Whacky (Erratic) voltage (Portable Generator)

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-23-12, 04:43 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Whacky (Erratic) voltage (Portable Generator)

I have a "gimme" Honda EX1000 generator which runs flawlessly. I noted the engine speed was a little higher than normal, but didn't think too much of it. I tested it by plugging a trouble light into it. After the welding type flash left my eyes, I tested the 120v receptacle. Across hot and neutral I was getting 265 volts. Hot to ground 130+ and Neutral to ground 130+. I spooled the speed back keeping my meter plugged into the receptacle until it dropped to 126v or so. Does the engine speed have that much to do with what I get across the receptacle contacts?? Is it possible the generator is faulty?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-23-12, 04:56 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 614
It sounds more like your neutral has gone hot somehow.
 
  #3  
Old 11-23-12, 05:00 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 20,518
Good thing you used a light, and not your Fein or 120V table saw!
 
  #4  
Old 11-23-12, 05:20 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Toolmon, it seems to settle down to hot and neutral with the slowing of the engine. That's why I was wondering if over revving the engine would cause a sine wave malfunction in the generator itself.

Brant, how true, especially on the Fein.....ouch! My baby!!
 
  #5  
Old 11-23-12, 07:51 PM
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,815
There should not be voltage like that from neutral to ground.
 
  #6  
Old 11-23-12, 08:44 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 45,092
I agree with cheese.......there should be 0 volts between neutral and ground.
 
  #7  
Old 11-24-12, 04:47 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Thanks guys. I'll start checking for misplaced wiring etc. Just wanted to confirm it was abnormal. Too nice a generator (although small) to just throw away. I may can use it like Justin does, and have a party!! Heck, they want $350 on Ebay for them It was free, so I can afford a little time.
 
  #8  
Old 11-24-12, 05:44 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,185
How did you throttle the speed down? All the small generators I have seen run at only one speed which is correct for the output voltage. You may have a bad governor.

What was the voltage between neutral to ground when it was at normal output voltage?

Free is awesome!
 
  #9  
Old 11-24-12, 06:20 AM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
Posts: 10,440
Larry

My Two Cents...

Does the engine speed have that much to do with what I get across the receptacle contacts??
Engine speed is very important! Highly Critical aspect. Has a lot to due with voltage output. That free be you got might have been tampered with by previous owner. May have attempted to gain more voltage by tampering with engine governor speed control or device. Very bad idea to over speed any small engine.

Best suggestion (IMO) for a first time attempt to fix or diagnose possible problems is to check engine RPM's. Use a small engine tachometer. Engine speed not to exceed 3600 hundred RPM's. Any speed above that will cause internal engine damage! Like stretching the piston rod and or floating any over head valves engine may have.

And there you have it..."My Two Cents"...

Regards & Good Luck. Sharp Advice.
25+ year Vocational Small Engine Tech. Web Site Host, Forums Monitor and Multiple Topics Moderator.
 
  #10  
Old 11-24-12, 06:41 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Thanks, Tom and others. I just wanted confirmation. Once I spooled it down via the governor adjustment screw it reverted to normal 120 volt operation. Scott, the Neutral to ground in 120 volt operation also went to zero. Yes, the governor spring had been modified somewhat, so I will seek a new one and replace it. I think he was thinking more RPMs meant he could get more wattage. It's a small "light bulb string" generator, not meant for motors or other items over 8 amps or so. It's cool for it's purpose.
Thanks, again guys.
 
  #11  
Old 11-24-12, 08:53 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 45,092
Not sure if you have the service info on that piece but Honda has pretty good manuals. The wiring diagram is on page 36


http://powerequipment.honda.com/pdf/...s/31ZC0020.pdf
 
  #12  
Old 11-24-12, 11:13 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Yeah, PJ, I downloaded it last night. Good information, too. Thanks.
 
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