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Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?


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Old 02-19-2016, 01:21:18 PM
DieselBound DieselBound is offline
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Default Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Hi, folks!

First post. I've spent a little time researching on this unit and, thanks to the wealth of information here, I believe that I've got an opportunity to pick up a nice generator for my use/needs. I'd like to, however, get some feedback as well as ask a couple of questions. Please keep in mind that I'm not electrically literate.

So, here's the nameplate off the generator that I'm looking to pick up:



I've got a great appreciation for Kubota engines, having one in a tractor. I have several diesels, and am currently setting up to have some bulk diesel on the premises, in which case having a diesel generator fits well.

The generator has 659 hours on it and was government owned (no idea how the seller got a hold of it). Fairly confident that I could assess the functionality of the diesel engine: I have a compression tester, but am not sure I would be allowed to test the compression- generally if the thing starts well cold and runs smoothly the compression should be good; I can check oil and coolant for health there.

A generator would be for backup for home power, though if there's a way that I can leverage it for other uses then that would be a plus. Home power is pretty much a 1/2hp 240v well pump and several freezers (all chest, with a couple in and out of use and one serving as a chiller). Added in would be some power for electric fences and a couple of laptops (on UPSes, so power is stabilized there). Water heater is electric and would have to be switched off in the main breaker. My current electricity bill is estimated to be about 15KWH per day: we're not exactly scrimping, in which case we could readily cut back during the loss of main power. Heat is via wood. Propane stove: I'd contemplated a propane generator but diesel is cheaper.

I am planning on connecting to the home panel via an interlock. So...

I've read various comments about the power output for these units and it's not quite clear to me what amperage the wiring hook-up would need to support (and the required breaker sizing). I see that it lists 1ph and 3ph. I'd be wanting 1ph, which, if I'm reading the nameplate correctly, appears to show 31 per 120v leg: no idea how this translates to needed wiring for connection. I believe that I'd be looking to pull all power as 2 120v conductors? And, of course, there's the grounding issue- would I be confident that a good electrician would be able to deal with this properly? (I will only do wiring on outbuildings, not on anything connected to the house.) The generator is currently outfitted thusly:



If I were to make this more utilitarian I could see a need to retain that configuration, perhaps doing so via a cut-over switch (between it and the output to the main house panel)? I wouldn't want this to cause conflicts with the main purpose of providing backup power to the house and such, so it's not an essential function: just always look to leverage things as much as is sanely possible. Thoughts on just having this skid/pallet mounted and plucking it up with forks if I have to take it to use elsewhere? (I've got a few acres with various buildings and having some power to use like that would be nice for project work.)

Does it sounds like this unit would deliver the needed power? Does it seem like it would fit my "bill?"

Now, this all ASSUMES that the generator that I'm eying is actually what it's claimed to be. It's several hours away from me; if I go there I'm pretty much committing to buying it: OK, I don't HAVE to, but I intend to- make sure I get honest answers from the seller before I go there. As I understand it I should be able to take my electrical meter (Fluke 29) and check voltages and HZ with the generator under a full load. I've got a cheapo clamp meter, perhaps it has utility here? Not sure if the seller has a way to put a good load on the generator; would I look to haul a bunch of electrical stuff like the wife's hairdryer to plug in, or is there an easier/simpler way?

The asking price is likely on the high side (everyone would like a great deal!), but it's easily 1/2 what a new unit would be. I'm always prepared to pay fair price for something that I need (given it meets my expectations).

The unit appears to be pretty darn clean, considering that it's 25 years old.

Here is one side view of the whole unit:



Well, so much for getting pictures to pull in! (I may be electrically illiterate, but I'm not computer illiterate!)

So, here are some words that the pictures should have communicated:

[link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zr2hg6egjm...nameplate.jpg]
Nameplate
Model number - 7.5DKDFL
Serial number - K910433098
Spec - 29418C

[link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jpbh7zf5t5...eroutlets.jpg]
Power outlets (split in to two banks)
One 240v plug
Four 120v plugs

[link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8j7921olo1...FLoneside.jpg]
Image of side of unit
Picture of the genset shows a clean engine, no visible oil stains, enclosed in a compartment (but open on the sides- not sure if there are sides with it; they're just not on in the pictures); there appears to be minimal rust toward the lower curved part of the generator head's casing
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:37:20 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Hi and welcome to the forum. The DKD is my favorite Onan they are great generators reliable and versatile. 659 Hrs is quite low. In my market I would expect to get $3500 CDN for that gen. Your pics do not come through , try the "manage attachments" button below the reply box , be sure to keep the size down to below about 1MB so they will upload properly. Cheers Dan
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:44:12 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

The DKD is an ok unit. I had one that we had to put a water pump on at 8000 hours so beware.

