Help. House Generator Finally Fixed - - Sort Of

Stationery Kohler 12Res located outside house. This unit is for electrical outages only; it is not used 24/7.
It was a bad breaker on the generator itself. The generator tech didn't have a replacement with him, and so he provided a "bypass" temporary fix.
1) Will this band-aid fix cause any problems with overload, assuming I don't use the unit for washer, dryer, air conditioning, or electric range, but is connected to everything else including hot water heater?
2) The service co. is notoriously slow and I want the breaker replaced ASAP. Can the breaker be replaced by an electrician, or does he need to be a specialist with experience in dealing with the Kohler panel (inside house) and automatic transfer switch? Thanks.
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On 9/26/2011 8:11 AM, Dr Jackal wrote:

No decent tech would have bypassed a breaker. Overloading it can result in burning up the generator. Don't use it until the new breaker is installed.
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OK, Tony, but does the electrician need to interface or adjust the generator panel and auto transfer switch inside the house or just install the new breaker on the outside unit. In other words, does the electrician need to have specialized experience with Kohlers' units, or can he be a general electrical contractor? Getting the generator tech out here is harder than getting an audience with a King. Thanks.
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On 9/26/2011 10:05 AM, Jack wrote:

That depends on the breaker and the electrician. If it's a round pushbutton, they should be available in generic form. If it has a generic breaker I would tell the electrician what it looks like and the amperage rating on it and ask him if he would/could install one. Some will some won't.
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This whole thing is a bit puzzling. This has been going on for a while, no? What are the circumstances where the power is still out for so long that you need to run this generator before the tech can come back with the breaker?
Whether it's safe or not without the breaker would depend entirely on how it's wired and which breaker we're talking about.
Any electrician can replace a breaker. He just needs to have the right part, which might mean going to a Kohler dealer. How long did the tech say it would take to come back with the part?
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The power isn't out. The generator failed to do its 20 minute per week exercise. It conked out after only 90 seconds. The tech diagnosed bad breaker and did a "bypass" fix. The company that sold/ services the unit is notoriously slow in getting parts. They don't keep any inventory and I just want to know if the proper fix can be handled by a general electrician. I don't mind paying someone else, even though the service is covered by a service contract. Just want everything to be done right.
The breaker itself is rectangular. The on/off switch has the number "50" written on it. Near the switch it says "10 kA 120/240V." Thanks, Jack
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Then why do you need it now to run the water heater and other loads right now?

I don't understand the big rush. You expecting the power to be out again before they get the part? In most places, the probability of that would seem to be very low. And if they suck at servce, isn't there another company that can service it and can't you get rid of these guys?
And yes, any electrician can replace that breaker. They just need to get the right part.

That would appear to be the main breaker for the generator, which is likely rated at "10KVA". If it were me, and I NEEDED TO USE IT, I would with the bypass in place. I would just make sure that I did not put any load even close to the capacity of the generator on it. As long as you manage the loads you'll be fine.
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wrote:

OK, Mr, Trader, thanks. I'll keep the bypass in place and keep bugging the co. to get the new breaker.
Been trying for two years to buy a svc. contract elsewhere but all are for Generacs, except of course my current one. - - Jack
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on 9/26/2011 11:46 AM (ET) snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote the following:

In rural areas where the power wires run along the roadways alongside trees, power outages are quite common. Cars hit poles, tree branches fall down, etc. I have a portable generator and I want it to run when, and if, needed. I test my generator regularly to make sure that it will work when needed.

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
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Of course they do. I live in an area with poles down the road too. And yes they are subject to occasional ice storms, hurricanes,or drunks. But I've yet to experience a location where I need a generator available desperately on the chance that power MIGHT be out in the next week or so while waiting for the company that you have a service contract with to get a part. Would you pay someone else to fix your generator instead of just waiting a few days or a week for the company you have a service contract with to get a part and put it in?
The whole thing is a moot point anyway as the generator is running and he can use it. Unless he listens to Twayne of course.
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In typed:

Ask at your local code office. Their reqs can sometimes be more stringent than the NEC.
I don't mind

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In typed:

You nean he wired around the output breaker? Report these people/company to your state ag, the BBB and your locsl code office. No legit tech would do that, so you mght alert the IBEW also or their local union if you can figure out who it is.

Of course! A fault of any kind, not just too much equipment connected, might well turn your genset into a boat anchor!
assuming I don't use the unit for washer,

See para above. A lot of faults can arise besides your putting too heavy a load on your genset.

Yes. Don't use it untl it's fixed properly. The Xfer Sw if it has individual fuses/breakers might help some, but ... you still have no protection between the gen and the switch, where most fault conditiions may occur and that's bad.
Yes, an electrician can replace the breaker. Anyone with a REAL background in electriity could fix it, bbut at least get an electrician. For the finsl word on who csn do what repairing it, call your local code office. They're usually happy to help. My guess would be that the "tech" you had wasn't aware of much more than what s toilet lever is used for! Your code office might appreciate hearing your story told in this post, too.
Assunptions: You're telling the truth and the tech actually just wired around the breaker so that line has no protectiion at the genset. Oh, and don't let anyone tell you local codes & NEC are not appliicable: They certainly are!
HTH,
Twayne`
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What makes you think that a guiy working for a local small business, typical of what you'd find servicing a home generator is a union member?

