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Old 08-12-2018, 09:30 AM   #1
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Generator issues

We have a 2861 Forest River 2016 In June We had to replace the Fuel pump Oh man of Nashville Did the service work At the cost of $550 At that time I bought the extended warranty To avoid future problems with the generator Now I run the generator yesterday With the air conditioner on it runs for approximately 10 minutes and then shuts down It did this 3 different times yesterday So I plugged into shore power which I have a 30 amp shore power Any air conditioner runs fine for hours at a time . I decided to do a different test I plugged into space heaters And the electric water heater And run it for over an hour Plus the coffee pot No issues I turned everything off Start the air conditioner Runs For approximately 5 minutes And the generator shuts down .My AC voltmeter I am plugged into the outlet Fluctuates between 110 and 1:15 When I have the generator and the AC running .Today I will do the same test Run the air conditioner On AC power Shore power
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:53 AM   #2
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i am assuming 'oh man' of nashville is really onan. so you have an onan generator. what model? when they shut down i believe they flash an error code that gives you some clue as to why it shut down. at least our onan 5500 does. what error code are you getting? that would be a place to start.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:41 PM   #3
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4000 gas no Error code . This morning Ran The generator With 2 space heaters on high Both 1500 Watts For over an hour No issues with the generator Turn the heaters off Run air conditioner Runs for only 9 minutes Then shuts down The generator .yes cummings onan of nashville tn. When I run the air conditioner My voltmeter hovers around 115 to 118 volts And fluctuates between those numbers . when i run the ac on shore power the volt meter stays at 120v
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:53 PM   #4
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4000 gas no Error code . This morning Ran The generator With 2 space heaters on high Both 1500 Watts For over an hour No issues with the generator Turn the heaters off Run air conditioner Runs for only 9 minutes Then shuts down The generator .yes cummings onan of nashville tn. When I run the air conditioner My voltmeter hovers around 115 to 118 volts And fluctuates between those numbers . when i run the ac on shore power the volt meter stays at 120v
Your test loads are "resistive" which are continuous. The A/C unit is an inductive load and is quite a different type of load. You may have an issue with start/run capacitors on the A/C unit. The Shore Power has more "reserve" capability and the generator's protective circuits are more likely than not shutting it down when it encounters the extra load of the A/C unit. Without knowing the actual amperage draw when running the A/C on the Generator it's really hard to diagnose.

The symptoms certainly are pointing to the Generator but don't overlook how the A/C is performing on generator versus how it does on Shore power.

My first "attack" would be to check the capacitors on the A/C motor.

Another clue is the lower voltage readings when running the A/C on the Generator. Something is causing it to see a heavier load than when feeding merely a resistive (Heaters) load.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:02 PM   #5
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Capacitors = China. Thank you for crappy caps US government. Decide which cap(s) you have. Call or go to HVAC wholesaler and ask for US made capacitor. Buy at least one each. Should be $20-25 for a dual capacitor or less than $10 for the 5-10 MF
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:09 PM   #6
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all that is already said seems relevant. the issue has to be the starting load of the a/c and the shore power having more 'reserve'. but i am still under the impression that the onan 4000 does flash an error code when it shuts down. i know our 5500 does. there are quite a few posts online about clearing error codes on an onan 4000. are you sure you are not getting a code? they flash on the generator on-off switch.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:36 PM   #7
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Generator

I have the 5500 Onan, last year had the same issue, changed the fuel pump and filter, no luck, used carb cleaner and sprayed the heck out of carb, worked for 5-6 hours then same old thing.

This year started out the same way shutting down about 10 minutes after turning on A/C. So I replaced card bought on ebay (new), so far this summer no issue.

I just have to keep starting it every month
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:36 PM   #8
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From the 4000 manual Troubleshooting Guide (pg 29)

"Unit Runs Then
Stops,
Or
Stops
When Driving
Around A
Corner
1. Low fuel level. 1. Add fuel.
2. Low oil level. 2. Add oil.
3. Excess oil. 3. Reduce engine oil level.
"

Sorry for the lack of same formatting as manual, I just did a primitive cut/paste.

It appears that too little or too much oil can cause this unit to stop after running. Might be worthwhile to check the oil level and make sure it's in the middle of it's proper range on the dipstick. Not sure I fully understand how too much oil would trip a sensor. Can understand how running for a while if oil is right at the lower limit, and the oil gets distributed to other parts of the engine and doesn't return to the sump quickly, a low oil condition could exist.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:36 PM   #9
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I agree with US made caps. Replaced a bunch of them and then starting using US made units...none needed replacing since
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by daywalker567 View Post
4000 gas no Error code . This morning Ran The generator With 2 space heaters on high Both 1500 Watts For over an hour No issues with the generator Turn the heaters off Run air conditioner Runs for only 9 minutes Then shuts down The generator .yes cummings onan of nashville tn. When I run the air conditioner My voltmeter hovers around 115 to 118 volts And fluctuates between those numbers . when i run the ac on shore power the volt meter stays at 120v
The red light on the Onan 4000 generator start switch, inside the generator housing, blinks a number of times indicating the fault. That is the error code. You have to count any blinks and pauses as numbers and spaces. It will repeat.
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