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Old 03/27/2010, 08:18 AM   #1
DgenR8
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Generator runs, but no electricity

I figure that if there is an answer to be found at RC, this is the forum it would be in.
I have a 4,000 watt Coleman generator with 8 H.P. Briggs engine on it. The engine runs, but the unit does not produce electricity. I opened it u, looking for anything obvious, but nothing jumped out at me. I did clean the carbon brushes, and the 2 segmented rings they touch, just because I couldn't find anythiing else to do. When I put it back together and fired it up, it worked, but after shutting it down and trying again, I found myself with the same no electricity problem. I figured it must be the brushes, and I changed them. No dice, I still get no juice.
I bought a replacement generator, but would still like to solve the problem with this one, even if just to sell it. Anyone have any ideas as to what I should look at?


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Old 03/27/2010, 08:33 AM   #2
shackscs
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This might be what you need. I have not tried any of these and I am not EE, just trying to give a hand.

Good luck.

http://www.generatorssupply.co.cc/fi...enerators.html

Or

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68414

Or:

" Field Flashing of Portable Generators

This tip comes from the Briggs & Stratton Customer Education Department. As an alternative to flashing a rotor winding with a battery applied to the brushes, an electric drill may be used. Follow these steps to flash the generator:

* Plug the electric drill into the generator receptacle.

* If the drill is reversible, move the direction switch to the forward position.

* Start the generator

* While depressing the trigger on the drill, spin the drill chuck in reverse direction. This will excite the field and the generator will now produce electricity. If spinning the chuck one direction does not work, try spinning the chuck in the other direction as you may have the reverse switch positioned backwards.

Use caution not to get your hand or other materials caught in the chuck. As soon as the field is excited, the generator will produce power and the drill will turn on.

The reason this works is because the electric motor in the drill will act as a small generator when spun backwards. The magnets in the drill's motor induce a voltage into the motor windings, which is fed back through the trigger, cord and into the generators receptacle. From there it goes into the power winding of the stator. The voltage going through the power winding creates a magnetic field, which is intensified due to the iron core of the stator laminations. The rotor intersects this magnetic field as it is spun past the power winding, thus inducing a voltage in the rotor winding. Once current flow is present in the rotor winding the rotor has been flashed.

If flashing the field does not make the generator work, you may have additional problems, besides a lack of magnetism in the rotor. Further testing will be needed. Hopefully, this will give a simple way to field flash your generator if needed"



Last edited by shackscs; 03/27/2010 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 03/27/2010, 08:40 AM   #3
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When I put it back together and fired it up, it worked, but after shutting it down and trying again, I found myself with the same no electricity problem.
When you say it worked, do you mean that you were able to power from the receptacle before you put it back together?


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Old 03/27/2010, 08:45 AM   #4
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I tried to flash the field with a 12 volt battery charger, and then with a car battery. Neither seemed to do anything. I'll try the drill method, but I don't think that's the solution to my problem. I did get juice from the unit for a few minutes after cleaning the brushes, so the magnetic field had to be in tact at that point.


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Old 03/27/2010, 08:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shackscs View Post
When you say it worked, do you mean that you were able to power from the receptacle before you put it back together?
No, it couldn't have worked with the cover off, the brushes have no contact unless the cover is properly bolted in place.


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Current Tank Info: 220 gal reef with 200+ gals of sump and refugium.
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Old 03/27/2010, 08:48 AM   #6
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You are either losing the voltage regulator, have an insulation fault on the windings or lead wires or the field needs flashed...

If flashing the field does not work, then either the windings or lead wires or voltage regulator is likely damages. Thre are steps to determine what is not working... but none of them are easy DIY explanations.


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Old 03/27/2010, 08:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeanAnimal View Post
You are either losing the voltage regulator, have an insulation fault on the windings or lead wires or the field needs flashed...

