exercising an emergency generator

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On Dec 19, 7:23pm, "Stormin Mormon"

When you spend thousands for emergency equipment and want it to work to keep from freezing storing it inside in low humidity is just smart. components rust and corrode, and animals can mess up power equipment, like that mouse living in my air filter that make my mower not run well.
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2008 05:31:18 -0800 (PST), ransley

I can understand this, but I also have a basement that's dry, but seems to be more humid than my garage, based on what my motorcycle leathers tell me. The problem, of course, is that my garage freezes in the winter, whereas my basement doesn't. So, getting the snowblower started up during the first SERIOUS cold snowstorm if I haven't run it within a month prior is a challenge. It's running fine now, thank goodness, with all this snow we're having now.
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

I have a Generac L5000E that I've had for an eon or two. I used to exercise it regularly, but these days it just gets exercised when I need it, typically quarterly or so. I use Sta-Bil in all my fuel stocks, I use Mobil 1 oil in all my engines and I never have a problem.
As for a shed, any old pre-fab garden shed would do the job to shelter it. Realize that no small shed will do much to quiet it. The only way you can accomplish that to any extent would be with solid masonry, plywood or similar just makes a sounding board.
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"Pete C." wrote:

Add to that, I do always run the carb dry after each use, disconnecting the load, closing the fuel valve and letting it run until it stops. If you don't do this and store it any length of time, even with Sta-Bil the carb will gum up.

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Bunch of fiberglass insulation for sound deadening? But like you say, not much going to help. Pipe the loud exhaust into a drywell?
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Nope, the exhaust is only a small portion of the noise on one of these portable units. The piping the exhaust through a muffler thing only works with larger, lower RPM, liquid cooled units generally.

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A load has to be put on the generator for a few minutes every 6 months, even just 100 w to keep the generator magnitised
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...

Where did you come up with that? I've often wondered how they lost their flux, but never found anything in writing. Supposedly, and I have no prejudice either way, time isn't an enemy. As long as there's "something" there, they'll build up magnetism quickly and run fine. Even the manufacturers didn't have much to say about it. One tried to explain to me how it can weaken thru humidity, etc., things I had NO confidence in! And, since you might know, is there a "weakening" effect, or is it a 0/1 kind of thing w/r to output current? It either is or isn't; no in between? I suspect a 0/1 situation since all it takes to remagnetize is a hit from a lantern battery according to the manual. I've never come across anyone had to remagnetize the poles.
Regards,
Twayne
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With a 115/220v generator, does each leg need a load to keep it magnetized? I run mine every 3-4 months with a 100w flood light plugged into each leg for a load, but have often wondered if that was necessary.
Red
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Good point, I dont know but probably one side could fail.
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I have never heard of having to magnetize a generator before except for old automotive generators. Where can you find info on doing this. This was called polarizing them. On the auto generators I think just flashed the field by momentarily connecting a wire from the battery to the field terminal on the regulator.
Jimmie
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JIMMIE wrote:

Try this:
http://www.perr.com/tip16.html
Field Flashing of Portable Generators
This tip comes from the Briggs & Stratton Customer Education Department. As an alternative to flashing a rotor winding with a battery applied to the brushes, an electric drill may be used. Follow these steps to flash the generator:
Plug the electric drill into the generator receptacle. (Cordless drills do not work) If the drill is reversible, move the direction switch to the forward position. Start the generator While depressing the trigger on the drill, spin the drill chuck in reverse direction. This will excite the field and the generator will now produce electricity. If spinning the chuck one direction does not work, try spinning the chuck in the other direction as you may have the reverse switch positioned backwards. Use caution not to get your hand or other materials caught in the chuck. As soon as the field is excited, the generator will produce power and the drill will turn on.
The reason this works is because the electric motor in the drill will act as a small generator when spun backwards. The magnets in the drill's motor induce a voltage into the motor windings, which is fed back through the trigger, cord and into the generators receptacle. From there it goes into the power winding of the stator. The voltage going through the power winding creates a magnetic field, which is intensified due to the iron core of the stator laminations. The rotor intersects this magnetic field as it is spun past the power winding, thus inducing a voltage in the rotor winding. Once current flow is present in the rotor winding the rotor has been flashed.
If flashing the field does not make the generator work, you may have additional problems, besides a lack of magnetism in the rotor. Further testing will be needed. Hopefully, this will give a simple way to field flash your generator if needed - Bruce Perrault
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Interesting, so I can attach a big windmill on my drill and make power? With the electronic speed control it may do nothing?
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On Fri, 19 Dec 2008 19:07:48 -0800, JIMMIE wrote:

