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Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 14482
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
19372534
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Generator motor will not turn over. Checked battery, and

Customer Question

Generator motor will not turn over. Checked battery, and battery connection both good. On attempting to start I get several clicks in rapid succession and then nothing. Suspect starter.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Do you have a feel for when we can start working on this problem?
Expert:  JON replied 3 months ago.

If you are hearing the clicking, then the solenoid is working properly. I would suspect the starter is either not engaging the flywheel, or is jammed on the flywheel. Do you have a pull start on this also, or is it strictly electric start?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Electric start, 15 kw whole house unit on Propane.
Expert:  JON replied 3 months ago.

oh okay. Sorry, but I will have to OPT OUT as I am not a propane tech, and will not be able to assist you. Please do not respond, as it will lock me back to the question and no one else will be able to assist you. Sorry again

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

You say battery is good? Rapid clicking at the solenoid is sign of low voltage, Battery or cables. Do you have a voltmeter to test the battery?Has to be above 12.5 volts, and should drop no lower that 8 volts when key is turned to start.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
On futher investigation believe clicking sound is coming from control panel, not not starter or selinoid. Removed cover and can see a relay causing noise through its clear cover. Any thoughts on relay? No obvious signs of a damaged relay. Is self protection features keeping starter from engaging, or is it possible starter selinoid is fried and this relay is sensing problem. Seems to shut down after a few seconds following activation of switch.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Do you have voltmeter to check battery voltage and see if the relay has voltage on the output terminals when it clicking?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have volt meter, which of 6 to 8 wires is the output terminals
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

First check the battery volts, 12.5 or more. Fully charged battery will be over 13 volts. Relay will have two terminals with voltage . When switch is turned , relay has to close and send power to the output terminal. On side of the relay is a schematic.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Curtis, will conduct your suggested checks in the morning. After checks, where do I go, or what is next step?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Follow the positive battery cable direct to the starter solenoid, and jump from the switch terminal to the battery cable terminal, to see if the starter will spin the engine. I will be here in the AM. till noon.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
appeciate the help, but dont see how to gain access to starter without diconnecting power and gas. Genset inside wx proof housing. Starter very difficult to get to. Any tricks on accessing the starter?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Starter solenoid is remote from starter I thought, not part of starter. Do you see where positive battery cable goes to? The outer housing would have to come off!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Curtis,
It would certainly seem that the housing should be easy to remove to service the unit. However, it appears that the only way to get to that side of the generator would be to disassemble the housing in a manner that requires one to disconnect all external connections, including gas and electric lines. I may be missing something, but it appears that it would easier to remove the generator from the housing, (would require equipment I don't have access to) then it would be to remove the housing from the generator. If you have a tech manual it probably has a procedure for this, and maybe I'm missing something, but don't see how to get to back side of generator to check solenoid. Can feel where wire come into the starter but not the solenoid. You do understand we are discussing a Generac 15 kw in a weather tight enclosure, permanently installed as a whole house unit with an automatic bus transfer switch. If you can help me understand how to remove housing without having to remove everything I would appreciate it greatly.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

How are you gaining access? Just through the hinged top cover? With top up you can remove the front panel, not pop out, but not too difficult. I assume you have the owners manual showing the enclosure in the parts breakdown.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Top Hinges up, and front comes off easily with two screws. You can not access the starter or solenoid from the font, only the back which does not remove easily. I have the owners manual. Again, can you remove the back without disconnecting power and gas line connections? Am I missing the obvious? There are multiple penetrations through the back and side (Which is one continuous piece of metal) and there does not appear to be an way to access the stater or solenoid without a major tear down. Perhaps you could answer the following two questions:1. Assuming it is relatively easy to work on the starter and remove the back cover to access that area, what is the next step after lifting the lid, removing the two screws and disconnecting the bonding wire to remove the front panel?
2. The clicking noises I have been describing are coming from Part Number 063617 which is labeled in the manual as "Relay Panel 12VDC DPDT 10A 240VAC". When I go through the Protection Systems reset as described on page 16 of the owners manual and then set the exercise timer It will run through the entire crank cycle as described in 3.7.3.1. The engine does not turn over, I do not hear the starter solenoid even trying to activate. The relay rapidly clicks almost buzzes, and then it shuts down completely. When I try to manually active the starter with the switch, I get a short 2 to 3 seconds of the same clicking almost buzzing and then it shuts down. Is it possible that a sensor is telling it not to start as a result of having failied ie overtemp, low oil pressure and that this relay is doing what it is supposed to do. Is there a simple way to check the Sensors or the Relay?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

You were to check battery voltage.?? What did it show?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
12.6 volts on the battery. Relatively new battery, less then two years old. Already eliminated that concern by having the battery tested, and also jumping the battery from my tractor.Curtis, I appreciate your help, but we seem to be talking about two different generators. The relay I am concerned with has 8 leads, and no schematic on the side. Can you answer either of my questions from before...1. Assuming it is relatively easy to work on the starter and remove the back cover to access that area, what is the next step after lifting the lid, removing the two screws and disconnecting the bonding wire to remove the front panel?
2. The clicking noises I have been describing are coming from Part Number 063617 which is labeled in the manual as "Relay Panel 12VDC DPDT 10A 240VAC". When I go through the Protection Systems reset as described on page 16 of the owners manual and then set the exercise timer It will run through the entire crank cycle as described in 3.7.3.1. The engine does not turn over, I do not hear the starter solenoid even trying to activate. The relay rapidly clicks almost buzzes, and then it shuts down completely. When I try to manually active the starter with the switch, I get a short 2 to 3 seconds of the same clicking almost buzzing and then it shuts down. Is it possible that a sensor is telling it not to start as a result of having failied ie overtemp, low oil pressure and that this relay is doing what it is supposed to do. Is there a simple way to check the Sensors or the Relay?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

NO>Let me opt out and see if anyone else can help. Maybe Hank is around! Sorry. Please do not respond to me or it will lock the question to me.

Expert:  Hank F. replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.

That clear relay is not the starter relay. It is the battery charge relay.

The start rely is a black relay that has 4 wires connected to it.

First check wire 15 to make sure it has 12V. If it does not, let me know.

If wire 15 is good, check wire 16 for 12V with the switch set to MANUAL. With the switch in MANUAL, wire 15 should have 12V. If it does not, let me know.

If wire 15 is good, check wire 16 with the switch set to MANUAL. With the switch in MANUAL, wire 16 should have 12V.

Let me know what you find.

Expert:  Hank F. replied 3 months ago.

Did you check on this yet?