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Generac Generators (SEARS, etc.)

Generac 5.5 (RV) voltage surges


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  #1  
Old 08-01-2009, 07:37:47 AM
jerseyjim jerseyjim is offline
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Default Generac 5.5 (RV) voltage surges

First timer, here...hope some advice comes my way:

2001 RV, with a Generac 5.5 (gas) unit. It worked fine until last year. I have one of those in-line voltmeters plugged into one of the 110 outlets...has a needle and colors (red area for low voltage, green area for OK voltage and another red area for high voltage.)
Last year while driving the RV with the generator on...and one air conditioner running, I noticed the voltmeter needle was taking some wild swings. Immediately pulled over, turned off the a/c, and the generator. Completed my trip.
Getting back to the house, I thumbed thru the owners' manual...and discovered the pot (on the voltage regulator). My meter, at a 110 outlet showed 118 V. I adjusted the pot so the voltmeter showed "green maximum" (adjusted with my meter for 124 volts @ no-load)...and that solved the problem of "surges"...until recently. Again, reading the owners manual, there was a photo of the voltage regulator...with the word "surges" under it. I went on-line and bought a voltage regulator for $172.50. Installed it....adjusted the pot to ALMOST the green maximum (again, via meter, 124V @ no-load) and all seemed well.
A few weeks later (now) I find that under no-load, the voltmeter needle stays as I set it. However, running one a/c unit, the voltmeter is fine for maybe 10 minits...then starts its' "dance" again. Not as wild as before, but it certainly is there. (When the RV is connected to "shore power"...all is well.)
Researching this topic here and in RV.Net, I find no answers for my particular problem.
All I get from Generac itself (by phone) is to "go to a dealer"....where they will keep my RV for 2 weeks and charge me $100/hour....and I have no idea if these RV people have any idea what they're doing (when it comes to a generator). The nearest Generac "service center" really wants nothing to do with RV units....only the big commercial power units.

I change the oil and filter every year....the air filters every 2 years....and just changed the spark plugs 2 months ago. 182 hours on the clock...the motor (Briggs & Stratton) starts right up and I notice no changes...it seems to run just as it always has.

I'm a pretty good backyard mechanic....but electronics sometimes mystifies me.

So...can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance

MODEL # 09592-3 (55G) Serial # 3241389 KW Rating 5500 Hertz 60
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2009, 02:56:51 PM
Fred M. Fred M. is offline
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Default Re: Generac 5.5 (RV) voltage surges

Jim-

To me, it doesn't sound like an electronic problem. More like a poor connection somewhere.

I'm not familiar with that generator, but would expect its rotating field is fed via brushes and slip rings. That is where I'd look for something like worn brushes or a build-up of crud that might keep the brushes from making good contact with the slip rings.

Fred
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:57:40 PM
grey grey is offline
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Default Re: Generac 5.5 (RV) voltage surges

or the air conditioner is the problem.
try a different but (equal amp) load to rule out AC troubles.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:23:53 AM
grey grey is offline
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Default Re: Generac 5.5 (RV) voltage surges

I still think that the air conditioner is the problem....but I will add other hypothisis:
Maybe your color coded gauge is not accurate or defective.
Maybe your engine speed is wrong, and thus frequency and voltage are not optimal.

There is way to check the frequency with a just an analog clock. I never done it, but that is what i read here. Or, a multi-meter can be bought fairly cheap (and be useful in many other tasks) . I think Craftsman sells one for 20 bucks. A multimeter with the Hertz function might cost a little more. I dont know

Also your volts at 110 is low. That is what I think.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:29:17 AM
grey grey is offline
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Default Re: Generac 5.5 (RV) voltage surges

Oh I re- read... you did not say you adjusted it to 110v. But, otherwise I stand by my wild guesses.

For what it is worth mine reads 125v at 60 hertz
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