Extended times of not being run can have the effect of the pole shoes that the fields are wrapped to loose residual magnetism resulting in the fields requiring being flashed with a battery to restore this magnetic field to start the generation process.
http://s370.photobucket.com/albums/oo141/rlm_photos/?action=view&current=FieldFlash.jpg
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Copied from antoher list.
========================== ----- Original Message ----- Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 8:25 PM Subject: OT - Generator
My Dayton generator (5000 watt, model SU934, at least 10 yrs old) isn't working (no electricity at the sockets), yet the Briggs & Straton motor runs fine. I would assume if the generator is turning, then power is being produced. I've tried the reset button with no luck.
Can anyone give some advice as to what maybe to check, repair, replace, etc. With the hurricane headed for the Gulf, I need to get preparations in order.
Thanks for any help.
=========================
How long has it been since you used it? Small generators are self-excited and rely on residual magnetic field to start the generation process. If you don't run them once in a while, the field can decay to the point the generator won't generate. How long is once in a while? Varies on size/model/manufacturer. But if it's been 6 months or more, could be the problem. Search for "flashing a generator" or generator field flashing for info on how to fix.
HTH,
==============================------------
"Field Flashing of Portable Generators
This tip comes from the Briggs & Stratton Customer Education Department via Precise Engine Repair web site. As an alternative to flashing a rotor winding with a battery applied to the brushes, an electric drill may be used. Follow these steps to flash the generator:
* Plug the electric drill into the generator receptacle. (Cordless drills do not work) * If the drill is reversible, move the direction switch to the forward position. * Start the generator * While depressing the trigger on the drill, spin the drill chuck in reverse direction. This will excite the field and the generator will now produce electricity. If spinning the chuck one direction does not work, try spinning the chuck in the other direction as you may have the reverse switch positioned backwards.
Use caution not to get your hand or other materials caught in the chuck. As soon as the field is excited, the generator will produce power and the drill will turn on.
The reason this works is because the electric motor in the drill will act as a small generator when spun backwards. The magnets in the drill's motor induce a voltage into the motor windings, which is fed back through the trigger, cord and into the generators receptacle. From there it goes into the power winding of the stator. The voltage going through the power winding creates a magnetic field, which is intensified due to the iron core of the stator laminations. The rotor intersects this magnetic field as it is spun past the power winding, thus inducing a voltage in the rotor winding. Once current flow is present in the rotor winding the rotor has been flashed.
If flashing the field does not make the generator work, you may have additional problems, besides a lack of magnetism in the rotor. Further testing will be needed. Hopefully, this will give a simple way to field flash your generator if needed - Bruce Perrault"
Source:
http://members.rennlist.com/warren/generator.html
==================================I have a pdf document for my 3.5KW generator that shows how to flash the field in fig. 6-11. If you want me to send you a copy of the pdf doc. it is 4.3mb. Drop me an Email to rlm4848atyahoo.com with Generator in subject line and I'll send it.
==================================
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2008 10:11:23 -0500, Stormin Mormon wrote:

This last post is mine from the metalworking group. I'll still be glad to honor it if you send an email to me at rlm4848atyahoo.com.
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I may do that.
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Christopher A. Young
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Wish I still had it, but I remember something about connecting a lantern battery to a cord, and plug that into the output of the generator. Been a long time since I read that. I just reposted the B and S instructions for reflashing a generator with a plug in drill.
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IME, most of them say weekly and certainly it wouldn't hurt anything. I try to make mine at least monthly, shoot for every two weeks, more often if I think of it and am around the genset. I originally only ran it monthly though, for the first few years. They always say to let them warm up to operating temp too, which makes sense to me. Besides, mine is electric start and it keeps the battery topped off with a 15-20 minute run. I do believe weekly is best though: when the fuel bowl deveoped a pin-hole leak, I found a lot of sticky, gooey gunk in the bottom of the bowl and on the float. Couple years later the fuel pump (pulse type) quit, and when I broke it open, it had a good buildup of the same gunk inside it. So, more often than once a month is probably good advice if you want max longevity out of your machine.
I usually just go flip the Transfer Switch and let it power the house as if there was an outage but occasionally will use two electric heaters, just to let it run in a reasonably balanced/known load scenario. Also instead of the little batteries most of them come with (lawn tractor batteries, really), I started just recycling my used/weakening car batteries on it. I first did it because it was all I had around and I wanted to genset to work, but it worked so well I left it on. Got 8 years out of the last one! If someting happens and you have to start it a few times in quick succession or it gets hard to start as when you overestimate the amount of Stabil it needs <g>, you don't get a low or dead battery nearly so fast. In fact, I've never run it down with the genset; they'll last almost forever compared to the smaller tractor battery in my experience. A can of starter fluid is also nice to have handy as long as it's stored safely. Oh, and watch the age of Stabil, starter fluid, things like that too. It seems if you go beyond around 5 years they aren't likely to have much "punch" left in them.
HTH
Twayne
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Mine gets run yearly, if that. Mostly cause it's such a PIA to drag it out. If you build a shed for it, please put in vents on the side, and a ceiling exhaust fan to pump heat out. Like a bathroom fan.
I just put in a splash of gasoline, pint or so. Run the engine dry. The last time, was in 2006 when I ran some friends sump pump and furnace, during aftermath of an ice storm. It was seriously cold in their house when I arrived. I'd forgot they had electric stove, or I'd have brought a camping stove.
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