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Old 11-02-2011, 09:46 PM   #1
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generator starting question

I wanted to use my 110v. regulated air compressor while winterizing and tried to start my generator to power the compressor, but the gen. would not start at any of the three (3) start switches. I could hear a light clicking sound sort of like a solenoid sound but softer (I think). Could of that sound been the fuel pump charging?

My batteries (at the power center) measure 12.8v both house and chassis. Everything else seems to work fine... engine start, invertor, etc.

Anyway, it was getting late so I finished the winterizing and parked in my rented covered storage spot the night before the snow storm hit. Haven't been back since but thought I would poll the panel of experts before I go back to check it out this coming weekend. Any ideas on what course to take while troubleshooting? I did a search but did't find much about my particular condition. Also, I checked the online wiring diagram thinking it may be a start relay or solenoid, but found it a bit difficult to determine the location of the components.

I welcome any and all advice

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Old 11-02-2011, 11:28 PM   #2
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Try holding the switch a little longer. I've seen times when it can take close to a minute for the generator to crank.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:55 AM   #3
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Had the the house battery disconnect switch been used to disconnect the house batteries?
If so and you are plugged into shore power, the genny solenoid will click but the converter won't supply enough amps to start it.
I have done that a couple of times.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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thanks for the tip. I'll give it a try, but I gotta say that when I think of electrical switches, I think about something that either contacts....or not. Anyway, I'll give it a shot. Thanks for offering.

Clay L,

Yes, I had used the house battery disconnect switch, but I wasn't plugged in to any power source. Do you know if the genny solenoid is located in the electrical panel above the genny? Thanks for the comment.

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Old 11-03-2011, 09:21 PM   #5
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There are a lots of different types of generators out there. Realy need to know the manufacture and complete model number of the one you have to answer properly.

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Old 11-04-2011, 06:46 AM   #6
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Just Pre-heating

Before I start my CAT engine the [WAIT TO START] light comes on ... in warm weather it is only on for a few seconds ... in colder weather it is on for a longer time ... this light is telling me that the pre-heater for the air fuel mixture is "working" ... I turn the key to start the engine after the [WTS] light goes out

A similar system is also in place for diesel gensets ... on my 2004 Journey whenever I start the genset from inside the coach there is a green light (within the dash start switch) that flashes while it is preheating .... as soon as the preheat cycle is finished it cranks. If you go outside and start the genset from the switch on the genset you will hear the preheat cycle.

Those of us that live in cooler climates are used to these pre-heat cycles. Matter of fact, the CAT representative at GNR recommended that when the temp is below 45 degrees that you run the [WTS] light through 2 cycles before cranking the engine.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:33 AM   #7
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Before you go too far, try using the "emergency start" switch as you would if the chassis engine failed to start to see if that solves the problem. Just to be sure, you may want to start the chassis engine first. If the coach batteries are old it is possible for them to be fully charged and still not be capable of supplying enough current for the starter motor. You can also check that by putting a volt meter across the batteries and see what it reads while a helper is attempting to start the genset.
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