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Real Generator problem

Posted by akachrisinmass 10 (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 28, 13 at 16:42

At some point in the last few months since Sandy etc came through my generator has developed problems. Its an automatic standby wincogen PSS12H Its at least seven years old and has 700 hours on it.
It wouldn't start.
Plenty of propane.
Checked and replaced Fuse
Battery Flat Replaced Identified that the trickle charger was bad and used the one off my garden tractor to keep things charged.
Oil level is good.
Had my guy in today and discovered no spark. Coils may be good but he's saying he's going to have to pull the engine to replace to some ignition parts plus the compression is 90 on one side and 120 on the other.
He suspects that the a partial failure of the ignition system resulted in one cylinder running full time while the other one ran part time or not at all.
Its all sounding pretty darned expensive.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Real Generator problem

If the machine was exposed to water, snow, rain, or a combination of all, there is a possibility of some damage to the ignition system, or the fuel supply, or anything that could have been affected by wind blown water, especially salt water!
Better to have another person look at it. Usually, one look-see by somebody will result in higher fix costs.
As for one cylinder running and one not--does he think the non-running piston just sets there, not moving? HMMM?? He's sounding expensive!
If the machine was under water for a time, there might be some water in the oil, which can be ascertained easily.
I';d say: "Pull the flywheel cover and check the ignition stuff around it. Clean the rust off the legs of the ignition coil and flywheel magnets. Blow out any dirt that has gotten in around the ignition areas.Blow out the mouse "hotel rooms". Check all safety switches for water penetration.
Clean the battery cable connections. Check cables for rust inside their covers. If you do get it to run a little, then change the oil! If you haven't done that already.
HTH: Rusty Jones, the Mower Man

RE: Real Generator problem

Sound advice. Time to pull it apart. Its actually very well protected where its located and not subject to water which is good. But I wonder whether mice might be present and done some damage.

RE: Real Generator problem

  • Posted by exmar 6 SE Ohio (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 2, 13 at 10:23

Can add nothing to Ruty's comments other than agree.

I've always found it very interesting that automatic standby generators don't charge the battery while running. The battery charging is done off AC when present. I recall one of the power outages we had here, my brother has a Generac "whole house" unit that he would shut down once a day to check the oil, etc. About the 5th time he did that it wouldn't start? Checking, he discovered the battery was low, "jumped" it off a garden tractor, and it started right up. He then ran an extension cord and plugged in a battery charger to charge the battery. We both thought it amusing that the generator was running fine, but he had to "back feed" to keep the battery up.

Guess the 120V feed coming in to charge the battery is also used to "sense" loss of power and begin the starting sequence? I know the manufacturers are forced to "cheapen" things to get to particular price points, but does a charging coil on a Kohler engine cost that much more than one without? Rhetorical, seems like all or most do it that way. Perhaps it's also the additonal circuitry and wiring to provide a sensing input and a charging input.

Just an observation,

Good luck,


RE: Real Generator problem

Thanks Guys. Its coming apart in a slowly but surely. .

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