Brand new generator and electric start intermittently works


Old 10-19-14, 03:17 PM
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Brand new generator and electric start intermittently works

Hi All,

I got a brand new generator in late August (with brand new battery). When I first got it I started it and tested a few power tools, etc on it (for maybe 5 min). I then put it away in the shed until I had completed a home for it.

Fast forward enclosure is done and house is wired and I have recently (on more then one occasion) tried to start the generator using the electric start. Nothing.... I can still crank pull it. So obviously I assumed its a battery issue. I put my multimeter on it and I get 12v. Than out of the blue the electric start works again... then it doesn't.... then it does. When it doesn't work I get nothing.... no attempt to turn over... no clicking.

So today I planned on putting my trickle charger on it but I couldn't move the tractor to get to the charger cause guess what? Tractor has a dead battery. Long story short, I put trickle charger on tractor and decided I would run generator for a couple hours so it can charge its battery. So I started the generator and this time the electric start worked fine. Now I did run the generator for about 30 min to weeks ago but I had to crank pull it.

Any ideas what is going on?

The only thing I can think of is I have started it a few times to show my father, friends, wife, etc and never let it run long (i.e. < 5 minutes). Is it possible these short starts drained the battery? I figured a deep cell battery could handle a couple short starts without a problem but maybe I'm wrong.

Or is possible my brand new generator has some intermittent electric start issue that I need to get serviced under warranty?

Any input is appreciated!

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Old 10-19-14, 05:02 PM
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Or is possible my brand new generator has some intermittent electric start issue that I need to get serviced under warranty?
It sounds like your generator has an intermittent problem but it would be nice to get a handle on what the problem is or when you bring it in for service it will always start fine. The Murphy's Law syndrome.

When it doesn't start..... check the battery. Also check the battery while turning the key.
Old 10-19-14, 06:42 PM
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If it does occasionally start with the electric start I'd rule out the battery itself. I would look for loose or corroded connections or anything else in the starting circuit that could be intermittent.
Old 10-19-14, 10:03 PM
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First of all, what generator do you have? A lot of manufacturers use crimped-on connectors on the start switch, etc. and they sometimes just vibrate loose during shipment.
Old 10-20-14, 04:02 PM
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Thanks for the replies

My generator is the Westinghouse WH7500E.

Yeah sometimes it starts. Other times it will refuse to start. I have not tried it again since its extended run yesterday. One day I tried and it went like this:

Try 1: Nothing
Try 2: Nothing
Try 3: Starts

Each try a few seconds apart.

I looked behind the front panel and everything is enclosed and in conduit. I guess I'm going to need to unplug the battery, pull the spark plug, and unscrew the front panel so I can look inside the enclosure behind the electric start button.

I'll let you all know if I find something...
Old 10-20-14, 04:15 PM
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Before taking anything apart lets be sure the battery is god or bad. Take it to a dealer (Autozone, PepBoys, Advance Auto, etc...) and have the battery tested. Then go from there.

Recently car seemed to start fine sometimes and sometimes not. Just had a $1000 repair for poor electrical performance. Thought that solved the problem. Electrical performance was good after repair but starting was intermittent. Battery was 3 years old. Sometimes it started and sometimes not. Charged battery on charger several times. Brought it in to the dealer. The battery showed that it was just slightly below full cranking power but it would not take a charge. New battery solved problem. Starts every time now.
Old 10-26-14, 04:04 PM
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I thought I'd give an update.

I took apart the front panel of the generator yesterday and removed the housing covering the wires. I found nothing wrong visually. All the connections seemed to be good!

I traced all the wires and checked every connection I found. I did push and wiggle on all of them in case a poor connection was my intermittent problem.

I re-assembled the front panel. Tested it and it started fine. Has started fine each time since but maybe I'm just being hopeful. Time will tell I guess.

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