If flashing the field does not work, then either the windings or lead wires or voltage regulator is likely damages. Thre are steps to determine what is not working... but none of them are easy DIY explanations.
I bet I can find the voltage regulator, and I have a multi meter......


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Current Tank Info: 220 gal reef with 200+ gals of sump and refugium.
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Old 03/27/2010, 08:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DgenR8 View Post
I tried to flash the field with a 12 volt battery charger, and then with a car battery. Neither seemed to do anything. I'll try the drill method, but I don't think that's the solution to my problem. I did get juice from the unit for a few minutes after cleaning the brushes, so the magnetic field had to be in tact at that point.
Without getting into a long explanation.. even though you were able to excite a voltage after cleaning the brushes and got output voltage, the field may have collapsed (discharged itself) when you shutdown. If you get voltage again, you should run the generator under a resistive load (say 300W to 1kW worth of incandescent lamps or a heater) for 15 or 20 minutes. This will ensure the brushes and rotor are making good contact and the field is strong and in-tact.


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Old 03/27/2010, 08:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DgenR8 View Post
I bet I can find the voltage regulator, and I have a multi meter......
That will get you familiar with some of the concepts. You will need to be looking at both AC and DC voltages being produced or derived

http://www.kilowattclassroom.com/Generators/GenReg1.pdf


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Old 03/27/2010, 09:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeanAnimal View Post
Without getting into a long explanation.. even though you were able to excite a voltage after cleaning the brushes and got output voltage, the field may have collapsed (discharged itself) when you shutdown. If you get voltage again, you should run the generator under a resistive load (say 300W to 1kW worth of incandescent lamps or a heater) for 15 or 20 minutes. This will ensure the brushes and rotor are making good contact and the field is strong and in-tact.
Okay, I'll try the drill method to flash it, and if I get power, I'll run my shop lights (500 watt halogen) for 1/2 hour.


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Current Tank Info: 220 gal reef with 200+ gals of sump and refugium.
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Old 03/27/2010, 09:28 AM   #11
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Let us know what the results are

I used to have to flash our hobart welder (big diesel unit from the 60's) rather often.


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Old 03/27/2010, 10:22 AM   #12
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Check to see if the Generator has a capacitor in the circuit. Some use a capacitor to excite the field. If it is bad it will act as yours is. Once had a gen set on my truck that was doing just as you describe, and replaced the capacitor and all was working again.


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Old 03/27/2010, 10:50 AM   #13
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Bean read my mind:

"you should run the generator under a resistive load (say 300W to 1kW worth of incandescent lamps or a heater)"

I was going to suggest plugging into a resistive heater or shoplight then kicking the generator until it comes on....;-)

That should set the new brushes.

Stu


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Old 03/27/2010, 10:50 AM   #14
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Agreed. The capacitor is out. I had to replace mine last week.


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Old 03/28/2010, 03:17 PM   #15
DgenR8
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Drill method of flashing the unit didn't help. Looks like my next step is replacing the capacitor. I'll have to do a little searching on line to see what one looks like


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You're never gonna die, you're gonna make it if you try; they're gonna love you.
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Current Tank Info: 220 gal reef with 200+ gals of sump and refugium.
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Old 03/28/2010, 05:22 PM   #16
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Did you try the: "This is russian space station!" trick and hit the generator casing with a wrench? '-)

We used to have to smack some of our large welders to get them going again.
Since you just replaced the brushes, you might need them to wiggle before they make good contact.

Stu


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Some people think that I have Attention Deficit Disorder. They just dont understand that........ Hey! Look a chicken!

