GEN4000LP Troubleshooting Frequently Asked Questions



Download Complete Product Manual/Parts List HERE



Read and review all Warning labels on product and all Warning instructions in manual before operating generator.

Do not run the generator if you do not understand how to use it.

WARNING: NEVER use a generator inside a home or a garage, EVEN IF the doors and windows are open.

ONLY USE OUTSIDE and far way from windows, doors and vents leading into an enclosed area.

Using a generator indoors can kill you in minutes. The generator produces an exhaust that contains carbon monoxide.

This is a poison you cannot see or smell.

Do not attach a chain or rope to secure the generator to a post as this can be difficult to remove in the event of an emergency.


Specifications


• 7 HP 4 Stroke OHV Engine
• 4000 Surge Watts / 3250 Running Watts
• Recoil Start
• Automatic Low Oil Shutdown
• Automatic Voltage Regulator
• Engine Shut-off Switch
• 2 - 120 Volt A/C Outlets
• 1 - 12 Volt D/C Outlet
• 120 Volt/ 60 Hz
• EPA Approved
• Engine Run Time: 10 Hours @ 50% Load per 20 lbs of LP fuel
• Oil Type: SAE10W-30 Oil (Must add BEFORE first use)
• Oil Capacity: 20 fluid oz
• Fuel Type: Liquid Propane Gas Only, Propane Tank Not Included
• Spark Plug: This LP Generator is more efficient than traditional gasoline generators. As such, the spark plug on this LP generator will last longer. If you have questions regarding the spark plug, please contact Customer Service at 1-866-460-9436 Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.
• Battery: Not Required (this is Recoil Start Only)
• Decibel Rating < 68 db
• Mobility Kit: This model is not designed to include Mobility Kit
• Warranty: 90 day limited

Using My Generator


- How do I prepare my generator for use?
Step 1 - Add Oil

This generator requires engine oil to function. Engine oil is a major factor affecting engine performance and service life. When new from the package, this generator contains no oil in the engine crankcase. For Generator Model 4000 LP, 20 fluid oz of SAE10W-30 oil must be added before operating this generator for the first time. When replenishing oil for subsequent use of this generator, always check the oil level, and add more oil if needed.

To add oil:
  • Confirm that this generator is on a level surface, to ensure an accurate oil level reading, and to avoid under or over filling the engine crankcase.
  • Open the Oil Access Panel.
  • Using a funnel, add a high detergent motor oil to fill the engine crankcase to the correct quantity as stated above. SAE10W-30 oil is recommended. When the engine crankcase is full, the oil level should reach the inside lower lip, below the thread of the opening.
  • Replace the oil filler/dipstick cap and close the oil access panel.

Step 2 - Connect Propane Gas Supply

  • Step 1: Keep gas supply source closed.
  • Step 2: Fix two clips on the both ends of approved gas pipeline.
  • Step 3: Attached the gas pipeline to GAS INLET and gas supply source.
  • Step 4: Use screwdriver to tighten the clip at each end of gas pipeline until it's not easy to pull down from gas pipeline and prevent gas leaking.
All gas pipe joints should be tightly secured before operating the machine. Check the joints and gas hose for leakage or breaks, replace the damaged joints and hose if necessary. Check the gas pipeline for any damages every 18 months. Place the LPG cylinder vertically.

- Where should I set up my generator?
Your generator should be set up on a firm, level & dry surface. Do not use this generator in wet conditions (rain, snow, active sprinkler system, wet hands, etc.). Always keep this generator dry and operate it with dry hands.

Because the hot exhaust may ignite some materials, keep flammable materials away from this generator and several feet of clearance on all sides of this generator during operation. Do not enclose this generator in any structure. Do not smoke near this generator. Do not operate this generator near open flame. This generator may emit highly flammable and explosive gasoline vapors, which can cause severe burns or even death. A nearby open flame can lead to an explosion even if not directly in contact with gasoline.

NEVER use a generator inside a home or a garage, EVEN IF the doors and windows are open. ONLY USE OUTSIDE and far way from windows, doors and vents leading into an enclosed area. Using a generator indoors can kill you in minutes. The generator produces an exhaust that contains carbon monoxide. This is a poison you cannot see or smell. Do not attach a chain or rope to secure the generator to a post as this can be difficult to remove in the event of an emergency.

