Protecting a (Honda) Home Generator from Mice

On Oct. 21, 2003 there was a post on alt.honda that said, in part:
"I have a Honda EM5000SX generator I paid $2100
for new 5 years ago. It only has about 10 hours on it as it's just backup for home. The other day it gave no output and turns out some mice got inside and ruined the generator portion. The Honda dealer where I bought it said it would cost more to replace the brushes and other components than to just buy a new generator. . ."
Here's some more quotes on mice damage:
Nov. 21, 1999 " I recently finished rebuilding a (fixing mouse damage) Honda EFs-5500 generator. . ."
Sep. 24, 1998 "I will need to fab up a metal box to keep the mice out of the windings. . ."
Jul 30, 2006 "Mice in my shed have eaten away all insulation from the inside of my EU3000is. Seems the generator is noticeably louder without the insulation. I can not find a dealer who can order these two insulation 'blocks' from Honda. Can someone please measure both insulation 'blocks' and post the dimensions? I will try to glue alternative insulation in its place."
I recently took a box cutter and made a small box cardboard box (out of a larger one) and put it over my Honda Generator. Then inside the box I put a can with holes in it filled with naphthalene moth balls.
Now, one problem that I have is those moth balls really smell bad. In fact, they are stinking up my entire garage. That's a relatively small problem, though. A bigger potential problem I am wonder about is whether the fumes from the moth balls might damage the generator. Given the potency of the gas that those moth balls (napthalene), another problem, of course, is whether there is a health risk.
Here's an excerpt from something I found on the internet:
"CANCER HAZARD Naphthalene may be a CARCINOGEN in humans since it has been show to cause nasal and lung cancer in animals. Many scientists believe there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen."
So, mothballs might not be a great idea, unless you can completely seal the container. Even so, the question still exists in regard to the generator. Is napthalene safe for a generator?
Does anyone have any other ideas on how to protect a generator from mice?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The proper way to protect it is with fine metal screening covering all the openings. Keeps out both rodents and many insects. You do not need to enclose the entire unit, just seal off the problem areas with a fine mesh, no more than about 1/8" opening size.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

I think you are right. Protecting the problem areas or building an entire box out of fine metal screening is the best and possibly the only practical solution. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it right off the bat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I would not screen the critical ventillation openings of the generator with fine mesh, for fear it will restrict airflow and compromise the machine.
Either build the box out of mesh (or somethin else) or if you simply must guard only the generator openings, use the coarsest mesh you think you can get away with.
Myself, I just invert a plastic tub over the genny when I'm not using it. It doesn't make a perfect seal with the slab, so the gas vapors never reach the required richness to be a combustion risk, and they dissipate quickly when the tub is lifted anyway. I suppose a few vent holes with fine mesh over them wouldn't hurt.
%MOD%
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net wrote:

One thing interesting about Honda generators, incidentally, is that the manual for the 2000i, requires that the gas tank be drained for long-term storage. On the otherhand, the 3000i says that the gas tank should be filled with fresh gas (mixed with conditioner) for long-term storage. Then before you use it again you are supposed to drain the gas out and refill it with fresh gas.
It makes you wonder if there is a valid reason for using the two different methods or if the instructions were simply written by different engineers.
Maybe the 2000i has a plastic tank and the 3000i has a steel tank? I dunno.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Per snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com:

My plan is not to drain my 2000, leave a minimal amount of gas in the tank, and just fire it up for a couple hours a few times per year.
If somebody comes back with a warning about condensation, maybe I'd modify that to keeping the tank full and adding some Stabil - but still running it periodically.
Come to think of it, I guess the "full" option has the advantage of guaranteeing that you have at least a few hours worth of gas on hand when the power goes out...
Can anybody come up with a downside to the "full" option?
--
PeteCresswell

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(PeteCresswell) wrote:

Sta-Bil, evidently, will extend the life of gasoline for 1 year and they claim that if you use double the amount it will last for two years. So, you need to be sure that you use it within that period of time or drain it out and replace it when it gets to old.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Per snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com:

It's starting to sound like my best option might be to run it dry before storing it... and then, to make sure the carb gas stays good, put a cup or half-cup of gas into it and run it dry again every few months.
That way, my reserve fuel stock gets rotated by running the lawnmower, snow blower, and so-forth and I avoid the hassle of draining the carb.
--
PeteCresswell

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(PeteCresswell) wrote:

That's exactly where I'm at right now. I ran the gas out of it (that the dealer put in) while testing it to see how well it works to run the stuff in my computer/TV/stereo room. It works very well, incidentally, in ECO mode except for my Samsung ML-1740 laser printer. As soon as I turned that on, my computer crashed. It does work OK in ECO mode with my other printer which is an Inkjet.
After that I put a tiny bit more pre-treated gas in and ran it dry again. That should protect the generator for at least 6 months, according to Honda. As soon as I get some time, though, and I get my pre-winter yard work done, I am going to step through Honda's long-term storage proceedure, if for no other reason than to know how it's done. I'll be curious to see if any gas runs out of the carburetor after it's been run dry. If, it doesn't, then there's no sense going through that procedure, anyway. Then, after that, I'll probably put it in a garbage bag and suck the air out with a vacuum that I have in the garage and tie it tight with a couple of nylon, cable tie wraps. If I had any of those little, moisture-absorbing, silica gel packets, I'd probably put a couple of those in the bag too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

IMHO, you'd do better to simply run it every month or two.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Per snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com:

I run my PC off of a UPS unit (cost about $150) and that gets around the surge problem. I swore off my laser printer during gennie use and also revert to an inkjet.
But even without the laser printer in the loop, either one of our refrigerators or our freezer will create enough of a surge sometimes to trip the UPS - and, presumably, crash the PC if it weren't running through the UPS.
--
PeteCresswell

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It will probably drain the bowl down to a certain level below which the jets suck too much air to sustain combusion, leaving a few millimeters of liquid.
My Yammy 1000 has a drain screw at the lowest point of the bowl. Very convenient for getting that last bit of liquid out and with it, the little nasties that may have collected in the bowl. The tiny carb of this 50cc engine has such small passages that even a little bit of dirt in a jet can significantly affect the air/fuel mix. Found that out when I had to run on a mix of straight gas and outboard gas with 50:1 oil premixed, then the carb dried out over a few months before I could get back to run the genny again. The oil evidently concentrated in the carb, but it was not completely redissolved when new gas entered the carb. Since that episode I always drain the carb completely before long term storage, using that screw. There's also a shutoff to the carb inlet, so running dry does not require emptying the tank.
%MOD%
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net wrote:

That's great information. Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think the best idea would be a cat.Not a pedigree cat, but a "common"one, since pedigree cats are too aristocrat to hunt mice.Like, 6 years ago, the mice ate all the cables from our washing machine and it cost 300 euros to repair, when with 170 euros you can get one from macro;-)After getting the cat, the problem literally disappeared.The funny piece was, that the tomcat brought me a dead mouse.He probably thought it was a good treat for master, he ate its tail in front of me and looked extremely pleased with himself.Of course, a cat has not reason to understand that humans do not eat mice;-)
-- Tzortzakakis Dimitrios major in electrical engineering,freelance electrician mechanized infantry reservist dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, if a human were starving to death, a mouse might be pretty good...

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tzortzakakis Dimitrios wrote:

Once mice get inside your locked shed, for instance, a cat would be of no use. The advantage of a cat, I suppose, would be in keeping them off your property in the first place. Many people, however, keep their cats inside their house because they tend to run off or get run over, or dig up the neighbors garden, etc.
In that regard a dog might be better. I know my Golden Retriever is very agressive at keeping all kinds of varmets out of his domain. I have a friend who has a miniature Schnauzer. That dog is absolutely tireless at chasing things.
Maybe a solution is a good dog and a shed (or garage) without holes and nothing in the shed to draw the mice in. Make sure, for example, that there is no grass seed in there or anything else they like to eat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.