuel is drawn from the main jet. both get involvedgarganta tun venturi,where high velocity air turns it into mist. The mixture enters the cylinder through the throttle plate.
  2. hibernation:The butterfly valve is fully closed. Fuel is drawn through the idle port located behind the throttle and controlled by an adjusting screw. As the throttle is opened up, more ports are opened to increase fuel flow. In it you can understand the idle.informative Video.
  3. Cold engine mode:The choke choke is closed and the entire length of the alternator carburetor port is under vacuum, drawing fuel from the main jet, idle port and idle jet with minimal air to deliver a rich fuel mixture to the engine.

Symptoms of a carburetor that needs cleaning

Several symptoms that will alert you that your generator carburetor needs cleaning are:

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  1. The generator does not start; It has fresh fuel and no problems with the air filter and spark plugs.
  2. The engine runs when the choke is closed or half closed, but stalls or runs erratically when you open the choke.
  3. Flooding of the carburetor chamber or lack of fuel.
  4. The engine is more or less idling.
  5. The engine runs bad.

Common Carburetor Problems

Most of the above symptoms will lead you to the following common problems that clearly indicate dirt buildup and/or fine air vents, openings and jets clogged or moving parts seized due to gum buildup.

  1. Main jet and/or emulsion tube clogged.
  2. B. The floating needle is stuck open or closed, or has a poor seal.
  3. C. Idle/ignition jet clogged.
  4. Air leak behind the carburetor.

In most cases, these problems can be caused by fuel being stored in the fuel tank and carburetor beyond the recommended time without using a specific fuel stabilizer. The only solution is to thoroughly clean the carburettor before using it again. Let's explain how.

How do I clean a generator carburetor?

Before we get into the actual cleaning process, let's quickly go over the list of tools, parts, and materials needed to complete it.

carburetor cleaner

Immersion cleaners have been used in the past. However, the presence of plastic parts in modern carburettors precludes their use with a few exceptions. So you can choose between a chlorinated, non-chlorinated, or aerosol carb cleaner.

  • chlorinated:These species are banned in many states, including California, due to the presence of volatile organic compounds.
  • Not chlorinated:Less toxic than the chlorinated option but highly flammable. They don't dry as quickly, but they can be used on plastic parts without a problem.
  • spray:These are sold in spray cans. They require more power than any other carb cleaner. However, it is propelled by the liquid cleaner and air to reach the small openings.

If you check their data sheets you will find the use of chemicals like toluene, methyl alcohol ketone (MEK) that can cause blindness, skin irritation, heart problems, etc. with prolonged exposure.

(Video) Carburetor cleaning on a power generator.

When using them to clean carburetors, be careful and work in a well-ventilated area. There should be no sources of ignition nearby and be sure to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a face shield or safety glasses with side shields and gloves. It is even said that toluene and MEK can pass through the skin and reach internal organs.

Some DIYers also recommend using white vinegar or lemon water to boil the floating carb cleaner. They give decent results, but they are very acidic and if any remains in the carburettor they will erode quickly.

Necessary materials

With float carburettors, the needle seat and inlet needle are the only parts that can wear out, mainly from varnish and corrosion. Also, the only parts that require maintenance are the carburetor body mounting flanges, air cleaner gaskets, and float bowl o-rings.

However, with diaphragm carburettors, soft parts such as diaphragms and other seals must also be replaced after each opening.

You will receive the types of carburettor kits.

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  1. obasic equipmentCarries diaphragms, seals, o-rings, needle and seat assembly.
  2. ocomplete teamAll parts are present except the cast.

Tools needed

Several necessary tools are:

  1. Powerful and well focused light source.
  2. A flat head screwdriver with a narrow blade.
  3. Set of 10 mm socket wrenches or open-end wrenches. Other sizes may be required depending on the size of the screws on your device.
  4. Not yet.
  5. A soft jaw vise.
  6. a small ball peen hammer,
  7. Fine copper wire for cleaning small holes and nozzles.
  8. a wire brush and
  9. A paper towel or rag.

Steps to clean a generator carburetor

With all of this basic information and preparation, you are now ready to clean your generator's carburetor and improve its performance.

A. Carburetor removal

Let's start by first removing the carburetor from the generator.

