Generator Problem

I have a 5,500 watt gasoline engine generator that powers the furnace, refrigerator and water pump during power outages. It's run well for the last 6 or 7 years but has gotten tempermental lately.
During a 36-hour outage last week I ran it the first evening when the power went out then turned it off overnight. I started it up at about 6:00 the next morning and it ran well for a while. At about 10:30, my wife called me at work to say that the generator shut off. She reported that it started running very fast for about a half-hour, then quit. I came home at lunch time and it restarted at the first pull, running well for the rest of the day and into the next day when the power came back on.
Last night there was a very strong wind in the evening. Right after dinner, about 7:30, the lights flickered a few times and went off. We lit candles and sat by the woodstove for a while, hoping the power would be restored quickly. About 9:00, I figured I should start up the generator and connect the vital items to the generator circuit. After I finished that, I sat down by the woodstove and the lights went back on. Not sure if they'd stay on, I decided to let the generator run and went to bed. I woke up at 11:30 to find that the generator had gone off. I repluged everything into the house circuit and went back to bed.
I plan to tune up the engine on the generator this weekend; replace all filters, gap the plug, etc. Does anybody have any ideas on what might be causing these shut-offs?
Paul
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Snip "She reported that it started running very fast for about a half-hour, then quit."
It may have a over/under frequency shut down devise. I would check to see what controls the frequency 60 hz, it may be the problem. The generator should not have started running very fast as your wife said.
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You don't mention the brand or style specifics but many of the basic generators have a mechanical governor that controls rpm which in turn controls the frequency and voltage. They are often levers, springs, vanes, that sort of thing. I've had to clean and adjust mine in the past.
You know those basic generators don't have a particularly long life expectancy? Maybe you don't care and will just buy a new one when that one wears out. I run mine during the day but I shut it down when we go to bed. But I'm in NC and the house will usually hold a tolerable temp over night. And the firdge is ok because no one is opening it. It may start to get cold by morning but then I'm up and can run the generator and furnace.
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I generally shut mine down before going to bed and load up the wood stove. Like you say, that generally gets us through the night.
Paul
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On Feb 3, 10:37 am, "Stormin Mormon"

I plan to upgrade to a better generator before I retire.
Paul
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On Feb 3, 3:03 pm, "Stormin Mormon"

We have a 275 gallon fuel oil tank for the furnace. So there are generators which would run off the same stuff I use for heating? Never knew that; thanks, I'll look into those.
Paul

glegroups.com...
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In :: wrote in message news:1c5cab04-c824-45bb-9915- :: :: You don't mention the brand or style specifics but many of :: the basic :: generators have a mechanical governor that controls rpm :: which in turn :: controls the frequency and voltage. They are often levers, :: springs, :: vanes, that sort of thing. I've had to clean and adjust :: mine in the :: past. :: :: You know those basic generators don't have a particularly :: long life :: expectancy? Maybe you don't care and will just buy a new :: one when :: that one wears out. I run mine during the day but I shut :: it down when :: we go to bed. But I'm in NC and the house will usually :: hold a :: tolerable temp over night. And the firdge is ok because no :: one is :: opening it. It may start to get cold by morning but then :: I'm up and :: can run the generator and furnace.
Heck, I have one of those with a B&S engine & 5500 watts steady output max, and broke the 200 hour mark during the great "Ice Storm of '98" alone. I run it for about 20 minutes almost every weekend while I'm in my shop and use the generac switch for isolation from the grid. It's got to be at nearly 800 hours by now counting the several times I've used it for emergency power, portable power on a wagon, etc. etc. etc.. I know of many others around me that are the same residential quality and none of them have quit due to wearing out. One neghbor had to flash the generator part, but it's quick and easy to do. I don't know where that 200 hours of runtime comes from unless it means unpacked and never gets any PM done to it. They're the same engines/systems used for lawn tractors, mowers, all kinds of things and there's no such warning on those either. I have one lawn tractor that the meter shows over 1,000 hours on it. It's a B&S engine too. As for the generator parts, there's so little to them that there's almost nothing to wear out to speak of. Having to flash it back into service isn't too unusual, but it's normally not more than a half hour's time at the most to do it. I haven't yet known one to need flashing more than once. That's what happens when you never run them nor do any PM on them. PM is a lot cheaper and less irritating than a break-down, which definitely can happen if you just store it and forget it.
HTH,
Twayne`
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Tom Mills wrote:

see
generator
She probably turn on the electric oven.
--
LSMFT

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The generator isn't connected to the main box; I just ran a few lines to the vital appliances like the pump and oil furnace. The electric range isn't connected to the generator circuit.
Paul
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Low oil would cause it to shut off or the oil sensor circuit, a problem with the govenor would cause it to speed up. Do you ever check voltage at idle and full load, because that goes out of adjustment and can ruin apliances with over or under voltage. 3600 rpm is 120v-60hz, A cheap 30$ tachometer is a good idea. I would take it apart and clean and tune it. Also letting it die while a motor is running like in the frige or furnace can damage the motors capacitors. What make and model is it. how many hours on it, what motor does it have. Portable units often have lawnmower motors that often are junk at 3-500 hours, but some OHV units go 2-3000 hours.
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ransley wrote:
[snip[

My generator (Honda) has a LED that's connected to the low oil sensor circuit, If oil is low, that comes on when you try to start it.
[snip]
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Right.
The nice thing about Honda generators is that they are quiet enough so that you can hear all the other generators in the neighborhood.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Perhaps it was an exigent circumstance: a doctor on the way to the emergency room, a volunteer fireman responding to a call, or it could even be...
"Pussy, man!"
"Say what?" I said to the giant black man I had just pulled over for speeding.
"My ol' lady called. Said for me to get my black ass over there 'cause she in the mood! An', officer, she ain't in the mood all that often!"
[pause]
"Well, can't really give a man a ticket for that," I said. "Go on, but take it easy."
"'preciate it officer. 'preciate it!"
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On Feb 3, 9:00 am, "Stormin Mormon"

We're on a small farm and the neighbors are all far enough away that they don't hear anything.
Paul

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