Well, We KNOW GOD exists, but for US to exist without a GOD is preposterous….Umm wait a minute…. Sounds a bit circular to me…

Current Tank Info: 125 Gal. display w/80 gal mud/caulerpa sump. Basement sump w/ LED Grow Light,Gravity fed Reeflo200 skimmer w/ ORCA Recirc, DIY calc reactor & kalk stirrer. Inline plumbed 75 Gal frag/settling tank.
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Old 03/28/2010, 05:56 PM   #17
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I spent years working in underground coal mines... it would amaze you how many things you can get to work by beating the hell out of them with a hammer...

or ask my brother, he carried a hammer in his VW jeta... to start it you had to climb under and beat the solenoid with a hammer. Why not change it? Did you ever try to change the starter on an old jetta? You have to pull the header and half the other crap just to get to it


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Old 03/28/2010, 07:01 PM   #18
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPF0533Dw3A

Stu


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Some people think that I have Attention Deficit Disorder. They just dont understand that........ Hey! Look a chicken!

Well, We KNOW GOD exists, but for US to exist without a GOD is preposterous….Umm wait a minute…. Sounds a bit circular to me…

Current Tank Info: 125 Gal. display w/80 gal mud/caulerpa sump. Basement sump w/ LED Grow Light,Gravity fed Reeflo200 skimmer w/ ORCA Recirc, DIY calc reactor & kalk stirrer. Inline plumbed 75 Gal frag/settling tank.
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Old 03/28/2010, 08:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeanAnimal View Post
I spent years working in underground coal mines... it would amaze you how many things you can get to work by beating the hell out of them with a hammer...

or ask my brother, he carried a hammer in his VW jeta... to start it you had to climb under and beat the solenoid with a hammer. Why not change it? Did you ever try to change the starter on an old jetta? You have to pull the header and half the other crap just to get to it
how the heck did he swing the hammer then is the question that has to be asked...LOL just kidding

just dont hit the starter though...i swung and missed the solenoid, smoked the starter and smashed the magnets to bits...$400 later lesson learned..

also a little off topic, but beating your little brother with a hammer wont get them to work any harder or faster...and no the hammer wont work on a lazy spouse either...LOL just kidding..however in a coal mine i am sure every piece of diesel pig iron down there would get up and go with a wack or two...


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Old 03/28/2010, 08:46 PM   #20
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there was enough room to hit the thing with hammer, but it was almost impossible to get to the bolts or drop out out once it was loose. We had several of those cars growing up. The starter solenoids went bad due to heat from the manifold that was touching it. The heat shield was useless.


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Old 03/28/2010, 08:51 PM   #21
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This happened to me. It was so simple i felt like a dumb ***. Check to make sure you did not blow the breakers. I was in the field and fired up my gen up and no power. I start doing what you are doing and after 1 hour of fiddling with it i pushed on all of the white breakers on the front and i had power.

How many hours are on it and how old is it. It my still have a warranty on it.


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Old 12/27/2013, 02:17 PM   #22
honda1180
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generator starts but no electric

hows it going i just got a allpro 3250 from my wifes grandfather and it ran but didnt have electic so today i went out and took stator cover off and was looking around and found where the brush pushes down on wheel there are two soilder points on it that coils supossed to be soilder to so i took it apart and soildered it back on and it work perfect,

this is brand new to my wife grandfather started it once to make shore it worked
shut it of and started it again and it had no electic so he bought a new one and gave this one to me i will post pic in alittle


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Old 12/27/2013, 02:25 PM   #23
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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1388179515.909154.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1388179534.575103.jpg


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Old 12/28/2013, 04:53 AM   #24
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I'm a little embarrassed to admit.....
The engine ran all along, it didn't run well, but I thought why bother with cleaning the carb and changing the plug if the thing didn't generate electricity?
Being bored one day, and not knowing where to go with the no electricity problem, I decided to go after the way the engine was running. After cleaning out the carb and changing the sparkplug, the engine runs much better, and now it does make electricity. Proving once again that sometimes, the issue IS as simple as that.


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You're gonna go far, you're gonna fly high,
You're never gonna die, you're gonna make it if you try; they're gonna love you.
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Current Tank Info: 220 gal reef with 200+ gals of sump and refugium.
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Old 12/28/2013, 12:47 PM   #25
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Larry, You never read my PM to you!!!
And- Happy New Year too.


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