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Frozen generator won't thaw
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sax88player Offline
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Post: #1
Frozen generator won't thaw
Hey guys, It was a good 2 or 3 degrees where I live and I left my generator in the car over night. Obviously when I got to it the next day it was completely frozen solid. I thought no big deal, because with electricity flowing through the plates, heat would do the job... BUT, i drove for 20 minutes with it on, and got to my destination (car was at operating temp by then) and the gen was still 100% solid ice.

I might have misunderstood when I read somewhere that the gen would thaw it's self... any suggestions?

~Cory
12-07-2008 09:11 AM
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tonyc860 Offline
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RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
sax88player Wrote:Hey guys, It was a good 2 or 3 degrees where I live and I left my generator in the car over night. Obviously when I got to it the next day it was completely frozen solid. I thought no big deal, because with electricity flowing through the plates, heat would do the job... BUT, i drove for 20 minutes with it on, and got to my destination (car was at operating temp by then) and the gen was still 100% solid ice.

I might have misunderstood when I read somewhere that the gen would thaw it's self... any suggestions?

~Cory

live in CT, the temps are freezing now. I have a dry cell. What I found out that unless you want to repair your unit you need to keep it from freezing. What I mean is Saturday morning, my unit was solid ice. I started my truck thinking it would thaw itself and out came the electrolyte from the seals on the system.

Up north, it is not uncommon to have to plug your vehicle in each evening. If you use it throughout the day then I think you will be ok. Even after a typical 8 hour work day. The idea of adding washer fluid or alcohol doesn't make sense to me because the alcohol will burn off each time you start the cell. Then what? Are you going to keep putting it in each time you want to save money on gas?

My solution is a 12volt battery charger (auto). Put a T valve somewhere inline in the output hose that you can access without opening the hood along with two leads, plug the unit in set at either 2amp setting or 10 each evening and let the hho exhaust into the air.
Unplug this in the morning and close the t valve and drive away. If it never freezes then the engine will keep it warm as well as the heat from production.

The guys with the diesels plug in. For a $50 charger and 2 minutes it's my fix.

good luck

tony

Tony
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12-07-2008 09:52 AM
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mikesgotgas Offline
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RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
I solved the freezing problem at home by having my two large generators in a cooler in the back seat along with the bubbler and wrapping a blanket around the lid where my gens are too tall to allow llid to close com;letely. I have a 60 watt lightbulb inside cooler on an extension cord. Since my gens are large, because of the long travel I do, they don't freeze quickly, and I could run the bulb for short periods of time using an inverter off the battery. Mike
12-07-2008 11:13 AM
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colchiro Offline
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RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
The problem with freezing cells is the same problem you'd have with liquid freezing in a glass container... expansion. (As water gets below freezing, it starts to expand.)

My main concern with a frozen cell is plates warping and shorting out or worse yet, the case breaking.

Rick

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12-07-2008 04:34 PM
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beerhunter31 Offline
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RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
I have read somewere that puting Alcohol in the water will work, Does anyone knows how much Alcohol per gallon of water will keep it from freezing at say zero? Also the alcohol will probably evaporate fast.

Beer
12-07-2008 04:45 PM
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gtkco Offline
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RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
beerhunter31 Wrote:I have read somewere that puting Alcohol in the water will work....

It's going to be tough to get down to zero with alchohol. I've tested with denatured SLX and it was a disaster. Nearly asphixiated myself. (See link)
http://www.fuel-saver.org/showthread.php?tid=2466

Just finished testing methanol or methyl (windshield fluid). Getting some bizarre results with decreasing amp through put. (see link)
http://www.fuel-saver.org/showthread.php?tid=2536

****
Hey Tony. Interesting notion........just run the unit all night. Didn't think of that. That certainly has possabilities as a backup plan. Rather than buy a whole bunch of heat strips/wiring just run the damn thing to heat itself. If your going to have to plug in any how, why not? And it will keep the hoses clear. I'll have to think on that some more. Well done!Smile
12-07-2008 05:18 PM
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tonyc860 Offline
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RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
mikesgotgas Wrote:I solved the freezing problem at home by having my two large generators in a cooler in the back seat along with the bubbler and wrapping a blanket around the lid where my gens are too tall to allow llid to close com;letely. I have a 60 watt lightbulb inside cooler on an extension cord. Since my gens are large, because of the long travel I do, they don't freeze quickly, and I could run the bulb for short periods of time using an inverter off the battery. Mike


I'll pray for you that nothing happens in your back seat. I had a short in one of my past units and the connection sparked in the unit. Quite a loud bang (and it was in front of my radiator) and then electrolyte everywhere. Would the trunk be safer?

tony.

Tony
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12-08-2008 07:09 AM
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Delray Dude Offline
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RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
mikesgotgas Wrote:I solved the freezing problem at home by having my two large generators in a cooler in the back seat along with the bubbler and wrapping a blanket around the lid where my gens are too tall to allow llid to close com;letely. I have a 60 watt lightbulb inside cooler on an extension cord. Since my gens are large, because of the long travel I do, they don't freeze quickly, and I could run the bulb for short periods of time using an inverter off the battery. Mike

What is this freezing you speak of?!?!?!? (We might get one night of low 40's here in South Florida.)

A thought on the all night thing - get one of those light switch timers that go off and on - and have it switch a battery charger that is hooked to the cell - a cheap one at wallmart is 5 bucks and you can set it up to turn off and on every hour - that way you can run it for half the time - or maybe even less - maybe 1 hour on, and 2 off..etc.
Justa thought

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12-08-2008 08:28 AM
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tonyc860 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
well I had the day off today and ran a bunch of errands. However I failed to heed my own advice by plugging in last night and I have a a freeze pop even though I drove around for a good 2 hours. I still think that if you have to plug something into an outlet it may as well be your unit. Then there are no questions as to whether it'll be thawed out.

Tony
2003 Volvo v70 2.5L turbo
2006 Hyundai Sonata 3.3L v6
2005 F150 4.6 ltr-No longer Thank God!Smile
12-08-2008 08:20 PM
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wulfram Offline
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RE: Frozen generator won't thaw
Move it closer to the manifold.
12-08-2008 10:19 PM
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