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Generator Troubleshooting Questions

An electric generator is a machine that changes mechanical energy into electrical energy to power machines or buildings that have a limited access to power supply. Generators run on a scientific law that is called the principle of electromagnetic induction discovered in 1831 by British scientist Michael Faraday and American scientist Joseph Henry. Based on the principle, electric conductors, such as a copper wire, create a flow of electric current within when moved through a magnetic field. Generators are used many times in emergency situations but can often fail to operate for various reasons.

Listed below are a few questions answered by the electrician Experts on issues related to generators.

When the electrician installed a 10kw generator, he fixed a conduit that had three power leads plus two 12v, and two 120v control wires. Shouldn’t there be a separate conduit for the control wires? Also, shouldn’t the generator and the ATS have a bonding lead installed between them?

It doesn’t go against code to run the low voltage wires with the high voltage ones. But it’s better to bond the two sets of wires together.

I need a generator for the whole house. What is the most reliable one available?

Many think the Generac 25kw liquid cooled generator should be a good buy. It can power a 2200 sft home and works very quietly.

I need to operate a 110 A/C to cool a 12 X 12 room. How big a generator would I need?

A room of this size should normally require only a 5000 BTU unit. But you would probably need a 1000 watt generator at the minimum because of your A/C specifications.

My veterinary clinic which needs approximately 45 kVA single phase requires a backup generator. I have mounted a John Deere 115 Hp turbocharged diesel engine on a movable frame. What is the size of the generator I need to run this engine?

Installing a generator head might work better in this case. They are available in different kVA configurations and should be ideal for your setup. Get in touch with a generator manufacturer to get a head that suits your requirements. The link below will give you an example of what you should be asking for: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_8795_8795

I have a 5,000 sq ft home on three levels with multi-zone cooling and heating. Since I am keen on buying an automatic fail over generator for the place, I am currently checking out the Briggs & Stratton 30kW that has GM Vortec Engines. What kind of generator would suit my requirement best?

To begin with, you need to know what your existing kW load is to determine your generator size. Perhaps, one of the simplest and most accurate ways to do this would be to check for this information on your Electric Utility Bill. You could go through the bills for the year and look for trends and understand what your peak demand is. This information should be available with your electrical utility company.

The higher your kW, the larger the generator required. This size could be brought down if you choose to remove certain circuits to lower the generator load, or if you replace appliances that consume a high amount of energy, with gas.

Another important factor that you should think about when considering the size of a generator for the whole house is the load on the motor. This is because motors require a lot of power to start and if there are multiple motors running together, they draw more power from the generator. Staggered Start or Staging devices could be installed to prevent this from occurring.

Once you get all this information, you can determine your actual usage needs and choose a generator that fits your requirements best.

It is important to carry out regular maintenance on generators so that they don’t fail in an emergency situation. If you have a generator at home that’s causing a problem, there are a few ways you could troubleshoot the problem. To begin with, check if the fuse located on the control panel is burnt out. If it is burnt, replace it immediately. Otherwise, locate the battery on the control panel and set your voltage meter to the VCD setting that is marked on the control. Touch the end of the battery to the probes of the voltage meter. You should get a reading of at least 9.5. If you get a lower reading, or one that is higher than 12.6, replace the battery. Then check the cables for corrosion and clean the connectors using steel wool to remove rust. Also remove and check the fuel hose for signs of clogging due to evaporated fuel in the lines. Ensure that you check the fuel and oil supply of the machine as well. Finally, use a wrench to remove the spark plug and replace it if it is corroded. If you have trouble with any electrical work, consult an Expert.

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