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Old 02-20-2016, 11:11 PM   #1
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THOR #3421
Generator warm up?

I'm sure this question has been addressed in one way or another but we have a Cummins Onan 6000, does anybody regularly start it during extended down time? And if so what type of load is placed and how?
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:59 PM   #2
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I have an Onan 4000 on my Vegas 24.1. I start the generator at least once a month.

I place the USE/STORE switch in USE and check the house battery charge. I always check the oil before starting to be sure it is not below the add line. I generally run it for about 20 minutes. I load it by turning on the A/C and run the water heater on electric (after ensuring the water heater tank is full).

After running I check the house battery charge after turning off the generator. I ensure the USE/STORE switch is turned back to STORE before leaving the storage yard.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:21 AM   #3
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I start my genny about once per week. I don't load it up via the A/C because my Axis is covered and its typically <40F outside. I'll either use a hairdryer or a small electric heater for a load, sometimes I'll run the convection oven for a few minutes (or if I'm really ambitious I'll plug in the car).

After running it I also switch back to store, but then I also disconnect the house battery (and the chassis battery as well). My house battery is one of the infamous Harris batteries and doesn't hold a charge even when disconnected (I'm planning on replacing it in the spring--no sense to do it now).
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:34 AM   #4
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I start mine weekly when it is below freezing. I usually load it with our space heater. I did get rid of the Harris junk battery and put in new Interstate battery and its like night and day. I also bought a small solar unit and leave it hooked to the battery all the time, I built a small frame and have it in the window facing south. Keep house switch off when not running generator.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:45 PM   #5
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While the MH is in storage I keep it in store mode. First step I do is check the battery water levels and do a voltage check. For once a month intervals I put the switch in use. My Onan says once a month run it once a month. I generally start the generator let it warm up and run it for an hour. I check to make sure no water leaks from rain, or snow melt, look for anything thats not supposed to be there, condensation, mold, etc. It only takes a few minutes. I do run the heater or sometimes the small space heater. I turn on the tv and watch it, putz around looking and measuring what I'm going to improve from ideas on this forum. e.g. doors on the seat bench. A hinged lid for the bench seat tops. All that empty space without easy access. Then I run the engine for about 20 minutes too. I usually bring the dog along. He loves it because he thinks we are going somewhere. He lays on the passenger seat floor staring out that little window waiting for Mom to get there.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:34 PM   #6
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Thank You all!!!
Cup of hot water in the micro did the trick:-)
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:04 PM   #7
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Anyone have an idea for an easy remedy on this. We are in Baja, Mexico and the circuit breaker switch tripped while running & will not reset. Just flops both directions. Onan RV QC4000. Thanks
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:17 PM   #8
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Bout how long do you warm it before you put a load on it?
Mine seems to be cutting out, like it's running out of gas after about 5 minutes with a load.
Then starts right back up again.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobm1964 View Post
Bout how long do you warm it before you put a load on it?
Mine seems to be cutting out, like it's running out of gas after about 5 minutes with a load.
Then starts right back up again.
I normally let mine run for a minute or two before adding a load. This allows the speed to stabilize after starting and a short warm up period. Not sure about the diesel gens, but Onan had a run on bad fuel pumps for the gassers the last couple of years.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bobm1964 View Post
Bout how long do you warm it before you put a load on it?
Mine seems to be cutting out, like it's running out of gas after about 5 minutes with a load.
Then starts right back up again.
I don't wait long probably minute or so. When you add a load to a generator a lot of times depending on the load there is a slight slow down sound as it adjusts to the draw. I just had to run my home generator for the sump pump and every time the sump kicked on it sounded like a quick pause to generator with a quick recovery. I think that is normal.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:48 PM   #11
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Have a 2004 4000 Onan generator, and run it the beginning of each month for 2 hours. 1st check oil, Start generator, after 20 min I put on a load with a heater, frig, tv in winter, summer just the AC. After 2 hours turn off everything let idel for 10 min before shutting down. Never fails in starting, also charges batteries. Every spring change oil, check spark plug.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:53 PM   #12
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It's sort of odd cause it idles fine but with the mcrowave after a few minute it just stalls, then it will start right back up after pressing starter.
The fuel is at just slightly above 1/4 tank, wondering if that's the culprit, I know it won't let you run past 1/4 maybe it's close enough to that
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:36 AM   #13
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Made sure tank is full, runs fine for about 5 minutes, then shuts down, will start right back up but then cuts out again about 1-2 minutes later.
Any ideas out there?
It's an Onan RV QD 6000
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bobm1964 View Post
Made sure tank is full, runs fine for about 5 minutes, then shuts down, will start right back up but then cuts out again about 1-2 minutes later.
Any ideas out there?
It's an Onan RV QD 6000
Try pouring a can of two of Seafoam and running it in your generator. It works wonders in cleaning the insides and keeping it from stalling. I run it thru my generator several times a year and make sure that the genny has Seafoam in it when I store it for any length of time. It does not evaporate as quickly. Makes it much easier to start and it runs better. I had problems like yours and a local mechanic told me this trick. He was right.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:25 AM   #15
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We just purchased it in Jan, I ran the gen a bit when I first got it, no problems, but when I did a February exercise, it started this.
I'm guessing while it sat on the lot they never started it.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:38 AM   #16
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In my packet of manuals and other materials in the Thor bag, there was a card about an additive they recommended you put in your gas tank to prevent varnishing of the generator carburetor. Don't know if it was the Seafoam Oneilkeys mentions and my Vegas is down in the storage yard. I would think it's a good idea to use the additive and be sure to run the generator long enough so the fuel with additive make it to the generator when storing the RV over the winter months.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:38 AM   #17
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The gas evaporates out of the carburetor when the genny is not run and varnish builds up. It can clog the tiny holes that the gas comes out of leading to stalls. The Seafoam apparently dissolves the deposits and lengthens the evaporation time.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:56 AM   #18
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I never thought diesel varnished, I will look into the additive today.
Thank you all for your time.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:59 AM   #19
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The disclaimer first: it has quite a few years since I've messed with a diesel generator so this is in the FWIW category.

My experience which is dated is that with diesel generators there are usually two things that cause them to start run and then shutdown. Those two things are fuel and air.

The easiest thing to check would probably be the air filter. The less obvious is the fuel filter. Since your generator sat for awhile and then started acting up (if I read the post correctly) the first place I would look is the fuel filter. You could have condensation in that filter (water being heavier than diesel) that will sit at the bottom of the filter then as the generator runs that water gets mixed into the diesel killing the engine. Once the generator dies that water again settles to the bottom of the filter until mixed into the diesel once the generator is restarted.

If you haven't done so you may want to pull the fuel filter and see if there is water in the filter.

Again, this is FWIW and I am no expert.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:42 PM   #20
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I never thought diesel varnished, I will look into the additive today.
Thank you all for your time.
Ahh! I didn't catch the diesel. All of my friends that have diesel coaches have propane generators. But... Seafoam will do work in small Diesel engines. I used it in my 27hp Yanmar on my sailboat and it also smoothed that engine out. If you do have water in a filter or line, it may help that too, although a new filter is a cheap, easy and quick fix and I would do that too.
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