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Coleman 5500 (MZ300)

I purchased the generator two months ago and ran it for 30 minutes then shut it down. Recently I attempted to start it and it will not start. I have fresh fuel and the oil is full. I'm at a loss as to how to start it. I have a homelite 5700 with 24 hours of runtime and it has a Yamaha MZ300R. Put the entire quart of included oil in and fresh gas. Ran great for about 22 hours than just quit. Restarted ran for an hour, stopped, did it again same result. Now won't start at all. Changed oil, very dark and spark plug was clean, but wet with gas. Oil did not have any metal fragments in it, but was very dirty. Need this generator to run. Just went 1 week without electricity after severe ice storm in MA and now we're getting a foot of snow and another foot on Sunday. Please help.

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  • Halliganc4 Dec 21, 2008

    My generator is a homelite 5700 the oil is full. How would I check the control panel to see. Dip stick says oil is full. Spark plug was wet with gas. Generator will not start, not even a burb.

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If you bought your Genset from other then a Home Depot Store, and it's still under warranty - then you will have to contact that outlet, and see what they have to say or hopefully can do for you ================= Some other obvious things to CHECK for that may be the cause of a NO start condition even after adding proper gas & oil to the brand new Genset:
1 - Some Genset gas tanks come with a gas cap "blocking insert" under the gas cap that should be removed according to your manual if it states this. (Read manual section on "First Time Starting")---------->
2 - Is the gas tank shutoff valve FULLY OPEN? By the same token (even if the Genset is or isn't brand new) does it have an in-line fuel filter anywhere in the gas line? If not then esp read #5. Always check as well the AIR FILTER for proper cleanliness (if oiled type), or clean appearance if it's a paper element type. Clean or replace as needed!---
3 - Is the RUN SWITCH set to ON or RUN position (this is purely an "Electrical ON-OFF Switch" usually a single-pole single-throw type btw, and it can go bad with high usage)? Does it move freely from OFF to ON? Is it working properly? Test it using a known good quality DVM or OHM meter! It's contacts may have become tarnished just from sitting around too long? Esp where you have saltwater conditions in the surrounding air! This switch actually & electronically is wired in REVERSE so that when switched to the ON position the wired contacts are OPEN thus letting the Ignition Coil fire for SPARK. When switched to the OFF position the wired contacts are now CLOSED thus connecting (or switching) the "Control Board" logic voltage signal (usually anywhere from +3 to +12 VDC upon start-up) to GROUND - thus cutting the RUN voltage to the Ignition Coil fire - as in SHUTDOWN. On some model designs there also may be a separate IDLE CONTROL SWITCH and POWER REGULATOR BOARD for better POWER LOAD self-regulation depending on constant variable loads placed on the Genset as related to the work-site demands. If there is NO VOLTAGE OUTPUT but yet good engine RPM function - then I would look at this part first and then #8.---
4 - Is the choke being set to the proper position with or without using Ether spray to the Carb?---
5 - Does the Carb have a Yellow or Black wire coming off of the bottom of the Float Bowl? This goes to the GAS CUT OFF SOLENOID mounted in the Main Jet inside the Float Bowl. NEVER CUT THIS WIRE as some know-nothings have suggested here and elsewhere in postings, as there are better ways to test the solenoid without doing that! If equipped with one - This anti-dieseling solenoid has to work properly or else flooding will occur with the gas shutoff valve OPEN.-------------> 
6 - VERY IMPORTANT - Is the Carb Float stuck in the CLOSED position not letting gas into the Main Jet? If the Genset is brand brand new and truly has never been fired up even once and used, such as like that of 2-3 years or longer from actual date of purchase, then that Carb Float may very well be stuck CLOSED. Worse yet - the Main Jet may be clogged with MICRO DEBRIS coming down from the new gas tank - esp if there is NO FUEL FILTER present in the fuel line. I've heard of this happening more then just a few times myself. You might try and TAP CAREFULLY on the bottom or side of the Float Bowl with a hard rubber hammer first to try and see if you can dislodge the stuck Float inside. If there is that colored WIRE (see #5 again) at the bottom of the Float Bowl on your model - DO NOT HIT THAT GAS SHUT-OFF SOLENOID WITH THE RUBBER HAMMER - as you WILL damage it! If this dislodges the stuck Carb Float to the point that the Genset now wants to run to some degree better then before, but not fully 100% better and to spec - then you definitely still have Carb Float and/or fuel delivery related issues, and/or MICRO DEBRIS in the Carb Bowl or Main Jet inlet. If the Genset begins to run great - as it should - and continues to do so - then your NO FUEL or NO RUN problem is solved! I would still take the Carb Bowl off and clean out the whole Assy there just as an added precaution anyway as you just never know. When Gensets are truly needed in an emergency condition you just don't want to RISK anything!! NEVER FORCE ANYTHING EITHER!! It's possibly that you might have to loosen slightly, and/or totally remove the Float Bowl (usually 2 screws) to see if indeed any gas is getting inside to the Float at all. If gas comes out readily but still no gas is getting into the Main Jet and intake then you purely have a DIRTY CARB issue and nothing more! If you're not smelling gas through the air filter box then you are FUEL STARVED. ALSO - Many a brand new shipped Genset will have some kind of NEW gas tank (usually metal gas tanks only) MICRO DEBRIS inside the tank itself or even in the rubber gas line (I've heard of this problem before, and seen this myself 100's of times with cheaper rubber hoses). That is why an added in-line FUEL FILTER (if your Genset has none) is SO important!! Usually a common $2-3 item at any auto parts store. Once gas is added to the tank all this micro debris is set free to enter into the CARB FLOAT BOWL, and that is where Carb problems will start - even with a "brand new" never run before Genset!---------
7 - As dumb as this next ? is to ask I have to ask anyway - Are you getting GOOD spark at the spark plug? Again - see #3 AND check the engine OIL LEVEL as well. The LOW OIL sensor is actual another ON-OFF type switch and if the level Some units ship with the spark wire cap disconnected and it may look like it's on the plug, but in reality it really isn't fully connected! If you are getting a good spark then it's highly unlikely that the Maintenance-free Magnetron® electronic ignition would be bad. Fouled spark plug - YES - bad Maintenance-free Magnetron® electronic ignition - hardly.------------
8 - If your Genset is used and said to be ? years old, and it just indeed might have some high RUNTIME HOURS on it - 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. 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 an electrical CUTOUT!!--------------------
An added protective Genset "Control Board" circuit feature - that may or may not be built into your Genset - is one that is in the Generator Head circuitry itself and may indeed be linked to the engine as a type of REV LIMITER or CUTOUT on the Maintenance-free Magnetron® electronic ignition. Just depends on how sophisticated and expensive your Genset is? Thus protects by preventing RUNAWAY and OVER-VOLTAGE conditions rare as that may be by today's BETTER designed Gensets (DOES NOT include the cheap made in China junk). Again - read your operators or service manual as it 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 for servicing yourself, and they are indeed below the recommended length (or worse case they are indeed totally worn down) then that most likely is your starting or output problem right there. If you are having Output problems as well.
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 CHECK scenarios listed above, as I've covered every possible cause short of a broken wire somewhere - which in that case you will have to schematic trace and DVM or Ohm-meter out wire to wire contacts. This being the least likely scenario from experience.
If you indeed find the Float Bowl assy to be the cause of dirt contamination or varnish build-up clogging the Carb, and you need a walk-through of taking it apart, cleaning it out, and then re-assembling it again - as well as re-adjusting the fuel mixture Adjustment Screws - just give me a shout here, and I'll walk you through it step by step.