  1. Begin by closing the fuel valve to cut off any additional supply from the fuel lines.
  2. Disconnect the fuel line connected to the carburetor.
  3. Disconnect the spark plug wire. Clean the surrounding area of ​​dirt and remove the plug.
  4. Remove the air filter cover and the air filter. Then remove the nuts, the connected hoses, and then the gasket between the filter assembly and the carburetor.
  5. Drain any remaining fuel in the carb pan into a suitable container by opening the drain plug with a 10mm socket or wrench. Inform yourself in advance in your instruction manual about the exact layout of your generator.
  6. Next, disconnect all the cables and loosen the springs (with needle nose pliers) and the connectors. Write down or draw where these springs and links connect.
  7. Open and remove the two mounting bolts that hold the carburetor to the engine. You may need to twist a bit to loosen the threads.

B. Disassembly and inspection of the internal parts of the carburetor

At this stage, you should inspect the carburettor assembly for any damage that requires immediate attention and try to identify early signs of potential problems that could later lead to failure.

  1. Check the gasket between the carburetor and the generator housing. Replace if damaged. Failure to do so is a potential source of air leakage, causing vacuum destruction and lean air operation.
  2. Inspect other seals and o-rings. Beware of dark voltages caused by leakage.
  3. Try to feel the condition of the carb hole by running your finger over it. If it contains sand or dirt, this indicates a failed air filter or a leaking seal.
  4. Remove the bowl by unscrewing the 10mm screw at the bottom. Check the condition of the gasket around the bolt area and act accordingly. Any deposit in the area under or under the metering diaphragm cap indicates the condition of the internal circuitry. The presence of paint or very light rust can be fixed, but you must be careful with water induced corrosion. You may need to purchase a new carburetor if you find that it is badly damaged.
  5. Use an appropriate size screwdriver to remove the main spout from the manifold. Do not use more force as the main jet is made of very soft material and can be damaged. Remove the emulsion tube connected to the main dispenser. Some emulsion tubes are secured by two O-rings and are a bit difficult to remove in tight spaces.
  6. Now remove the float valve by removing its pin. Check the condition of the float needle. Some generators have rubber tipped needles, while others have a rubber O-ring. Rubber deformation is a sign of float malfunction. Check to see if the needle is stuck in the closed or open position due to varnish and gum buildup. If it is stuck in the closed position, it will not let fuel through, while if it is stuck in the open position, it can cause the engine to overflow.
  7. Remove the throttle adjustment screw. Note the number of turns to unscrew. Below this adjustment screw is the pilot/idle jet. Use the flat head screwdriver to remove it.
  8. Now remove the air mixture adjustment bolts. Again, note the number of turns to unscrew. You risk bending the seats and taper needles if you turn them with more force while screwing them in.
  9. Finally, check the main spout, emulsion tube, and idle spout for clogged orifices. If the main jet is completely clogged, the engine will not start. Under partial stall conditions, the engine may shut down when the choke is opened. A clogged idle jet causes the engine to run erratically when idling.

C. Cleaning the carburetor

We have already removed the carb to expose all the air and fuel lines. Disassembly of the throttle valve and choke is not necessary and should be left to specialists if necessary.

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  1. If you use a solvent, start by cleaning the exterior surfaces.
  2. To clean the carburetor pan, use a carburetor cleaner, wire brush, or cloth. Start by spraying the cleaner and then wipe it off.
  3. Use the straw to spray the carburetor cleaner into the carburetor jet opening. You can use a fine wire, needle, or fine copper wire to remove debris from the opening.
  4. Repeat the process for each orifice, nozzle, and emulsion tube, including the holes in the bottom of the nozzle.
  5. Spray carburetor cleaner on open and closed needle seats, manifold, air mixture screw hole, etc.

D. Carburetor replacement

Reassemble the carburetor in reverse order, being careful not to get dirt or dust during installation. Use your notes, sketches and rpm so that everything is fine after the repair and you don't have to open it again. A few words of caution:

  1. While you'll need some caulk to repair your joints, don't use one that will stick permanently and destroy the joints; when you open the carb again.
  2. Do not use silicone based sealants as they will dissolve in gasoline.
  3. Do not use Teflon-taped threaded fittings as frayed wires can enter the nipples and block them.

Steps to ensure a clean carburetor

To make sure you don't find yourself in such situations too often, do the following:

  1. If you need a generator in the near future and you are storing it, turn off the fuel valve.
  2. Do one of the following; (a) Run the generator for 15 minutes every month and charge it for a few minutes, (b) Add fuel stabilizer, (c) Drain the generator fuel.
  3. Do not use gasoline blended with ethanol as it can attack seals, absorb moisture from the surrounding air, and encourage corrosion.


In this blog post, we discuss how a carburetor works, the symptoms of a clogged carburetor, and how to clean a generator carburetor. We also discuss some regular maintenance steps related to the carburetor. Please let me know in the comments section below if you have any questions or need clarification on any information in this blog post. Thank you for reading!


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