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

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On 12/18/2014 9:08 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Jewish: Your oil should last eight days. Thank you, G-d for draining our old oil out of Egypt. Catholic: Only a priest can add oil to your machine. Jehovas Witness: We'll send two nice young men with watchtower tracts to add oil for you. Pentacostal: We'll have your machine oiled up, and dancing in the aisles. Quaker: We'll send a bearded man in a dark suit to check and add Quaker State oil to your generator. Mormon: Any worthy Melchizidek priesthood holder can add as much oil as needed. Muslim: We'll sell you more motor oil, but you will later be required to convert to Islam.
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Smarty wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:45:09 -0500:

I just re-read the manual and there's nothing, either way, about the charging circuit for the battery.
It should be described in the weekly "exercise" or "battery maintenance" sections, but it's not.
Also, if there is a charging circuit, it's not obvious in the schematic diagrams. If there is the requisite 240VAC to ~15VDC "charger", that's not obvious in the machine either - as the control circuitry is pretty simple (one small circuit board for the entire generator).
So, while I "doubt" that the battery is charged by a power supply connected to the 240VAC (or even the 120VAC half), the question deserves a definitive answer, which I will get from Generac and report back.
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On Friday, December 19, 2014 6:18:54 PM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:

You have a model # for the generator?
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Smarty wrote, on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:53:49 -0500:

In general, when there is no rain, the power is stable.
When there is rain, the power goes out once a month (on average).
Of course, it has gone out three times in December alone, so that's just an average.
I left a message at Generac for them to tell me whether the battery is charged by the AC mains or by the generator running weekly for 20 minutes.
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I can't say about yours, but of all things I bought a 5 kw generator several years ago that has a nicad type battery. It came with a wall cube type charger that I have to plug into the wall to give a slow charge to that battery.
I had another 5 kw generator that would not start so that is the reason for the other one. Finally got it started as the carborator was gunked up. As I never started or put gas in the new generator , I just took the battery out of the generator and put it in storage. I do charge it every so often from the wall cube.
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On Fri, 19 Dec 2014 23:18:29 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Very easy to get a definitive answer. Connect your volt meter. What is the reading??? Above 12.2 volts??? then it is being charged without the engine running.
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On 12/19/2014 9:19 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I thought a full charged was 12.6 volts. Did you mean to type 13.2?
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On Friday, December 19, 2014 9:19:21 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

A fully charged battery is 12.6V, without anything connected. If he's seeing significantly higher than that, then I agree it's definitive that it's being charged. However if he sees just around 12.6V, I don't think it necessarily proves it one way or the other. Assuming it has a charger/maintainer of some kind, we don't know how exactly they work. IDK even how a BatteryTender, which has some smarts in it, works. It allegedly only charges as much as necessary, so it could monitor, test, and you'd only see the voltage raise during periods when it's actually charging.
As to Danny's generator, I tried to find a service manual for it, but couldn't find anything. The experience I have with Generac is a similar generator that was built about 10 years ago. It definitely had battery charging circuits that were driven off both the line AC and the generator, if running. While trying to fix that one, I had the service manual.
I would think that's how Danny's would work too, for obvious reasons. But IDK and you'd need a service manual, schematic, etc to know for sure. I'm not sure I'd even trust the Generac people, as you'd think a help line would have obvious answers like that at their finger tips. They couldn't even tell him whether the spark plug cables were "bolted" on to the spark plugs, so I wouldn't put much faith in them.
If I was D, I'd obtain the service manual, not just the operating manual, for future reference.
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trader_4 wrote, on Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:41:58 -0800:

Yes. It's the Generac 09067-9 (often called 9067-9).
It's a built-in 8KWH, 66 amp 240/120 generator with the transfer switch. Runs on propane (or natural gas).
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2014 06:04:39 -0500, Stormin Mormon

Yes, 13.2 12.6 is the theoretical open circuit voltage of a lead acid battery, but some alloys are slightly higher. 12.7 or 12.8 is quite common on a searled recombinent absorbed glass mat battery. Any kind of charge at all will wxcede 13.2 volts.
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Danny-
On page 12 of the manual, the diagram at the left side of the page shows a Battery Charge winding connected to a rectifier. One side of the winding goes to the Control Logic PCB. Output of the rectifier goes to a fuse, and then to the battery. There is also a connection to the Control Logic PCB via SW2A.
So the battery is apparently charged when the generator is running. It is not clear if it is also charged through one of the three transfer switch connections. SW2 may be an option you can set to allow that, but I did not see any mention in the manual.
Fred
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On 12/20/2014 2:16 PM, Fred McKenzie wrote:

FWIW, my 5-year-old 16kW Generac charges the battery from grid power. (The charging circuit failed two years ago and I had to replace the $80 charging board.)
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Sat, 20 Dec 2014 06:04:39 -0500:

Technically, 13.8 volts is the open-circuit voltage of a battery, but, there are reasons for it to vary by a volt or so either way.
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clare wrote, on Sat, 20 Dec 2014 12:57:39 -0500:

I thought it was 13.8, but, we're both saying the same thing otherwise.
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trader_4 wrote, on Sat, 20 Dec 2014 04:40:48 -0800:

I would too, if I knew where to find it.
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Fred McKenzie wrote, on Sat, 20 Dec 2014 14:16:45 -0500:

Hi Fred, Thanks for confirming that information from the schematic in the owners manual.
For others to see that schematic, I've converted the entire 32 page PDF manual to JPG using the following Linux command: $ convert -density 300 generac_9067-9.pdf generac_9067-9.jpg
While all 32 pages were uploaded, the specific page 12 Fred speaks about is located at the URL below (rotated sideways for convenience):
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7540/15878921258_8abeb6437a_b.jpg
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On 12/20/2014 5:22 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Apparently some Generac models do charge the battery when running and others do not. My manual states:
The generator is equipped with a battery trickle charger that is active when the unit is set up for automatic operation. With the battery installed and utility power source voltage available to the transfer switch, the battery receives a trickle charge while the engine is not running, to prevent self-discharge. The trickle charger is designed to help extend the life of the battery by maintaining the battery when the unit is not running. The trickle charge feature cannot be used to recharge a discharged battery. No battery charging occurs when the generator is providing power."
Sorry I assumed that your 8KW unit charges the same as my 7KW unit. Apparently it does not.
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On Saturday, December 20, 2014 5:22:56 PM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:

I agree with Fred, it's not clear from the schematic what's going on. But like he says, SW2 is involved in the schematic. It's also listed in the table there with a 3 word description "set .... switch". I can't make out the middle word. Presumably on the original that you have you can read it?
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Smarty wrote, on Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:30:19 -0500:

I like how yours works better than how mine does.
Does yours also "exercise" itself once a week for about 20 minutes?
Mine does that, ostensibly, to keep the battery charged, among other things.
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On 12/21/2014 10:27 AM, Danny D. wrote:

Mine does a weekly exercise lasting about 13 minutes. The transfer switch is not tested nor is the generator put under load, so the exercise mostly is about the engine starting and running.
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