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Mower engine is knocking, still runs has a knock inside

Customer Question
scag mower engine is knocking...
scag mower engine is knocking, still runs has a knock inside almost sounds like an exhast leak poping. Misfires, hard to start has to be choked
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Small Engine
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
6/21/2016
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago
John Oliver
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 201
Experience: manager at White Eagle Ag and Truck Services
Verified

Good morning my name is ***** ***** I can help you diagnose this issue. first off it sounds like you have a failed rodbearing but we need to look at a couple things first

have you pulled the spark plugs? if not do that and see what color and condition they are in. run the engine and see if one cylinder is running cooler than the other

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
pulled the plugs one of the plugs looks like something is hitting it and the other is very wet
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

oh no that's not good at all. I would recommend a compression test at this point to verify but it sounds like you have an internal failure. most likely a rod bearing. possably look down into the cylinder that had the smashed spark plug and see if the top of the piston has damage.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Ok, we will pull the heads and look, the motor has no metal shaving in the oil, do you think we can fix this?
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

absolutely it can be fixed. it will all depend on how bad it is really. I would tear the unit down and get a good look at it. price out the parts and labor, in most cases its actually cheaper just to buy a new engine and replace that way....especially if you are paying labor. If you plan on doing the work yourself it may be more cost effective to rebuild yourself.

sorry to hear about the trouble

thanks for using JA and when you have a moment please rate the service.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
OK, I don't think it is to bad since there is no metal and the engine still runs. I will check the piston and get back to you. I want to be sure before I tear the engine down.. Do you have a diagram of the internals? and maybe a parts list for doing this job?
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
also, I have another mower that just went down. I know Im having a good day. But seems to make noise at the key but we jumped the battery it started, then when we rev the enigine up to speed it died....
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

on the first machine I would still compression test it. I use the website partstree.com for all the parts break downs

on the second machine test the voltage at the battery and make sure the stator is making 13+ volts. no volts not juice to make the spark

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
what is the compression supposed to read?
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

anything above 100 psi is good

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
ok, the suspect side is pushing 170-180
the other side is 190
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

so that proves that piston rings and valves are good. you mentioned that the suspect side may have hit the spark plug correct? how does the top of the piston look?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
it would be safe to assume it would be on of the rod bearings or is there anything else you would think it is? After looking at the plug I think that was more than likely just a little bit of carbon build up knocked off no damage to the plug
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

I wouldn't feel right speculating at this point. not being there to hear it.... you first stated it sounded like an exhaust noise, maybe an exhaust gasket? again...with out hearing it. I'm sorry but I don't want to point you in the wrong direction and cost you money that you don't need to spend

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
hey I have the engine down, have not pulled the piston rods off the crank yet, but once I do how would I know if I have a bad bearing. (i have a lot of previous expereince rebuilding engines, cars, small motors but normally I'd just replace everything, how can I tell what is wrong once everything pulled apart?
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

the glare makes it a little hard to see. how does the crank look from that side?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
John - I overhauled the engine with the new piston rod, the knock has gone away.Now tho it seems that the governor is not acting correct. The problem is now with the idle, everything seems to run fine when you have it at half throttle or full throttle, everything is good at those throttle positions, but when you lower down to low idle the engine speed will bounce from almost dying back to regular idle and back again, it will keep running but does this
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

sounds like you made good progress! I wouldn't blame the govenour just yet.... it sounds to me like you have a carb/fuel related issue

have you tried an additive like sea foam in the fuel? it sounds like you may have picked up some debris and the low idle jet may be partially clogged. heck... maybe just tear the carb apart and clean the heck outta it and see if that helps

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
John now the mower is not holding a charge on the battery, which is brand new, and the blades will not engage when you pullk the PTO out. Any ideas on this one?
Technician: John Oliver,
 replied 1 year ago

not so much...don't have any technical info on Scag. I will say you will need to figure out if the 2 issues are related or separate. I would suspect that they are related only because this all started at once. PTO requires seat switch and key on. battery drain caused by wiring on the engine? key switch wiring jacked up? I will opt out so that a scag tech with wire diagrams can pick this up

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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago
Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 29,123
Experience: have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
Verified

