Thanks to all for your ideas and encouragement concerning our pump with its perennial water in the carb issue.  The responses are too long and numerous for me to include all of them but they fell into several categories.

1)  It’s a gas problem.  Suggested solutions were dry gas (numerous folks), 93 octane, no ethanol (we are using 91 no-ethanol), magic mystery oil, stabil, use a different gas company.  A friend who is an automotive engineer suggested a water-removing funnel ( <>) and said “ Their commercials are over the top but the product is fundamentally sound and companies like Racor and West Marine sell the same thing at a much higher price”   I will probably purchase one just to see what is in the fuel we are buying.  It appeals to my inner geek and might actually be useful. 

Another interesting note was that up to a third of a gallon of fuel may remain in a gas station hose.  So if you are filling a small fuel can you could be diluting it significantly with the fuel used by the last user of the pump, which might not be your preferred grade. <> .   Maybe put the first gallon or so in your vehicle tank before filing the can?

2) Container and storage issues.  Use a plastic can, don’t let it sit in the can or the tank, check can for places water could get in, etc.  Look for places water could enter the carb directly.  

3) Another category of responses came from folks who DIDN’T do anything special and didn’t have those problems.  They used the nearest gas station, let machines sit until needed, and didn’t put additives in the fuel.  They naturally tended to think the problem was that the engine was poor quality or the machine shop didn’t know what they were doing.   Honda engines received good marks and folks were dubious about Briggs and Stratton (ours was a B & S that supposedly a copy of a Honda).   A couple of folks had been relying on Pacers for years.  Several suggested going for an electric motor and we may eventually do that.  We heard a cautionary tale of an electric motor damaged by greasing the zerks.  Ouch.   

It’s clear to us that some of our Honda engines are quite happy with the gas we give them. We don’t want to spend our time driving to distant gas stations for the best gas or cleaning carbs.  And our plants are crying out for water.  So our stopgap measure was to head to the nearest farm supply for another Pacer pump, but this one with a Honda engine and a service contract.  We immediately noticed that this one had a much more comprehensive manual.   It may be that this pump will do the trick and our stopgap will become our standby, or it may buy us some time to contemplate our next move, or we may be asking ourselves tomorrow just why we thought that another Pacer was a good idea.   

Whatever happens, a little rain wouldn’t hurt either.

Long Days Farm