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Every once in a while, you catch a break...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Downeaster, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    I have a Kohler whole house generator. I have it programmed to run a load test every Saturday. The last couple of times it's fired up, the power has bounced around enough to kick in the various battery backups and make the lights flicker.

    Got a recommendation for an electrician from my buddy Dale the Builder. The electrician just stopped by. Pulled the cover off the transfer switch and opened the main to kick the generator in. Problem was immediately apparent: Loose primaries on the transfer switch connections.

    Shut everything down, tightened everything up (one leg was two full turns loose) and buttoned it back up. Gave the nice man $25 (which was more than he asked for) and SWMBO won't be yelling at me about the satellite TV dropping out every time the generator fires up.

    I was envisioning a few hundred bucks worth of parts and labor...
    DaveO, MrBultaco, Mailman and 5 others like this.
  2. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor


    All seriousness aside, I am not an electrical wizard and have only an arm-waving understanding of complex electronics - but after a 40+ year career of working with equipment or all types, I have noted several things about electronics and electrical stuff:
    1. Electrical gizmos normally either: fail immediately after being put into service (infant mortality) or they live pretty much forever unless the operator messes up (see 2. below);
    2. If a previously functional electrical gizmo fails, you should always check the connections and read the instructions before spending any money because the two biggest causes of electrical failures are: A) incorrect or bad connections; or: B) incorrect switch positions (i.e. a non-hardware or software failure - AKA a f@ck-up).
    3. If a non-functional electrical gizmo smells bad or is really hot or cold, - you may be buying a new gizmo - but first see 2. above;
    4. Electrical gizmos suck. I prefer hydraulics because when something is wrong, you can usually see it - or feel it spraying all over your shirt and shoes.
    Anyhow - glad it worked out DE - sometimes, you get lucky.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
    txxs, jetmechmarty and Greyandridin like this.
  3. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    Having spent 22 years as an electronics tech, I'm VERY familiar with the delicate aroma of roasting resistors...

    One of my favorite memories is the honkin' great power supply on the back of a 1 inch reel-to-reel recorder. The recorder filled a standard equipment bay, 18 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 84 inches tall. All discrete components and vacuum tubes (hey, this was a LONG time ago...) The main power supply hung off the back of the cabinet both for space and cooling reasons. It had 4 vacuum tube diodes set up as a full wave rectifier. The tubes were roughly 4 inches in diameter at the widest point of the envelope and 6 inches high.

    When they failed, it could be spectacular. Had one go on a midwatch one night. Ka-BOOM, complete with smoke, fire and burning fiberglass. Literally scared the shit out of a couple of operators, and one well-meaning but uninformed Marine put the small fire out with a full 10-pounder of dry agent of some sort.

    We wound up surveying that whole unit, couldn't get all the powder residue out of it. Abrasive AND corrosive, and more than a bit toxic as I recall.
    gggGary, Greyandridin and MaxPete like this.
  4. wesleyonoel

    wesleyonoel XS650 Addict

    Been chasing an electrical problem for a while - microwave. Darned things aren't all that expensive so not a big deal to replace - beyond finding one to fit in the designated cabinet spot.So, disassembly ensued. Cylindrical ceramic "slow-blow" fuse was open. Also saw a door switch (there are 4!) with discoloration - located and installed a replacement. Installed a glass automotive fuse with limited success. Unit works for a few days then the fuse goes open. Metal strip in the fuse doesn't burn through - rather it seems to fail internally at one of the connections with the metal end cap. Stopped by the hardware for a ceramic-style slow-blow fuse. Unit is 30 years old - a punk when compared to my '73 TX, '39 Scout or '46 Chief............
  5. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    I'd be wondering how they got loose.
    gggGary likes this.
  6. Grimly

    Grimly XS650 Addict

    Thermal cycling creep.
    gggGary likes this.
  7. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    Also 60HZ vibrations.
    gggGary likes this.
  8. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    I have something that thermally cycles and vibrates and it's still tight. Can you guess what...?
    gggGary likes this.
  9. 2XSive

    2XSive At least one screw loose behind the handle bars XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I can think of two. Either a woman or an XS? :laugh::laugh:
    gggGary likes this.
  10. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    The XS has only been thermally cycling about once a month lately.
    gggGary likes this.
  11. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yes why aluminum was such a disaster when used as romex.
    See head stud retightening.
    Grimly and Greyandridin like this.
  12. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  13. RustiePyles

    RustiePyles Semper Fortis

    They bottle that now...:laugh::laugh:
    Downeaster likes this.
  14. RustiePyles

    RustiePyles Semper Fortis

    I had one of the old Lincoln tombstone welders with the aluminum windings. I got it for free when I was a teenager, hindsight being 20/20 I definitely paid to much for it....
    gggGary likes this.
  15. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    crap, I sent him a message. :banghead:
    Had one of those can't count how many times it tried to electrocute me. The "ground" was usually hotter 'n a $2 pistol.
    RustiePyles and Greyandridin like this.
  16. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    gggGary likes this.

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