10 July, 2008

Big Test - Fail Yesterday

What went wrong? What could possibly go wrong? There was no way anything should have gone wrong, was there?
The Beast in Its Cage
Arrrgghhh! The big test yesterday, where we actually put the generator under load for the first time, didn't go quite as planned. I followed the diagram below religiously.
Diagram Was Followed
I let the generator warm up for three or four minutes and stabilize itself before switching the big transfer switch.
Inner Workings of the Great Switch Box
I carefully followed the correct sequence to bring the breakers on line starting with the heaviest load one of the main house upstairs. I thought it was a little odd when after throwing the No. 1 switch to bring the upstairs on line, I didn't hear any lugging down of the generator, but, I dutifully went through the rest of the checklist - all with the same result. There was no current crossing the transfer switch.

My immediate thought was that there was a failure in the wiring, but I remember Anthony Watson specifically checking with his multimeter, the terminals of the transfer switch and pronouncing it good.

So, what could be the problem? This morning, I went through the generator manual, looking for something I might have overlooked. I think I found it. I'll test it tomorrow and see.

Each part of the generator, the 110-volt side, the 240-volt side, and the 12-volt side, each have a GFCI breaker that you're supposed to push to make sure it's functioning... before you start the generator. I didn't do that particular activity.

I'll try again tomorrow morning. If that doesn't do it, I'll be calle Mr. Watson to come and check it out for me.

What was that about two steps forward and one step back?

On the vehicular front, Rick Magaña, my mechanic, came by and got the big diesel truck started again. I let it sit too long and it lost the vacuum or the prime. Whatever, anyway, it wouldn't start till he worked his magic.

Now, I can put a "$" in the window and sell it. That will be sweet when it's gone.

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