kgwortman
Well, this is really frustrating. Northeast clobbered by October record snow this weekend and my Gen, 14kw model 5872, ran for 2 hours and quit with the error message "lost RPM sensor." Tried many times to restart it based on forum advice but it will not stay running; can get it going once in a while for about 10 minutes before it stops with the same error message. Here's what's amazing. Generator was professionally installed August of 2011 and only has 16 hours of run time on in including the break-in period and exercising. Called Generac tech line and explained the error message...even more amazing....this was their response..."We see that error often but, we don't know how to fix it, sorry we can't help you." I'm not electrically savy but, I have found folks on this forum to be very resourceful and helpful. We are nearly invisible to any local Generac dealers in our request for service. Any DIY advice would be helpful. Lost in Connecticut......
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Skip Douglas SkipD
Contact the installing dealer. They should respond and repair the problem under warranty.

My experience (as an owner) is that Generac only wants to talk to their authorized servicing dealers about technical details.
Skip Douglas
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kgwortman
Thanks Skip, I like the advice you give. We had the unit installed by a very reputable electric firm but not a Generac dealer. The local authorized dealer was nearly 50% more expensive and is telling me that he must completely disassemble the generator to diagnose it and he must first get a work authorization from Generac under the warranty provision. Since he did not install it, he could really care less about us; no priority or timing at all. He did compliment the original installation as a great job. The last call we had with him on a simple gas regulator setting took 45 days for a response pursuant to regular contact. I guess I have no other alternative? I was hoping against hope that there was an easy fix.
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bronco
your unit gets it run signal from the coils i would think that the gap on those coils is out of spec. which would cause an error. the bad part about it is it takes about 2 to 3 hours to get to the coils.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
kgwortman;11673 wrote:
Thanks Skip, I like the advice you give. We had the unit installed by a very reputable electric firm but not a Generac dealer. The local authorized dealer was nearly 50% more expensive and is telling me that he must completely disassemble the generator to diagnose it and he must first get a work authorization from Generac under the warranty provision. Since he did not install it, he could really care less about us; no priority or timing at all. He did compliment the original installation as a great job. The last call we had with him on a simple gas regulator setting took 45 days for a response pursuant to regular contact. I guess I have no other alternative? I was hoping against hope that there was an easy fix.
Hopefully some of the more experienced techs here may have answers for you. If not, keep pushing for the in-warranty repair that you are really due. I'd even take it "upstairs" if the local dealer did not respond properly.
Skip Douglas
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douglas123
You might want to check wire # 18 to make sure it is not shorting out to ground. could have a vibration rub thru on the insulation. Could also have a faulty contoller internal problem. Don't know how savy you are with troubleshooting. Seems a lot of dealers who do not do the installs and startups are reluctant to help a customer in need. Nothing like a good challenge and hopefully get a new customer.
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johnc
douglas123;11677 wrote:
Seems a lot of dealers who do not do the installs and startups are reluctant to help a customer in need.


Just give me the money, BABY.
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dave
Sometimes the problem is when a cheap a** potential customer has you out to their house.You explain where the generator should set, clearances from windows and doors,, size the generator, explain cold weather and gas off issues with a propane tank, explain they need a larger propane tank or need to up size their natural gas meter, solve logistic issues on setting the generator, describe load shedding and what they should do, the various options on what to set the generator on, the best path to run the conduit so it looks the neatest, explain you are an authorized dealer and see these every day. Then they take the information and thank you then proceed to find the company with the lowest price who knows very little about generators but they are "ELECTRICIANS " who technically can install it.

On a recent service call the generator would always start when placed into auto. It was just installed and hadn't worked yet. The low priced installer told the customer he had installed " hundreds " and could not figure out what was wrong. As any tech knows the first thing you check are the sensing fuses and sure enough he blew one on installation. And this was a " reputable electric firm but not a Generac dealer ".
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kgwortman
Wow Dave....I think you're having a bad day. The issue is with the generator not the electric distribution or competitive pricing. Even the Generac dealer acknowledged this so I really think your name calling is a bit misplaced and somewhat vindictive; sounds like you had a bad experience. I would suggest that you get a bit more constructive for the benefit of this forum.

The generator is the root of the problem and the last time I checked, the electrician did not manufacture the generator. I've already initiated the step that Skip suggested by taking the issue "upstairs" to Waukesha, WI. In a consumer push landscape, arrogance toward your revenue base, in the age of powerful social networking, can be a big mistake.
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cookelec
Douglas123 and Bronco are on the right track. When the engine does start, does it run rough or backfire? If wire 18 is grounded the unit will not start at all. If a magneto is bad, the pulses to the controller will be wrong leading to a "sensor fail", however the engine should run very rough and possibly backfire.

Sorry Bronco. I missed the "c" in my original post.
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kgwortman
Thanks for the info. The engine does not backfire and sometimes when it starts is does 5-6 rev'ings like it's trying to get up to speed then stops. It doesn't sound like it runs rough. We did get it to run for 36 hours straight then the utility came on and the gen shut down as it should; the engine sounded great during those 36 hours. Generac tech says he cannot fix it until he see's it broken. Problem is, we just don't know how long it will run once it starts. Could be 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days. Very unpredictable.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
kgwortman;11722 wrote:
Thanks for the info. The engine does not backfire and sometimes when it starts is does 5-6 rev'ings like it's trying to get up to speed then stops. It doesn't sound like it runs rough. We did get it to run for 36 hours straight then the utility came on and the gen shut down as it should; the engine sounded great during those 36 hours. Generac tech says he cannot fix it until he see's it broken. Problem is, we just don't know how long it will run once it starts. Could be 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days. Very unpredictable.
Get a GOOD video camera (not a cell phone) with an external microphone and record what it looks like and sounds like to capture both good and bad starting sessions. That would, at the very least, help you describe the symptoms in detail to the tech. By reviewing the video, the tech may very well pick up on things that you don't even notice.
Skip Douglas
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cookelec
I've seen this before on other units. If there is no backfire when the unit runs, it seems to run when it feels like it, and it trips on "sensor loss", my hunch would be look at the fuel supply. I have seen units running before and when they lose fuel, the sensor loss alarm will activate. Check fuel supply. If on propane, make sure tank size and regulator size are correct.
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kgwortman
Thanks cookelec. We overtanked it a bit at 330 gallon laydown LP tank. I calculated consumption at about 1.1 gal/hour during the recent 4 day outage; at 80% fill, it should run the gen for about 8 -10 days at that rate We also had the Generac tech re-regulate the gas supply. Oddly enough, it seemed to run better as the tank ran down below 70%. Just did the second oil change on 11/6 with Mobil 1, 5W-30 synthetic and a Generac filter; machine now has 69 hours on it. Used manual switch to warm engine and oil before change and tested post change. Later that same day the gen ran its regular exercise. All worked fine. Still don't know the origin of the problem but, seems to keep running longer and smoother after the Generac tech went through the first diagnostic test, via the manual, for the - lost RPM sensor - error code. I'm still a little skeptical on the reliability of the gen now....
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cookelec
Keep in mind the generator runs on LP vapor so the more liquid you have in your tank the less room you have for vapor. Keep an eye on the fuel issue.
I think that's where it all started. But that's only one opinion.
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kgwortman
BTW, wire #18 was the first diagnostic test that the Generac tech performed. Interestingly the gen has been running better since that diagnostic test and the recent fuel consumption. I guess the tech manipulated the right wire and hopefully it will continue to work a bit more consistently without the error code. Thanks for the advice and insights. I'll keep and eye on the fuel.
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