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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. First post, had no idea where to go for help. So signed up here.

I have a Ford 11050 gas generator, that was purchased a few years ago. It has never been started. Yesterday I put in the oil, gased up and started to be sure of operation. Started and ran fine.

Fast forward to today, I ran my extension cords and started the generator. Again started fine. But...no power to the cords. Nothing.

I don't know much about them as this is my first one. And now with no power and a freezer and fridge full of food I'm a bit worried. Any light you can shed or suggestions would be immensely appreciated.

If it helps I did try the drill trick I read online for magnetism or something. Not sure if I did it right but did not seem to have any effect.
 

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Welcome to the forum! When you started it yesterday, did you get power? Or was it just a test to see if it ran?

I won't belabor the point about verifying that new equipment works when you first buy it. I'm sorry that this is where you find yourself, finally needing it, and being let down.

Do you have a multimeter? If so, I would check for AC voltage at each outlet, and at the 220V outlet (usually prongs arranged in a circle). That would at least tell you if you're getting *some* voltage (just not enough), or no voltage at all.

Are any circuit breakers on it tripped?

According to the manual, the normal household outlets are apparently GFCI outlets. Is there a reset button for the GFCI function of the outlet, like there often would be for outlets in your bathroom?

I know it doesn't help for right now, but it seems to have a 2 year warranty. If you're within that, hopefully the manufacturer can help, if it's not something we can help resolve.

How did you do the drill trick? I've never had to resort to that for my generators, but others with more experience may figure something out from what you did and observed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the forum! When you started it yesterday, did you get power? Or was it just a test to see if it ran?
Thanks. Just a test to see if it ran. I should of actually plugged something in to check but I did just assume it would work.

I won't belabor the point about verifying that new equipment works when you first buy it. I'm sorry that this is where you find yourself, finally needing it, and being let down.
Yeah...I should have checked...but I figured being new it worked, and once gas and oil went in I would have to do regular maintenance on it. I had thought that being stored in my basement, not used was better.

Do you have a multimeter? If so, I would check for AC voltage at each outlet, and at the 220V outlet (usually prongs arranged in a circle). That would at least tell you if you're getting *some* voltage (just not enough), or no voltage at all.

Are any circuit breakers on it tripped?
I do have a meter, and now that the worst of the storm is over, I will check to see if there is voltage there. There were no breakers on the generator tripped at all.

According to the manual, the normal household outlets are apparently GFCI outlets. Is there a reset button for the GFCI function of the outlet, like there often would be for outlets in your bathroom?
Not sure what you mean...this is just an extension cord coming from the generator, and then after that the drill plugged directly into the generators plug outlet.

I know it doesn't help for right now, but it seems to have a 2 year warranty. If you're within that, hopefully the manufacturer can help, if it's not something we can help resolve.
I will have to dig up the receipt to verify.

How did you do the drill trick? I've never had to resort to that for my generators, but others with more experience may figure something out from what you did and observed.
Started generator and then plugged in the electric drill. Using a bit in the drill I attached another drill(cordless). The electric drill was set to forward. Then spun in reverse using the cordless...while the trigger was pulled on the electric drill....but still does not mean that I completely did it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So checking with the multimeter there appears to be 240 at the larger dryer like plug, but none at the 120 outlets.
 

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Not sure what you mean...this is just an extension cord coming from the generator, and then after that the drill plugged directly into the generators plug outlet.

I'm having a hard time finding any pics of the generator with the actual outlets visible. Most pictures show it with the rubber covers over them. But the manual says that the normal-style 110V outlets are GFCI protected.

A typical GFCI outlet looks like this, with a Test button, and a Reset button:

https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/01d8a4e0-25d1-4458-a76a-46986fb071a5/svn/white-leviton-electrical-outlets-receptacles-r12-gfnt2-0rw-64_1000.jpg

If the household-looking outlets have those buttons, try pressing the Reset buttons on them, in case the GFCI feature has shut off their output. Then try testing them for AC voltage, or plug in a simple device (like a lamp) to them directly, and see what happens.

Started generator and then plugged in the electric drill. Using a bit in the drill I attached another drill(cordless). The electric drill was set to forward. Then spun in reverse using the cordless...while the trigger was pulled on the electric drill....but still does not mean that I completely did it right.
That sounds like my understanding of how you're supposed to use the drill trick. This site says that if nothing happens, try turning the corded drill in the other direction, and try again. I guess you could unplug the drill from the generator, hook up the multimeter to the drill's plug (multimeter set to AC), spin the drill again, and make sure you're getting AC voltage created at the drill's exposed prongs.

