The Genset Blues

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 1 May 2014 12:12

Alongside Fukuoka
Weather: mostly sunny, mild

This morning I went to start the genset and much to my disappointment it showed not a glimmer of life. As I mentioned yesterday I was afraid that this might happen, as despite pulling the machine apart twice I never actually did find anything wrong with it. Nonetheless, having got it going again yesterday, I was optimistic that I could do so again today. Despite the likely fuel issues I had become more and more convinced that the problem lay somewhere in the electrics, as if it was in the fuel system I am sure that it would at least have given some indications of firing. I suspected that the low oil cut off switch might be the culprit and seeking a more informed opinion I consulted the oracle of most everything, the internet. Sure enough there was a forum where my very problem had been discussed a few years back and the expert solution was, as I had expected, to disconnect the oil sensor. Apparently the sensor is not an infrequent cause of problems with this model of generator.

Once more I sat down on the dock and pulled the generator to bits, as the oil sensor switch is located right in the machine's innards. Once I had got in amongst all the vitals, I found the wire in question, unplugged it, then put everything back together again. A couple of pulls of the starter chord and once more the little genset came to life, giving off its cheerful little hum. I hope this time it will continue to hum cheerfully for some time before causing me anymore grief.  Not that I am complaining. It has served me well, and I hope that there are a few years of useful service left in it yet.

With the generator fixed I was at last able to get back to working on the stern. I have cut a little more steel out so as to be better prepared for when the welder arrives on Wednesday. This is definitely going to be the most difficult bit of welding I have ever done. Even so I find that I am actually looking forward to it. I figure it is going to be an interesting challenge, hopefully one that will prove to be within my abilities.

Now the obvious question on some reader's minds is going to be, “But are you going to leave the oil switch disconnected? Isn't it important?” Well, I figure most gensets this small wouldn't even have a low oil cut off switch. I could have a go at fixing the switch but reckon this is likely to cause even more problems. So, I think for now I will just check the oil level more frequently.

All is well.