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110 volt Onan generator into 220V?


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  #1  
Old 08-16-2006, 06:27 PM
msjanket msjanket is offline
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Default 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

I've got an Onan 6.5kw RV generator unit, 110V. Is it possible to make it a 220V unit? I've had all sorts of replies from various engine and generator folks, what is the feeling here? One guy says he does it all the time. Another guy says "no way". I want to use the unit for my house as I don't have an RV anymore.

thanks, all

Mike
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Check your tag if it says 120 that is all you will get out of it.If it says 120/240 then yes it can be rewired.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

List the whole model/voltage code/spec and I'll look it up.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:53 AM
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Talking Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Even if it is a -1 and not a -3, a 120/240Vac 6Kw transformer isn't all that
much expense. You just might find one used in a scrap metal yard as well.

Bruce in alaska
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:09 AM
msjanket msjanket is offline
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

My unit is a Model 6.5 NHE 1R26101A Serial F860824326

thanks for the help

I've talked with some experienced generator people and they say "yes", it can be made 220V. Others say no.

thanks again,

Mike
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Mike the 1R code is 120 only.So without some major work and money I would say no.
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

I'm with Billy. 1R means its a 120 volt machine. If someone sez they can make it 240, ask them to guarantee it will work and not go upin smoke and then turn them loose. Let us know how it turns out. Other than rewinding or reconfiguring the stator windings, don't see how it can be done.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:51 AM
hondaminis hondaminis is offline
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Hello,

I have the same 120V to 240V question, only my generator is a 4.0 BGE Emerald Plus. The model and serial numbers of mine are:

Model # 4BGEFA26100H

Serial # F910396463

I have read elsewhere that if there is only an M1 wire it is only 120VAC. If there is a M1, M2, M3, M4 wire then it may be able to be reconfigured as 120/240VAC. Is that correct? What specifically needs to be done with the M1, M2, M3, M4 wires?

Thank you.

Roger H.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:53 AM
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Talking Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Model # 4BGEFA26100H decodes as follows:

4= 4Kw
BGE = Engine Model
F = Stationary Design, Electric Start, Remote Starting Capable
A = Voltage Code 120 Vac 60 Hz Single Phase ONLY
26100 = Option and Built List codes
H = Spec Code
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:22 PM
hondaminis hondaminis is offline
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Hello,

Thank you for the information on decoding the model number.

Do you have any information or comments about the M1 wire versus M1, M2, M3, M4 wires? I have read on this site and others that if your Onan has the M1, M2, M3, M4 wires, it can be reconfigured for 240VAC. However, none of the people who posted this information, told HOW to do it. I have no way of knowing if this is accurate or not.

Thanks again for the help.

Roger H.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:46 PM
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Talking Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Your unit is a 120 Vac ONLY, wound Genend... You should see TWO Output wires coming from the Genend. M1 and M2. One should be the Hot Wire and the other should be the Neutral Wire. A "B" Voltage Code designates a 120/240 Vac, 60 Hz, Single Phase, wound Genend. This will have M1,M2, M3, & M4. Depending on how you wire these together and to your loads, you can have 120 Vac Only, 120/240 Vac, 240 Vac Only, all 60Hz, Single Phase.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:25 PM
VaughnSimon VaughnSimon is offline
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

For home backup with a modest generator, 120/240 may not always be the best solution. I have a 4CCk that could be wired for 240, but if I were to do that, I would only have 2 KW available on either side of the line. Then I would need to be very careful to balance my load to avoid overloading a generator winding.

Instead, My generator is wired for 120 volts. My thinking is that most of my 220 loads are too heavy for the generator anyhow, so I just do without them! With my generator wired for 120, I always have the full 4 KW available to my emergency power panel with no worries about load balance.

Of course, this strategy is not for you if you have a must-have 240-volt load, such as a water pump.

Vaughn
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

I'm with Vaughn!
If you don't need 240, just use the 120.
Like he said, no load balancing problems.
This is the biggest cause of generator failure with the smaller generators.
Mikey
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Mikey:
Its not so much the imbalance thing, folks got a 4kW so by golly lets get our moneys worth and try to get it all out of one side.

Usual result of that is the magic smoke coming out. Magic smoke is what makes generators and motors work. Smoke comes out, they no longer work, must be what made it work before it got out.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:04 PM
hondaminis hondaminis is offline
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Hello,

Thank you for the reply.

How did you wire your 120VAC Emergency power panel to your house panel? Did you connect the 120VAC from the generator to only one phase of your house panel or both?

I strongly recommend that you do not connect the single phase 120VAC from your generator to both phases of your house panel.

Best Regards,

Roger H.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:19 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Why? (I strongly...do not connect the single phase 120VAC...to both phases of your house panel.) I have never had an issue with doing just that, given the application of a bit of common sense. I shut off all the 240v breakers anyway, just to make me feel better.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunny View Post
Smoke comes out, they no longer work, must be what made it work before it got out.