Always ground the generator before use (see "How & why do I ground my generator?" under the Using My Generator section in this guide). Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in highly conductive areas such as metal decking or steel work. GFCIs are available in-line with some extension cords.

Do not touch bare wires or outlets (receptacles). Do not allow children or non-qualified persons to operate this generator.

- How do I start my generator?
If you are using your generator for the first time, please see the process listed under the heading "How do I prepare my Generator for its first use?" under the section "Preparing My Generator For Use", and then proceed to the steps below.
First, follow the steps below to verify your generator is ready for use and then follow the procedure for starting your generator.

Step 1 - Verify Oil Level
It is important to check the oil level in the engine crankcase before each use to ensure that there is sufficient quantity.
  • Verify that this generator is on a level surface.
  • Unscrew the oil filler/dipstick cap from the engine.
  • With a dry cloth, wipe the oil off of the dipstick that is located on the inside of the cap.
  • Fully insert the dipstick without screwing the filler/dipstick cap and then remove again. There should be oil on the dipstick. If there is no oil on the dipstick, or oil is visible only at the very end of the dipstick, add oil until the engine crankcase is filled.
(Please see the "How do I add oil to my generator?" under the Generator Maintenance & Care section of this guide.)
  • Confirm that the oil filler/dipstick cap is properly screwed in place when finished verifying the oil level.
Step 2 - Ground the Generator
Failure to properly ground this generator can result in electrocution. Ground this generator by tightening the grounding nut against a grounding wire. A generally acceptable grounding wire is a No. 12 AWG (American Wire Gauge) stranded copper wire (not included). The other end of this grounding wire should be connected to a copper or brass grounding rod (not included) that is driven into the earth.

Grounding codes can vary by location. Contact a local electrician for information on grounding regulations for your area.

Step 3 - Connect Propane Gas Supply
  • Step 1: Keep gas supply source closed.
  • Step 2: Fix two clips on the both ends of approved gas pipeline.
  • Step 3: Attached the gas pipeline to GAS INLET and gas supply source.
  • Step 4: Use screwdriver to tighten the clip at each end of gas pipeline until it s not easy to pull down from gas pipeline and prevent gas leaking.
All gas pipe joints should be tightly secured before operating the machine. Check the joints and gas hose for leakage or breaks, replace the damaged joints and hose if necessary. Check the gas pipeline for any damages every 18 months. Place the LPG cylinder vertically.

STOP! Before starting this generator, confirm that all the steps in the section titled, "How do I prepare the generator for its first use?" under the Preparing My Generator For Use section of this guide have been correctly completed. If you are unsure about how to perform any of these steps, call 1-866-460-9436, Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time for customer service.

Disconnect all electrical loads from this generator before attempting to start the motor. Always use this generator OUTSIDE. Using the generator indoors (even in a garage with the door and windows open) can kill you in minutes.

To start this generator:
  • Confirm that there are no electrical devices connected to this generator. Connected devices may increase the difficulty in starting the engine.
  • Confirm that this generator is properly grounded. (See "How do I ground my generator?" in the "Using My Generator" section of this manual.)
  • Turn ENGINE SWITCH at ON position.
  • Move Choke Lever to CHOKE position.
  • For recoil start: Pull the STARTER GRIP slowly until resistance is felt and then pull rapidly. After the engine started, return the STARTER GRIP gently to prevent damage to the starter or housing. DO NOT allow the starter grip to snap back. Return it slowly by hand.
  • Turn the CHOKE LEVER to RUN position.
  • If the engine fails to start, repeat step 6. NOTE: After repeated attempts to start the engine, consult the troubleshooting guide before attempting again. If problems persist, call customer service at 1-866-460-9436, Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.
  • Once the engine has started and runs for about a minute, move the choke lever approximately half way towards the "Open/Run" position. Wait an additional 30 seconds and then move the choke lever completely over to the "Open/Run" position.
  • Allow this generator to run for several minutes before connecting any electrical devices. After the engine has been running for several minutes to, electrical devices may be connected to this generator.

