Generator Problems

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shearhawk

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Apr 4, 2006
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  Just came back from our first trip in our used 91 Class A Coachman.  Had a problem with the generator the 2nd night out.  I had turn on the Air Conditioner befor starting up the generator.  After this error no 110volts.  Anybody have any thoughts of what might be wrong.  A Voltage regulator is $200 dollars but not sure if it is the problem.  Anybody have a similar episode.

Thanks,
Randy
 

Jim Dick

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Randy,

You should not turn on the AC before starting the generator. It can create problems. Check the breaker at the generator itself. There is usually one or two depending upon the size. It might be tripped. Start the genset first and once you have power turn on the AC.
 

John From Detroit

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What the other poster said, Start witn no- or minimum - load on the generator

First thing I'd check is the circuit breaker(s) ON the generator,  I have found the breakers on my Onan are senestive to vibration and sometimes will turn themselves off without a valid cause

You, provided a valid cause

There may be one or two breakers on the generator itself (mine has two)

 

shearhawk

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Thanks, but the breakers are fine.  The generator starts up, but shuts done shortly after.  It did the same when I intentionally switched the breakers off.  Any other options?  Voltage regulator?  It is a 5.5kw Generac.

Randy
 

Jim Dick

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Randy,

I'm not familiar with the Generac but check your manual and see if the generator gives you a code for any failure. On my Onan there is a light on the main start/stop switch that flashes a code when it has failed. That might help in the diagnosis.

 

John From Detroit

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Humm, that is a different problem,

You first said It starts and runs, no 110 vac

Now you say it starts fine, but dies out.

Different problems,  The first I'm fairly good at, the second I sometimes get lucky

If it dies as soon as you release the start switch,, that one is easier (Ignition 1 circuit is bad, ignition 2 and everything else is working, I may have numbers backward dependiing on how they ordered them  1= run circuit 2=start)

But if it runs on it's own for a while .. Humm,  about 30 seconds perhaps?

You may have a problem at your transfer switch.. I did
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Randy,

Just thought of another possibility. I had a similar problem with mine and the code that flashed was an over current problem. Something may be drawing too much current when the transfer switch activates. Try turning off your main breaker and starting the generator. Then turn each one on separately and see what happens.
 

shearhawk

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Thanks, again for input.  When I plug in to the campsites 110v the transfer switch works fine.  The fridge, AC, and roof air is usable.  Strange that no one has had this problem before, i assumed it was a  common problem.  As for the shutdown, it does not shutdown right away.  Between 30 sec and 45 seconds.  I believe it is a sensor that detects no voltage out, it shuts down the generator.  Like I said, the same thing happened before but it was the 30 & 50 amp breaker that was switched off.  Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Randy
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The Generac will shut down if oil is low. Doesn't necessarily have to be real low - sometimes the oil can froth enough from splashing of the crankshaft to give a low pressure condition.

If the genset is shutting down quickly (e.g. 30 seconds), you can't be sure there is a no voltage condition. It may never get stable enough to cut in the generator output in the first place.  The motor speed has to reach the proper RPMs (usually 1760 or 3520) and stabilize before you get correct 60 cycle AC power output.    Does your auto transfer switch default to the shore power side or genset side?  If shore power is default and it flips over to the genset side when you power up the genset, then you almost surely have 120 VAC output from the genset cause it energised the transfer relay.  But if it defaults to the genset side you can't be sure ecasue it would be siwtched to genset side anyway.
 

Woody

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I had the same type of situation with my Onan 7000 two years ago. I took it to the Onan repair facility and they said that the tube that carries gas to the genset was being starved for gas. They just drained  some gas through the tube and then reconnected and everything was fine. Mine still does it if I let it sit for more than a month during winter storage time without starting it and letting it run for a half hour or so. As long as I do that though it is fine.

Woody
 

shearhawk

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For those who have the same problem, it was the voltage regulator. 

Thanks,
Randy
 
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