The DKD is a very good unit. Had 7 in a movie company. 24/7 for days with no problems. Just the normal stuff. Oil and filter change keep them clean.Had one that quit at twenty thousand hours. 659 is not even broken in yet.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:44:54 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Welcome to the site!

looking at the tag, I can see it is an extended stack unit with option code B150 which means it puts full output in either single of 3 phase. that is a definite plus. looking at the unit, i believe you have a very nice, clean unit so the odds are looking better that it has been well maintained.

regarding load testing, gather up all the small electric heaters you can to test this. They usually have HI/LO settings that pull 1500/900 watts respectively. just plug in 4 and that will provide a 6K load which is plenty to see if this is producing sufficiently. To test the Hz, make sure you have a meter that can measure that, as most multi meters will NOT. Many folks around here suggest a KillaWatt meter which will definitely measure frequency, and they sell them at Lowes/HomeDepot.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kill-A-Wa...4400/202196386

In my opinion, something is only worth what someone is willing to pay. If this unit meets your needs, and you are comfortable with the price, then you have a good deal on your hands. Seems to me, a trip to see it in person would be the only way to confirm if this is what you are looking for.

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:29:20 PM
DieselBound DieselBound is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlockChev View Post
In my market I would expect to get $3500 CDN for that gen. Your pics do not come through , try the "manage attachments" button below the reply box , be sure to keep the size down to below about 1MB so they will upload properly. Cheers Dan
Dan, that's about right on with what the price is (adjusted for USD of course). Pretty much figure that it's a fair price; not a steal, but then again I don't expect to get a steal every time I open up my wallet

And everyone else, thanks for the input/validation.

Going back to one of my key questions, though, can I perhaps have a cut-over switch to output full power on two 120v legs to feed my main panel (while still allowing me to switch back for some other 120/240 uses as it's currently outfitted)?

And, can I get by with an 8ga line to connect to the main panel? I'm something like 25' (max) to the panel from where the genset is going to reside. Would 30amp breakers on each leg, at the generator and at the panel (for the interlock), be sufficient? (I seem to read that the genset is able to burst a bit beyond 60 amps)

Here's another shot to attach the actual pics (much easier than trying to use links!):
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:30:26 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Yup, have a meter that can read Hz. Also have a Kill-a-Watt around somewhere (quick and easy).

Will arm myself with hairdryers and stuff! (of course, if you saw me running around with a hairdryer I'd certainly look like a fish out of water!)
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:20:42 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselBound View Post
Going back to one of my key questions, though, can I perhaps have a cut-over switch to output full power on two 120v legs to feed my main panel (while still allowing me to switch back for some other 120/240 uses as it's currently outfitted)?
My 7.5 is wired with 110/240 output. The generator basically puts out two 110v legs going through two 30A breakers (2 x 3500w, 7000w total). I then wired each leg to a pair of 110v plugs AND in parallel, a single 220v twistlock plug. Since the breakers are before any loads, if I pull too much on either the 110 or 220, or any combination therof, it will throw the breaker. This way you can run both a 220 and 110 load and remain fully protected. So no, you should not need any sort of cutover switch UNLESS you need full output on a SINGLE 120 circuit (~65A).
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:04:23 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Are you saying that you can pull full load through the 240v twistlock?

Based on the unit I'm showing here does it look like that 240v outlet can also provide full power, or will I be needing to alter something there? (I'd look to change it over to a twistlock).

I think that I'll better understand things when I can actually see it (sometimes I do better with visuals).

BTW - I'm hanging out waiting for a call from a seller of a 150 gallon fuel tank. This is all part of the Big Plan
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:52:35 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselBound View Post
Are you saying that you can pull full load through the 240v twistlock?

Based on the unit I'm showing here does it look like that 240v outlet can also provide full power, or will I be needing to alter something there? (I'd look to change it over to a twistlock).

I think that I'll better understand things when I can actually see it (sometimes I do better with visuals).

BTW - I'm hanging out waiting for a call from a seller of a 150 gallon fuel tank. This is all part of the Big Plan
Welcome to the Stak. Can't beat a Kubota diesel on my opinion. Very thrifty fuel wise. Keep GOOD anti freeze in it.
I am running a 4 blade, 50 amp twist lock on my 7.5JB.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:32:02 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

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I am running a 4 blade, 50 amp twist lock on my 7.5JB.
Four blade?