WHat engine is this? Kohler? The stator is under the flywheel and it has to put out a minimum of 28 volts AC. Check with it unplugged from the voltage regulator. If it puts out 28 + Ac volts, it is good, plugg the regulator back in and test with meter on DC volts, output should be 1/2 of the stator around 14 volts DC. f it does, be sure the wire from the regulator output goes to the battery posiitve, at starter solenoid or keyswitch. If not, it will not charger the battery. If battery voltage drops below 12 volts, the pto clutch will drop out or not engage.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
it is a Kholer, 23.5 hp.....when I had this engine apart I did not see a stator under the flywheel....seem like everything was built on the wheel
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Model number? It was there, two wires coming from under the flywheel to the voltage regulator?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Model number is *****
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago
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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

See page 8-14 in the manual above. Just as I stated.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Curtis,I changed the volt reg just in case it could have been there, but my only other assumption is that the stator is bad, is there anything else it could be?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Do you have battery voltage at the output terminal of the regulator? If you do, the stator has to be bad.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Cutis - after changing the regulator it seems to charge up but not fully. If I let it run out there for a long time my battery will have power but not enough to crank if it is a hard crank, could this just be that I need to let it run to fully charge the battery or is that a sign of a weak stator? Also the clutch will no longer engage after the battery started to charge, now it throws sparks but will not engage fully....
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

If clutch is throwing sparks , you have problem with the clutch, should be no place for spark to show. Sealed coil and harness!

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
do you think that is causing the charging problem?
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
seems like it is metal on metal, also when I run the motor it keeps backfiring like there is no fuel or something. maybe another problem all together
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Clutch is the largest electrical load on the engine. If it pulls too much amperage, the charging system can't keep up.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
its still poping, seems like lack of fuel, we changed the clutch still not fully charging
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
the battery
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

What is the output of the regulator?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
there are three wires, a purple and two white, which one do I test, could this possible be the reason it running bad.....seems to run alot better since I change the clutch....but still not chargning battery
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

On Kohler it is the center connection, purple.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
ok, should it be running...and do I stick the red to that one and the black to ground?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

It should read battery voltage before starting and well above battery voltage when you run engine at high speed.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
OK the puple does not read anything when I put the red to it and the black to the ground
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Follow the purple wire to see where it goes, has to go to the battery posiitve or it will not charge.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
ok, it reads nothing when it is not running and only battery when it is running
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

What does it read running, that is what would have to charge battery.??

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
running it reads 33
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
not running the battery was at 27
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Is meter on DC volts?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
dc 500
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
sorry acv 500
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Battery can't be more than 14 volts DC!

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
13v not running
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Now running at high speed.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
19v on both battery and purple wire
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

So it is charging ! And very good!

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
maybe battery is bad? its new....
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Don't know, but charging system is working!

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
ok, I went and checked it again, I think I had it set wrong...now it is reading the same on both
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
sorry I think I doubled reading on the wrong setting
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

What is it reading with key off, and what is it reading running?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
with the key off it is still reading 0 on the purple wire and with it running it is around 10v on the battery and the purple wire
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

OK, the purple wire is not going to the battery. Take a jumper wire from the battery , to the purple wire at the regulator and run engine while checking battery voltage.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
ok and a quick question, from looking at the diagram there is a second nut on the starter is there any chance that I was supposed to have that wire hooked up there for anything...looks like that on the diagram fig 8-17
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
with the jumper it is still reading the same on the battery
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

OK, so back to the stator , what was the two white wires reading unplugged from the regulator and engine running at speed.

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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Meter on AC volts.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
ok I didnt read them, how to I test them, should I test each individual or against each other?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

red on one white, black on the other, read at same time.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
i put on acv and it reads 43 both ways
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Ok, your stator is good. So by that, the regulator is not working, it should have output well over battery voltage.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
That is a brand new regulator
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

It's not working!

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
could it be hooked up incorrectly or does it matter how it is plugged in? Is it possible the purple wire is not hooked up under the cover?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

If the purple wire has battery voltage at all times, key off or on, it is wired correctly.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
ok but the purple wire does not have volts with key off...
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Does it with key on?

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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Ok, it is wired correctly.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Ok, well I don't know what else it could be..
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

the regulator!

