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Old 09-28-2010, 12:20 PM   #1
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Generator runs but no power

I've got a Onan Emerald Plus 4000. 1992 with 342 hours on it. It's hard starting but does start and run. But it is tempermental as to putting out power. Sometimes it does, and sometinmes it doesn't. Mostly doesn't. I've checked the fuse and breaker. The fuse looks good and the breaker is on. I flipped the breaker a couple times, it is very easy to push back on, not sure if that means it's bad or not. I've pulled the plug off (from the control board), and pushed it back in just to be sure there was good contact. I've checked the cord and plug in back of the motorhome for 110v, and it is plugged into the receptacle.
Any ideas? I hate to spend big $$ on a replacement generator if this can be fixed.

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Old 09-28-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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More than likely it just needs a tune-up. They have to be serviced from time to time.

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Old 09-28-2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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An 18 yr old generator witn only 342 hours on it has been seriously under-used ...likely has sat for long periods without being operated. My 2003 has 1,042 hrs on it ...we are only moderatre genny users. In addition to engine problems, although you say you can get it started, it likely has rust and other corrosion in the electrical generating portion of the system. From your description of the breaker I believe you do need to confirm that it is actually working ...it sounds as if it could be bad. Beyond that, and cleaning it up/out as much as possible, it could probably stand some attention from a good generator tech. If I wanted to try to avoid a service payment, I would run it as much as I can to get the "crud" out of the system and see if it might start working better as it is used some. I DO hope you have serviced the fluids, air filter, fuel filter, etc recently as part of your efforts to get it working properly??
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #4
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I recently bought the motorhome and this genny came with it. The coach only has 43K miles on it, so yes, everything probably sat for long periods withous use. I'm pretty good at running things monthly. This generator had been working and I had service done on it when I purchased. But now there seems to be a problem. I'll probably need to bring it in to have it looked at, but I want to have ideas as to what may be ther problem before I bring it in for repairs. And I may be able to fix myself. I'm looking for a good genny service if anyone knows of one in the So Calif area (close to Anaheim).
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
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It sounds like the generator brushes and slip rings have to be cleaned. A quick visual inspection can be done by looking through the cooling slots at the rear of the generator with a bright light. The slip rings should appear as shiny clean metal. You can also unplug the regulator and measure the resistance between pins 9 and 10 of the plug that was connected to the regulator. If this reading is greater than 28 ohms, cleaning is needed.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:08 AM   #6
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I'd bet on the slip rings, as Rjay suggested.
Gary Brinck
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:20 PM   #7
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If you have a transfer switch, open the case and you will see a delay circuit board inside. There will be a tiny dip switch on it. Switch the dip switch to by pass and see if this helps. If it does you will have instant power with no delay and will have to replace the circuit board. Its a cheap part and easy to replace.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Send a message via AIM to Larry V.
Had this problem in my Rexair. Had to replace the auto transfer switch.

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