Power Equipment Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Troy-built 8000w generator that suddenly has started tripping it's onboard circuit breaker before it even approaches the load it's rated for.

For 5+ years I've used this generator as needed connecting it to my house and running lights, my well pump and small electronics with no issues.

There has not been an increase in the items I'm running so I have to believe something is wrong with the generator now causing it to trip it's circuit breaker too early.

Thoughts on what it could be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
Have you checked the voltage with a volt meter and the current draw with an ammeter?

I would question two things to start with:
  • Voltage - is the voltage regulation on the unit working as it should? Does the voltage change significantly with load? Unloaded could be fine, faulty voltage regulation may rear its ugly head with much load (even small loads).
  • Circuit breaker - circuit breakers get weaker over time with more and more trips. You may need to replace the breaker.

If you check the voltage and it is OK but your amperage draw is way up - something changed in the load side. Find what is causing the high draw and fix that.

Do you know if that generator should have enough engine power to drive the circuit breaker to break? IE - the small generator I have has a 30 amp outlet (L14-30) and 30 amp breaker. However, it has far too little power in the engine to drive it to that amperage. The breaker, therefore, is really only useful as a switch. If you load it too much it stalls the engine.

If your generator has enough power to drive through the ampacity of the breaker then the circuit checks as mentioned are even more important. If the engine does not - as in it will stall out before the breaker "should" trip - then that would point to a faulty breaker pretty much immediately.

Though, in any troubleshooting, having a base line of what the voltage is would be highly recommended regardless. That is a pretty basic data point to know on any power system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you checked the voltage with a volt meter and the current draw with an ammeter?

I would question two things to start with:
  • Voltage - is the voltage regulation on the unit working as it should? Does the voltage change significantly with load? Unloaded could be fine, faulty voltage regulation may rear its ugly head with much load (even small loads).
  • Circuit breaker - circuit breakers get weaker over time with more and more trips. You may need to replace the breaker.

If you check the voltage and it is OK but your amperage draw is way up - something changed in the load side. Find what is causing the high draw and fix that.

Do you know if that generator should have enough engine power to drive the circuit breaker to break? IE - the small generator I have has a 30 amp outlet (L14-30) and 30 amp breaker. However, it has far too little power in the engine to drive it to that amperage. The breaker, therefore, is really only useful as a switch. If you load it too much it stalls the engine.

If your generator has enough power to drive through the ampacity of the breaker then the circuit checks as mentioned are even more important. If the engine does not - as in it will stall out before the breaker "should" trip - then that would point to a faulty breaker pretty much immediately.

Though, in any troubleshooting, having a base line of what the voltage is would be highly recommended regardless. That is a pretty basic data point to know on any power system.
Thanks for the reply and sorry for the delay, it took me a while to get out there with an ammeter and do some testing.

So today I ran the generator for about 20 minutes connected to the house with no issues. The peak amperage hit 29 amps which is quite close to the 30A rating of of the breaker on the generator so I'm leaning towards an unexpected load that was new and I wasn't aware of.

And yes this generator is rated at 8000 watts with some temporary surge amount.

Tomorrow I'm doing a little tune up which may give the engine a little more stamina to hold up with the demand during a peak current pull.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,462 Posts
Thanks for the reply and sorry for the delay, it took me a while to get out there with an ammeter and do some testing.

So today I ran the generator for about 20 minutes connected to the house with no issues. The peak amperage hit 29 amps which is quite close to the 30A rating of of the breaker on the generator so I'm leaning towards an unexpected load that was new and I wasn't aware of.

And yes this generator is rated at 8000 watts with some temporary surge amount.

Tomorrow I'm doing a little tune up which may give the engine a little more stamina to hold up with the demand during a peak current pull.
so what tripped the breaker?
was it a 120 vac or 240 vac load?

yea too close to the rating...
i like the current demand to be at 60% or less than the rated power of the gen set.
that way you are not going to tear the heck out of the windings or inverter if a gen set has one by over heating.
i use live meters during the run so you can see the demand live...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don’t really know for sure. This is a “poor man’s” setup. A whole house generator is out of the budget so I connect this 8000w generator to a 240V circuit, turn off the main and feed the house during a power outage.

My well pump is 240 and when that starts up the lights dim for a brief moment which was the surge I was talking about.
I just ordered a Bluetooth ammeter that can log and download by time the current draw. With this I’m hoping I can capture the data and see if and when the circuit trips what my draw was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,462 Posts
Don’t really know for sure. This is a “poor man’s” setup. A whole house generator is out of the budget so I connect this 8000w generator to a 240V circuit, turn off the main and feed the house during a power outage.

My well pump is 240 and when that starts up the lights dim for a brief moment which was the surge I was talking about.
I just ordered a Bluetooth ammeter that can log and download by time the current draw. With this I’m hoping I can capture the data and see if and when the circuit trips what my draw was.
@mskvarenina snap some pix of your connection setup for us.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
285 Posts
"This is a “poor man’s” setup. A whole house generator is out of the budget so I connect this 8000w generator to a 240V circuit, turn off the main and feed the house during a power outage."


A "poor man's setup" could mean many things, and could be the source of your troubles. It would help to see a picture of your breaker panel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I’m curious what Bluetooth meter you are talking about. Most clamp multimeters have an inrush function to capture the starting amps of an appliance.
It's a BTMETER BT-570CAPP

I wanted to be able to log and view the the data over time not just see a maximum amount from an inrush. With this meter I can have it capture the draw over time then if necessary I can scroll back over time to see what the draw was at a particular time which may be useful in saying "oh, 10 minutes ago the dishwasher was running."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@mskvarenina
question do you have an interlock on the main breaker?
No interlock. I looked into it, since it's all manual all it would do is enforce one or the other breakers being open or closed at a given time. Since I'm the only one who ever turns the generator on or off, I'm just not going to leave both breakers closed at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,462 Posts
No interlock. I looked into it, since it's all manual all it would do is enforce one or the other breakers being open or closed at a given time. Since I'm the only one who ever turns the generator on or off, I'm just not going to leave both breakers closed at the same time.
you need an interlock asap.
trust me things can go not as planned.
this is USA code for electrical in all areas of the country for this type of connection...

please please get an interlock asap.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top