For all of this, I wouldn't use an extension cord. Plug things into the generator directly. The extension cord is just one more variable, adding a potential complication. If something weird was going on with the extension cord, we could be attributing a problem to the generator, when it's actually the extension cord.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply. I will try the resets again, but they are not popped out. I will try again with the drill pugged directly into the generator...taking the extension out of the equation. Not sure why there is power at the 240v but not at the 120v. Internet is suffering here right now, so my replies might be a bit laggy. Will do all that right now.
 

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So checking with the multimeter there appears to be 240 at the larger dryer like plug, but none at the 120 outlets.
That's great news. (We were both replying at the same time, so I hadn't seen this for my previous post.)

For the household outlets, I'd check for AC voltage on all the different combinations of a given receptable. Like narrow-slot to wide-slot. Narrow-slot to ground (small round opening). And wide-slot to ground. See if you measure voltage on any of those. Do this for both of the 2 separate outlets, since they each have their own 20A circuit breaker. If you want, you can certainly check both of the receptacles within a given outlet.

But getting 220V is encouraging, so the generator is doing *something*. (Edit- and that means you don't need to do any more stuff with the drill. There *is* power, just not at the outlets you want) The issue then presumably lies with:
- the 110V outlets GFCI functions
- the wiring between the 220V and 110V outlets
or
- the 20A circuit breakers for the 110V outlets

Do you have voltage on the high-amperage (30A) 110V outlet, the one with 3 curved openings arranged in a circle? If so, for now, maybe you could buy an adapter to allow connecting normal household items to that type of receptacle (NEMA L5-30). If you could find that adapter locally, that could get you going for now.

You might also be able to buy an adapter go from the 220V receptacle (NEMA 14-50, an RV receptable) to a normal 110V style. For instance, this would give you access to both of the 110V outputs from the generator (giving you access to more power, since each 110V output has a limit on the output power), using the 220V output that *is* working:
https://www.amazon.com/Epicord-Adapter-14-50P-Connector-50M152F/dp/B07CQKJ8M1/ref=sr_1_14?keywords=14-50+adapter&qid=1567946668&s=gateway&sr=8-14

It would be preferable to fix the issue, of course, but that cord should give you power, based on how the generator is functioning right now.

Depending on where you find voltage, it may come to removing the cover from the outlets panel and looking inside, to see if a wire is disconnected, for instance.

The manual for your machine seems to be this one, it shows a wiring diagram on page 25:
https://images.homedepot-static.com/catalog/pdfImages/dc/dc25605e-68fe-4bcb-9743-b1e1f065a684.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok..so drill plugged in I still have no power. It has a lighted plug so i know there is no power. As far as the resets go they are slightly sticking out, and I can push them in slightly...but not sure if that is where they normally sit or if it is like they are tripped. I hope that makes sense.

I am not sure if when they are energized they pull in all the way or when they trip they would pop out more than they are right now. If they do pull in more when energized is there possibility a fuse in behind that I cant see right now, and that is why there is no power?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for that info. Totally missed it as well. I will try the smaller twist plug for power. I just broke my tester so I need to see if I can borrow one.
 

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Ok..so drill plugged in I still have no power. It has a lighted plug so i know there is no power. As far as the resets go they are slightly sticking out, and I can push them in slightly...but not sure if that is where they normally sit or if it is like they are tripped. I hope that makes sense.

I am not sure if when they are energized they pull in all the way or when they trip they would pop out more than they are right now. If they do pull in more when energized is there possibility a fuse in behind that I cant see right now, and that is why there is no power?
The circuit breaker reset buttons that I've seen on generators can usually push/wiggle a little bit when they are functioning normally (not-tripped, so that they should be putting out power). If they tripped due to an over-current condition, they would stick out further, and would probably click when you pushed them in.

Do the 110V receptacles have Test and Reset buttons like in the GFCI-outlet image that I linked to previously?

There are no fuses in the generator, only re-settable circuit-breakers.

And there's no need to do anything more with the drill. Since you've established that you have voltage at the 220V outlet, that means the actual generator head is functioning and producing power. So you're dealing with a problem with wiring, circuit breakers, or something similar. That's still not ideal, but it *is* good news, since it makes it more likely to be something comparatively straightforward and fixable (like a disconnected wire).

Sorry to hear that your multimeter broke, just when you really need it. If you can buy ice locally, perhaps you could put some bags of ice in your fridge, to help buy some time before food starts going bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So...managed to get a multimeter from the neighbor. The 240v has power...120 on both sides. The twist lock 120v seems to have 120v (if I am doing it right). The 120 plugs have voltage but very minimal...like around 1.2v
 

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Do those 110V outlets have (maybe black & red) Test and Reset buttons, for the GFCI function? If so, while running, press Test fully, then press Reset fully, for each one. Then test them again.

