Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Bellsplicer, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Bellsplicer

    Bellsplicer New Member

    Am using a 13 year old Onan running on propane to power a work trailer. Recently the florescent lights have started going off after about an hour and then come back on in about 20 mins. Changed ballasts on both lights and bulbs. Both lights are on the same switch. Voltage is good 120. The frequency is high. Question is would the high frequency cause the ballast to over heat and shut down?
     
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

    I struggle to remember my florescent light theory, but my initial answer is, maybe. Just how high is the frequency? If you mean one or two hz, then no. But if you mean 70 hz it might due to the change in impeadance of the ballast. I would guess that it is over heating and shutting down, but this does stain my old gray matter? I'll ask my EE neighbor to see what he thinks?
     
  3. Gruffy

    Gruffy New Member

    Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

    Bet you've changed bulbs recently. We had some GE bulbs that worked fine, changed to Sylvania and went nuts with the random on/off cycles. Went back to the GE and all was fine again.
     
  4. Bellsplicer

    Bellsplicer New Member

    Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

    Yes I did change bulbs and ballasts but only after they started going off. The hz is varying from 65 to 180 depending on what else I am useing at that time. I did find that the air filter was damp and had oil in it from blow back. When removed filter it bought hz down am waiting for a new one now. The weather was warm today and they only went off twice in 9 hrs. ???
     
  5. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

    I would say that your old generator is severly overloaded. The point being that you have it running so fast (RPM) to get the 120 volts that the frequency is too high even when the heavy load is present (65Hz). Your ballasts & transformers throughout your trailer are really being tested to transfer power from primary to secondary at 180Hz, but transformers usually will overheat when supplied with LOWER than design frequency (such as running 60Hz equipment in a country with 50Hz power).

    Get a newer/larger kW generator.
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

    A genset that varies from 65 - 180 hz has a very serious problem. If you don't want this to get a lot worse, I think that you should get it serviced. If you are supplying power to other loads, like saws and such, you must have some other interesting problems?
     
  7. Bellsplicer

    Bellsplicer New Member

    Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

    Thanks for the input. I know there are a lot of problems with the Onan. Can't get the company to replace it. One of these days it will fry the mini-mass fusion machine and cost them about 30k to replace it. Maybe they will listen then. It takes an act of congress to get these people, to just have the oil changed. Like I said thanks. I will have to struggle til I retire. Then they will junk it and buy new one for the new YOUNGER persons.
     
  8. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

    Bellsplicer, if it is 13 years old, I doubt that they will replace anything if more goes wrong. They don't warrant them for LIFE. It is up to you to change the oil, not them. You keep saying "They".......not sure who you are really referring too, but if you mean ONAN, forget it, it is YOUR responsibility to take care of it (maintenance, etc.), not theirs. Maybe I'm confused a little, but it sounds like you expect them/they to do your work. Old/Young has nothing to do with this issue.
    Good luck and I hope you relax some before you retire so you can enjoy retirement and not start it with a chip on your shouder for ONAN. :(
     
  9. Bellsplicer

    Bellsplicer New Member

    Electrical/Florescent lights/Onan

    Archer, you are correct about one thing. You are confused about the problem. They are the company I work for. I DO NOT expect onan to do any replacing of any parts on Genset. I do know that the maintance of item is the responsable of user, in this case our company, WE have maintaince people that are suppose to do that on a timely basic. I have no problem with ONAN. I think their Gensets are great. Just wish could get a qualified mechanic in this area to service them.
    I'll enjoy my retirement. Chips are for people that don't have anything to do other than worry about what someone else is doing.
    Like I said thanks for your comments.
     

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