- How do I plug devices into my generator?
Plug appliances into the correct outlet. Connect standard 120 Volt, single phase, 60 Hz loads to the 120 Volt outlets. Connect 12 Volt, DC loads to the 12 Volt outlet.

Even though this generator has an overall rated wattage of 4000, do not attempt to draw more than 3250 Watts from the 120 Volt outlet. Draws higher than 3250 Watts will damage this generator and void the warranty.

This generator can run at its surge wattage capacity for only a short time. Connect electrical devices requiring a rated (running) wattage equal to or less than the rated wattage of this generator. Never connect devices requiring a rated wattage equal to the surge wattage of a generator.

Model GEN4000LP Rated (Running) Wattage: 4000 Watts
Model GEN4000LP Surge Wattage: 3250 Watts
The rated (running) wattage corresponds to the maximum wattage a generator can output on a continuous basis.

The surge wattage corresponds to the maximum amount of power a generator can output for a short time. Many electrical devices, such as a refrigerator, require short bursts of extra power for starting and stopping fan motors, etc., in addition to their listed rated wattage. Motorized devices typically require more than their rated wattage for startup. The surge wattage ability of a generator allows for this extra power requirement.

The total running wattage requirement of the electrical devices connected to a generator should not exceed the rated wattage of the generator itself. To calculate the total wattage requirement of the electrical devices to be connected, look up the rated (running) wattage of each device and add these numbers together to find the total wattage that all of the devices together will draw from the generator. If the total wattage of the selected devices exceeds the rated wattage of the generator, DO NOT connect all of the devices. Select a combination of the electrical devices that will have a total wattage less than or equal to the rated wattage for the generator.

A device's rated (running) wattage should be listed somewhere on the device itself and/or in its manual. If the wattage specification for a device is not available, the wattage can be calculated by multiplying the Voltage requirement (120 or 240) by the Amperage drawn.

Watts = Volts x Amperes
Or, the wattage required by a device can be estimated by using the Wattage Worksheet page on this website. The Wattage Worksheet provides only estimates and it is better to know the exact wattage of each electrical device to be powered by this generator.

To plug items into the AC outlet:>
Electrical devices running on AC current may be connected according to their wattage requirements.

  • Allow the engine to run for several minutes after it has been started.
  • Confirm that the electrical device is switched off prior to plugging it into this generator.
  • Turn on the connected electrical devices beginning with the device with the highest rated wattage requirement and then each additional device with the next lower rated wattage requirement.
NOTE: Connect only electrical devices that are in good working order. Faulty devices or power cords present the risk of electrical shock. Immediately turn off and disconnect any device that commences to operate abnormally, sluggish or abruptly stops. Determine if the problem was the device or the rated load capacity of this generator has been exceeded.>

To plug items into the DC outlet:>
The DC outlet is only for recharging 12 Volt automotive-type batteries. Do not connect any other device to this outlet. NEVER attempt to jumpstart a car with this generator.
NOTE: While this generator is running, power is available from either the standard 120 Volt outlet or the 12 Volt DC outlet. Both 120 Volts and 12 Volts can be simultaneously drawn from this generator.

- Can I connect my generator to my house?
NEVER connect a building electrical system to this generator. Doing so voids your warranty. Such connections must isolate generator power from utility power and comply with local electrical laws and codes. Failure to comply can create a back feed into utility lines creating an electrocution hazard, which may result in serious injury or death to utility workers. Such a back feed may cause this generator to explode, burn and create fires when utility power is restored, or injure or kill utility workers working to repair utility lines.

Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in highly conductive areas such as metal decking or steel work.

Do not use this generator in wet conditions (rain, snow, active sprinkler system, wet hands, etc.). Always keep this generator dry and operate it with dry hands.


- What can safely be plugged into my generator?
For more information on the wattage used by the most common household appliance and electrical devices plugged into generator power, please download the Wattage Worksheet page HERE.

This generator is not intended to power sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs, DVD players, stereos, desktop computers or laptop computers without the use of an appropriate line conditioner and/or surge protector (both not included). Sensitive electronic equipment should be operated on approved inverter type generators or pure sine wave generators. For additional information consult the devices operation manual or call customer service at 1-866-460-9436 Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.

