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Old 11-24-2018, 08:49 PM   #1
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Traveling and the generator won’t stay running

Howdy!

We’re on out snowbird trip from Central Washington to Florida for the Winter. Things were peachy until Arizona. One morning the generator (Oman 10k) would not continue running after starting for 5 seconds. Multiple tries, same result. Feels like the software is sending a shutdown code. The code is a 1-3, or a 1-4. According to the Oman manual, a code 13 is called “Under Voltage”. “The corrective action is: Turn OFF the line circuit breaker on the operator’s console. If the genset now runs, run it with fewer connected loads.” I don’t see where that circuit breaker is on the console. I did switch off the breaker on the generator to see if that did the trick, but still no running more than 5 seconds. Anybody have this happen before. Please tell me there’s a simple fix! We’re in Texas and I’d love to be able to use the generator. Many thanks

Dale
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:57 PM   #2
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Checked the oil level, coolant level and fan belt ?
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Old 11-25-2018, 01:08 AM   #3
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They are referencing your main 120v breaker panel when they say Operator’s Console. The line circuit breaker is the input breaker. I assume it is a double breaker on yours, probably marked 50A.
By doing that you are removing the output load. If it continues to show the same error condition, the error is before the main breaker wiring in the generator itself, the transfer switch, and any power monitoring system like a Progressive EMS (if it is wired after the transfer switch).
It is always a good idea to tighten down the input and output legs in the transfer switch periodically as loose connections can create additional resistance, and heat, all the way up to a fire.
You need to remove all power sources (disconnect shore power and turn generator off) before opening the transfer switch for safety.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Checked the oil level, coolant level and fan belt ?
Definitely do what twinboat suggests.

If you turn off the main breaker on the generator and it still does not remain running then the problem is internal to the generator.

Bob
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:38 AM   #5
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When my Onan 7.5 exhibited those same symptoms it was a broken
fan belt .
Replaced the belt and no more problem .

Ray
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:28 AM   #6
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If you switch off the circuit breaker located on your generator it is now without any load. If you start it and it runs for a moment or two and shuts down the problem is with the generator itself. It can be something as simple as
(1) The circuit breaker itself is defective and not really shutting of the load requirement. This requires 2 people to test: With the generator circuit breaker in the off position place your volt meter leads on each of the wires exiting the CB and have 2nd person start generator. If voltage is recorded the CB could be bad so to rule this out place leads on incoming side of CB and have 2nd person start generator again. If you have power coming to CB then the CB is bad, if no voltage you'll need to look at the generator.
(2) Check oil level and coolant level as their is an automatic shutdown on the Onan when sensors are reading a low level with either. If the levels are full then it could be a faulty sending sensor but before you go there let's check one more thing - the fan belt. Not easy but grab hold of it with your hand and pull on it. If it comes off in your hand you have found the problem. If you can stretch it more than 1/4" you have a loose belt that is not maintaining adequate friction on all pulleys so you will need to tighten the tension by loosening and moving the main pulley outward to apply tension and tighten the bolts. Start generator again with CB in off position. If generator now runs without stopping now switch on the generator CB. If it still runs you should have power and you're ready to go.
(3) IF all the above doesn't correct the problem you'll need Onan to check it out. Depending on your route through TX there are several locations where you can get it checked out (especially along I-10).

Hope all goes well and your travels go smooth the rest of your journey - Richard
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:57 AM   #7
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Obviously you have over a 1/4 tank of fuel ???
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:45 AM   #8
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Dale, I've had the same problem a couple of times. A couple of things to try, after making sure oil level is ok.

1) Hold the boost switch down when starting gen and continue holding it down while gen runs a bit. If you really have low battery voltage this should get you thru it until running gen charges batteries.

2). Problem could be fuel has lost prime. Hold gen start switch in off position for two minutes, you should hear fuel pump running, it might even change pitch when system is cleared of air.

3) Also you could start main drive motor and then try starting gen after a couple of minutes, if low battery voltage is the problem, main alternator on motor will have battery voltage higher in a minute or so.

Let us know, added info will help us all.
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:56 AM   #9
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I just referred to the Onan service manual (models HDKCA, HDKCB, HDKCC, HDKCD, and HDKCG) and it describes level 1 and level 2 codes. Level 1 codes are a series of blinks followed by a pause - for example blink, blink, pause, blink, blink, pause etc..

There is no 1-4 or 1-3 listed, and if you are saying you have either a series of three or four blinks, and you couldn't tell, you need to go back and get it to show you again. Do this by pressing the prime/stop button for three to four seconds (until the light comes on), then press it three times in five seconds and the blinks will start again and run for 5 minutes.

