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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Generator? Won't run Microwave

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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 02/16/12 07:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have fixed up my house so I can plug it into my camper to power it from my Onan 2.5 kw. The Onan will run anything I hook to it, including my well pump. However, it will not run the microwave in the house. I don't know why. Even with no other loads it won't run the over the range microwave.
I don't know what problems you may. It may be that some microwaves are just very, very picky about the power you send to them and your generator isn't "good enough" for it.
I won't go into all the good electrical, scientific troubleshooting techniques. These other guys have covered that very well.

bobndot

NY

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Posted: 02/16/12 08:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I copied this from another forum re: generator problems

Not knowing what type of starter the generator uses, it could be that it uses the old BENDIX system where a gear engages the flywheel via centrifugal force. If the movable gear is stuck, from old age/ non-use, that may be the answer.

Removal of the starter for an inspection and cleaning and lubricating the rotating spinning gear may solve the problem. Just a guess.

Good luck

sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 02/16/12 08:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bobndot wrote:

I copied this from another forum re: generator problems

Not knowing what type of starter the generator uses, it could be that it uses the old BENDIX system where a gear engages the flywheel via centrifugal force. If the movable gear is stuck, from old age/ non-use, that may be the answer.

Removal of the starter for an inspection and cleaning and lubricating the rotating spinning gear may solve the problem. Just a guess.

Good luck


I don't understand

His generator is running... it's his microwave that won't run... does the microwave have a geared starter?


I'm lost now

I must be sleepy!


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
AirFoil, Trimetric, LED lights, Platcat vent heat

2003GMC K3500 LT/Crewcab/duramax diesel/allison/dually/4x4/OnStar/front reciever mounted spare

srl520

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Posted: 02/16/12 08:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

unimogdave wrote:

Generators actually (running at 3600 RPM) = 60 Hz (3600 rev per minute\60=60 cycles per second sine wave. I would go out and buy one of those $5 testers with the 3 LEDs and confirm you have proper grounding at the outlets, starting at the generator outlets. I am suspicious of the adaptor from the camper cord to the generator. Are you using a 30 amp adaptor to the generators high output plug or an adapter to the generators 15 amp plug? It is possible the microwave in the other camper is less sensitive to grounding issues?

The sine wave\ square wave is more an issue with invertors that produce 110V from 12 Volt. Then there is invertor generators, expensive, quiet but no more pure in the 60Hz.

Thanks for responding,
Yes, I have one of those yellow testers with the 2 orange lights and 1 red. Shows that the outlet is grounded correctly as well as the other outlets in the camper.
As far as adapter, there is no adapter. Where the shorepower cord coils up in the compartment, there is a 30amp female plug in there that I plug the 30amp cord into. I assume the 30amp plug in there is wired correctly over to the generator.


2006 Kodiak 4500 4x4.
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wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 02/16/12 10:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you tried leaving the microwave unplugged until after the generator is up to speed and then plugging it in? It may be shutting itself down if the power isn't good as the generator starts up.

RockDodger

Northeast Illinois

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Posted: 02/17/12 04:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm no expert, but I agree with Sleepy. Polarity can be a real problem in RVs. Get your power converter checked, because all your AC power is routed through it. It could be wired incorrectly. That's my two cents worth.


Terry & Marsha
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mark_be

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Posted: 02/17/12 07:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How could polarity be a problem with 1 phase AC power? This means that the solution would be to replug it into the outlet up side down. That's only the case for DC power.

It's possible that your generator has a bad connection somewhere, so it does give the (or some) voltage, but is not able to send enough (or any) current through it. Which kind of tester did you use?

You also said that your other microwave works: did you actually use it or did you just look at the clock? There's a big possibility that the clock on your other MW is more forgiving than the new one.

I would try to use something with about 1000 to 1500 watts into every -ok- tested outlet, while powered by the generator. I'm thinking none of them will work. If that's the case, you definitely have a bad connection somewhere.

Just my idea... Good luck!


2001 Ford F350 7.3 Diesel (DRW Crew cab Long bed)
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sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 02/17/12 07:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mark_be wrote:

How could polarity be a problem with 1 phase AC power? This means that the solution would be to replug it into the outlet up side down. That's only the case for DC power.

It's possible that your generator has a bad connection somewhere, so it does give the (or some) voltage, but is not able to send enough (or any) current through it. Which kind of tester did you use?

You also said that your other microwave works: did you actually use it or did you just look at the clock? There's a big possibility that the clock on your other MW is more forgiving than the new one.

I would try to use something with about 1000 to 1500 watts into every -ok- tested outlet, while powered by the generator. I'm thinking none of them will work. If that's the case, you definitely have a bad connection somewhere.

Just my idea... Good luck!


Good morning Mark

I know that it might seem counterintutive but...

Our "modern" 15 A and 20A recepticles have 3 holes

two straight blades with one bigger than the other

and one round ground

The round recepticle orients the 3 pronged plug that is being inserted

If we have a 2 pronged plug the difference in size makes the plug insert in only one configeration

....................

occassionally people cut of the round ground so they can plug into a old 15 A recepticle... bad idea... no ground, shock hazard
....................

At this point I'm guessing

AC has a sine wave spectrum

IF... the blades on the plug are wired backward is the sin wave is flipped... would it be 180 degrees out of kilter

If the recepticle is wired wrong... white wire to the brass screw... and the black wire to the white metal screw

wouldnt it be wired backwards... or what us common people call.. "out of polarity"?


A light bulb wouldn't care... but many things would.

I can stand being corrected... this is just my opinion

Sleepy

Butch50

Bentonville, AR

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Posted: 02/17/12 09:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You don't have phase problems on a one phase 120V circuit. When you have the big plug on a plug that is just so you get the plug properly into the hot side of the circuit. Take a look at your breaker box and you will see the black wire is wired to the breaker and the white is commonly tied with all of the other returns. Then the ground is wired common also with all of the grounds. How can a single phase line get out of phase with its self? It has to have 2 phases to be out of phase. Out of phase when one 120V line is going positive and the other is going 180* out to the first one thus producing a 240V circuit across the 2 lines. We won't get into to 3 phase lines that are 120* out to each other.

This is IMO but look it up on the web.

To the OP I suspect that you may have a frequency problem. Not getting 60 hertz and one microwave is more sensitive to it. The clock in one maybe driven by the 60 hertz to keep correct time and the other MW may have a different clock setup. This is just an opinion.


Butch
2013 Ram 3500 4X4 CC Laramie DRW
Light Metallic Gray with black interior
2012 Northern Lite 10 2 CDSE
2010 Can-Am 650XT Outlander Max
2012 Harley Tri Glide

wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 02/17/12 09:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 3rd round pin is only a safety ground and cannot carry any current. It only connects to metal parts/chassis. This means any circuit operating on 120V cannot tell the difference if the hot and neutral are swapped. As others have said, single phase AC has no polarity.

The only way swapped wires would break the clock is if it were wired wrong and used the safety ground as a neutral. If that were the case, it would trip a GFCI if plugged into one.

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