Dville_TX
I have a question about checking oil level.

It is not a good idea to stop a generator under load since it could hurt connected load as well as possible hurting the generator (voltage regulator)

What is the procedure for checking oil level during an extended run of several days?

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Skip Douglas SkipD
Open the breaker in the generator or, if one is present, you could open a disconnect. This will take the load away from the generator.

Let the generator's engine run without a load for a minute or so to cool down.

Stop the engine by moving the generator's switch to the OFF position.

Check, top off (or change) the oil.

Start the generator by placing its switch in auto (assuming that utility power is still out).

After running the generator long enough to be stable, close the breaker or contactor that you used to separate the load from the generator.
Skip Douglas
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Dville_TX
Thanks Skip.

Then I suppose it would be OK to flip the breakers off in the transfer switch. and back on after re-start to add load gradually.

Did not find any procedure in the manual.

73, KD5FZX
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Skip Douglas SkipD
Dville_TX;12243 wrote:
Thanks Skip.

Then I suppose it would be OK to flip the breakers off in the transfer switch. and back on after re-start to add load gradually.

Did not find any procedure in the manual.
I would prefer to trip a disconnect that has replaceable contacts rather than tripping a standard breaker under load.
Skip Douglas
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techntrek
One option is to make a modification to the transfer switch so you can control the low-voltage signal line that transfers the load one way or the other. I always kill my genset overnight during long outages, and use the steps as Skip describes above, but use the transfer switch to remove the loads from the genset by moving them back to utility (and then back to the genset after restarting it). I also modified the genset so I have 2 switches mounted remotely, one that controls the transfer switch, one controls the genset.

That said, personally I think its an easier job replacing breakers than it would be to replace the mechanism in the transfer switch - not that the later would be all that hard either. I just won't be doing this often enough over the life of the genset to worry about it. And its nice to be able to do everything remotely from the top of my garage steps.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
techntrek;12247 wrote:
One option is to make a modification to the transfer switch so you can control the low-voltage signal line that transfers the load one way or the other. I always kill my genset overnight during long outages, and use the steps as Skip describes above, but use the transfer switch to remove the loads from the genset by moving them back to utility (and then back to the genset after restarting it). I also modified the genset so I have 2 switches mounted remotely, one that controls the transfer switch, one controls the genset.

That said, personally I think its an easier job replacing breakers than it would be to replace the mechanism in the transfer switch - not that the later would be all that hard either. I just won't be doing this often enough over the life of the genset to worry about it. And its nice to be able to do everything remotely from the top of my garage steps.
I cannot make my transfer switch toggle to the utility position if there is no utility power. Likewise, it won't toggle to the generator position if there is no generator power.
Skip Douglas
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techntrek
That is part of the modification. The generator-side solenoid is only powered by the genset, the utility-side solenoid by the utility. Move the wires for the utility solenoid so they are in parallel to the one on the genset side. They can operate from the same fuse since by definition only one will operate at a time. While you are in there you also need to cut one side of the 12 volt control line coming from the genset, putting your remote switch in series.

Under normal operation with the remote switch "on" it will operate the same as before. Power will go out, the genset will fire up, then it will power the genset-side solenoid to transfer to the genset. Utility returns, the genset powers the utility-side solenoid to return to utility, the genset shuts down.

To shut down during an outage your turn your remote switch "off", forcing the transfer switch to utility. Shut down the genset after a minute (you can wire in a remote switch by cutting the wire running to the "on" side of the genset's rocker switch, you don't need to cut the wire on the "auto" side). You can leave the remote transfer switch "off" or "on" after killing the engine, either way if the utility returns overnight (or while you are checking the oil) the transfer switch already has your loads on the utility. Just be sure to turn both remote switches "on" if power has returned by morning to return the system to a full automatic state.
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ceb58
SkipD;12244 wrote:
I would prefer to trip a disconnect that has replaceable contacts rather than tripping a standard breaker under load.


There is nothing wrong or bad about "turning off" a breaker under load. No more than turning on or off a light switch.
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techntrek
As long as you aren't using a breaker as a light switch - although at several jobs I worked in the distant past, retail and warehouse, that is exactly what they did.
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