Generac 8Kw generator balky start and transfer switch makes clicking sounds

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On Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:17:42 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

After the damage the cute little buggers did around here the last couple of years I'd have dispatched him. $1500 damage under the hood of my wife's car in one shot. And that's just for starters. The squirrels are even worse.
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trader_4 wrote, on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:58:44 -0800:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but, I think the battery is *only* charged by the generator (not by line voltage).
I don't see a ~120V to ~14V inverter anywhere.
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7518/15858099409_1d5313e933_b.jpg
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On Thursday, December 18, 2014 6:17:31 AM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:

To only charge it with the battery would be a bad design. It's typically charged by both AC and the generator, if the generator is running.

As I said before, it's part of the control electronics. If you're that interested, go find a schematic or read the repair/operation manual.
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On 12/18/2014 7:29 AM, trader_4 wrote:

power to the generatyor is present, not when the generator is running.
In fact, long periods of the generator running can result in a low / dead battery the next time you need it to restart the generator.
Putting a new battery in after 4 years is, as someone else stated, a NO-BRAINER. Running a standby generator with an old battery, oil sludge, dirty filters, etc. just makes absolutely no sense at all to me........
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Ralph Mowery wrote, on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:17:02 -0500:

I agree that, unless one or more cells are shorted, or if the battery will no longer take any charge whatsoever, an open circuit no-load voltage test with a DMM won't tell you much.
That is exactly why I brought it to them, to test under load for at least 10 or 15 minutes.
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7543/16044152565_5e7ae3c7de_c.jpg
It tested GOOD. They would have failed it if it tested bad, as they printed a copy of the test report, so, it clearly was in the lower range of good.
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On Thursday, December 18, 2014 6:20:54 AM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:

I'd say it tested bad. They told you based on the load test that it was on the last 25% of it's life, which means it has reduced capacity and they are *guessing* that's about how much life it has left. You also know it's 4 years old. But it's your generator, house and battery.
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:46:33 -0500:

Speaking of spark plugs, I finally got the boots off. The originals, which were in great shape, are Champion RC12YC, so I bought the correct spark plugs after all (assuming the old plugs are the correct size).
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7534/15861874800_19b9347cb2_b.jpg
It wasn't the rubber that was holding it on, but it was the rubber which was acting like a spring when I was pulling very hard and then letting go. Unfortunately the spark plug removal tool was useless because it wasn't bent right and the ends are far too thick to be useful:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7481/16023377816_7595e8cac9_b.jpg
I think it was only the metal clip that was holding on to the spark plug like you can't believe. It was as clean as new inside, so, there was no corrosion visible anywhere.
So that it's easier, next time, to remove them. I spurted a dollop of electrical dialectric grease into the boot,
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7517/15863106489_fe619b5404_b.jpg
I also lightly covered the spark plug threads with gray anti-seize, and carefully replaced the spark plug, knowing that anti-seize is often not recommended and understanding why (having read the cautionary reports of mis-torque & misfire).
I then disconnected the generator's breakers to the house, and switched the generator to "Manual", and it started up smoothly and quite nicely, purring like a kitten. Much better than before.
That felt good!
Now all I have left to do is fix the damaged wires.
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On 12/18/2014 6:47 AM, Danny D. wrote:

new. If the old ones were the correct, then the new ones are a great match. Some times when they won't release, twisting the spark plug boot will help break them free. I think the "never sieze" on the threads is excellent idea. I always grease or neversieze mine on lawn mowers, etc.
Runs better is encouraging. I'm pleased for you. And maybe your grand son will learn that Gramps does fix things, and he can enjoy his 5 AM video.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On Thursday, December 18, 2014 6:47:47 AM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:

Given that you ran it with virtually no oil and what was in there was probably molasses, I'd do another oil change after running it for an hour or so.
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On 12/18/2014 9:01 AM, trader_4 wrote:

If nothing else, pull the dipstick and see what the oil looks like.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Danny D. wrote, on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:02:44 +0000:

BTW, the plugs were surprisingly in great shape.
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7534/15861874800_19b9347cb2_b.jpg
What matters to a plug, first and foremost, is a sharp edge, which concentrates lines of force. The central electrode was still (almost) as sharp as new.
What matters next is the gap, which was still around 30 thousandths of an inch.
The central insulator was carbon'd up, which is to be expected, and not at all greasy or damaged.
Overall, there was no reason to replace the plugs, but, I replaced them anyway since I already had them in hand.
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trader_4 wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 04:29:58 -0800:

I have a schematic but I didn't read it as I'm pretty sure, just by talking to Generac, that it's charged by the generator only. But, I could be wrong - but I'm not that interested as the system is working just fine and all I need to do is fix the one frayed wire and I'm done.
BTW, I mistakenly said "inverter" in the previous post, when I had meant "power supply" (since it's AC to DC, and not DC to AC).
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trader_4 wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 04:33:22 -0800:

Fair enough.
If it were a critical application, I'd worry more. I can live without power when it goes out (like very many people do). If I "really" want to start the generator, I can "jump it" from my car.
So, it's not a mission critical situation if the battery doesn't start the generator the next time the power goes out.
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:30:05 -0500:

Rest assured I twisted and twisted. You can't get even 180 degrees though, due to the very short high-tension wire, so, it's a situation where you're limited.
Given that the metal-to-metal connection is circular, and that both metals are nearly pristine showing no signs of corrosion whatsoever, I think it was just stuck on tightly, metal to metal.

There are two schools of thought on the never seize. One school of thought is that it prevents corrosion (by being the sacrificial anode), while the other school of thought is that careless people will overtorque and even more careless people will end up shorting out the electrode due to the excess of never seize squeezing into the cylinder itself.
Knowing all that, I'm careful when I use it.
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Zak W wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:36:03 +0000:

:)
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trader_4 wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:01:42 -0800:

I was thinking about that. The oil I changed, what little was left, was like mud.
I put in Mobile 1, but it's only a quart and a half, so, it's not a bad idea to run another change in an hour or two of service.
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On Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:26:51 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

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clare wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:03:27 -0500:

That's probably just about right.
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:38:18 -0500:

That's a good idea. It looks good. I will check it in a few months, and begin to change the oil more religiously.
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On 12/18/2014 9:08 PM, Danny D. wrote:

providing backup power. Stay with the Mobil 1 and it should look darker a year later but not any more viscous. I have found it this way 8 years in a row.
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