New Generac Liquid Cooled Generator discharges batteries

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We purchased a new Generac Stand-by liquid cooled generator, got installed by same certified electrician that did my neighbor's generator. The unit worked fine during testing, but failed to perform the weekly self-start. Upon inspection the panel, it was also blank - no power. We returned the NEW battery, got a NEW replacement, and the unit started right away. I inspected the panel a few days later, and it was emitting a "Check Battery" message. Called Generac South (a servicing dealer for our area), the technician came, but could not find the problem - claimed that it probably was a "vapor lock" that stopped the alternator from charging the battery. Does anyone else is experience this problem? Hondo
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I don't know about the problem, but if I was told 'vapor lock' I would have ran the technnician off right then. If the generator had vapor lock , it would not start. Vapor lock involves the fuel system and has nothing to do with the alternator.
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On 09/17/2013 05:18 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

I am thinking the same thing, that just makes no sense, unless I am seriously missing something the tech had no clue and was throwing random words at you.
Can you test the standby draw off the battery?
nate
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On 09/17/13 05:18 pm, Ralph Mowery wrote:

A new battery should not have needed to be charged within a few days. ISTM that there are two problems rather than one: (a) the battery is running down very quickly -- more quickly than normal; AND (b) the battery-monitoring and charging circuitry is faulty.
Perce
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replying to Percival P. Cassidy , Julio Rey wrote:

I agree, I'm looking into other sites to see if there are other Generac users with similar problems. Hondo
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On 09/17/2013 06:44 PM, Julio Rey wrote:

One question - is the battery charged off of the house's electricity, or only when the generator is running?
If the manual for your particular generator is posted online anywhere, a link to it might help us give you more specific areas to check. Although you really shouldn't have to be troubleshooting it yourself if it's brand new...
nate
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replying to Nate Nagel , Julio Rey wrote:

This is the "new" generation of stand-by units, and the unit uses the house's electricity to keep the battery charged. I agree, thinking ahead now, I'm not about to touch the unit and take the chance that the manufacturer could use this as an excuse to void their warranty. Thanks for your answer.
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On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 7:44:02 PM UTC-4, Julio Rey wrote:

Not only doesn't vapor lock make any sense for the reasons already discussed, but these units typically use natural gas for fuel. What does yours use? Nat gas is already a vapor, so how do you get vapor lock with that? It's only a potential problem with gasoline engines and then only if the system isn't designed right. Even if you have diesel, AFAIK, that can't vapor lock either.
A new battery shouldn't drain down in a few days in a generator even if it's not being charged. It's kind of like a lawn mower tractor battery or motorcycle battery. They sit around for a couple of months without being charged and still start.
My condolences on buying that Generac. Go over to Amazon and read the reviews there for the whole house standby ones. One bad experience after another and people really pissed off at the treatment they've received. The reviews I saw were for their air cooled units, maybe the water cooled ones are better. But then given your experience so far, maybe not....
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On Wednesday, September 18, 2013 8:43:43 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Not quite the same.
On a lawn mower tractor, the battery only powers the starter motor to make the engine run.
On a generator, the battery is powering the monitoring equipment that senses when street power goes out.
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On Friday, September 20, 2013 11:23:55 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That sensing and control circuitry on the generator is powered by the normal house AC line 24/7. So is a battery charge circuit that keeps the battery fully charged. If the house AC goes off, only then does the battery supply power, long enough to start the generator up. Once running, the generator charges the battery.
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On Fri, 20 Sep 2013 08:23:55 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, not necessarily. Street power powers the monitor circuit, and when power drops the normally closed relay initiates the start sequence, The generator battery in MOST cases does NOTHING until the power fails.
If it is set up as you indicate it MUST have a line powered charging system to maintain the battery. Just stop to think about it - a "fail safe" system without a built in "fail safe" is a guaranteen failure.
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Julio Rey wrote:

Hmmm, Was he real service tech? Why vapor lock has anything to do with discharged battery. Check charging circuit and when on stand-by make sure battery is losing juice by some thing. Handy with multi meter?
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replying to Tony Hwang , Julio Rey wrote:

Just basic stuff, but I will study the schematics that I got from Generac and see if I can find the charging circuits. Thanks for your help.
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* I would contact the factory. Someone I know had a Generac that did the weekly test just fine. During the first power outage it died. The authorized installer checked it out and contacted the factory. Several weeks later a new generator was installed for FREE including the labor. The guy has since sold that house so I don't know the long term outcome.
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replying to John Grabowski , Julio Rey wrote:


I like this answer; I wonder if Generac was just responsive, or if your friend is a lawyer; if not, he probably has a good one! I did contacted Generac, and I was instructed to call one of the authorized representatives; not what I was hoping for; will see.
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*No Lawyer, but a banker. In his case it was the authorized service guy who made the arrangements. It did take a long time though (2+ months). Be persistent. Check to see if Generac has a Facebook page. If so, post the facts there.
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The ONLY 'vapor lock' in this story is the one between the 'tech' ears.
That said. Run a parasitic current leak check on the battery. Second question is there a standby charger powered by the house mains?
An aside I'm not at all impressed with Generac equipment.
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On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 4:44:01 PM UTC-4, Julio Rey wrote:

Yes. My experience is, it's new, it's under warranty, fixing it is not my problem regardless of how incompetent the tech is that comes to service it. I will keep calling and escalating until they send someone competent to diagnose and fix the problem.
The battery should have a maintenance charger that runs off street power and keeps the battery charged between test runs. Either that's not connected, or it's not working.
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On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 4:44:01 PM UTC-4, Julio Rey wrote:

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tor-discharges-batteries-763681-.htm

I would think that the house power is charging the battery while the unit i s not in use. There may be electronics that is being powered by the batter y as well and the charger is not recognizing when the battery gets low and needs charging. The tech should be able to fix it, you paid a lot for that setup.
Or if you've given up on the tech go to lowes and get a small battery charg e maintainer. I keep one on my boat and they do work well.
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