If you get a code 3 you need to momentarily press the stop button to get the secondary code.

BTW changing a fan belt can be a real trial. I had my stator bearings replaced this year and the tech expressed amazement when I told him I had replaced the belt in a field a few years earlier. He told me they pull the unit and dismount the engine to change belts on my model.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:16 PM   #10
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Onan 10k generator

To clarify, I did see a series of 3 blinks and pressed stop once to see the second level of blinking codes, which was blink-pause-blink, blink, blink. I referred to that as a “1-3”, when on page 4-4 of my manual that’s a “CODE NO. 13”, Under Voltage. The coolant level seems fine and the oil level is on the lower end of nominal. The fan belt? I can’t even see it. There’s a Cummins shop not too far from here and since this one’s over my head and tools, think I’ll have to take her in. I think all of your ideas were very helpful and I very much appreciate all of you offering your experience and knowledge. I’ll send a note as to what Cummins finds regarding the generator.

Thank you so much,

Dale
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:38 PM   #11
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Have personally seen this and is easy to correct.
In our case, the shut down signal came at 5 seconds after startup and is doing so because line voltage is low on one or both legs.

I checked the brushes which is easy to do if you know what you are looking at, brushes worn out is all. Roughly $25.00 from Onan and 20 minutes work, done. They are on the oil access cover side of the genset (on the 10K and 12.5K), front lower side. Some gensets have access panels, maybe 6 inches by 4 inches or so to access them, others you have to access them from the oil access hatch. A broken brush wire will do the same thing.

Before sending it to Onan, I would check that as it is something you don't need special equipment to do and is easy.

Once the brush wears to about 1/2 inch or less, it is worn out. There are 2.
Windecker

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemschultz View Post
To clarify, I did see a series of 3 blinks and pressed stop once to see the second level of blinking codes, which was blink-pause-blink, blink, blink. I referred to that as a “1-3”, when on page 4-4 of my manual that’s a “CODE NO. 13”, Under Voltage. The coolant level seems fine and the oil level is on the lower end of nominal. The fan belt? I can’t even see it. There’s a Cummins shop not too far from here and since this one’s over my head and tools, think I’ll have to take her in. I think all of your ideas were very helpful and I very much appreciate all of you offering your experience and knowledge. I’ll send a note as to what Cummins finds regarding the generator.

Thank you so much,

Dale
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:53 PM   #12
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I googled around a little and came up with this clip on Onan Generator brushes. This is a different model and accessed differently but essentially the same inspection and replacement technique.

I did not look up the part number so if you do wind up needing brushes, have that number looked up. I just wanted to use this as information of what a new brush will look like:
https://apelectric.com/generator-par...kaAitJEALw_wcB

I am one of the lucky ones that got to replace a broken fan belt as well which will throw out a few different codes BUT in our case, the engine would run for a minute or two before shutting down.

When one of my two brushes wore out, it would shut down at 5 seconds every time regardless of temperature or whatever.
Hope this helps.
Windecker

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemschultz View Post
To clarify, I did see a series of 3 blinks and pressed stop once to see the second level of blinking codes, which was blink-pause-blink, blink, blink. I referred to that as a “1-3”, when on page 4-4 of my manual that’s a “CODE NO. 13”, Under Voltage. The coolant level seems fine and the oil level is on the lower end of nominal. The fan belt? I can’t even see it. There’s a Cummins shop not too far from here and since this one’s over my head and tools, think I’ll have to take her in. I think all of your ideas were very helpful and I very much appreciate all of you offering your experience and knowledge. I’ll send a note as to what Cummins finds regarding the generator.

Thank you so much,

Dale
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:40 PM   #13
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Thank you Windecker! Very useful. I’ll take a look tomorrow. The hours on the Genset are only 320. Is it possible for the brushes to be worn by then?

Thanks a million!

Dale
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:40 PM   #14
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Oh boy, should not be, they should go thousands of hours. Can easily be a broken brush wire or stuck brush though. Once you gain access to them you can lightly pull on the brush wires and see if one sort of just comes out un attached. They typically break close to where they attach to the brush itself.

If you do remove the brush block assembly, take a look at the slip rings. That is on the rotating part of the genset and is what the brushes are making contact with. The slip rings should be shinny where the brushes ride. If not that means they are arcing which is caused by a stuck or otherwise incorrectly working brush.

At such little hours though, almost has to be a broken brush wire or brushes are not your problem.

Good luck with it.
Windecker
Oh and the access panel is larger than I said earlier, more like 9 x 6 or so.
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