MR V
We have a 5241 generator at our vacation home in Trout Lake, MI I installed back in June 2007. It has the RTS-E-100A3 transfer switch with 10 circuits. It’s running on propane, and sits on it’s own little deck with a metal roof over it to keep it up off the ground because of the deep snow in the winter. It is completely open on the sides and the roof is about 3’ above the top of the generator. For the most part everything works fine. We have had two problems that we know of (we don't live there - vacation home). The first time was on 10/31/2009. It had been cold and then a warm front came through so there was a lot on condensation on everything. A wind storm came through and the power went out. The generator started, but after several minutes it did not transfer power to the generator. No loud snap from the transfer switch. So I turned off the generator and set it manual and it then it transferred power to the generator. I have tested it several times since then and it has been fine. But never under the same conditions where there was condensation on everything. The just last week it got very warm and foggy outside when we were at the cabin. So I did another test - I turned off the power to the cabin, the generator started, but no snap from the transfer switch. So I turned the power back on. The generator shut down. Next, I turned the power off a second time. The generator started and within less than a minute, I heard the snap of the transfer switch and we had power from the generator. It seems that something does not like the damp conditions. Has anyone ever encountered this? This is very frustrating, because we are not getting the peace of mind that we wanted - to keep the heat on and not freeze the pipes.

I have been browsing the forums and it looks like maybe if the generator is not producing power, that it will not transfer power. I did not check to see if it was producing voltage, but will the next time we are there and it happens.

I hate to call for service since it does not do it all the time. Does anyone thing that a service tech would be able to figure out what’s going on if it does not act up for them? Is there anything I can check or look for that could be wrong with it?

Thank you!
Mike
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Skip Douglas SkipD
Where is the transfer switch - outside in the weather or indoors?

The first thing I would look at is ALL of the connections made during the installation to see that all are cleanly made and properly tightened.
Skip Douglas
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MR V
Hi Skip, the transfer switch is inside. I did go back and check all the connections last week and retightened everything. Everything looked fine and nothing loose.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Mike
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yucan2
MR V;8070 wrote:
Hi Skip, the transfer switch is inside. I did go back and check all the connections last week and retightened everything. Everything looked fine and nothing loose.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Mike


I don't think moister would factor into the scenario you described but 1 item you mentioned would, the generator not producing output power, in which case it will not transfer.

I'd service or have the unit serviced paying particular attention to entire voltage output circuitry. If all seems normal next likely culprit are the brushes.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
yucan2;8071 wrote:
....1 item you mentioned would, the generator not producing output power, in which case it will not transfer.
This is good advise.

The coils in the transfer switch that cause the contacts to switch are actually operated by 240VAC through rectifier bridges packaged in the coil assemblies. 240VAC utility power is needed in order to switch from the generator position to the utility service position and 240VAC generator power is needed in order to switch from the utility service position to the generator position.

Without the generator producing 240VAC power, there will be no connection made to the generator. The voltage on the conductors from the generator can be measured in the transfer switch to determine if the 240VAC is there.

If the generator has started automatically and 240VAC is present on the power conductors from the generator, the first thing to check would be the control relay in the transfer switch. It should be energized and the 240VAC from the generator should be routed to the transfer contactor coil. If there is 240VAC across the coil and the contactor has not moved, the coil or the rectifier in it could be bad.
Skip Douglas
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MR V
SkipD;8072 wrote:
This is good advise.

The coils in the transfer switch that cause the contacts to switch are actually operated by 240VAC through rectifier bridges packaged in the coil assemblies. 240VAC utility power is needed in order to switch from the generator position to the utility service position and 240VAC generator power is needed in order to switch from the utility service position to the generator position.

Without the generator producing 240VAC power, there will be no connection made to the generator. The voltage on the conductors from the generator can be measured in the transfer switch to determine if the 240VAC is there.

If the generator has started automatically and 240VAC is present on the power conductors from the generator, the first thing to check would be the control relay in the transfer switch. It should be energized and the 240VAC from the generator should be routed to the transfer contactor coil. If there is 240VAC across the coil and the contactor has not moved, the coil or the rectifier in it could be bad.


Skip and Leroy, thank you for the advice. Our next planned trip to the cabin is January 14. I will check these things out when I do another test. Hopefully it will act up again.

Thanks,
Mike
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MR V
Update on our generator acting up.

Update on our generator acting up.

It has been working fine every time I test it. So while I was at the cabin for two week over the July 4, I took apart the generator to inspect the brushes and slip rings. The slip rings were black and like a greasy film on them. I cleaned them up with some fine non-metallic sandpaper and put everything thing back together. It is still works. :)

I hope that was the problem.
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