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Old 12-29-2010, 06:21 PM   #1
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No AC power on gen set

Started my onan 5.5 BGM model today and it ran great but no ac power.
The first thing I did was check the ac breakers and they were fine. The gen set has 300 hours on the clock but it is 10 years old so I guess it is possible that the brushes could be stuck open. I have ckecked all the wire connections I can see without opening up the the cases on the gen. My next guess was the voltage regulator and I was off to buy one and give that a shot utill I found out thay are $400. So I guess my question is. Has anyone been here before and do the voltage regulators have a record of going bad? Does anyone know of a troubletree for checking out regulators.
I know it is hard to troublshoot a part you can't see but any help would be
helpful. thanks in advance.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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Are you saying that the breakers on the generator are good? If so, then I would suspect the transfer switch.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:44 PM   #3
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I would first start by checking for voltage right at the output terminals of the generator. If you have volts there the next thing to check would be the transfer switch if you have one. If there are no volts at the generator then you have a brush or regulator problem.
Greg
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:52 PM   #4
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Greg I have checked for power just in a small box in the gen compartment about two feet from the gen. There is a very small amount of power at that box, about 1.3 volts witch I guess is the same as no volts but it does loose that 1.3 volts if I turn off the two AC breakers on the gen set and the 1.3 volts retuns when I turn the breakers back on. I did go back to the transfer switch and the 1.3 volts comes and goes back ther as well when I turn the breakers on and off. Jimmy Z
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:29 PM   #5
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I don't know how long its been since you ran your generator, but it could be the slip rings at the rear of the generator. If they are dirty or oxidized the brushes will not make contact. You should be able to see the slip rings with a flashlight thru the vents at the rear of the generator. They should be bright and shinny.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:00 PM   #6
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Could be the time delay in the transfer switch. To check if it is the time delay make sure you are disconnected from shore power and battery disconnects on, open transfer box and look for a tiny dip switch. Switch dip switch position, this by passes time delay. Connect batteries and try genny, if it works replace the switch. Its cheap. I had this problem.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:00 PM   #7
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The brushes do get a carbon build up sometimes and do not seat properly. It is fairly easy to remove the brushes and check/clean and replace.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:19 PM   #8
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I think I would check the brushes next.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:24 PM   #9
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Sounds like the transfer switch to me.......
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:21 AM   #10
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Cool

Lets us know what you find out! It will be helpful to a lot o fother people!!
Thanks..
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:50 AM   #11
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1.3 volts sounds like sticking brushes or oxidized slip ring.The fact that it disappears when you flip the breakers means they are working.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:29 PM   #12
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You say the engine runs fine. That would indicate the gen is producing power or the engine would quit as soon as the start switch is released.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:11 PM   #13
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Brushes or slip rings.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:44 PM   #14
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Well here is the story on the AC on my gen set. In pulled out the brushes and cleaned the ring with a very fine emery cloth and sure enough I hade AC power again. I had AC power for a hour or so and I turned off the gen and started installing all the covers and wires I had opened up when I was checking for the problem. I started up the gen set again and I had no AC power again. So again I opened the front cover that has the start stop switch and pulled all the wires to the regulator out again and started up the gen set and I had AC power again. So it is a pretty good guess that there is a loose connection in there somewere and I will keep looking until I find it. Thanks for all the good advise and I will let you know what I find.
Jimmy Z
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