Would this 50amp work? (only three blade?)

https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/rvs/5438136465.html
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:07:20 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Those questions are a little bit confusing, it would help if you could tell us what you have and what you want to do.

Ike
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:23:27 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

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Originally Posted by DieselBound View Post
Four blade?

Would this 50amp work? (only three blade?)

https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/rvs/5438136465.html
My TWIST LOCK end looks like that. It has three prongs and that metal strip on the side is a ground. The PUSH IN plug end of my cord has 4 prongs like that used on an RV. I have the twist lock end hooked to a power inlet on my home. I needed the 4 prong with a right angle to fit inside a closed door cabinet.
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:37:21 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

That is commonly called a 50 amp 120/240V Twistlock California connector (they are used on construction site power distribution boxes, I added one to my 10KW MEP-003) it would work but is probably overkill for what you need given the generator will only output just over 30 amps at 120/240V, You might be better off, putting a 30 amp output breaker on the generator and potentially lossing that 1 amp of output, and using a more common L14-30 connector commonly used on a 30 amp 120/240V generator inlet box, this is the same 4 prong plug found on 6KW 3600 rpm portable generators, smaller generators use the 20 amp L-14-20, or 120V only models often have the 3 prong L15-30 connector.

The common 30 amp RV connector is a 120V only 3 prog non twist lock, although there is a movement to go to L-15-30's for twist lock on 30 amp RV and the above mentioned California connector for 120/240V RV 50 amp cords.

Ike

ps that is a good price on the 50 amp RVcord if it is in good shape (retail is about $275 online), the other white one is a marine 30 amps 120V only 3 wire
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:39:10 PM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

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Originally Posted by Motorhead View Post
My TWIST LOCK end looks like that. It has three prongs and that metal strip on the side is a ground. The PUSH IN plug end of my cord has 4 prongs like that used on an RV. I have the twist lock end hooked to a power inlet on my home. I needed the 4 prong with a right angle to fit inside a closed door cabinet.
Great! Looks like if this is only $90 then it's a steal!

NOTE: The reason why I'm delving into this issue is because I'm wanting to make sure that before I pull the trigger on spending $2,800 (plus a cord, plus an electrician's time, plus, likely, a new service box [mine looks like there's no interlock out there]) that it's all going to work. I've never done anything like this before.

NOTE II: Got the fuel tank that I was after. Though I won't be hooking directly to it it'll provide me with plenty to refill from to last me many days.
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:11:46 AM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

You can have any type of plug that you require installed on the generator or your cord, as long as it has the correct configuration and number and guage of wires to handle the load. Your DKD will put out 31A at 240V or 63A at 120V depending on how you want to configure it. See the chart below for plug types and ratings. Cheers Dan
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:58:38 AM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

OK, at roughly 30 amps that's full output at 240V. A 30 amp breaker, as Issac-1 states, is all that I'd require there.

Looking up the plugs for the 240V the chart (thanks!) seems to show that that's set up for 20 amps (see pictures above), it's a 6-20R. Is this correct?

Am I safe to assume/think that I could change the breaker on the generator (if it's not already 30 amp) to 30 amp and, if needed, change the wiring to the 240V outlet (along with with a 6-30R receptacle)?

If it's 30 amps then I need only obtain a cord rated for 30 amps? (how many wires?)

Regarding the generator...

I've gotten in touch with the seller (of the generator) and have arranged to take a look at it tomorrow: it's a 2hr drive each way. The unit was originally used in what sounds like a work truck (government) and was obtained by a school district which promptly removed it from the truck, after which it sat for several years (under cover) before the seller picked it up. Seller says that he had an electrician look at it and verified that it worked as should, though they didn't have anything to hook up to the 240V outlet- this doesn't matter, does it? It only matters that it can output at or near full output capacity? Any concern here? I don't have anything 204V that I can take to plug in. The seller says that electrician confirmed that the outlet had 240V on it. If the engine runs fine (esp with a load) and I'm not seeing any leaks (stuff gone bad/brittle from sitting- esp IP issues) can I feel pretty certain that it's all fine?

The seller was going to use it for backup but decided that he couldn't justify it based on the value of it. Apparently it's overkill for him. Might end up being that way for me, but looking at things now I feel comfortable with all of it (if I don't use it that much then fine- it's insurance, insurance that I figure I'll never have to shell out for again).
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:52:21 AM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Not knowing but, guessing what's under the outlet covers of the main box in your post #5 above it looks like you have two 120V outlets to the right of the electrical panel and a 240v. outlet to the left side of the panel.