Avoid the use of extension cords if possible. If you choose to use them, be sure they are sized adequately to handle the flow of electricity. An undersized cord can overheat, short out and cause a fire.

Too many devices may be connected to your generator, causing your generator to become overloaded. Disconnect the devices connected to your generator one by one until you have reduced the draw on the generator to within the generator's rated wattage. For more information of the difference between running watts and surge watts see the Surge Wattage Vs. Running page on this website. For more information on the wattage used by the most common household appliance and electrical devices plugged into generator power, please see the Wattage Worksheet page on this website.

- How do I stop my generator?
Abruptly stopping the generator could result in damage to your appliance(s) or to the generator itself. Please follow the procedure below to safely stop the running of your generator:

  • Turn off all connected electrical devices and then unplug them.
  • Allow this generator to run for several more minutes with no electrical devices connected to help stabilize the temperature of this generator.
  • Set the engine switch to the "Off" position.
  • Turn the fuel valve to the "Off" position.
  • Allow the generator to cool down completely before moving. Caution! Some areas of the generator become hot during operation.
Allowing gasoline to sit in this generator's fuel tank for extended time without use can increase the difficulty in starting this generator in the future. Never store this generator for extended time with gasoline in the fuel tank. If you plan to use your generator again within 60 days, no further action is needed. If you DO NOT plan to use the generator again within 60 days, follow the procedures listed in "How do I prepare my generator for storage?" under the Generator Care & Maintenance section of this guide.



Generator Care & Maintenance


- How do I clean & care for my generator?
Proper routine maintenance of this generator is essential for safe, economical, and trouble-free operation. It will help prolong the life of this generator as well as help reduce air pollution. Perform maintenance checks and procedures according to the schedule below:

Never perform maintenance procedures while this generator is running. Allow the generator to cool before commencing any maintenance procedures. Keep heat, sparks and flame away from the generator.

Always try to use this generator in a cool dry place. If this generator becomes dirty, the exterior can be cleaned with a damp cloth, soft brush, vacuum and/or pressurized air.

Never clean this generator with a bucket of water and/or a hose. Water can get inside the generator and cause a short circuit or corrosion.

Never use gasoline to clean parts of this generator.

  • Check Engine Oil, Fuel level and Air Filter before EVERY use.
  • Replace Engine Oil Every 6 Months or Each 100 Hrs
  • Clean Air Filter Every 3 Months or Each 50 Hrs
  • Check/Clean Spark Plug Every 6 Months or Each 100 Hrs
  • Clean Fuel Tank Every Year or Each 300 Hrs

- How often should the oil be changed?
The oil should be changed after the first 20 hours of operation. The oil should then be changed every 6 months, or for every 100 hours of use time. The oil should also be drained and changed if it becomes gummy or contaminated with water, dirt or debris.

- How do I add oil to my generator?
This generator is shipped WITHOUT oil. You must add oil before use, then the oil level in this generator should be checked before each use. When the oil level is low, add oil until the level is sufficient to operate this generator.

The oil capacity for this Model GEN4000LP engine is 20 fluid oz.
To add oil:
  • Confirm that this generator is on a level surface.
  • Open the Oil Access Panel.
  • Using a funnel add high detergent motor oil to fill the engine crankcase. Add only enough oil until the crankcase is full. The maximum quantity of oil the crankcase can hold is 38 fluid oz. (1.13 L). SAE10W-30 oil is recommended. When the engine crankcase is full, the oil level should reach the lower lip of the oil-filling opening.
  • Replace the oil filler/dipstick cap and close the oil access panel.

- How do I change the oil in my generator?
The oil level in this generator should be checked before each use. When the oil level is low, add oil until the level is sufficient to operate this generator.
The oil capacity for this Model GEN4000LP Portable Generator engine is 20 fluid oz..
To drain the oil from this generator:
The oil needs to be drained from the crankcase only if it has become gummy or has been contaminated with water, dirt or debris.
  • Place a bucket underneath this generator to catch oil as it drains.
  • Unscrew the oil drain plug located on the crankcase underneath the oil filler/dipstick cap.
  • Allow all the oil to drain from this generator.
  • Replace the oil drain plug and tighten.

