oldhamsaints
I have a 14KW generator and I rewired the pre-wired transfer switch to take 5 60 amp breakers to suit my main panel. The unit worked fine for over a year with the weekly start up checks operating fine. I turned the generator off and a few months ago during a power outage the switch (unknown to me) was stuck between generator and utility power. I switched on the generator on (stupid I now know) and the capacitor melted. I checked the voltage and was only getting 13 volts through the switch from utility power although the utility feed voltage was normal. I replaced the capacitor and went through the check process. When I switch off the utility feed the switch transfers to generator power but when I energize the utility power the switch does not return fully to utility power and the capacitor started to give off the burning smell. Is there a part in the switch that needs replacing or do I need to install a whole new transfer switch?
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yucan2
Is that a misprint, do you really mean (5) 60 amp breakers? What capacitor?
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oldhamsaints
It should read (5) 60 amp breakers. I should have said electromagnetic coil not "capacitor".

Thanks
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ohmslaw
I have had two units in the past year catch fire. Both units cooked the utility coil. I assume a low voltage scenario from the utility is the culprit. The switch closed but not enough to release the voltage to the coil. Both units had substantial smoke and fire damage. We replaced all the switch gear and wiring harnesses.
Tim
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oldhamsaints
what do you think may be stopping the switch from switching fully now. It only looked as though the coil was damaged and I replaced that, I don't want to buy new parts that are either not needed or do not fix the problem.
The fire sounds scary, was it confined to the switch housing or does it have the potential to burn down the house!
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ohmslaw
I guess the wording of my post was scary. The fire is contained and short lived. The wires above the coils burnt and there was a lot of smoke damage. In both cases the enclosures were usable and no paint was damaged. I take this as an indication that there was not a lot of heat generated. I do not know why your unit will not transfer now. I replaced the transfer switch mechanism and coils . I recommend you do the same.
Tim
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oldhamsaints
Thanks Tim
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bronco
If you turn off everything including the generator and you manually operate the switch how does it feeel? Is it sticking? misalinged? Sometime when the coil burnes up it can afect the plastic of the contact housing and make it hard to transfer back. Look at those and get back to us.
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oldhamsaints
Did what you suggested and there is a resistance when I try to pull the handle down. I loosened the coil and it still wouldn't go all the way down so I don't think it is an alignment issue. I will take the mechanism out this weekend and check for other damaged parts. It feels as though something is jammed. The closest thing I can compare it to is a zip that has the cloth stuck in the teeth and you get the zipper so far down then it wont go any further.
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DanB
oldhamsaints;6643 wrote:
Did what you suggested and there is a resistance when I try to pull the handle down. I loosened the coil and it still wouldn't go all the way down so I don't think it is an alignment issue. I will take the mechanism out this weekend and check for other damaged parts. It feels as though something is jammed. The closest thing I can compare it to is a zip that has the cloth stuck in the teeth and you get the zipper so far down then it wont go any further.


Not sure about the transfer switch specifics, but from my old days as a pinball machine tech sounds like the coil overheated and the guide sleeve and coil are distorted. Used to happen with with flipper coils a lot when the high/low current switches werent adjusted correctly.
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bronco
Good call DanB thats just what I was thinking. You will need a new coil the inside got hot and warped the plastic liner.
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Geoff Z
I'm guessing its the relay in the PCB sticking or the transfer switch ice cube.


Test the PCB:
Disconnect 23/194 from the generator
Check for continuity across 23/194 at rest. It should be open.
Disconnect power and cause the generator to start
Check for continuity across 23/194 at rest. It should be closed.
If it is closed, we know the PCB is working.





Ice cube in the transfer switch stuck? Here is a good easy test without using a meter.
Turn off EVERY breaker in the transfer switch.
Disconnect power and cause the generator to start
Ratchet the breaker in the generator back and forth about 20 times.
Go see if it moved.
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Geoff Z
The reason you will sometimes come across a burned utility coil is the following scenerio (I know this to be exact, as i've junked 10-11 coils when I was finding a way to prevent it from happening).


1. Voltage drops below 78%-81% nominal
2. Generator starts up.
3. Brown out occurs, and the voltage lands between 78%-81% nominal.
4. PCB board is programmed that this is good voltage, and tells the transfer switch to utilize utility power to make the transfer back.
5. Generator opens 23/194, causing the utility coil to move. However, the coil needs 82%+ nominal in order to move. The voltage is simply not high enough to complete the motion, and the coil will simply burn up if it is left like this for 10-12 seconds.

THIS WAS CORRECTED in the 5200 series, and only plagues the 4390/4456's. I have had a voltage monitor designed fixes this issue.


Long story short, a brown out that happens at a certain voltage will burn up the coils.

I've experienced close to 100 of these in Michigan, and as scary as it seems to have smoke coming out of your transfer switch, we've never actually had a fire. The wrap on the coil melts, and causes the smoke.
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DanB
wow, surprised they let that design out the door.

What is the fix on the new models, and what does your fix do for the older models, and is there a Generac fix for the old models?

Almost like the old energize circuit needs its own buck&boost supply.

Just for info, pinball flipper coils had two windings -- the pull in winding, which used more current, and the hold in winding, which used less. Seems like something like that would have been used here in something so critical.
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oldhamsaints
Kelly
How do I get a schematic diagram that shows the 23/194 and what is the "ice cube"
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oldhamsaints
Its the bottom coil that burnt up, isn't that the generator coil?
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oldhamsaints
Finally had chance to take the unit apart. The bottom generator coil (new replacement) internally has black residual blobs that are preventing the rod from traveling its full length. I have tried attaching a picture

[url]http://zillerelectric.com/forums/images/styles/silverblue/attach/jpg.gif[/url]
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oldhamsaints
Update
One of the limit switches wasn't being engaged so both coils are damaged. I have purchased a new transfer switch control unit. Hopefully changing this out will fix the problem.
How do I prevent this happening again?
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Skip Douglas SkipD
oldhamsaints;6760 wrote:
Update
One of the limit switches wasn't being engaged so both coils are damaged. I have purchased a new transfer switch control unit. Hopefully changing this out will fix the problem.
How do I prevent this happening again?
It sounds to me like the original problem may have been caused by improper adjustment of the limit switch(es). If a switch was tripping just as the unit hit the end of travel, I can see how it may not have tripped the switch correctly all the time.

What you could do as a preventive measure is to check where in the stroke the limit switches are tripped. There should always be a bit of overtravel of the actuator beyond where the switch trips.

Checking adjustment of limit switches is something that I would have to do a lot in setting up and maintaining control systems in my former life.
Skip Douglas
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robertz194
transfer coils

Why is there no fuses on the coils for transfer sw?
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mastr
robertz194;10496 wrote:
Why is there no fuses on the coils for transfer sw?


Because a fuse would not prevent damage; the issue is not caused by overcurrent.
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robertz194
how about puting a time delay set of contacts in line with coils. If the 220v
stays on lets say for longer then 2 - 3 sec the the 220v would be turned off.

Just need to reset the circuit for next transfer.
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robertz194
My utility the top coil burned up melted,smoked and fried all the control
220v wires. how could generic allow a unit to be able to do this with out
protection on the control side. they have 5 amp protection going back to the the gen. but no control protection on the coils of the TS . Limit sw fails
and coil burns now that's UL
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robertz194
Have the coils made with a thermo melt wire inside. put a snap disk thermo
sensor on the coil.
Just free thinking here.
i rather replace a coil then knowing it could BURN

Note: I have 5244 unit
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ohmslaw
A voltage sensing relay that stayed open until 200/220 volts would work.
Tim
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