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What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?


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  #5321  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:50:35 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Sounds like a lot of expense for a minimal gain in fuel efficiency.

Does amuse me though.... people bought an EV to not pollute, and then they have to pay someone a profit to run a gen and pollute.

Gets even more amusing if the local utility power plant runs on coal.
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  #5322  
Old 08-13-2019, 06:38:22 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by len k View Post
Sounds like a lot of expense for a minimal gain in fuel efficiency.

Does amuse me though.... people bought an EV to not pollute, and then they have to pay someone a profit to run a gen and pollute.

Gets even more amusing if the local utility power plant runs on coal.
Probably no gain in efficiency with the extra energy conversions involved. A diesel genset is too small to have the economies of scale that grid scale generation has.

Actually, in talking with the Chevy dealer, he said two kinds of people buy Volts:
1 - Greenies
2 - Techies

I am #2. I bought one to play with. I've had it almost 8 years now, and it's been very reliable. It IS cheaper to drive on electric, because the mileage you get per kwh at the kwh rate here ends up being somewhere around 3x cheaper than on gas. That's because it does about 32-33 MPH on gas, but can do about 30-35 miles on a 10kwh battery charge (about all that it uses out of the 16 kwh battery capacity). Techies bought them because they are interesting.

Greenies don't usually think things through. Running your EV on a grid mix in a mostly-coal area MAY be "greener" than gas (the power plants have crazy emissions control requirements these days), but certainly not zero emissions like a lot of people like to think. In a mostly-hydropower area like the Pacific Northwest, you are closer to zero emissions.

Anywhere you live you're likely to find the cost per mile cheaper on electric, especially if you're in an are with low rates. I set my Volt to charge at night, and I have a "time of day" electric rate (at my request) with MUCH lower off-peak rates on nights and weekends.

Now people wanting thinking there car is zero emissions, when they are charging from a charging station with a diesel genset CONNECTED TO IT, well, those people are not so bright...

Bill

Last edited by Zephyr7; 08-13-2019 at 08:25:52 PM.
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  #5323  
Old 08-14-2019, 10:01:11 AM
gnucklehead gnucklehead is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Maybe the generator runs on Bio-Diesel? We have a nuke plant up the river, how much CO2 is that contributing? I'm not your average greenie, consider myself a realist.

I'm more concerned about the coming recession than I am climate change..
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  #5324  
Old 08-14-2019, 07:41:08 PM
Max Thompson Max Thompson is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

A few months back, I had an electrician buddy pull copper service wire from the 20 ES to the manual transfer switch at the pole a couple hundred ft. away. I had run 3” conduit 2 or 3 years ago, but never got around to (or wanted to spend the $) installing the wire.

For a number of “excesses”, I had never tested the new set up and today seemed like a good day since the ES had not been run for a few weeks and I do not expect mama to be home for 3 hrs. I am happy to report that all seems to be functioning normally. With only 15 & 20 amps on L-1 & L-2, the ES is just looping along

Now I need to install a transfer switch in the shop so I can switch between the ES and the JC. Do they make a 3-way transfer switch so I can also have a JB option?
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  #5325  
Old 08-14-2019, 08:03:25 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnucklehead View Post
We have a nuke plant up the river, how much CO2 is that contributing?
Should be zero, or very near it. All that comes out of the cooling towers is water vapor, it's not even steam -- steam is not visible.

Bill

---------- Post added at 08:03:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:00:44 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Thompson View Post
Now I need to install a transfer switch in the shop so I can switch between the ES and the JC. Do they make a 3-way transfer switch so I can also have a JB option?
I've never seen one. The usual option is to use two "regular" 2-source transfer switches with one switch selects between source A and the second switch, and the second switch selects between sources B and C. I'd put normal on A, and then use B and C for your two gensets.

An ATS for the first transfer switch would give you the ability to automatically switch to whichever of the two gensets you have selected with the manual switch. A simple relay (or maybe some contacts in the second transfer switch's controls) would allow the generator start circuit to be switched along with the power conductors for a nice, simple setup.

Bill
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:25:00 PM
Max Thompson Max Thompson is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Now that I think about it, I have a couple switches that might work. I would use them manually. At this point in life I want to start and stop my sets manually as well as switching.

