Low Power from Generator

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Old 02-13-17, 10:41 AM
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Low Power from Generator

I have a Generac GP6500E... Always works great... Has been maintained regularly... Just ran it for an hour two weeks ago... power is out today... turned unit on, started great, sounds normal, but it is delivering less power than usual... lights that are usually normal are dim, some items wont start, i have my heater, including water heater, all turned off per my normal generator routine... any ideas on why power is low? any ideas on what to do? Thanks, Upstate John.
 
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Old 02-13-17, 11:20 AM
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You said you ran it for an hour but was it under full load?
Generators need to be tested under load for the test to be any benefit.

You need to start the generator under no load then one at a time connect devices to see how the generator behaves and what the engine sounds like.

Try that and let us know how it goes.
Maybe you have a bad appliance.
 
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Old 02-14-17, 07:30 AM
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Any device which heats (appliances in kitchen) will draw a lot of power.

Also if you have a refrigerator and freezer (like in garage/basement), both may be trying to run at the same time.

You can also try turning off all breakers, then turning on one at a time.
 
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Old 02-14-17, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for the responses... Once everything is back to normal, I will try those tests. What is really strange about what is going on is that the low or no power seems to be area/circuit specific... None of the lights in my kitchen will turn on (fridge and stove are unplugged), but the lights and TV in my living room are all fine. So are the lights in my bedroom. I am even able to run a space heater in the living room. Yet, if I turn everything else off, and then try the kitchen lights, they wont come on, same with a room in my basement; lights wont even turn on. Maybe this is an ignorant question, but does that sound like something that could happen if the generator isn't putting out as much power as usual? Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 02-14-17, 01:18 PM
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Is it possible that the lights that don't work are fluorescent or LED?

Your generator is a modified sine wave type that some electronics do no work well with.
You can check the bulb types that are not working to see if this is possible.
You can also get a voltmeter and check the voltage in various locations.

It is also possible the lightsthat don't work are not connected to the transfer switch.
You do have a transfer switch don't you?
 
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Old 02-15-17, 07:49 AM
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Could be a loose main electrical connection to one of the legs. High amperage electrical connections should be torqued to the proper inch lbs. as specified by the panel or breaker label. Aluminum wiring, in addition, needs anti-oxidation goop to be applied before installation.

If high amperage wiring is not installed properly, it is prone to come loose during use as the connections will heat up, cool down, heat up, cool down.

Another problem could be that half of a double breaker is tripped. May want to fully turn off, then back on any breakers associated with the generator. Or if there is a transfer switch, switch it off/on.
 
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Old 02-15-17, 08:45 AM
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What do you mean by "low" power? Low voltage causes dim lights. Overloading the generator would slow it down, dimming lights before tripping off. You need to check voltage and frequency (engine speed 3600 rpm = 60 cycles) BEFORE connecting to your house. Beware, cheap meters can give false readings on generators.

BTW, there better be a transfer switch or a legal interlock.
 
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Old 02-15-17, 05:06 PM
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Yes all answers are hear say as we have no information..

1. How are you connecting this gen to your home? Need pics and specifics
2. With gen running, with out hooked up to anything , what are the voltages and hz readings at the outlets..

Lets start there.

Until you furnish this info no one on this board should be guessing at what your issue may be.
 
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Old 02-15-17, 06:48 PM
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Your generator is a modified sine wave type...
How did you determine that? To the best of my knowledge a modified square wave would only come from an inverter. I might agree if you stated the waveform from the generator might have a lot of electrical noise along with spurious peaks and valleys.
 
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Old 02-15-17, 07:07 PM
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What is the hot to neutral voltage as measured at several locations (receptacles are easiest) in the house while the generator is running?

Include measurements on branch circuits on both sides of the 120/240 volt system.

Plug in a few things that draw small to modest amounts of power (not heaters), turn them on, and measure voltages again.I

If you ask me, the generator should output at approximately the standard 120 volts hot to neutral at all times regardless of how little power you are drawing.
 
 

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