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Old 10-20-2015, 10:32 AM   #1
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Excercising the Generator

When you want to let the generator run each month for an hour or two does the shore line have to be unplugged or can you just start it ? Not sure if any harm will occur to the transfer switch.
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:35 AM   #2
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I can't give you a definitive answer. All I can say is when I do it, I unplug.
It seems no matter where you go or who you ask, you always get conflicting answers, so I play it safe and unplug.

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Old 10-20-2015, 11:17 AM   #3
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Doesn't matter a bit. If the transfer switch has gen priority everything will switch over to the genset. (Not likely) If the switch has shore priority (typical), nothing will happen at all.


Actually if you are doing this to exercise the genset, I would disconnect the shorepower with some light loads on in the RV. This will let you know the genset is working correctly and load the gen a bit to allow it to heat up a bit more quickly. (and 20 mins is plenty for testing, heat cycling etc.)
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:42 AM   #4
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On the Berkshire, the generator has priority.
This was discussed recently and many (including myself) start the generator while shore power is plugged in.
Pretty much everyone said they turn off heavy loads like the air conditioner when making the switch.

Some were not comfortable doing it and always unplug first.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:46 PM   #5
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:48 PM   #6
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Ok thanks, just to be sure I unplugged the shore power. Probably let it run to long about 1 1/2 hrs., but I was doing things inside trying to get familiarized with things.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:58 PM   #7
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The Onan manual says run it for two hours. The various opinions on the Internet range from 15 minutes to the full two hours. My rig is parked 25 miles away in a storage facility (outside, covered). Two hours a month seems to be an awfully long time to go out and just sit there for two hours while it's running if it's not necessary. So do I take Jim Schings' advice (20 minutes) or 5456Mich's advice (90 minutes). Thoughts? Comments? Personal experiences?
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5456Mich View Post
When you want to let the generator run each month for an hour or two does the shore line have to be unplugged or can you just start it ? Not sure if any harm will occur to the transfer switch.
When I bought my MH in 2014 I was warned by the dealer to NEVER! run the generator while being plugged into shore power or it could fry the circuits. So why take the chance?
He also told me half an hour every 2 weeks is plenty to "exercise" the generator as compared to 1 hour per month (frequency is more important than duration). Makes sense.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:00 PM   #9
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Seems I boondock enough that the gen gets enough of a work out but there are times at home if we miss a weekend of camping I will run it for a half hour and put some load on it. But I always unplug first.
Is there anything one should do to a generator before putting it away for the season? As long as we are talking about generators thought I would ask.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:42 PM   #10
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Seems we may have a mixture of people talking about gas and diesel generators. The answers may be different depending on which type you have.
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