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About oldjohnt

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    RV Travel, Antique Tractor Shows, Bluegrass Festivals, Snowbirding

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  1. CONGRATULATIONS thanks for the feedback. Indeed any loose resistive connection and resultant voltage drop can cause problems. On starters or other electrical devices with an insulated pass through connector/stud if the inner terminal is allowed to turn the connection may break or become shorted. Good job John T
  2. DITTO to that. I've owned several Onan's and few experienced failed starters. HOWEVER I've NEVER seen a GENERATOR starter fail so badly that it caused the "HOUSE BATTERY" bank (assuming its okay??) voltage "TO FALL OFF FIVE OR SIX VOLTS" as the OP indicated. But likewise indeed saw engine starter motor failures (Dodge 360 or 413 or 440 or Chevy 350 or 454) draw extreme high current grrrrrrrrrrrrrr lol It would take one heck of a HUGE current draw and/or bad batteries to cause a 5 or 6 volt drop. It seems to me if the generator starts fine as soon as the Engine battery comes on line as the OP indicates, the generator starter and solenoid are okay BUT HEY IM NOT THERE AND HAVE NO DATA SO I FOR ONE JUST CANT SAY THE CAUSE. Again this all takes me back to EITHER a bad house battery,,,,,,,,,,,or the house battery bank has a bad frame ground connection (Check house battery ground terminal/post and its cable to frame connection),,,,,,,,,,or some other cable or connection (Maybe bad on POS side ??) DARN IF I KNOW LOL PS Many of the genset starter failures I saw were its starter drive (like spring and plastic screw etc) mechanism failed or stuck even thought the starter motor itself was fine otherwise. I also experienced several generator starter solenoids fail but that didn't cause any 5 or 6 volt house battery drop. Oh well were trying, that's all we can do remotely God Bless yall and best wishes John T Live in the RV from the Florida Flywheelers in Fort Meade Florida. Its HOT here
  3. If one of the house batteries is bad it will drag down the good battery. If voltage is greatly different if one or both are in parallel I SUSPECT THE LOW VOLTAGE BATTERY, HAVE IT CHECKED. Regardless if all else was good (cables and connections and grounds) even only ONE 12 Volt battery (used separate) should crank the genset no problem. That leads back to a cable or ground or connection issue if one battery alone still cant start it. YES there's a starter solenoid on the genset but it seems to be fine when the engine battery and alternator are used to jump start. The fact it starts when jumped makes me think the genset and its starter and solenoid are all okay. Back to a bad battery or cable or ground or connection grrrrrrrrrrrr lol NOTE I dont know how your RV is wired butttttttt the house batteries may use frame ground as a current carrier to the gensets ground cable (also to frame) ground and likewise the engine battery is frame grounded which is the engine batteries current path to the genset ground when jumped. IF THATS THE CASE A BAD HOUSE BATTERY GROUND MAY NOT ALLOW THEM TO START THE GENSET WHILE A GOOD ENGINE BATTERY GROUND (with engine running and relay engaged) ALLOWS IT TO START IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Moral of the story, after batteries are checked CHECK ANY HOUSE BATTERY TO FRAME GROUND CONNECTION AND THE FRAME GROUND CABLE at the house batteries. John T
  4. NO I don't think you need a new "engine" battery. YES house and engine batteries are different items HOWEVER on some RV's when the engine is running a solenoid engages so the engine batteries and alternator essentially jump in parallel to the house batteries to charge them when driving. Typically (maybe not yours???) the house batteries start the genset but if they are bad and your engine starts and its wired to jump house to engine that can allow the genset to start even if the house batteries are low. Have batteries tested then check all cable and ground connections...... John T
  5. Homeless, lets address this one step at a time: 1) Voltage falling off five or six volts: Ifffffffff the batteries PLUS connections are ALL ?? good it would take one huge current draw (like a near shorted generator starter) to drop BATTERY voltage that much. HOWEVER since it starts once the engines alternator and battery essentially jump starts it, I don't see the generator starter as the problem. Since its hard to drop BATTERY voltage (provided they are good???) that drastic, I question just exactly where the voltage is being measured. If measured right at the batteries is one thing but if somewhere downstream there may be an I x R voltage drop. -------------ONE prime suspect is a bad battery (even if new) which a load test at a shop can find. --------------The other prime suspect is a faulty resistive loose/burned cable or connection which may well be one of the GROUND connections. I would check and if necessary remove clean and wire brush each and every ground connection at BOTH the batteries and genset. SO OFTEN A BAD GROUND CABLE OR CONNECTION IS THE PROBLEM 2) Engine starting allows genset to start: On some RV's if the engine is started the engine battery and alternator are then jumped in parallel with the house batteries which charges them plus can jump start/boost enough to start the genset. SUMMARY Have new batteries tested at a shop (many will do that for free),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Check each and every battery post and terminal connection and cable ESPECIALLY all frame grounds and cable to ground and genset to ground (cable or frame) connections,,,,,,,,,,,,,If you have two sixes in series check that series connection...……..Two twelves in parallel can still have a bad connection but if that's what you have even one battery can start a genset easily Not being there my "pure guesses" remain a bad house battery or a bad cable or connection including the GROUND..Its easy to check all those cables and connections and grounds and if NONE of those are bad have the batteries tested John T
