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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Sun 05, 2021 4:08 pm 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
All of the commercial generators I see at office buildings, supermarkets, hospitals, and so forth are run every so often and maintained so they work when needed.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Sun 05, 2021 5:30 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
FStephenMasek wrote:
All of the commercial generators I see at office buildings, supermarkets, hospitals, and so forth are run every so often and maintained so they work when needed.

Yes, you are absolutely correct. Those buildings and hospitals and such usually have a maintenance crew, or at least a maintenance man on staff. Of those that don't, often it is a service technician such as myself, that performs those tasks. As such, the analogy is "the shoemaker's kids go barefoot." Yes, I was negligent. It was not the first time, and more likely than not, it won't be the last time.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Sun 05, 2021 6:01 pm 
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Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
Somewhat OT, but here goes. I worked for the local telephone company for 31 years. Our three floor building had a huge Detroit Diesel generator in the basement. The Central Office people took care of the generator for years. Then, they decided that since it was not a CO (and not in their budget) it was now our problem. I always liked messing about with equipment and I asked my boss if I could run the thing once a month. She was elated! It was fun and when power went out (3-phase) it was up to us to start it and do the power transfer; not automatic. I will say that the book with directions was absolutely spot on, step-by-step, starting and power transfer.

I felt that it was our own survival and we/I could take care of it. Several years later, after I was assigned to another area, my former boss called and pleaded, would I come get the generator going. No one else had assumed those duties. Needless to say, it had a huge bank of 2-volt batteries. It was something like 48 volts; I forget. My boss asked if I could use jumper cables. You know the answer.

The takeaway for me was run the darn thing every month or other month. I really enjoyed it.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Sun 05, 2021 6:50 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Don Cavey wrote:
it had a huge bank of 2-volt batteries. It was something like 48 volts; I forget. My boss asked if I could use jumper cables.

Don, were the 2volt batteries for cranking? The reason that I ask is that some of the smaller rural utility co-gen plants have battery banks for energizing the exciters in the gennies.
IIrc, my machine needs 48 volts DC on the slip rings to start an unmagnetized head.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Sun 05, 2021 7:44 pm 
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Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
kc5gym wrote:
Don Cavey wrote:
it had a huge bank of 2-volt batteries. It was something like 48 volts; I forget. My boss asked if I could use jumper cables.

Don, were the 2volt batteries for cranking? The reason that I ask is that some of the smaller rural utility co-gen plants have battery banks for energizing the exciters in the gennies.
IIrc, my machine needs 48 volts DC on the slip rings to start an unmagnetized head.

Those were cranking batteries, typical of what they used in the Central Office. They were not huge, just 2-volts each, typical of a lead-acid battery cell.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Mon 06, 2021 2:17 pm 
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Location: Freehold NJ 07728
kc5gym wrote:
Sal Brisindi wrote:
Do you have any pictures of your 6 cyl homemade generator. I would love to see it.

Sal

I went out and took a few photos for you. As you can see, it has been sitting in the jungle, unmaintained, for a dozen years.
Attachment:
generator.jpg

Here is a slung coil on the exciter
Attachment:
slung_exciter.jpg

And here is some stator damage
Attachment:
stator_damage.jpg

When the governor belt came off, the engine over speeded the generator causing the winding damage. I suspect there was an overvoltage before blowing, as two GFCI receptacals in my house failed, as well as the little ECM evaporator fan motor in my refrigerator.


Mark,
Thank you for the pictures. That is a neat DIY generator!

Sal

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Mon 06, 2021 2:52 pm 
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processhead wrote:
Standby power is only as good as the testing and maintenance it gets.

Although not practical for a homeowner gen set, we had our backup generators at remote tower sites set up on time clocks to exercise under load every other week. If the generators didn't run on schedule, someone got dispatched to find out the reason why.

It is way too easy to forget about standby power when the weather is fine. :cry:

Three years ago my daughter bought a house that has Generac natural gas generator. System is approx 15 years old, tests itself every two, three, four(?)weeks. I was over there getting grandson off school bus when it lit off, called daughter. "Oh it's just testing itself". Duuuhhh.

Me, I have a 4.4Kw Homelite I bought at DAV thrift store, probably doesn't have 20 hours on it. Fired it back in April when power was out for 28 hours.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Mon 06, 2021 3:18 pm 
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
35Z5 wrote:
Three years ago my daughter bought a house that has Generac natural gas generator. System is approx 15 years old, tests itself every two, three, four(?)weeks. I was over there getting grandson off school bus when it lit off, called daughter. "Oh it's just testing itself". Duuuhhh.

This is one of the benefits of the "standby" systems that are pedestal mounted and plumbed to a nat-gas or propane fuel system. There's no fossil fuel to go stale, and the systems have a self test run schedule built in.
A former customer of mine had one of these Generac systems and it was the most reliable things I've seen in the business. Once a week it would start, test itself, run for thirty minutes and shut down. Twice a year I'd change the oil and filter, check for other issues (mice in air filters etc) and test run it myself. It never had a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Mon 06, 2021 3:47 pm 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
Demolition contractors are one source of used generators, complete with controls.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Tue 07, 2021 7:29 pm 
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Location: Belleview, FL 34420
Wow, what a mess. I use propane, gen set can sit years, no gummy gasoline carb. Teaspoon oil in spark plug hole for long tern storage.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 3:08 pm 
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Posts: 21405
Location: Warner Robins, GA
Chas wrote:
After tying to demonstrate my antique standby generator this past Sunday and experienced my second stale gasoline failure. I had to clean plugs, drain all the dead gas and make a decision how to proceed to avoid future dead gas issues in the future.

