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Kohler - unsteady voltage


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Old 12-21-2018, 04:22:19 PM
Trekrider2001 Trekrider2001 is offline
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Default Kohler - unsteady voltage

During the power outage yesterday, we had lights dimming repeatedly. Sure I understand that if you throw a new load on the generator, you might see a drop and the lights dim, but there was nothing going on. I even turned the fridge off to see if it was kicking in but that did not change anything. The only thing on was to big screen plasma TV. When I paused the show, the dimming was reduced (not eliminated). I really can't understand that the TV might have such a variable power draw that the generator has a had time following the load. We have a pump in the septic tank, but it is only supposed to come on when the water level is high, then shut off when it gets to the low water setting. It certainly would not be going on and off multiple times per minute. Really, could this be the TV?
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Old 12-21-2018, 07:46:24 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

Depending on the size of your plasma display, they could take anywhere from 400-700watts each. What is the capacity of your generator? A 3000 watt generator would run the two televisions and the refrigeration without too much trouble, so if your unit is much larger in capacity, something is not quite right with your generator.

Chris
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:07:22 PM
Trekrider2001 Trekrider2001 is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

The generator is a 12Kw natural gas powered unit. Yes, I would think it has enough to handle the TV and then some.
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:39:57 PM
Trekrider2001 Trekrider2001 is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

Is this a governor gain adjustment problem? How do you know you have it correct?
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:40:50 AM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

I wonder if the voltage regulator is failing, or has a dirty sensitivity adjustment pot...?

Might try adjusting that pot back and forth several times, maybe spray some contact cleaner in it, then set it back to it's original position and see if the problem changes or goes away.
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Old 12-22-2018, 01:02:36 AM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

I'd be prompted to check for brush wear.Then look for old caps on AVR.
Doc
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Old 12-22-2018, 11:53:15 AM
Trekrider2001 Trekrider2001 is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

Thanks. The generator is about 12 years old and about 280 hrs on the clock. For something that needs to be changed, there is no information on the net on how to change these brushes and where the voltage regulator is. This unit has the ADC controller and the manual has a description on how to control the voltage. I try and check the brushes.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:40:01 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

The brushes are in the far end of the generator and you have to take off the roof and sides and an air duct to get to them.

The VR is part of the ADC controller and there is an SCR pack that is the last stage of the VR in the controller box and replaceable although usually it works or it does not.

This is kind of a mysterious problem to diagnose over the internet, unfortunately.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:52:42 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

Do you have a space heater you can use for testing? If so, try running the space heater while you’re on generator. The heater will provide 1500 Watts of almost pure resistive load that will help to swamp any strange issues from your tv load. If the genset is more stable when the heater is added, then you probably have a stability issue (like gain on a speed control).

Bill
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Old 12-22-2018, 01:20:51 PM
Trekrider2001 Trekrider2001 is offline
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Default Re: Kohler - unsteady voltage

Like everything else on this generator, its a real pain to service, so before I take it all apart to "clean" the brushes, I might as well order new ones and just replace them. At 12 years on, do you think it is time? How long do brushes last anyway? I have 280 hrs on the machine which does not seem like a lot. The parts web site has a ton of brushes. Now to figure out which is the correct replacement. Not a good idea to have the generator out of service this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. 'Tis the season for power outages.
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