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Old 05-01-2016, 10:31 PM   #1
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Yet another "Onan 2.5 KW generator won't turn over" thread

Good evening folks!

Well, after a lovely 16 hour jaunt, we are happily sitting in Ft Wilderness at Disney. However, the trip had a little glitch that I'm hoping to pick your brains about.

I've noticed on the last two trips that the propane level indicator on the switch board has not been accurate, so it's been on my list of items to get checked out at the dealer. This trip we headed out of Texas with what I thought was a 2/3 full tank, and as luck would have it hit an empty LP tank around Pensacola. Fortunately, with some nightshade action and creative aeration we made it to I-75 where I was able to fill the tank. However, after filling the tank I've been unable to get the generator going.

It'll crank but won't fire. I've gone through the forums including the Onan 2.5 kW generator where Protagonist nicely runs through the differential and am a loss. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Have a magical day! 😕
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:58 PM   #2
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First rule of troubleshooting, check the easiest things first.

Easiest thing to check is, now that you've filled the propane tank, is the generator getting propane? The person who fills your tank is required by state propane gas codes to shut off the solenoid switch first before filling the tank. He's not required to turn it back on. So check the switch.

If the switch is on, then since you ran the tank completely empty there may be air in the gas lines. Easiest way to check this is light a stove burner, partly because it's the only appliance where you can easily see the flame. If there's air in the line, it will take a while to light the burner because first the air has to be bled out of the line. Check this with the sliding side door wide open and the roof vent turned on. That way you ensure there is no propane buildup inside the van while you're mucking around with the stove burner trying to get it to light.

If the stove burner lights and stays lit, then try cranking the generator again, but keep cranking until it catches, but no more than 30 seconds at a time. If it won't crank after three tries, check the generator oil. There is a low-oil cutoff switch inside the engine, so if it's low on oil it won't start.

On Edit— As soon as I posted this, I thought of something else. Make sure your breakers are on, but all appliances that use 120vAC are turned off. The generator will not start under a load. Wait for at least a minute after the generator starts before applying loads.

If you go through all of those and you still don't find the problem, then it's time for someone else to step up and take it from there.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:11 PM   #3
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Yet another "Onan 2.5 KW generator won't turn over" thread

LMAO
My wife: "how does this guy always nail it?"
Me: "don't know, but aren't you glad I joined the forum?"

You rock man, it was off! I feel like an absolute tool! With that said, if you're ever around Austin (or if you want to PM me your address) I owe you some scotch (or beverage of your choosing)!

Have a great week!
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
.... The person who fills your tank is required by state propane gas codes to shut off the solenoid switch first before filling the tank. He's not required to turn it back on. .....
Yeah, well, they don't always turn it off, and so this is something that can catch people off guard. Because there will come one filler who WILL turn it off, and owners are like "what the heck..." when nothing flows. Point being, it's worth emphasizing.
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