  6. Rusty AMEN TO THAT I've seen several that way. HOWEVER I will say the more expensive spec grade sold at our local electrical supply houses last longer then the cheapies sold at big box store...….Just sayin John T
  7. Hey not being there absent any testing or data whatsoever I CANT PROVIDE THE ANSWER EITHER ???? The GFCI still functions as it ONLY measures the current in versus current out of the two conductors inside the toroid coil. When it started tripping the current in one conductor had to have been at least 0.005 amps different then the other, so it must have been leaking/flowing elsewhere BUT DARN IF I KNOW WHERE AND WHY LOL Nice chatting with you John T
  8. Poohbear, Indeed you're correct, an RV Panel is configured as a SUB PANEL, therefore, the Neutral and Ground Buses are electrically insulated and isolated from each other, UNLIKE a typical homes main distribution panel in which two buses (G & N) may be bonded together (cross tie bar) or even only one common Neutral/Ground buss where BOTH Neutrals and Grounds are attached. A GFCI works by having Hot/In and Return/Out current conductors (whatever they may be) pass through a Torroid Coil and if both currents are the same (as should be unless there's a leak/fault) it doesn't trip, HOWEVER if there's as little as 0.005 to 0.006 amps difference (due to a leak/fault) a voltage is induced signaling it causing a trip. John T
  9. If the GFCI wasn't tripped and still has power (assuming all is wired correct and working??) that means no device plugged into it NOR any downstream receptacles (and their loads) that were fed off its LOAD terminals encountered a ground fault OTHERWISE it would have tripped killing it PLUS any downstream receptacles fed from its LOAD side terminals. HOWEVER if other downstream receptacles were effectively wired off its LINE supply side they are NOT protected nor would they go dead if the GFCI tripped. The GFCI always protects itself PLUS it can be wired so it also protects any regular receptacles wired to its LOAD side terminals. A receptacle cant work unless the branch circuit (consists of a black hot a white neutral and a bare/green ground) is hot with 120 VAC Line to Neutral,, no tripped or open circuit breaker,, and all wires are continuous (no bad wire nuts or other splices) intact and properly connected including where the black hot attaches to the circuit breaker and the white neutral attaches to the panels Neutral Buss Use a light or meter to SAFELY insure the black hot and white Neutral have 120 VAC, if not a receptacle wired to it cant work. NOTE if the circuit breaker is OPEN there's no voltage getting out to that circuit nor any receptacles wired to it, any test for voltage to the circuit and its receptacles needs to be done SAFELY AND PROPERLY FULLY PROTECTED AGAINST CONTACT OR SHORTS with the breaker CLOSED... Open breaker = no voltage on that circuit..... If receptacles are daisy chained together all the connections and wires must be good and continuous. If no even new receptacles are hot (yet panel has sufficient voltage) I suspect the circuit is the problem maybe caused by a bad or tripped breaker,,,,,,,,,,,,,non connection of the hot or neutral in the panel,,,,,,,,,,,,,,bad/open wire nut or butt or crimp connection of wires together,,,,,,,,bad connections in a receptacle,,,,,,,,,,a tripped GFCI which kills it plus any load side wired receptacles downstream. There may be a hidden GFCI that's tripped which would kill it PLUS any load side wired downstream receptacles. Look in bathrooms and kitchens and outside storage compartments and outside receptacles and check the breaker and neutral connections in the panel and any junction boxes and receptacles...……. You can do this just BE SAFE John T
  10. Jim, you're welcome, thanks for the update. Based on it here are a few more thoughts: On units that indeed connect the house to engine battery WHEN ON SHORE POWER there may be a mechanical isolation relay that's engaged under those conditions (or by using an emergency switch). They use a 100% duty rated high current solenoid (resemble old Ford starter solenoids) AND IN 49 YEARS OF RV OWNERSHIP I SAW MANY OF THOSE FAIL. They can develop burned resistive contacts or a missing or broke wire or blown fuse prevents their proper operation. Just last week I helped a buddy remove and repair his isolation solenoid/relay which like yours failed to adequately connect his engine battery to house battery. Still the KISS principle may hopefully lead to easy simple fixes like a broken wire or missing connection or a blown fuse etc...Still find and cure the cause of why the engine battery is discharging ??? John T
