Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Generator - Easy Fix

Brian working on the Generator at Holley Generator & Equipment




I called McColloch’s RV repair and found out that they do not do generator work…but they do have a fantastic referral. Nick McColloch told me that they recommend everyone who needs generator work to Holley Generator & Equipment,  7945 14th Ave in Sacramento.  A call to Holley and I talked to Lanie Nizuk, and told him my problem.  He said, “Bring it on down.”  So we loaded up and arrived at Holley shortly after 10 am.  Not knowing what all this would entail, I towed the car, and unhooked the car at a park nearby, Granite Park, which is a no-leash dog park too, and Marcia followed me the less than a quarter of a mile to Holley’s. 

Brian, who is looking at the Generator in the picture above, quickly diagnosed our problem, taught me more about the generator, and showed me how to fix it if it does it again.

Holley Generator & Equipment

Holley Generator & Equipment is located in this building, and there is ample parking in the rear after you check in.  You can see the white “Snap on Tools” truck, we were parked right behind it.  In my phone conversation with Lanie I told him how we lived in the motorhome while we travel, and asked him if the generator repair was going to take a long time, could they remove it and let us drive away until they got it fixed.  He said, “Certainly.”   

Starter for a Generator

Thank goodness our repair did not take very long, and was not real serious.  While I was in the office checking in and describing our problem, Brian grabs a starter and explains to me that when you activate it, the solenoid provides power to push this gear up against the flywheel and turn it, providing the “oomph” to get the engine running.  However, if the batteries are drained a bit, if they are old, etc., the solenoid sometimes does not have the power to pull the gear back away from the flywheel.  But when I told him the batteries were less than a year old, and in good condition, he looked a bit perplexed.

Brian working on the Generator at Holley Generator & Equipment

I left to quickly get us some breakfast, and by the time I came back Brian had pulled our motorhome, with Marcia and Skruffy inside, behind the "Snap Tool Van", and had already got the generator running.  He said that he was right in a sense…it was a battery problem.  One of my red cable connectors to one of our two house batteries had become very loose…he said it took three full turns and then some to lock it down tight.  He was able to giggle the generator real hard and that loosened the gear, along with having more power from the batteries.  He also showed me how one could do a “reverse polarity” on the solenoid as a last resort.  I feel more confident that I will know how to fix it “if” this happens again…but our fingers are crossed that we won’t face it again.

Holley Generator & Equipment

A little over an hour after we pulled in, and $130 shorter, our generator was fixed, including new oil, and Brian made a few adjustments which has it starting easier and quicker.  He told me that he felt the generator was in pretty good condition for having around 550 hours on it and being ten years old.  He assured me that using it at least once per month is ample to keep the generator going.

It is nice to know that we now have a good reliable place to work and look at the generator if we ever need it.  I wish it was closer to our home in Florida, but we come to the Sacramento area so often that it like our second home.  I called McColloch’s RV repair as I was returning to the park, Marcia following, in order to hook up the HHR again, and thanked Kerry for the good referral to Holley Generator. 

Amazon Prime
Last night we decided we needed one more item, and did a 2 day order with Amazon.  Once it comes on Wednesday, we will drive away again.  Depending upon what time of the day it comes, we might go a long ways, or just a short trip.  A two day set-back is not anything to worry about, after all, Alaska awaits the mighty squirrel hunters!

Skruffy and Bubba

10 comments:

  1. Yippy Skippy! It looks like you're "ready to roll!" :-)

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    Replies
    1. YES! Now we are hoping for a morning delivery and not an afternoon one....

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  2. How great to find such a professional company. Now this just has to be the last of your problems. Sail on!!

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    Replies
    1. In talking to the repair guy, many places would have replaced the starter just to get more $$$$ out of you. Told me of one time when an RV came in from a "well known, large RV company" where they told him he needed a new Generator ($3,500 installed) when they (Holley) repaired it for about $400.

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  3. Me thinks you dodged a bullet!! Great information too ... thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. I think if you ever have generator problems, or if you are headed through Sac and want your generator looked at, this is the place to go!

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  4. So he giggled it, huh? Is that a technical term? Glad it wasn't worse. Bon voyage, again.

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    Replies
    1. Giggled is my term....more like a good "shake" or "rock". I had a car which had a bad starter and if you hit it with a hammer, it would start working again. Of course a car's starter and a generator's starter are similar, but the gear is typically made of metal and the gear is much smaller.

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  5. Glad it was a simple fix! Alaska isn't going anywhere and you're going to want to use that generator. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Yes we will. Will email you tonight (Wednesday) when we know how far we get, if we hook up, great....if not, there will be a next time, that's for sure.

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