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
OK, I'm going to put the old one back on, but we replaced the other one...maybe it got fried agian because of the clutch
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

OK>

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
do you think that the clutch could have shorted the new one out?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Typically regulator is killed when a person jumps the unit off with a running vehicle.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Cutis - I got the battery to start charging, now I back to where we were when I started. There were some problems that I did not know about before I began overhauling the engine.If I bring the mower out in the yard and cut grass with it it seems to clear up, but if I'm running it under the carport it wants to spit sputter and backfire, even smoke. Then when I cut with it it will clear up or keep doing the same, no ryhmye or reason...I don't understand why it will backfire and smoke and run rough sometimes but when I get it out cutting it clears up...
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Run cylinder test with engine idling. Loosen spark plug wires and remove one at a time whilr idling, engine should continue to run. If engine dies when either wire is removed, the opposite cylinder is not firing, I would suspect a bad coil.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Did that and no problems there it would bogg down but continued to run
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

If not a spark problem, a carburetor problem. Has carburetor needle seat and float been checked?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Curtis - we removed the carb and cleaned it out, I'm not sure how to check the seat and float but everything looked normally when I had apart.I ran another test to check something out, let me know what you think. In the manaully it says to check the fuel pump, so I removed plug wires, chocked the engine and turned over. After I removed each plug, one was very dry the other was soaked....
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

The wet cylinder is not firing.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
it ran when both were disconnected
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
The test was done with nothing plugged up
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Wet plug is always a plug that is not firing.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
we redid the test and noticed when we disconnected the wire from the dryewr plug it bogged way down and when we disconnected the wire from the wet plug there was no change in the motor
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Does it have spark?

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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

WHat engine CH, CV, SV, ??

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
cv
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Hydraulic lifters. May be valve leaking?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
should we do a leak down test on the engine?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

YES

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
curtis, I filled the cylinder with air, could not find best way to get to top dead center but I had someone spin the engin, I notice the exasht would blow air unless the intake was open...after rotating I could not get both to stop at the same time, the exhast would stop only if the air blew from the intake side
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

Find TDC by using probe in cylinder while turning manually, You want both valve rockers up, which is the compression stroke. With leak down test, yo put pressure in the cylinder and hls it, with shutoff valve , to see if it holds.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
curtis, I pulled the valve cover off to make sure the a the valves were closed and the piston was up, I still get air coming out the tail pipe
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
has 120 compression
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
seems to do the same thing when i test the other side
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Took the rockers off and the air is still coming out of the exhaust not the intake
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
It does the same thing on both sides with the rockers poff
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

By test , your exhaust valves are not seated.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Curtis - what is the best way to test the coil to see if it is faulty?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

See if it has spark when attached to grounded spark plug.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
it seems to work when cold and cylinder is not dead. I'm letting it warm up now before doing any addtional testing. I bought a spark tester to plug into it.When it is cold I removed the plug wire for each side at a time and both bogged down when I did that. But yesterday it the one side was def dead now seems to work cold, warming up now for 10 mins full thottle and sounds fine.
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
been running this whole time nothing no symptoms of the problem, IDK very confused. Ran bad yesterday now nothing wrong.
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
its really strange, been out there running, just took it down the road...cut a yard no problems you would think nothing was wrong. I haven't touched it in 24hrs and it runs fine....there has to be a fautly coil or something once it gets hot....i just cant see how the valves would be bad if it runs this smooth. I'd say the engine is hot now and it is not giving any smptons
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
both plugs have oil on them, I bought a real leak down tester, I'm going to test again
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

OK>

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I still get air out of the exhast, you think that this what is happening is that the plugs are fouling after running for long period of time because of the oil coming thru the exhast valve seals? and this is on both sides, this can take time to build up and foul the plugs then that makes it run bad but once plugs are dry it with run good....being that it runs so good fresh I can only imagine. The guys also reported that they were having to add a lot of oil to the engine, they also reported no leaks. I can only imagine this was the root of all of the above issues...Let me know what your thoughts are
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

My thoughts are your valves are not seating!

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Curtis, I finally got this motor back running halfway decent. I've listed a few symptoms hopefully we can narrow this problem down.
1. When motor idles down it wants to kill but the governing pulls the thottle to keep it running, so its up and down on rpms
2. only does this a low idle, runs perfectly fine at high rpms or with blades going (we can cut with it) (maybe one backfire per yard)
3. left cylinder is running a little rich i pulled the plug and it is wet not enough to foul, looks more like gas then oil
4. the other plug is perfect
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

DOes left cylinder have good spark? I think you ave a bad coil on the wet cylinder.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
well it was still firing, I pulled that head back off because I suspected a leak, filled the chamber with water, still leaking from the exhast. maybe the valve job was not done good. We are going to redo it
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 year ago

OK>

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Donald
Donald
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High School
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JohnF2015
High School Diploma
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Hank F.
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Wayne
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Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
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JON
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Hank F.
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High School or GED
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Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

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