Which openings did you test, to get that 1.2V? For instance, narrow-straight to wide-straight? Or narrow-straight to ground (round)? Or wide-straight to ground?

If you can buy a 110V twist-lock to standard 110V adapter (or the RV-style to 110V adapter) locally, that will get you up and running for now, and give you some time you figure out what's going on with the 110V receptacles.

Or, if there is nothing we can do with the 110V outlets as-is, you can maybe begin digging into the wiring behind that panel.

There are a few options, it depends on what avenue you want to pursue. Checking for wiring could give a chance to get lucky, make a simple fix, and get it working in a half-hour or whatever. But there is a risk of damaging something, or creating issues with a future warranty claim. Finding an appropriate adapter (take pictures of the receptacles before going to the store, to ensure things match up exactly) is simple, and safe, but only helps if you can find the adapter you need locally, right now, and adds cost. It's a question of what you're comfortable with, and what you can buy today.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So...managed to get a multimeter from the neighbor. The 240v has power...120 on both sides. The twist lock 120v seems to have 120v (if I am doing it right). The 120 plugs have voltage but very minimal...like around 1.2v
 

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Ok...here is an update. Generator is working properly, and I am clearly a dumbass. When I looked at the Gfi plugs the reset button did not look as though it was tripped. I had pushed on it several times and did not realize they had to be pushed waaay in to reset...further than my fat fingers can go. It was my neighbor that found this, there is a very small difference between normal and tripped.

Internet was down and still slow so only getting to this now. Want to say thanks for all the help and suggestions. I truly appreciate it.
 

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That's awesome, I'm glad you got it sorted out. Free fixes are my favorite kind.

If both GFCI outlets are tripped, keep an eye on that. Unless something bumped their "test" buttons (making the outlets shut off), it's possible that something you were connecting has a slight "leak" to ground. If they keep tripping when used with a certain device, there may be something going on with that device.

I hope you fridge, etc, are happy now. Before putting the generator away for a while, put fuel stabilizer in your gas can, and mix an appropriate amount into the generator's gas tank. Mix it around in the tank as best you can, then run the generator long enough to draw that stabilized gas into the carburetor, maybe 15 minutes or so. If it has a fuel shutoff, close the fuel shutoff, and let the engine run until it stalls. That will get most of the gas out of the carburetor bowl, minimizing the amount of fuel that can degrade and gum up the carburetor.

You should run the generator every few months, for 10-15 minutes, with an electrical load on each of the 110V receptacles (I use space heaters or hair dryers). If the gallons of gas are just sitting in the tank for a year+, you can siphon that out, so that fuel isn't gradually degrading in the tank. You want to do what you can to keep the engine happy, so the next time you need the generator for real, you know you can count on it. As you learned (and many people with occasional-use generators have learned), it's no fun to grab your backup power source in an emergency, and have it not work.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You are so right with everything. I had never touched those resets at all...wondering if this is how it was shipped? Had only plugged in the drill and the one heavy extension cord. They seem fine as it has been running for the last 5hrs. Thanks again for all the help. Now to work on getting the generator panel installed si I can do the whole house.
 

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A transfer panel is a big help, especially with a generator that big. You can only use a fraction of the total power (<4,000W) via the two 110V outlets. You can run your fridge with an extension cord, but that's usually not an option for your furnace, or other wired-in appliances. It also just makes things simpler, you hook up a single big cord, and you've got power available through the house. Simpler and quicker than running multiple extension cords through the house.

Congrats on at least being prepared for future outages! It's been a big relief knowing that multi-outages are now an inconvenience, but no longer leave us in the cold and dark. We've had 2-3 day outages multiple times (often in winter here in New England), so the generator setup has been well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah we are not supposed to get power back until 2300h tomorrow...do having the generator running and able to have a few lights and power the fridge and freezer is s huge relief.
 

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That's no fun, sorry. Glad you're back in business! If the fuel supply becomes a concern (I've had to wait in line for about an hour to fill my gas cans) it's an option to just run the generator every few hours, to warm the house and cool the fridge.

I don't have any dual-fuel engines, but being able to run off a 20lb propane tank could be nice as a backup (if out of gas, or the carb has a problem). Just be aware that, at least in cold weather, liquid propane in the tank only turns to gas so quickly. It's not a guarantee that you could run a big engine like that off a 20lb propane tank, at least in the cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah...I would have got the dual fuel one but they were not available when I got mine. That or Costco did not have any.
 
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