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Old 10-11-2014, 10:36 PM   #1
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Onan 5500 Fuel Pump Prime/Stop Switch

I would like to pump out the fuel in my fuel tank on my motorhome. If I use the fuel line that goes to the carburetor after the fuel pump, will that hinder the Onan in any way? The start button has a 2 way operation, press the top side to start and the bottom side to prime/stop. If I hold the prime/stop button to fill a 5 gallon tank or 20 gallons to remove some old fuel to put in my auto's, will that harm anything on the Onan? Thanks in Advance for your help.
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:57 AM   #2
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If i were to do it this way, I would use a jumper wire and connect the fuel pump to the incomming power wire on the face of the panel. This pump only puts out about 2 1/2 pounds of pressure. You would be holding the switch forever. ( at least it would seem like forever.) Also remember it will only empty 3/4 of the tank. You have a 1/4 tank standpipe.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:10 AM   #3
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ga traveler,

So besides holding the switch for a while, it would not harm the electronics? Which means it is doable and will work once or twice a year? That is good news.

Curiosity got me, so this morning I did just that. I took off the hose form the carb and pumped about 1.5 gals in +/- 3 mins. It did seem forever holding the switch, only because I didn’t want to harm the genset. Thanks for the support.
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:26 PM   #4
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Just in case you're doing this to keep the fuel fresh look into StarTron enzyme treatment for ethanol. Used to be only available at marine shops, now in most auto parts stores. Fuel will stay good for up to two years. I use it religiously on anything I own that's gasoline powered including F150, Harley, lawn mowers etc. the boat guys had a hell of a time when they first started with the ethanol due to it absorbing water and boat tanks tend to be vented. I keep all my tanks full and treated. Hope this helps.


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Old 10-12-2014, 10:58 PM   #5
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So besides holding the switch for a while, it would not harm the electronics? Which means it is doable and will work once or twice a year? That is good news.
Be aware that according to the Onan 5500 service manual, holding the prime for more than 3 minutes can generate a fault code 57 - Overprime Fault. Unplugging and directly powering the fuel pump would be the better option if you are going to pump it out this way.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:34 PM   #6
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Be aware that according to the Onan 5500 service manual, holding the prime for more than 3 minutes can generate a fault code 57 - Overprime Fault. Unplugging and directly powering the fuel pump would be the better option if you are going to pump it out this way.
Lt Dan sent me in the right direction, and I found the info in my repair manual on fault code 57. The unit is set up that if the prime/stop button is engaged for less than 3 mins, it is allowable on the electronics. I ran if for 2.5 mins increments 6 times and got 5 gals of fuel. While it would work, my plans are to rig up another external pump that will pump a little faster and be separate from the normal system. Thanks to all for your suggestions.
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