- How should I care for the air filter?
Routine maintenance of the air filter helps maintain proper airflow. Occasionally verify that the air filter is free of excessive dirt. The air filter will require more frequent cleaning when operating this generator in extremely dusty areas.
To clean the air filter, remove the foam filter element from the generator and wash it in warm water and household dish detergent. Thoroughly rinse and dry. Pour a small amount of motor oil onto the filter, ring out ALL excess oil, and reinstall the foam filter element in the generator.
Unscrew the bolts, or unsnap the clips at the top and bottom of the air filter cover, located below the choke lever, to access the foam filter element.

- How do I replace the spark plug?
The spark plug is essential for proper engine operation. The spark plug should be intact, free of deposits, and properly gapped. A bad or incorrectly installed spark plug can cause engine damage.
To inspect or replace the spark plug:
  • Remove the spark plug by pulling on the spark plug cap.
  • Unscrew the spark plug from this generator by using the included spark plug wrench.
  • Visually inspect the spark plug. If it is cracked and/or chipped, discard and install a new spark plug.
This LP Generator is more efficient than traditional gasoline generators. As such, the spark plug on this LP generator will last longer. If you have questions regarding the spark plug, please contact Customer Service at 1-866-460-9436 Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.
  • Measure the spark plug electrode gap with a gauge. The gap should be 0.028-0.031 Inches (0.7-0.8mm).
  • If you are re-using the spark plug, use a wire brush to clean any dirt from around the spark plug base and then re-gap the spark plug.
  • Screw the spark plug back into place on this generator by using the included spark plug wrench.
  • Replace the spark plug cap.

- How do I add Propane Gas Supply?
  • Step 1: Keep gas supply source closed.
  • Step 2: Fix two clips on the both ends of approved gas pipeline.
  • Step 3: Attached the gas pipeline to GAS INLET and gas supply source.
  • Step 4: Use screwdriver to tighten the clip at each end of gas pipeline until it's not easy to pull down from gas pipeline and prevent gas leaking.
All gas pipe joints should be tightly secured before operating the machine. Check the joints and gas hose for leakage or breaks, replace the damaged joints and hose if necessary. Check the gas pipeline for any damages every 18 months. Place the LPG cylinder vertically.

- How do I prepare my generator for storage
When transporting or storing this generator for an extended time, you should:
  • Allow the generator to fully cool before moving it. A hot engine and exhaust system can burn you, and ignite some materials.
  • Empty the fuel line by turning off the LP fuel and allowing the generator to run several minutes as the fuel runs out.
  • Disconnect the spark plug if you are planning to store this generator for longer than one year without use.
  • When choosing a storage location, do not crowd or cover the generator, or obstruct any ventilation openings.
  • Do not drop or strike this generator while moving it.
  • Store this generator in a cool dry area, free of excessive dust.



Troubleshooting


- Generator won't start
If this is the first time your generator has been used, please see the "How do I prepare my generator for it's first use?" under the Preparing My Generator For Use section of this guide to properly prepare your generator for it's first use.

The most common reasons that the generator will not start are:

  • The key is set to "Off". Turn the key to "BATT START" or "PULL START".
  • The fuel valve is turned to "Closed", and must be set to "Open" for the generator to start.
  • The choke is set to "Open/Run" and must be set to "Closed/Choke" for the generator to start.
  • The generator is not on a level surface. If the generator is not level, the low oil shutdown might be triggered. Move the generator to a level surface.
If all of these actions have been taken and the generator will not start, it could be the gasoline, oil or spark plug.

Check the gasoline
  • If the generator is out of gas, add more gasoline to the generator.
  • If the gas has been sitting in the fuel tank of the generator for some time, the gas could have become contaminated and gone bad. Drain the gasoline, and add fresh gas to the fuel tank. (See "How do I empty the fuel tank?" in the Generator Care & Maintenance section.)
Check the spark plugs
If the spark plug is dirty or damaged, it could prevent the engine from starting. For instructions on removing the spark plug see the "How should I care for the spark plug in my generator" in the "Generator Care & Maintenance" section.

