Didn't "water" my generator and now it won't start

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-15-11, 12:20 PM
BigTime's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 53
Question Didn't "water" my generator and now it won't start

So I moved into this home about a year ago and the guy said I need to fill the generator battery every 3 months or so... I didn't keep on top of that and at one point I think it was 5 months. Well, I recently noticed that it no longer did it's usual Sunday "test" where it just runs a little... maybe like an hour.

So... my question is, what do I do? Aside from calling in a "pro" who might charge me 50 bucks just to show up.

Thanks for the help.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-15-11, 12:25 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,516
Sounds like you allowed the battery to dry which would mean it probably needs to be replaced.
 
  #3  
Old 08-15-11, 12:26 PM
BigTime's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 53
If it helps at all... I have a charger that I use on my car. It can do marine batteries, start ups and trickle charges.
 
  #4  
Old 08-15-11, 12:26 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,295
It is probably a standard lead acid battery that can easily be replaced just like any other electric start engine (riding mower, motorcycle, etc). They're only good for ~5 years anyway so it might be time anyway.
 
  #5  
Old 08-15-11, 05:49 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,213
It sounds like a standby generator with automatic transfer switch. If that is indeed the case, it probably has a trickle charger to keep the battery fully charged and that is probably what is causing the water level to drop in the battery. That being said, I think filling the battery every 3 months is more often than should be necessary. You should probably replace the battery and check the charging system for overcharging.
 
  #6  
Old 08-15-11, 09:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
I know couple namebrand generators did have issue with battery charger they will " boil " out the battery so some of the charger may putting out too much voltage or not working in float mode.

How often you test the generator ?? if done monthly it may be not too bad but 3 months to add water to the battery IMO that is little too much for this set up so if you tell us what brand generator it have I may have a answer for it.

Merci,
Marc
 
  #7  
Old 08-16-11, 11:11 PM
BigTime's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 53
It says on the generator Guardiangenerators.com on the inside. The entire generator is maybe 3 years old. It was very new when we bought the house a year ago.

I never "tested" the generator per se, but it did automatically go on every sunday in the evening and stopped sometime in the past 6 months approximately.
 
  #8  
Old 08-17-11, 07:31 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
I think a new battery should fix this.
 
  #9  
Old 08-17-11, 09:21 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,295
On guardians, pop the lid open and the battery compartment is on the right side. It uses a group 26, 12V battery, 525 cold crank amps minimum. Remove the battery from the generator by unhooking the red and black terminals and take it to a battery store to get a replacement. If you get a "maintenance free" battery you won't have to check the electrolyte level. The process is exactly the same as replacing a battery in your car, mower, etc. After the new battery is installed I think you need to reset the weekly test/exercise schedule.

The manual should cover the procedure for resetting the test. While you've got the manual out, review the rest of the maintenance schedule because it does need regular engine maintenance like oil check, spark plug, air filter, etc.

Here's the manual if you don't have a copy: http://www.guardiangenerators.com/PublicPDFs/0F9421.pdf
 
  #10  
Old 08-28-11, 02:20 PM
BigTime's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 53
I found some info on the generator from some receipts from the previous homeowner:

Battery, per receipt: 26-5S

Generator appears to be:
Guardian Technologies
item number 0044563
and it then says
12.0 GTH990 HSB+t/SW&LOADCNTR
12kw Prepack
 
  #11  
Old 08-28-11, 02:39 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,213
Originally Posted by BigTime View Post
I found some info on the generator from some receipts from the previous homeowner:

Battery, per receipt: 26-5S

Generator appears to be:
Guardian Technologies
item number 0044563
and it then says
12.0 GTH990 HSB+t/SW&LOADCNTR
12kw Prepack
Did you replace the battery yet?
 
  #12  
Old 08-29-11, 02:42 PM
BigTime's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 53
I was a little unsure what I should get... ipbooks mentioned the "maintenance free" battery which i definitely would like to get. But is it compatible?

As far as the battery goes. the one that's in there looks like a regular car battery. But I've never had to fill my car battery with water like I did this one... and subsequently forgot to do .
 
  #13  
Old 08-29-11, 03:10 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,295
It is a regular car battery. They are available in a standard non-sealed style, which needs to have the electrolyte checked periodically and add distilled water if necessary; or a maintenance-free style which does not need to be checked nearly as much. The maintenance-free batteries are usually a little more expensive and heavy, although they are so popular now that I don't know if you could easily find a non-sealed battery at the major retailers.
 
  #14  
Old 08-29-11, 04:48 PM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
Just curious, can the maintenence free batteries spill?
 
  #15  
Old 08-29-11, 05:59 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,213
I was a little unsure what I should get
Take what information ibpooks gave you to the battery store, whether it be Auto Zone, Advance Auto, NAPA, Sears, K Mart, Wal Mart, Sam's Club, CarQuest or where ever you feel comfortable and ask them what batteries they have to fit the bill.

On guardians, pop the lid open and the battery compartment is on the right side. It uses a group 26, 12V battery, 525 cold crank amps minimum.
If you want a real maintenance free battery, Google "Delco Freedom" and find out who sells them and go there with your battery info.
 
  #16  
Old 08-29-11, 06:06 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,356
Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
Just curious, can the maintenence free batteries spill?
Generally no but they still need to be upright when in service. They do have totally sealed lead-acid batteries that can be used in any position.
 
  #17  
Old 08-30-11, 08:37 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,295
Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
Just curious, can the maintenence free batteries spill?
The fancy brands usually have a fully sealed case in brightly colored plastic (because that obviously makes the car start better), but the generic ones are usually just a regular battery case with the caps glued down. You can easily pop them open with a screwdriver, so I would guess that it is still possible to spill in the right circumstance. Maintenance free is really not the right word either as the battery can still boil off if it is overcharged or overheated and would need water to regain capacity.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'