May be a good winter project while I am hiding in the shop from the cold outside.
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  #5327  
Old 08-16-2019, 01:36:20 PM
Pauls12 Pauls12 is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Took the boys out for a run today, 2.5LK ,4.0CCK, 5.0BGA, 6.5NH,and 6.5NHD.At half load each. They all ran great,been about two mo.They are all on high stands to better move them around the shop. Good day today!![COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 01:36:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:34:18 PM ----------
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  #5328  
Old 08-16-2019, 05:10:42 PM
Handyhiker1 Handyhiker1 is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Changed the oil and did a once over of the 4.0BFA on the food truck. She is going to get a work out tomorrow. A long event at 3000-4300 watts and run for around 14 hours.
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  #5329  
Old 08-17-2019, 02:50:11 PM
EICBob EICBob is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

I took a cue from Leon and started to clean up my JB magniciter control box.
Took out 2 90º elbows that had been installed by the previous owner. Used 4 large fender washers and bolts to plug the hole.
Need to paint them so they don’t look totally ugly. They are better than having a couple of 1” holes in the side of the box.

Ran new cable to the propane shut-off solenoid and used a weather pack connector to make the connection to the new wiring. I ran the new wires thru the existing wire harness that feeds the centrifugal switch. Made for a clean path and a nice install.

Now on to fixing the ice maker in the house for the supervisor

-BobC
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  #5330  
Old 08-17-2019, 09:16:51 PM
JoeE. JoeE. is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Get rid of those washers, and head to the hardware store (or electric supply) and get you a pair of these knockout plugs. They make 'em to 1".

This is how you plug excessive holes in housings.. they're plated, so no paint necessary. Makes it look like you know what you're doing!
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  #5331  
Old 08-17-2019, 09:19:18 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

I see a fram filter on that set

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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  #5332  
Old 08-17-2019, 09:59:52 PM
Handyhiker1 Handyhiker1 is offline
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Lightbulb Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handyhiker1 View Post
Changed the oil and did a once over of the 4.0BFA on the food truck. She is going to get a work out tomorrow. A long event at 3000-4300 watts and run for around 14 hours.
The generator was started at 07:00 this morning and shut down at 20:30 tonight. Never missed a beat and used about 6 gallons of fuel. No complaints from me what so ever. Damn these BFAs are beasts.
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  #5333  
Old 08-17-2019, 11:10:22 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Those “hole plugs” are known as “KO seals” (or just “KOs”) in the trades. They are commonly available, but they usually make a pretty loose fit (they’ll rattle around in the hole). You can fix this by bending out a few of the fingers to make them hold tighter.

Allow me to introduce you all to the other kind of KO seal: the OILTIGHT KO seal! These are usually only available at commercial Supply houses, but they are weatherproof. They are a formed, painted (gray) steel disc with a rubber washer for the outside, and another steel disc for the inside (the inside disc is plated, not painted). They connect together by a welded stud attached to the outside disc and a nut on the inside. These are great for sealing holes in outdoor generator chassis.

Today I did something generator related: I finally finished my UPS install. I use an old surplus APC matrix UPS (3.75kw battery backup unit) in the basement as a central UPS running a small subpanel that then feeds red outlets at all the important stuff in my house (network, computers, TVs, etc.). It covers the time between utility failure and generator start for my electronic gizmos that can’t tolerate any interruption. I replaced all the electrolytic capacitors in it earlier this week, and modified it (small board with a pot on the back of the big board) to allow me to adjust the float voltage on the batteries since these units are notorious for running too high a float voltage and roasting their batteries. The new batteries arrived today which allowed me to complete this project.

Bill
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  #5334  
Old 08-18-2019, 07:00:58 AM
EICBob EICBob is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeE. View Post
Get rid of those washers, and head to the hardware store (or electric supply) and get you a pair of these knockout plugs. They make 'em to 1".

This is how you plug excessive holes in housings.. they're plated, so no paint necessary. Makes it look like you know what you're doing!
I will see what is available locally here, most all of the electrical supply places in my area will NOT sell to the general public so we get stuck with big box stores. All the old school hardware stores have been put out of business.
I have seen the KO plugs but the stores around me only carry sizes up to 1/2” holes.
As JohnnyC likes to say...”I am only at grasshopper level”...
Heck in my case I am still in the amoeba stage!


Yes JohnnyC that is a Fram filter on the set, in the box on the floor is a new NAPA gold and some fresh oil...
After the rest of the wiring work and exhaust tinkering is done, it will get a bath and a full oil change with filter and a new air filter.
-BobC

---------- Post added at 07:00:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:56:21 AM ----------

Hi Zephyr7
I do like that idea, I have a small collection of APC ups units that were taken out of service. Most are 1300 or 1500 “Smart” units. All need new batteries.
They are taking up space in my garage.
-BobC
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:43:44 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EICBob View Post
Yes JohnnyC that is a Fram filter on the set, in the box on the floor is a new NAPA gold and some fresh oil...
Maybe paint that Napa filter orange just to keep your fellow ‘Stakers guessing

Quote:
Originally Posted by EICBob View Post
Hi Zephyr7
I do like that idea, I have a small collection of APC ups units that were taken out of service. Most are 1300 or 1500 “Smart” units. All need new batteries.
They are taking up space in my garage.
-BobC
It’s almost always just bad batteries in those UPSes. Most of them use either 12v7 or 12v18 batteries. All are readily available. I’m pretty sure the startups 1500 uses a pair of the 12v 18Ah batteries like the powersonic PS-12180NB. You can reuse the wiring harness and fuse from the old unit, and there is an access door to get to the batteries. Battery replacement takes maybe 15 minutes. I recommend using some shipping tape to hold the batteries together and a strip on the bottom with a flap in front to make a handle — it’ll make the batteries easier to remove for the next replacement cycle. Note that these units often overcharge the batteries too, and there is a modification to lower the float charge voltage.

