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McCulloch 5700AK No voltage from running generator circuit breakers?

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My answer:

Not having any background info as to how old your model is or - TOTAL RUN HOURS unknown as well? - I can only give you several possibilities of what the electrical/electronics problem might be - even though I don't know the exact model # and which engine you have on your Genset.

McCulloch, Coleman, and many others as well do not mfr much of anything inside the USA today - let alone factory service anything they sell, but like with many other USA companies out there today they do private label out to a lot of mfg vendors (mostly in China btw), and the Genset gas engines are numerous to say the least. From Briggs & Stratton to Honda to Subaru and so forth...not to mention the generator heads as well. Again - all made in China.

I also don't know what normal LOAD you are putting on your Genset there, or have been putting on it previously, or at what RPM you are normally running the engine at - as to half throttle or full throttle setting?? The heavier the electrical LOAD the more heat the generator head had to dissipate as well. Is the generator venting clear and free from dust, dirt, and any obstructions? I take it that it's most likely a Briggs & Stratton 4-stroke single cyl, or else it's a Honda 4-stroke single/twin cyl engine?

Has the gas engine always been serviced properly as to scheduled fuel filter changes, oil changes, air cleaner maintenance, etc? These are just as critical so as not to burden the generator head output as well. If the generator head runs extremely HOT then you definitely have a problem there. Internal short, bad winding, etc.

Which brings me to the next point.

Since I take it that it has been running good up to now - I have a few ??'s as to how you have been running it recently, and how well it's been running generator-head wise?

Has the output voltage been really stable and clean up to this point or has it varied at lot?

Have you actually measured the AC output voltage with a good quality DVM set on the 200 volt AC scale? If so - what voltage was read? How stable was it - as to any notable variations?

Did you compare your DVM readings/findings to those listed in the Operator Manuals spec listed?

Btw - are all the output outlets totally dead? Is so then it's not the breakers at fault. Not if the engine runs OK, and at the proper RPM settings as well.

Beings your Genset is probably an older model - it just indeed might have some high RUNTIME HOURS on it. If it does it just could very possibly be what sounds like to me (and I personally HAVE SEEN this happen myself firsthand) that the generator brushes are nearly shot - as in almost worn out. Or in your case - TOTALLY GONE. If there is some brush length there, but not enough by spec then they may be getting too too hot - as from excessive current draw at point of contact, and thus the generator sensing circuitry itself is doing a complete electrical CUTOUT!!

An added protective Genset circuit feature in that the generator itself may indeed be linked to the engine as a type of REV LIMITER or CUTOUT on the Maintenance-free Magnetron® electronic ignition. Again - your operators or service manual should have a pretty good troubleshooting section in it unless you don't have that anymore or never got one if you bought it used to begin with.

If you unscrew & remove the Generator brushes, and they are indeed below the recommended length (or worse case they are indeed totally worn down) then that most likely is your problem right there.

If you choose to replace the old brushes with new ones yourself - be very careful when seating the new ones - as to their insertion and cap retainer tightening. Never over-tighten those black plastic-like brush retainer screw caps - for if you break one (hard to get immediate replacements is why), or fracture one it could cause the Genset to fail under LOAD, and that very well could do some severe damage to the generator part itself. Take your time doing it, and be patient!!

It has to be one of the scenarios listed above, as I've covered every possible cause short of a broken or shorted wire somewhere - which in that case you will have to schematic trace and Ohm out wire to wire contacts. This being the least likely scenario from my experience.

Please post me a reply as to the found problem there, and the resolve to it by following my recommendations above. Also please rate my troubleshooting fix as well.

Keep me posted and I'll follow up as well.

Best regards,

Frank

Posted on Sep 03, 2008

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Check the obvious, make sure the breaker is on, as this genset requires that breaker to be closed. Check to see if you have power on the generator / not laod side of the circuit breaker. If you do then the problem is the breaker, if not you need to dig deeper, and mesure the stator resisitance, most likely is the rotor excitation capacitor is open, this was common on those units, and will prevent excitation.

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Here's a link to your manual:
http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L1001172.pdf

No power is a result of a break in the output circuit of the generator. The most likely places for this to happen are at connection points and moving parts designed to open and close manually and automatically. These include terminal screws and push on type connectors, switches and circuit breakers.

Before beginning, you should follow the troubleshooting chart for "..No AC Output" on Page 21 of the manual.

Since there is a great deal of vibration on the entire unit, it is not unlikely to have open connections where there shouldn't be. A careful disassembly of the control box with the unit off and disconnected from the electrical panel should allow you to poke around without fear of shock or burns. It would be a good idea to take a picture or two of the connections when you open the box - before disconnecting anything. otherwise, be sure to label wires and terminals for anything you take apart.

Look for evidence of arcing or sparking. This is usually a blackened area near a terminal or wire. Clean the contact area and determine where the connection point is supposed to be and complete the circuit as per the schematic. Check for loose wires "floating" in air (aka not connected to anything). Reconnected as shown by the schematic. Next, apply pressure to all terminals and connectors to find any that are loose. Resecure any found. pay attention to those on DP1, DP2 and the 240 volt 30 amp outlet.

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Continue to test each CB2 and CB3 the same way. Remove wire 11B from the terminal of the circuit breaker and test from wire 11A to the circuit breaker terminal that 11B was connected to. With the breaker ON, it should show as closed circuit. When off it should show open circuit. If not, replace the circuit breaker. Reconnect 11B to the circuit breaker terminal. Lastly, move to CB3 and Remove wire 44B from the terminal of the circuit breaker and test from wire 44A to the circuit breaker terminal that 44B was connected to. With the breaker ON, it should show as closed circuit. When off it should show open circuit. If not, replace the circuit breaker. Reconnect 44B to the circuit breaker terminal.

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