Verify that the spark plug is sparking by first pulling the spark plug cap off spark plug. Take spark plug out using a spark plug wrench. Loosen the four gas tank bolts using a 10mm wrench. Put the spark plug back into the boot and hold it onto bare metal. Make sure the on/off switch is in the ON position. Pull the starter. You should see a spark.
If the spark plug is not sparking, check the condition of the sparkplug:
  • If the spark plug is dirty, clean the spark plug with use a wire brush to clean any dirt from around the spark plug base.
  • This generator comes equipped from the factory with a spark plug. LP Generators are more efficient than traditional gasoline generators. As such, the spark plug on this LP generator will last longer. If you have questions regarding the spark plug, please contact Customer Service at 1-866-460-9436 Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.
Check the engine switch
There are two wires in the back of the engine switch that could have become disconnected during transportation of the generator. These wires must be connected for the engine switch to work, and allow the generator to start. If the wires have become disconnected, reconnect if possible, or a re-soldering of the connection may be needed to fix the issue.

If your generator will still not start after completing the adjustments listed, call our customer help line at 1-866-460-9436, Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.

- Does not produce enough power to run electrical devices
The most common issues resulting in a disturbance of the electrical output are:

The electrical device or appliance connected to the generator is not on or not working, or may contain a short. Check that the device is working on another outlet or try connecting a different device to the generator to eliminate this possibility.

The extension cord that is being used to connect your electrical devices to your generator is not working properly. Try a different extension cord to connect your devices.

The reset button has been triggered by a power surge. Press the AC or DC reset button to reset the circuit breaker.

Too many devices may be connected to your generator, causing your generator to become overloaded. Disconnect the devices connected to your generator one by one until you have reduced the draw on the generator to within the generator's rated wattage. For more information of the difference between running watts and surge watts see the Surge Wattage Vs. Running Wattage page on this website. For more information on the wattage used by the most common household appliance and electrical devices plugged into generator power, please see the Wattage Worksheet page on this website.

The air filter may be dirty or damaged and needs to be cleaned or replaced. For more information on replacing and cleaning the air filter, see the "How should I care for the air filter in my generator?" in the Generator Care & Maintenance section of this guide.

The governor screw may need to be adjusted. WARNING - DO NOT ADJUST THE GOVERNOR SCREW WITHOUT USING A VOLTMETER. ONLY ATTEMPT THIS IF YOU HAVE A VOLTMETER AND ARE FAMILIAR WITH USING IT. IMPROPER ADJUSTMENT OF THE GOVERNOR SCREW COULD RESULT IN DAMAGE TO YOUR GENERATOR OR OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY AND COULD VOID YOUR WARRANTY. When the voltmeter is plugged into the VAC to the reading should be 110 to 120. If the reading is too high or too low, adjust the governor screw, which is located above the pull start (on the green metal shroud). Turn it clockwise to turn volts up and kick up the idle. You may have to compensate for the increased idle from the governor screw with the idle screw.

The carbon brushes may be worn down. To correct, turn off generator, then look at the brush holder at the end of the generator to determine if the brushers are still against the copper bands on the end of the rotor. If they are worn down, replace the 2 wires the same way they came off.

The AVR has shorted or burned out. Turn off the generator, then remove the 2 screws at the end of the generator. Look for the burn spots on the back side of the AVR. If there is burn spots, replace the AVR.

If your generator will still not produce enough power after completing the adjustments listed, call our customer help line at 1-866-460-9436, Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.

- Generator engine starts but it will not stay running
The most common issues that keep generators from running smoothly are:

The choke must be turned to the "Open/Run" position once the generator has been started.
  • The generator is out of gas or is low on gas. Add gas to the fuel tank.
  • If your generator will not stay running after completing the adjustments listed, call our customer help line at 1-866-460-9436, Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM Central Time.




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Warranty

The warranty applies to the original owner only and only if purchased from an authorized Buffalo Corp retailer. Factory seconds, discounted or second-hand products or products purchased from third party retailers on Amazon or on eBay are not covered by our warranty.