So, I decided to get just 4 gallons of High test instead of regular and a new container of Sta-Bil Storage for that gas and dosed it liberally.

I MAY, buy some of that boutique gas from ACE hardware if a severe storm alert comes about. So now I will have only what I need for a two day emergency not a 10 day.

I will have to make a trip to the Hazardous Waste depot for the semi-Annual disposal day to get rid of this dead gas as well as old shellac and old Sta-bil. I will scout around for the next few weeks looking for other never used or expired paints, oils and fuels... chas


I use regular pump gas and Sta-Bil marine formula in a 4 cycle trimmer and at the start of next mowing season the trimmer with the previous year's gas still in the tank fires up normally.


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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Jul Wed 29, 2020 3:01 am
Posts: 82
Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I fire my 5.7kw portable generator every month and run it for 10 minutes or so with a load attached. I use Sta-bil when I fill it with gas, but then every spring I drain the gas out and put fresh in. The gas I take out of it becomes my lawn mower gas for that season. Works well for me.


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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 10817
Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
Tube Radio wrote:
I use regular pump gas and Sta-Bil marine formula in a 4 cycle trimmer and at the start of next mowing season the trimmer with the previous year's gas still in the tank fires up normally.

Winter storage is rarely the issue, usually because it's much colder than summer storage.

How do you store your snowblower?


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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Thu 09, 2021 12:09 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2015 9:41 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
John Bartley wrote:

Your generator is a delight to see, if a bit trashed right at the moment. May I suggest an RPM limiter/shut off that will turn the motor off if the engine rpm exeeds say ... 5% to 7% of the rated rpm for the generator head? It may inexpensively save having to rewind another head ....

cheers

Thanks John.
I did install a rev limiter switch, an older style centrifugal type, but I neglected to wire it in. The whole failure, in toto, was my bad. Live and learn (or not.)

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Fri 10, 2021 11:08 am 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Nice job on the DIY generator.

I opted to install a whole house Generac a long time ago, mainly because it just sits there and takes care of itself. I know me ... I would never service the thing, so I set up with the local service folks that they call ME when its due for a going over. I want it to work when it's needed, not have to go fuss with it every time. It even monitors its own battery, and switches on an amber indicator you can see from the kitchen window when it's time for a new one.

It's nat gas powered, so as long as there's a functioning gas supply in the state, I should be OK. I've got a much smaller gasoline genset that I used to use for power tools etc, that could run the refrigerator, TV, furnace, and a few lights if I ever have the Generac fail. But it probably has bad gas in it right now so .... lol.

This is the year I'm going to go through every gasoline garden tool, mower, tiller etc and run them dry, shoot in a little carb cleaner, and have everthing ready for next season. Yup, uhhuh, I am going to do this for the first time for the last time ....... Makes a case for the new 48V battery powered tools, first of which was a pole saw/weed whacker pack which has worked out very well. Except for the cost of extra batteries... whew!

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Fri 10, 2021 1:12 pm 
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Barry H Bennett wrote:
...Except for the cost of extra batteries... whew!
And don't thing that this was NOT a major factor in the design model. It reminds me of ink jet cartridges...

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Fri 10, 2021 3:38 pm 
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Don Cavey wrote:
kc5gym wrote:
Don Cavey wrote:
it had a huge bank of 2-volt batteries. It was something like 48 volts; I forget. My boss asked if I could use jumper cables.

Don, were the 2volt batteries for cranking? The reason that I ask is that some of the smaller rural utility co-gen plants have battery banks for energizing the exciters in the gennies.
IIrc, my machine needs 48 volts DC on the slip rings to start an unmagnetized head.

Those were cranking batteries, typical of what they used in the Central Office. They were not huge, just 2-volts each, typical of a lead-acid battery cell.

Lol, about as typical as a 2 volt, 1000 AH, 80 lb. primary cell could be.

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 Post subject: Re: My Generator Failure
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1501
Location: Cambridge MN USA
pixellany wrote:
kc5gym wrote:
With the advent of hurricane Ida, and the subsequent power outage, I set out to put my gennie back into service.
It has not been used since Katrina or Gustov. I built it with a Chinese ST 30kw generator head and a 250 CI inline six Chevvy engine. It is a gas hog
There be overkill here.......1HP is ~750 watts, so 30 kilowatts is only about 40HP, which should be a slow day at the office for a 6-cyl. Chevy engine.

I'm guessing that that engine never runs hot enough to stay clean inside and out........this alone might explain the stuck valves.....

What is the specified RPMffor the generator? (You need to have the 40HP at that speed........possibly meaning that you need to b running things faster........(the typical generator/engine combo has a speed controller to get the output power at the right frequency

As others have noted, it may be OK to simply run with a good load a few times per week.....


I find that generators require 2hp per kW, so. 60 HP engine would be the right size.

Scott Todd


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