  11. Jim & Alice, you state your Dolphin is set up for shorepower recharging, can I assume that means its set up so the RV's Converter/Charger (for house batteries) also has a connection to your engine battery to charge it when plugged to shore power ??? (often NOT the case) If that's actually the case ?? I suspect a blown fuse,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, or tripped circuit breaker,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,or a faulty diode,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,or a bad/open/missed wiring connection between house and engine batteries. If that's the system you have when plugged to shore power Id expect your engine battery to go to 13 to 14 or so volts similar to your house batteries. Stick a voltmeter on your engine battery and see if voltage begins to rise when plugged to shore power??? If it never changes your onboard Converter/Charger must not be connected... I have also seen solid state dual battery isolators used for connecting the house and engine batteries and they can go bad or a wiring connection open. Often an RV has no permanent connection between house and engine batteries UNLESS an emergency switch/solenoid is pushed/activated or there's a simple switch or some sort of a relay to connect the two if and when needed, but many RV's don't use the onboard Converter/Charger designed to charge house batteries to ALSO charge the engine battery. I have seen SEVERAL of those systems that use a 100% duty rated high current solenoid (connects house and engine when activated) fail. There could be a diode wired between engine and house batteries to allow the Converter/Charger to charge the engine battery but NOT allow the engine battery to discharge into your coach loads. If that's the case and its bad or got disconnected and your system is as you state ?? if it is bad or got disconnected the onboard Converter/Charger cant charge your engine battery. REGARDLESS you need to find the cause why your engine battery is discharging and cure that. SUMMARY look for a blown fuse or tripped breaker or a missed wiring connection or a bad diode and make sure the system is as you stated can help other troubleshooting if required. Put your best glasses on and look for wires that aren't connected or fuse holders (round glass or blade type) with blown fuses. I have seen a rats nest of a bunch of wires connected to the battery terminal, maybe its simply that one didn't get reconnected like Darryl was talking about above ?? John T
  12. That's about like You Tube "reviews" you can find one praising a certain product while another condemns the very same one lol. Opinions and anecdotal evidence orrrrrrrrrr scams to promote a vendor or website, is NOT the same as pure technical in depth accurate "reviews". John T
  13. Dennis, Getting back to your original question, for what its worth ??? Here's a review of surge protectors I found interesting. I'm ONLY the messenger remember, no comments otherwise. https://www.rvweb.net/best-rv-surge-protectors-reviewed/ Hope this helps John T
  14. That's (floating Neutral) what the Generlink data indicates. The PDF file I posted states in part (see below) the Honda EM 3000 (assuming that's his exact model and the Generlink data is correct ??) indeed uses a Floating Neutral. If that's the case and if he wants to use it exclusively with his RV, I suggest he hard wire a Neutral/Ground Bond. One purpose of creating a Neutral/Ground Bond (for those gensets utilizing a Floating Neutral) is to prevent an EMS or other protection device from throwing an Error Code... HOWEVER, if he might use it as a home emergency Generator (subject to configuration) and wants to keep his options open I would just go with a temporary cheap n easy Bonding Plug using a typical residential NEMA 5-15P Plug with a wire to connect the Neutral and Ground terminals together. Then simply unplug if used for example at home ifffffffffff configured and described as below. NOTE: If used as a home emergency backup Generator with Neutrals NOT switched (Utility Neutral attached to Genset Neutral) IT SHOULD REMAIN CONFIGURED WITH A FLOATING NEUTRAL !!!!!!! I think we have him pretty well covered, now its HIS decision... John T Honda EM3000 2,800 L14-20 Yes Floating Neutral
  15. NOTE: "Some" (but NOT all, see the link below) Honda models come from the factory with Floating Neutrals and if using one of those an easily created Neutral Ground Bond will prevent a protection device from throwing an error signal. I make my own Bonding Plugs by using a 15 Amp NEMA 5-15P Plug with a short jumper wire connected from the Neutral to the Ground terminals, cheap as dirt and a piece of cake...…...I prefer a Hard Wired Neutral/Ground Bond instead of a plug if the genset is always being used that way. NOTE There should be ONLY ONE Neutral/Ground Bond. That's why in the RV AC Distribution Panel separate insulated and isolated (NON Bonded) Neutral and Ground Busses are required since the single Bond was already created in the parks distribution system. I have a PDF file showing which Honda and other generators have Bonded and which have Floating Neutrals, here's a link (NO warranty to its accuracy, its NOT my data) http://www.generlink.com/files/123356851.pdf NOTE Many onboard from the factory built in RV Gensets such as Onans are equipped with Bonded Neutrals. However, subject to how you use a genset, a Floating may be required in other cases. John T
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