My husband and I are so blessed to have great neighbors. In light of the last hail storm that downed trees, broke electric poles in half and knocked out power to more than 60,000 people one of them being us we are grateful to have such caring and wonderful neighbors.
Our neighbor John, and I always keep in touch when the power goes out. We keep each other informed on any updates we might get through DTE. We live in the country, and without power we would not have running water because it runs the pump to the well. Also the sub pumps would not run and the possibility of a flooded basement is very likely. You donâ€™t realize how many necessary things run on electricity until you donâ€™t have it.
After the last storm, we could not start our generator and by 11:00 John informed me it could be a few days before the power would be restored so I told him our dilemma and without hesitation he offered to come over and see if he could see what the problem was. You see John is the Maintenance manager for Fraser schools so he has the ability to solve these types of issues. The beauty is that he is willing to share that knowledge.
Generators can be very sensitive and I know that if they are not level they will not start so I began just checking it with my level to make sure that wasnâ€™t the problem. It seemed like it wouldnâ€™t even turn over, so my next thought was that it could be the spark plug. We had replaced it not long ago, so it was unlikely, but something that should be checked anyway.
When John came over he taught me how to check if a spark plug is good. We removed the spark cap and then used a deep socket wrench to get the spark plug out. Then we put the spark plug cap back on; hold it with your fingers over the area that the spark plug sits in the engine. (seen in the picture below) pull the trigger and see if you see a spark at the end of the spark plug. We did so we new it was ok. This told us two things-the spark plug is good and that the generator is level. He then cleaned the bottom of the spark plug with a little sand paper. Sprayed some Carburetor cleaner inside and re inserted the spark plug. Pulled the trigger and it STARTED!
Tip: Always keep extra spark plugs on hand. They do go bad over time.
He also taught me another tip on generators: Gas can go bad in the tank over time and so it is good to have an engine cleaning additive to add to the tank on the next use. The best way to turn your generator off is to actually turn this valve on the side of the generator and let the generator stall out. This way gas is not flooding your engine and keeps the carburetor clean.
Through the kindness of a neighbor I have learned so much. What are your talents and how can you use them to be neighborly?
Show the love of Jesus in your everyday!