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Old 09-11-2008, 12:57 PM   #1
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Need help!!! Tried to run gen. for its monthly exercise and a strange thing happened. All power went out as the generator tried to start... after releasing the start button, things came back on. Unpluged shore power, load center showed that house batteries were dead. Checked batteries they are fine. Invertor is dead, when switching it on it flashes overload but nothing else happens. also when shore power is unpluged gen will not even attempt to start.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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Need help!!! Tried to run gen. for its monthly exercise and a strange thing happened. All power went out as the generator tried to start... after releasing the start button, things came back on. Unpluged shore power, load center showed that house batteries were dead. Checked batteries they are fine. Invertor is dead, when switching it on it flashes overload but nothing else happens. also when shore power is unpluged gen will not even attempt to start.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:06 PM   #3
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Try holding down the AUX START switch to start then generator or start the vehicle engine then try the gen.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:45 PM   #4
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Sure sounds like dead coach batteries since most generators use them to start...What is the voltage at the batteries...Make and model of genset would be helpful too (gas..diesel..propane...)
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:21 PM   #5
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The gen. is an Onan 5500 gas Marquis gold. House batts are fully charged and not low on water. I think the auto-switch over or inverter may be screwed up.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:42 PM   #6
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Hi Ho: When you say "check batteries, they are fine" what does this mean? What you really want to know is: What is the battery voltage when the starter switch is depressed? With "everything" going dead, it does sound like batteries, but the only check that would be meaningful is a load test that approximates the starting load of the generator.

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Old 09-12-2008, 12:55 PM   #7
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After checking voltage at the batteries(14.3 volts)checked spicific gravaty and that was good also. About everthing going "dead" I mean that Everything goes out ALL POWER ac, tv, bedroom receptacles, micro, refridgerator, everything. This never happened any other time that I have started the generator. Also with power cable unpluged, inverter will not run. It does not see battery voltage either.
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:54 AM   #8
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Hi Ho: You still haven't answered my question. What is the voltage at the batteries when the starter switch is depressed? I believe you will find it very low indicicating a bad battery (which pulls all the others down with it). Your 14.3 volts is simply the float charge voltage and is not meaningful in this discussion.

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Old 09-13-2008, 07:27 AM   #9
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Hi joatmon,

Sounds like a high resistance connection in the battery lead circuit. Just like on a car, if the terminal connection is corroded, the starter solenoid will click repeatedly, just once, or not at all. This is because as it energizes, the contacts close and connect the starter which places a high load on the circuit and the resistance of the terminal causes the voltage to drop dramatically. Then the solenoid drops out and the process starts again. (forms a buzzer circuit but much slower)

If you show very low voltage at the ˜One Place' yet the batteries check good at the terminals, then there is a corroded connection somewhere in the circuit. Start with the battery terminals themselves then tighten all the grounding terminals you can find and check the ˜One Place' after each one. When you get to the bad one, everything will start working again. If the corroded connection is on the plus 12 volt side, finding it may be a little more difficult but not impossible. Not likely with your symptoms but check the main circuit lead that supplies the fuse block.

Best bet though is a ground connection at the chassis. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:23 AM   #10
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I understand the relation between bad grounds and difficalty starting the generator, but that doesn't explain why 110v power is interrupted when I try to start it. I have since found out that the inverter is not working when unpluged from external power.
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:17 AM   #11
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Hi joatmon,

Not sure about the 110 Volt power other than the 12 Volts dropping even lower when trying to start the generator. The ˜One Place' is powered by the +12 Volts so the display will blank out when the generator starter places a load on the 12 Volt lines. All of the load shedder relays would drop out as well. This would also be why the inverter won't work. Most inverters have a low voltage threshold, below which they won't work.

I recently repaired my HWH system. Similar problem in that everything seemed normal until I pressed one of the extend buttons. The display would blank out. Turned out to be the ground connection through the bolts on the bottom of the HWH control chassis. It had 'Star' washers but still corroded between the coach frame and the HWH chassis. Tightened both mounting bolts and the 12 Volts was restored.

Does this help?
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