I create a fault by pushing the test button on a GFCI in the bathroom. How is that going to turn the genset into a boat anchor? Or I put a 20 amp load on a 15 amp circuit, how is that going to do it?
The only likely fault that could turn it into a boat anchor, based on what we know, is the OP OVERLOADING the generator when he knows that a work around is in place. Now I would never suggest that is safe for the long term, in an emergency loss of power situation, it seems OK to me.

All of which are protected against by the existing breakers, GFCI, etc.

What protection does he currently have between the utility line coming into his house and the panel?

That would exclude you.

Unbelievable. He can fix it himself if he so chooses. Why are you always hysterical?

You mean like you?

Yeah, like the local code office is gonna go ape shit over this and do a big investigation.

What a hysterical ninny! Why don't you tell us again about how nitrogen must be recovered from an AC system? idiot.
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In typed:

What makes you think there is not? You cannot read for crap.

That only creates a fault test for the GFCI, not the genset. Agaiin, you need help reading. A "fault condtion" in this case could be snything that puts a short ckt on the generator's output. Squrrels, mole nests in the wirng, lghtning hit coming in on Hot or Neutral, nothing to do with a GFCI for s thinking person, along wth: Wires fray and short out/together at the outlet behind the panel, house miswire, installation miswire, and the lst goes on and on and include myrad safety issues also. I get the feeling you don't know what "fault condition" really means, too. And that you don't read well, seeing only what you want to see. Same goes for gensets too since you wanted to jump into testing a GFCI, which would only result in removal of a load from the genset, and is NOT a fault to the genset, which is after all the subject here.

Easily POSSIBLE over time, IF the genset output were max'ed at 15A and there s no other fusing provided.
One of the things you seem to have mssed is that pitiful data given by the OP can only rsult in general responses to the OP. Your postulations are silly to start with and only show your ignorance here, I'm afraid.
BTW, I've actually seen the results of a car drivng over the genset cable when its breaker wasknown to be defective: Lost magnetismm, open rotor/s and damaged speed control & fried contrl panel (meters, speed OK, etc.. It wasn't worth fixng unless you coulc do t youself & get the parts.

It isn't safe for ANY term. No way xan the laws of statstics support that claim.

The GFCI, is irrelevent; you must think it's also a circuit breaker for overloads, eh? I suggest you do some research on the matter.

THIS is the reason there may be a union involved.

Can't read?

That would exclude you and anyone with your silly attitude.

Where did you read that? One of the most dangerous things one without experience wth electricity is "do it yourself". Only a moron would make such an assertion as you did without knowing the capablities of someone else, thus eventually klling someone if you do so often enough and some poor guy believes you.

Pretty much as you are.

What's'a'matter, that thought sort of scare you? Either you're ignorant or already reported by someone.

What an gnorant, hysterical ninny!

recovered from an AC system? idiot.
Ahh, you're also a nymchanger, huh? I never made any such claim and I suspect you know it.
I've said what needs to be said, so I'm done: Flop around on the dock all you want.
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I can read and nowhere did he say anything to indicate that a union was involved. In my experience, the typical tech making a home service call is an employee of a small business and not a union member. So, to drag a union into it seems pointless. As if a union is even gonna give a rat's ass anyway.

You said ANY fault, did you not?
A "fault condtion" in this case could be snything that

You are the one who said ANY fault. In actuality the only faults that would matter would be those between the one line connecting the generator and the breakers for the individual circuits in the house. That fault condition I'd be willing to live with temporarily on the remote chance that I lose power while waiting for the part for a week or so. Would you sit there and watch the food spoil and shiver in the cold?

Better go back and pay attention. It's a 50 amp main breaker on a 10KVA generator. So, no, a 20 amp load is not going to toast the generator.

You mean unlike your response based on the same limited data that the whole thing is gonna fry his generator?

Well yeah, if you're dumb enough to do that. On the other hand, if I had no power and food about to spoil, I'd damn well run it without the breaker and just make sure to not be a fool. And in the case under discussion if you pay attention, it's a permanently installed automatic generator, so there is no extension cord, capiche?

Let's see. Probability of burning out the generator if you use it rationally without the breaker in an emergency for a few days? Close to zero. Probability of food spoiling and having no heat if he listens to you? 100% I'd take the former odds. The generator service tech has no problem with it either.

The only fault that matters is a fault between the generator and the breakers in the panel.

What reason is that? In other words, no reason.

No, you can't answer.

I'll match my credentials against yours anyday.

Read what?

I only stated the obvious simple truth. If he chooses to fix it himself, he can replace the breaker himself. I didn't say he should or what skills he should have. I guess you think only a union guy can work on it.

No, I couldn't care less if he wants to waste his time bitching to the AHJ. Just that the local code office isn't likely to give a crap.
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Dr Jackal wrote:

If YOU can remove the breaker, YOU can fix it. Take it to somewhere that sells breakers, perhaps Graingers, say "Gimme one like this," then install the new one.
I can't imagine it takes six fingers on your left hand to remove a replaceable item. Go have a look.
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If he wants to fix it himself, he could probably also find one online at a variety of places, including possibly Ebay.
However, as I've said before, I don't see the point. He has a service contract and the company is getting the part to replace it for free. He has utility power. He even has a work around that the service guy put in place, so on the remote chance power goes out before the service guy gets back, he still has generator power.
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