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

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Hi and welcome to FixYa,

Initially, your post "spark plug was clean, but wet with gas" is significant, it means there is no spark at the plugs. This indicates that the ignition system is not running. A couple of possibilities:

  • generator is switched OFF;
  • the engine off wire is grounding to the chassis/body;
  • the electronic ignition is faulty;
  • the pulse trigger is defective (least likely).
Good luck and Thank you for using FixYa. Happy Holidays.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

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  • 505 Answers

Check the control panel. make sure there is adequate oil. One of the main feature in this generator is that it automatically shuts down when low oil is detected.

Thanks

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

  • Indrajit Roy
    Indrajit Roy Dec 21, 2008




    Make sure the voltage selector is where it needs to be (120v "only" or 120/240v).
    If a 240V appliance is connected to the 4-prong receptacle, the switch must be in the "120/240V" position (a series connection). If a 120V appliance ONLY is being connected to any of the 120V 3-prong receptacles, select the "120V ONLY" position (for a parallel connection). The benefit of this is to get maximum power from the 120V 30A locking receptacle.


    Move the generator outside.


    Make sure the system is grounded according to local regulations. See local electrician.


    Connect the transfer switch if powering a house.


    Connect the power cord to the generator.


    Turn the circuit breaker off before starting the generator. Then allow the generator the warm up before turning the circuit breaker on.

    -

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