15yr Old Generac Never Started

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
The troubleshooter says control board. I could rip apart the carb, take apart the stator which is probably well rusted after seeing the flywheel, but I don't have any more time or money to flush on it.

I think it great that you came back to tell us how things turned out.

I ran into a similar situation a few years back and have no idea how things turned out. The people had purchased a new generator and then let it set there for about 6 years. I tried to get the generator shop that sold them the unit to come and do a start up on the unit but they would only do so if the unit was hooked up legally and correct and the people didn't want to pay for that so that was the last I herd about it. This was for a commercial business and they had the generator installed by a handyman that didn't have any idea what he was doing and as far as I know they have never gotten any service out of an expensive generator because the were to cheap to have it installed properly.

I for one have no idea how long you can let a generator just sit there and rust before it's not feasable to repair. Sounds like you gave it a nice try. There is a time when you get tired of throwing good money after bad and just break down and get a new uniit. I think it's probably a wise decision.
 
I did my best to get it going. The guy I bought the house from 2 yrs ago just quit after some time. He had it custom built and a lot is awesome, but he burnt out.

Good thing I decided to work on it. The owner, who built it, did the electrical and the county said they inspected it but obviously never did. Inside the transfer switch the aluminum neutral feed wires were just tightened under a bolt and fell off when I remaking everything up. He didn't use no-alox on any aluminum feeds.

When I moved in, all 3 sub-panels in the house had the neutrals and grounds cross wired wherever he felt like putting them and the neutral ground bond in all 3 subs was left in...so nothing was grounded. There were about 40 receptacles dead, switches that controlled nothing and hot romex wires just stuffed into the wall insulation with no box. I had to buzz everything out and re-make up about 150 receptacles and switches. Then the guy didn't pigtail anything. He just daisy chain wired 20 amp circuits through the 15 amp receptacles by pushing wires into the back. 3 of the receptacles were melting with 4 romex's pushed into them. Wires just fell out of 99% of the receptacles when I opened them up because he didn't tighten anything. He used the neutral as travelers on a few 3 ways. One outlet in the kitchen caught fire when my wife was using appliances on a different wall. His work was a freaking nightmare and it's a miracle the house didn't burn down. Good thing is I got 10K back from him for the electrical. It was just labor for me.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Shaft seals may be cracked too, which will mean oil spewing all over as soon as it runs. It's likely splash lubed, no oil pump, but if there is an oil pump, that might make it a bigger problem.

The generator (alternator) sitting still for that long can sometimes develop flatted spots on the bearings that will result in vibration when it runs. Depends on the type of bearings though.
 

Stebs

Member
Location
E. Ks
Do some looking. I don't have my service manuals with me right now but there is a procedure in there to re-magnetize if you will the generator portion... Part of the reason for the weekly exercise on those is to keep the generator "charged." Sounds Hokie but it's there. Has to do with momentarily putting voltage on certain wires. there should be lights on the board telling you what's up, but if it's dying and then restarting, it's probably not an error such as low oil as those would usually lock out the unit until it was dealt with.
 
It sounds to me like the slip rings are corroded over. It is most likely shutting down because it sees no output voltage.

You have the manual so you should have the numbered troubleshooting sections, correct? I would follow the tree for low or no output voltage. But first take off the covers on the left side to get down to the slip rings and see if they are all corroded and try and polish them up with some scotch brite or whatever is handy. The automatic voltage regulator may be no good also, those didn't last forever.

Whatever is wrong with it is likely small parts and could be fixed without too much trouble, although seals might be in your future.
 

cpinetree

Senior Member
Location
SW Florida
Do some looking. I don't have my service manuals with me right now but there is a procedure in there to re-magnetize if you will the generator portion... Part of the reason for the weekly exercise on those is to keep the generator "charged." Sounds Hokie but it's there. Has to do with momentarily putting voltage on certain wires.
+1 :thumbsup:

Probably why only 7 volts.
https://www.google.com/#q=generator+remagnetizing
 

flashlight

Senior Member
Location
NY, NY
This thread reminds me of a summer day, fixing my car under a tree, when one by one everyone in the neighborhood showed up to give me advice. And I needed it ! :cool:
 
I am pretty sure there is an alternator, not a generator in the Generac, for the very reason people are saying to 'spark' them.

Old style DC generators would lose 'residual magnetism' for various reasons and it was common to have to correct that by 'sparking' them. Once the alternator was perfected, the need for such a practice disappeared and pretty much took over the market.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I am pretty sure there is an alternator, not a generator in the Generac, for the very reason people are saying to 'spark' them.

Old style DC generators would lose 'residual magnetism' for various reasons and it was common to have to correct that by 'sparking' them. Once the alternator was perfected, the need for such a practice disappeared and pretty much took over the market.
I have had to do this to a three phase "alternator". It has been so long ago I don't remember exactly what was done, but all we did was apply 120 VAC to the excitation circuit (because that is what it normally operated at) and it worked after that. The thing hadn't been used in a long time and wouldn't produce any voltatge - tractor PTO driven unit.
 
I have had to do this to a three phase "alternator". It has been so long ago I don't remember exactly what was done, but all we did was apply 120 VAC to the excitation circuit (because that is what it normally operated at) and it worked after that. The thing hadn't been used in a long time and wouldn't produce any voltatge - tractor PTO driven unit.
What one is actually doing by 'sparking' is polarizing the generator. How can that be done with AC? I have never heard of the need nor reason to have to polarize an alternator.
 
Requiem Update

Requiem Update

I ripped it apart today to pull the stator to subsidize my new generator. I had to tear the bottom pan off to get to the pulley. The engine had pissed oil everywhere on the bottom pan through the seal and onto the belt, so good decision to scrap it. The stator had a tiny bit of rust on it. I think the oil leaked a long time ago. It was suspiciously low for an engine that never ran when I changed it out.

Briggs and Stratton 12kW Fortress on the way. FYI they have real tech support guys and they are happy to assist when I call.
 
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