Generator battery replace question?

Of course, like many on the East Coast I lost power in the wee hours of last Sunday morning and it was just restored late this afternoon. (over 5 days). But, I have my trusty Honda ES6500 generator.
This is a two cylinder, water cooled unit with a starting motor wiich is powered by a standard U1 12 volt SLA battery.
My battery was dead (over 10 years old) so I used jumper cables to get it started. In an attempt to replace the battery I inadvertently picked up a U1R battery. When home I realized this was a reversed pole battery like what I have in one of my cars. So, all things being equal, I rotated the batt 180 degrees and it mounted fine.
After hookup and turning on the key all the normal lights illuminated and a further turn spun the starter motor and the unit started right up. Great!!! However, within a few minutes the generator started surging and making stange noises so I shut it down.
As nothing else had changed, I replaced the batt with the old one, used the jumpers to start the gen and then it ran smoothly.
So, can someone please explain what might have happened? Oh, and as the gen was connected to my house circuits I literally burned up my DVR box, my electronic clothes washer, a game cube power supply and my computers' UPS and both my garage door openers..
I'd be very interested to know why this happened. And yes, the red cable was connected to the + terminal and the black to the unmarked terminal.
Thanks for any comments.
ps: Ed P in Putnam - how did you fare in the storm?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I doubt that you had the generator running backwards, so we will assume it was running in the correct rotation. It sounds like the voltage went really high, if it fried all those household items. Did it not burn out the Uwave, several clocks, and other devices that are always connected to power? When you say you used the jumpers to start it again, what did they connect to?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As you pointed out, the only difference between a U1 and U1R battery is that the location of the positive terminal is reversed. Assuming you got it connected correctly, I don't see how it could have anything to do with the generator suddenly going nuts, unless possibly the new battery is bad? Even then, I doubt it would cause the generator to go nuts, as I'd think the battery is only used for starting. Did you test the new battery with a VOM and verify that it's at correct voltage?
I would never use a generator to power expensive, non-essential gear. I had a generator running here and limited it to fridge, freezer, lights and radio.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It was tough. Not only did we lose power for two minutes, we had flickers that caused the satellite boxes to re-boot a few times. Very inconvenient.
Seriously, we did well on my street. Half the town was out and 25% still is. I am in the lucky half. The only wind damage was a tree branch in my driveway. Some towns around me were 100% out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

put the new battery back and check the voltage out with a meter.
sounds like your generator may have a govenor problem, might be a good idea to get it serviced
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If the generator over-speeds, does the voltage increase? Is there any electrical regulator? I'm thinking a generator/alternator on a car still supplies the same voltage from about idle to full rpm. Would a home generator have the same setup?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

It depends on the generator. There are 2 main types. The simple ones run at 3600 rpm. This gives the 60 HZ and nominal 120/240 volts. Any faster or slower speed will change the voltage and frequency. Faster= higher voltage and frequency. Some diesels will run at 1800 rpm. Simple governors try to hold this speed constant.
There are some inverter type generators that the speed changes due to the load, but the inverter electronic circuits hold the voltage/frequency constant. They usually cost more for the same power, but use less gas under light loads.
The inverter type can change the speed depending on the load. The inverter is used to hold the voltage/frequency constant. They use less fuel when lightly loaded. As the speed is slower under light loads, they may last longer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 2 Sep 2011 20:04:53 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

Generally consumer grade gensets run 3600, pro grade stuff runs 1800 (in north America - for 50 Hz 1t's 3000 and 1500 for a generator with the same number of poles -)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Totally different animal unless it's an inverter generator. Speed influences the output frequency of an AC generator
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I would agree. The main generator does not know if the battery is even there - only the motor knows - and in many cases it doesn't even know if it is there after the engine is started. Only a generator with an electronic governor may need the battery for the generator to function properly - other than possible battery ignition.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't see that there can be a connection.
I let mine run a few minutes before I throw on the load. Sounds like maybe your governor was hung up. Do you know is it mechanical or electronic?
Here in Raleigh we pretty much were right on the edge. We had a lot of wind and some rain. Had brief power outages. Same annoyance as Ed, satellite boxes take 5 minutes to start back up. Then the power would cut off for 5 seconds and they would start over.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/1/2011 10:59 PM, bobmct wrote:

Also on the Eastcoast, power went off for 20 minutes but came back on at 100V, lights flashing, sump pump not running at all, luckily I'd disconnected all sensitive gear like computers, home theater etc. My gen is not powerful enough for all the house, just the essentials. How are you powering all your house, with a incoming mains disconnect? If not you could easily fry any repair guy working on your incoming supply. JC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 02 Sep 2011 20:23:38 -0400, Archon

Transfer switch which cuts the main service but feeds MOST of the outlets and pumps, furnace, etc. Years ago a similar situation fried my two door operators (overhead door Phantoms) which cost hundreds to replace. After that I installed surge suppressors at the plug for them. This time I hope all it did was blow the internal fuses. I checked and they are 3A/250V and blown. Today I installed a new U1 batt and it started and ran just fine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.