You will need a ganged pair of 30 amp. breakers, meaning two 30 amp. breakers that are connected at the trip switch of the breakers, so when running 240v. it will trip both breakers. This will be connected just coming out of the generator before the outlets. It already most likely is set up that way in the big box above the outlets.

Take with you a few hair blow dryers and a plug in space heater or two if you have some or can borrow some. Most blow dryers are about 1,500w so with two of them you have a 3,000 watt load already. Space heaters are usually between 1,000 and 1,500 watts each. It would be pretty easy to then come up with a 6,000w. load with all those. All of course would be plugged into the 120v. outlets. You don't need anything that runs on 240v. to see it put out close to rated output, just enough 120v. loads to make up something close to 6,000w. should give you a good idea if it's working OK.

If I were looking at it, I would like it to be completely cold when I got there to make sure it starts OK cold. It should have glow plugs that you preheat with before you actually crank the engine. My DKD does and you manually have to preheat them before trying to crank the engine over. Your's being newer, might do that process automatically. Not sure on that fact.
Most likely it will smoke for a few minutes after start up till it gets some heat built in the cylinders. Let it warm up for 5 minutes and then load it!
If you have a volt meter you might check battery voltage before even trying to start it and then battery voltage again after it has run for 10-15 minutes to make sure the battery charging circuit is working properly. It won't be a fast type charge like a car would be but a slower charge, it should climb maybe half to a full volt above what you measured before starting it.
See if the coolant in the radiator looks clean and clear and general condition of the unit, the belt and hoses.
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:23:09 AM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

nothingbutdarts, many thanks for the input!

Yes, two two outlet 120v outlets to the right and one 240v on the left.

I've got a several small electric heaters (came with my wife!). Might also look to take the wife's hairdryer.

Yes, cold starting. I recently went to look at a 4wd utility vehicle -diesel- and when I got there the guy had had it running for a while: he was honest in stating that he had a hard time starting it- battery dead and the glow plugs were questionable (I showed him how to test them); I had a compression tester with me and I discovered that one cylinder, of three, was down significantly- I didn't buy it. So, again, yes, and, thanks for the reminder! The seller says that it also comes with a block heater: someone jokingly asked him how he was going to use a bock heater when the power was out! (the joke was that he'd plug it in before the power went out) I know that my Kubota tractor is kind of pig-ish to start when it's cold, it does it, but it rattles, clanks and smokes quite a bit at first but then settles down and just runs sweetly.

And also, thanks for the note about checking the battery voltage before starting and to check the coolant.
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:05:47 AM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

That chart that BBC posted only shows the straight blade NEMA outlet option, it does not show their twist-lock cousins which usually have the same name with the letter L before it and curved blades. There are also some non NEMA outlets that are code legal in the US, such as the above mentioned 50 amp California twist lock connector. (which also has several similar looking cousins for other voltages, and 3 phase power) as well as the various pin and sleeve industrial connectors some of which are water tight. ( these at one point had a number of proprietary designs, but have now settlded around a color coded international standard)

As to your mention of the 6-20R this is a rather unusual outlet as it is 20 amp 240V only 3 wire (2 hots and a ground, no neutral, so therefore not 120/240V) and most likely is not something you would want to use for your application. About the only applicaiton that comes to mind where I have ever seen these were old Xerox photocopiers from the 1970's, and maybe some 240V window air conditioners.


As to the output breaker there is a good chance one is already included on the generator as they have been required by NEC code for a number of years, it may be the wrong size though if this generator had been connected with one of the 3 phase output options. Also most factory commercial / industrial generator output breakers will be of the industrial molded case variety and may be 2, or 3 pole breakers, not a pair of residential / light commercial style breakers with the the levers pinned together as nothingbutdarts describes.


Overall don't worry about type of cord you need, or other details like that we can get you sorted on those later. Also if you do try to run it with heaters connected and it is wired for 120/240V make sure you put a balanced load on it, not over 3.75 KW per L-N leg, we don't want you burning out the generator stator before you even buy it with too big of unbalanced load.


Ike
p.s. Ooops I just went back and looked at the photos that Square D brand box most likely does contain residential style breakers like nothingbutdarts described as it certainly is not factory
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:22:21 AM
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Default Re: Onan 7.5DKDFL - A good fit for me?

Yes, thanks again. I believe that I've sorted out what cords and connectors (L14-30), but will wait until later to verify (look in the box- it was likely added/wired by the DOT).

Will report back on whether I get the generator or not.
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Old Can Be Good! (Onan PE95-G) D LaBarr Onan Generators 3 10-28-2004 01:20:06 PM


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