Bill
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:14:54 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

I picked up about twenty 1000VA APC ups on craigslist free when a business closed, all square wave. They could be manually started by pushing a button. Before I found my Onan gen I planned to jumper them to running cars to power my oil furnace in winter.

All had cooked 12V bats ( measured ~ 1- 4 V) , some even were so dry they rattled if you shook them. No wonder, think I measured float voltage at 15 or 15.5 V........ Side of lead acid gell cells even said ~ 15.5 V for float voltage. But I suspect that was a custom order tradeoff to deliver high amps at cost of reduced life.

In past I called a EE at an alarm manufacture, they said optimum float voltage for car bat at room temp was ~ 14.6, and about 0.1 V or so less if a gellcell

--------------------

Waved to Leon and his JB as I drove past Chelmsford to Rhode Island for short ocean vacation. There I can stay in 73 deg ocean for hours , here in NH my feet turn blue in few minutes and can almost watch the icebergs go by........ Bay and exposure to gulf stream makes a big difference in Ocean temp.
.

Last edited by len k; 08-18-2019 at 07:04:27 PM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:36:37 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

I had an odd experience with my 4.0 CCK. I was running it this morning powering a 1hp water well pump, filling a 3000 gallon tank. I gravity feed water to a trough for the cows. Normally I fire the generator up and leave so I don't have to listen to it in the shed, but today the tractor needed service. after a couple of hours of run time the generator bogged down to @1/2 speed and started smoking black out the exhaust. Not wanting to hurt the pump I ran over and switched it off. as soon as the load came off the generator it smoothed out. ran just as smooth and the hz were right at 62. powered the well back up and it ran for another hour without issue. I cant say if its ever done this before but I've never seen it. Now I'm a bit paranoid of letting it run un attended.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:51:58 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

You can start APC smartupses on battery by holding the “on” button for a while (5-10 seconds). I’m pretty sure the matrix ups can do that too but I’ve never tried it.

Optimum float voltage is usually more around 13.5-13.6v or so for a 12v battery. Cyclic charge is the one that is 14v+. People confuse the two, “for cyclic service” means you charge at that voltage right after a discharge cycle, then switch to the lower float voltage as the battery reaches full charge. You NEVER leave the battery at the higher voltage for float charging, regardless of the type of discharges you’re doing. Leaving a battery on a two high float voltage boils off electrolyte and dramatically reduces the battery’s life.

Bill
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  #5339  
Old 08-18-2019, 04:16:27 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Hey lenk stop by. I need some added I ncentive to get going on my JB. Would love to show you around and share my experiences with you! Route 3 runs directly behind my house about 1/2 mile back.

Send you a PM so you can either call or use your GPS to find me. Very easy. That way I make sure I am home.

Last edited by Leon N.; 08-18-2019 at 04:24:43 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:14:41 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: What Have You Done to Your Onan Generator Today?

Leon..... Thank you, but I'll have to take a rain check, better if I make a separate trip. I come down your way occasional for stuff on craigslist.

For vacation we always end up getting a pretty late start when we drive and wife wants to get there and swim on 1-st day. She's unhappy at late starts as it is. When we drive back home it's too late, > 10PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr7 View Post
.....Optimum float voltage is usually more around 13.5-13.6v or so for a 12v battery. .....
Your right about that! I was just driving to pick up a free 4kw gen (Sears Craftsman) on craigslist when I realized I was 1V too high..... hoped to fix that before anyone noticed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr7 View Post
You can start APC smartupses on battery by holding the “on” button for a while (5-10 seconds).
My bunch of old "APC BACK-UPS Pro 1000" does ~ same:

To start UPS without utility power, (based on my experiments)
--- Press and hold on/off button ( on front panel) , till unit beeps, ( will take about 3
seconds) then release. ---- (if don't time it right it doesn't start)
--- Green light comes on
--- After about 4 seconds AC power appears on outlets at rear.


To shut it off . (based on my experiments)
---- Press the on/off button for about ½ to 1 second

Last edited by len k; 08-18-2019 at 07:06:57 PM.
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