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Ask Hank F. Your Own Question
Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 15187
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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I have a 1 year old onan 5500 generator. 1200 hours on it.

Customer Question

I have a 1 year old onan 5500 generator. 1200 hours on it. runs for ten seconds then dies. Has a fault code of 15. It is under warranty but I cant find anyone that can look at it until April 5th.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: if the light is flashing rapidly the generator will run fine. flip
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, thanks for requesting me.

What are the model and serial numbers of the genset?

Is it running on gasoline or LP?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
5.5 HGJAE 5500 running on gas
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
serial number F140696248
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

I need the rest of the model number. The spec code will tell me which options this unit has.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
5.5HGJAE-2135K Spec:K
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It runs fine when the light on the switch is flashing rapidly. When I flip the breaker nothing happens. I turn the genset off, flip the breaker, then restart it and it runs for 10 seconds and dies with a fault code of 15.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks.

First, I need to warn you that working on this yourself, you are going to void the warranty, and you will be responsible for the cost of any parts.. There is a good chance that the controller is what is wrong, and it is a somewhat expensive part.

Second, for a Code 15, there are some things you can check, and there are some things you can not, unless you have a special tool from Onan.

The reason that the unit is running fine with the light flashing is because at that point, the genset is in ERO mode. The genset is not producing power, but the engine will run. This is because your unit is considered a commercial unit.

Commercial units are often mounted in bucket trucks to run the hydraulics. Even if the power side fails, the hydraulic pump must keep running to get the bucket down.

If you wish to continue with this, I can help with what you will be able to do. A frequency meter will be required.

If you wish to continue, I will just need confirmation from you that you understand you will be voiding your warranty.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the info. I don't have a frequency meter. I think if anyone opens a generator repair business in the Dallas Metroplex area he will print money. It is ridiculous to have to wait two weeks to get a generator in for repair. I have called three places so far. Thanks again, I was hoping for an easier fix. I will take it in and hope it comes out sooner.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, but it is what it is. Your area is not the only one in that boat - not by far.

It is the same way here in Kentucky.

Ever since work got out that I work on gensets, we have been swamped.