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Old 09-03-2018, 08:23 PM   #1
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Onan generator making strange noises when off

I have a 2002 HR Endeavor with a 7500 Onan Diesel generator. Twice I have left on a trip and the generator would not start even though I never had a problem when starting it previously. It was as if it was working and then one day, nothing. I had the starter replaced both times. After the second burn out, but before replacement, I was messing with the controls on the Norco fridge and the generator started making noises. The lights were flickering. After a bit, the 12v breaker in the battery compartment popped. The starter had gotten hot enough to burn the label off. I thought it was the fridge trying to start the generator. Willl it do that in AC mode if no AC? Right now, I am connected to shore power. The generator will start, but is off. Periodically, I will hear a noise coming from gen and lights will flicker. The first couple times, I hit start on dash. Generator started, flickering stopped. I shut down gen. No flickering. A little time passes, repeat. After a few times, I tried pressing down on switch which normally shuts it down when running. That will stop the noise and lights flickering. I have tried changing modes on fridge to see if that would make a difference. It did not. I will probably have to turn off the house 12v to keep another starter from getting burned out. Any ideas?
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:55 AM   #2
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While you're trying to figure this out you might think about adding a 12VDC shut off at the genset. A shut off at the starter might be best for this problem.
The starter always has DC voltage. The control comes from the control board. I would probably want to verify that this signal doesn't have voltage intermittently.
Adding a shutoff could be your easy solution for now.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:24 AM   #3
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I too suspect you are getting an intermittent start signal. I suspect this is what has caused the 2 starters to burn up. If that signal occurs while generator is running the starter will run on with the engine and go unnoticed with other noises from the generator and this will the starter to get hot, burn out. Burnt out starter is a starter with short in power to ground. What you heard and noticed when the starter was burned out was the start signal coming on, the internal short in the starter creating extremely high amp draw pulling the battery volt down so lights dimmed, flickered, the the circuit breaker tripped due to amp draw.
Adding a starter disconnect is an option but needs to be such that can be easily turned on to starter generator then turn off after starting to avoid repeat of starter burn out.
Best solution is to find the cause of unmanned start signal.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:47 AM   #4
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Old 09-05-2018, 07:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
While you're trying to figure this out you might think about adding a 12VDC shut off at the genset. A shut off at the starter might be best for this problem.
The starter always has DC voltage. The control comes from the control board. I would probably want to verify that this signal doesn't have voltage intermittently.
Adding a shutoff could be your easy solution for now.
That is a good idea. I think I tried turning off the main house 12v and still had the problem. I ended up turning off the breaker to the inverter. That stopped the intermittent noise so I could finally go to bed. So it would seem it is the inverter/charger doing something weird.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:59 AM   #6
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That is a good idea. I think I tried turning off the main house 12v and still had the problem. I ended up turning off the breaker to the inverter. That stopped the intermittent noise so I could finally go to bed. So it would seem it is the inverter/charger doing something weird.
Good luck. Eventually you're going to have to get the meter out and verify voltages. I'm not sure how only turning off the inverter/charger would cause a noise in the genset to stop.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:23 AM   #7
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Good luck. Eventually you're going to have to get the meter out and verify voltages. I'm not sure how only turning off the inverter/charger would cause a noise in the genset to stop.
The inverter is also the charger for the house batteries. It was in bulk charge mode. Maybe the problem is actually in the control board of the gen, but triggered by an over voltage condition. The remote display for the house batteries showed 14v. That is the highest it reads though so could be higher. I will have to put a meter on it.
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