Gunny the worrysome thing is when the magic smoke comes out and the thing keeps working. A couple of years ago I was over at a relatives place and we had a battery hooked to a charger (one of those old automotive styles ones with wheels, it was already half broken with the "starting mode" and the timer not working. About 5 minutes into charging the dead battery we heard a POOF and a small mushroom cloud came out of the charger, we walked over to it and the meter was still showing charging, voltage even looked right, who knows what blew, but it must not have been too important.

Ike
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaminis View Post
I strongly recommend that you do not connect the single phase 120VAC from your generator to both phases of your house panel.

Best Regards,

Roger H.
Why do you recommend not connecting to both L1 and L2 (not actually phases, since residential power is single phase / split phase)?
I have not connected a generator up to house wiring (through a transfer swich of course) with 120 volt only, however from what I have read on the matter, the way to do it is connect the 120 V L-1 of the generator both L1 and L2, this way only Line to neutral 120 V loads will see power, 240V Line to Line connections would only see the L1 side of the generator and therefore no volts across the connection.

Ike
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:08 PM
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Talking Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

I can only think of ONE reason not to drive a 120/240 Vac Panel from an Emergency Backup Transfer Switch powered from a 120 Vac Only Genset by connecting the Hot Leg to L1 and L2 and the Neutral to the Neutral. That would be "IF" you had Multiple Branch Circuits using a Common Ground. As always it is up to the local Inspector to either accept or reject, your system. I used this method to convert my cabin from 120/240 Vac to 120 Vac Only, when I added the 4Kw Trace Inverter, that powers it in the winters, and only came in 120 Vac ONLY. My 240 Vac Load, (Clothes Dryer) is powered with it's own direct connection to the Winter Powerhouse's Main 240 Vac Panel. I generate ALL my power at 240 Vac and have a 10Kw 240/120 Transformer that feeds the Generated 120 Vac Load Sub-Panel, of which the Input to the Trace Inverter is just one. The Trace outputs to the Inverted 120 Vac Sub-Panel, of which the Cabin is the Primary Load.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:21 PM
hondaminis hondaminis is offline
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Default Re: 110 volt Onan generator into 220V?

Hello,

Here is the reason I recommended not connecting the same single phase 120VAC from your generator to both phases (L1 and L2) of your house's circuit breaker panel.

Most house circuit breaker panels are setup for 240Vac made of two opposite phases of 120Vac. This means that if you have two circuit breakers directly next to each other vertically, and if you use a volt meter to measure the voltage across them (please be very careful) you will measure 240 VAC.

Sometimes electricians will use a 3 wire, plus ground, romex cable with a black, red and white wire inside a single overall plastic jacket to supply power to several 120VAC loads. The black wire will measure 120VAC with respect to neutral. The red wire will also measure 120VAC with respect to neutral. The black wire with respect to the red wire will show 240VAC. In this case the black and red wire share one white neutral wire.

The reason there is 240 Vac in the black to red measurement, is that the voltage in the black wire is opposite phase compared to the red wire. This means that the current from the black wire when it gets to the neutral, will cancel the current from the red wire, when it gets to the neutral, as long as the two wires (black and red) are on opposite phases. This means that a 15 amp load from black to neutral, and a 15 amp load from red to neutral, will have near 0 amps flowing on the shared neutral.

However, if you connect the same single phase 120 VAC to both phases in your homes circuit breaker box, then any circuits that share a neutral will NOT have opposite phases, and the current will not cancel out. Instead the current will ADD together. This is bad because it is possible to have 15 amp (from black wire) plus 15 amp (from red wire) flowing through the same shared neutral. This could put 30 amps through a neutral that is sized for 15 amps. For safety reasons, neutrals do not have over-current protection (circuit breakers or fuses). This means a neutral that was sized for 15 amps, but has 30 amps flowing through it, may start a fire inside the house walls.

If your house has a separate neutral for every 120VAC load circuit (this would be 2 wire romex, a black and white wire for each circuit) then you may not have this problem. If you decide to connect connect the single phase 120VAC from your generator to both phases of your house circuit breaker panel, I would recommend turning off all two pole (two breakers with their handles tied together) 240VAC circuit breakers to prevent damage to any loads requiring 240VAC.

But if your house has any 3 wire (red, black, and white wires) wiring inside a single overall plastic jacket for some 120VAC loads, then I would NOT connect the same single phase 120VAC from your generator to both phases (L1 and L2) of your homes circuit breaker panel, because you
could overload any shared neutrals.

You also need to have generator / utility transfer switch. This will prevent power from your generator from going back into the utility lines and shocking utility workers. The generator / utility transfer switch will also prevent utility power from entering your generator.

Please note this is my opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not wiring advice or legal advice. This information is to be used at your own risk. I recommend that you consult a licensed electrician. Sorry if this was obvious and boring!

Thank you.
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