Generator Question


Old 10-07-02, 04:26 AM
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Question Buying used generator ????'s

I plan on buying a used generator but I'm wondering if I stick a voltmeter in the electrical outlets of the generator when it's running to determine the voltage it's putting out, Is this a sure-fire way of verifying that the generator is operating the way it should. Are there any other tests that could be made to ensure I'm getting a reliable unit? I have never owned a generator before, so I'm unfamiliar with the operation of it.. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-07-02, 06:45 AM
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Hello: wallyk

Best and quickest method is to apply a full load to the generator. By full load, I mean plug in something electrical that draws up to 2/3rds of the electrical load the generator is capable of handling.

In doing so, it will be quickly noticeable if the engine and generator can handle the draw. If the engine bogs, stalls and or dies, there is evidence of problems.

If the generator blows it's fuse or circuit breaker, that could be evidence of generator problems. A voltage and amp test is another of the tests that can help to determine outputs and existing or potential problems.

A physical inspection of the generators internal parts may be required regardless of how it performs. Same can apply to the engine.

You never stated any specifics about the generator. Age, brand, model and capacity, etc. For home casual useage, shop or commerical useage, etc.

The other resident small engine service and repair professionals may offer additional suggestions, advice & help.

Check back on your topic several times over the next several days for additional replies.

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Old 10-07-02, 02:22 PM
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Bought a Used/New Maxa 3000

I purchased a used / new (never been used) Maxa OHV 3000 Coleman Powermate electrical generator today. The generator was still in original plastic and there was no oil or gas in the unit so I could tell that it had not been used. It was purchased in 1999 for the upcoming Y2K. These people were prepared! Anyways, the reason I'm giving a little background is because you will know that the unit had been sitting idle for 3 yrs without a startup. Now, here's my question..
I only get 116 volts reading from the electrical outlets when I use my volt meter. I understand there is a break-in period for a new generator/motor. Is this why I'm not getting 120 Volts??? OR, does the generator have to be excited?? In the maual it states that if there is a loss of residual magnetism, voltage will not build up. You are supposed use a 6 volt dry cell battery and connect up to the brushes for a second and it's supposed build up the voltage. The unit runs smoothly and therefore I am reluctant to make any adjustments yet to the idle speed as it has been factory preset. Would appreciate any input that I can get on the generator as I'm new to this type of engine.. THANKS IN ADVANCE.. Btw, it runs my skil saw and other power tools without a problem if that helps. It just hesitates when I first start up the saw, but then it runs smooth after that.
Old 10-07-02, 09:39 PM
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Hello wallyk, your tools will be fine running on 110-125 volts. Voltage in most home and shop situations vary this much when compressors and AC units kick in....Mike

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