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tedfolk164
July 15th, 2009, 04:00 PM
I have Guardian 04456-2 12kW LP standby generator. Approximately 4 weeks ago I noticed that it did not exercise itself and when I opened the cover the 4 trouble lights were blinking indicating that the exercise was not set. When I tried to start it manually all I got was a failed attempt at a start then a clicking sound from a relay in the top right panel. The generator was installed in 10/04. I thought that the battery might be the cause of the problem due to the age. I purchased a new battery and installed it, that was 3 weeks ago. When I tried to start it with the new battery I continued to get the clicking sound and the engine did not turn over. I was away for 15 days and when I returned I attempted to manually start the engine. There was a brief turn over then it finally started. I was able to set it for exercise. Three days after that I tried to start it manually and all I got was the clicking from the relay mentioned above. Thinking the battery might be defective I took the battery out of my lawn tractor (12V) and attached the newley purchased battery to the tractor and I was able to turn the tractor over several times without a problem. I took the tractor battery to the generator and attached it. I was able to start the generator several times but after several starts I once again got the clicking sound from the relay. I swapped the batteries back and forth into the generator and it just makes the clicking sound and eventually it didn't even click. Where do I start to look for the problem or what tests can I make? Thanks

DanB
July 15th, 2009, 06:24 PM
(I'm just a consumer)

Not sure what "failed attempt at a start" actually means.

According to the manual, there are only two relays -- the battery charger relay and a remote alarm relay. I'd guess the alarm relay is a small one, and you might not even be able to hear that one, so my guess is the battery charger relay. I thought that relay was supposed be energized only when the control board senses the unit has successfully started, which usually means it has to be running up to speed for X seconds.

My guess would be a control board issue. Some folks here have mentioned some procedure to reboot the control boards. Not sure what it is or if it would help you, but I'd probably try it. Those control boards are pricey, and some tend to have a history of having defective replacements as well. It may be a wise investment to try to find a good servicer in your area, that way you wont be paying for guess work.

SkipD
July 15th, 2009, 06:38 PM
I get the impression that there may be a bad connection somewhere. Intermittent problems are most often caused by a connection - wires under screws, crimp connectors, solder joints, or any other type of connection. During my 38+ year career as an industrial control systems tech/designer/troubleshooter, I found that at least 75% of the failures I ran into were related to a bad connection of some sort.

Are you qualified to troubleshoot electrical/electronic systems and do you have a good multimeter? If the answer is no to either of these, you may want to get a tech involved. However, be aware that intermittent problems are often rather difficult to resolve because one never knows for sure that it's really fixed. The intermittent may be "hiding" when the unit performs properly.

pcfrisch
July 15th, 2009, 07:34 PM
Your starter could also be on it's way out, or a loose wire on the starter solenoid.

Grady22
July 16th, 2009, 06:37 AM
tedfolk164

If you go to the Ziller home page, you'll see a thread titled "Guardian Generator Bulletins". Click on it and it will lead you to " Diagnostic manuals now available for 3 generations of air cooled products". You can buy the manual for your unit, just follow the flow charts. Good Luck

Kelly Myers
July 16th, 2009, 12:09 PM
4456-1 & 4456-2 generators and starters didn't go very well together! They commonly go bad, and once you replace them one time you should be good for a while.

A clicking starter with a fresh battery simply means the solenoid is worn out, or the starter is no longer working properly. I can usually get somebody to start their generator by toggling from off to manual over and over and eventually the solenoid will close one time and allow the generator to start. I would advise you to replace your starter. The revised starter for your unit is 0E42710SRV



On a side note, to properly test your battery, use a DC VOM from + and - on the battery. At rest the voltage should be upwards of 13.10V. KEEP THE VOM ON THE BATTERY then turn it to manual. The voltage should stay above 12.4V. Many people test the voltage of the battery at rest, and this can give a false positive. We want to make sure the battery has proper voltage during a crank cycle.

MacMan
July 16th, 2009, 02:52 PM
4456-1 & 4456-2 generators and starters didn't go very well together! They commonly go bad, and once you replace them one time you should be good for a while...............

I'm with Kelly on this one....sounds like the starter. I have the 04456-1, and I replaced mine about a year ago for the same symptoms, and haven't had any issue since. I even took the starter to a generator/starter repair shop locally, and he said it wasn't worth the $ to repair...get a new one.

But MAN, is that starter a pain in the A** to replace. I had cuts and scrapes on my hands and wrists for a week afterward.....hope I never have to do that again!!!!!

pcfrisch
July 16th, 2009, 08:54 PM
I'm with Kelly on this one....sounds like the starter. I have the 04456-1, and I replaced mine about a year ago for the same symptoms, and haven't had any issue since. I even took the starter to a generator/starter repair shop locally, and he said it wasn't worth the $ to repair...get a new one.

But MAN, is that starter a pain in the A** to replace. I had cuts and scrapes on my hands and wrists for a week afterward.....hope I never have to do that again!!!!!

I replaced mine and it wasn't that bad, I have a 04456 also.

tedfolk164
July 27th, 2009, 01:08 PM
Reply to all, thanks very much for your responses. I have found it very difficult to find a generator mechanic around here (Sinking Spring, Pa). It is good to know where to look for the problem if I have to have someone come over. The last guy I had over for another problem didn't even know where to get parts. I will be getting that manual. Can you advise as to where I can pick up a started if I find it faulty.
Tedfolk164

SkipD
July 27th, 2009, 01:23 PM
Reply to all, thanks very much for your responses. I have found it very difficult to find a generator mechanic around here (Sinking Spring, Pa). It is good to know where to look for the problem if I have to have someone come over. The last guy I had over for another problem didn't even know where to get parts. I will be getting that manual. Can you advise as to where I can pick up a started if I find it faulty.
Tedfolk164You can buy any parts you need through Ziller Electric (the owner and sponsor of this forum). Their number should be at the top of the page you are looking at.

tedfolk164
August 4th, 2009, 10:58 AM
Generator fixed and problem solved. I received the generator manual from Ziller and started a couple of the diagnostic tests for the starter. The tests told me that I probably had a problem at the starter. I was able to obtain a certified mechanic for Guardian generators via a friend's reference. With the knowledge I obtained from the manual I was able to focus the mechanic to the starter. What he found was that there was a red wire hidden from view that seemed to be broken off the starter. At this time he wasn’t sure were the wire was broken off from by a visual inspection. He pulled the starter without that much difficulty by taking the covering off the starter motor thereby making it smaller to work with. Now that the starter was out we were able to note the red wire had its connector broken off. The wire was marked #13. Following the schematic in the manual he determined that it came off the positive lug of the starter motor. He repaired the broken off connector. We bench tested the starter before re-installing and found it to be in good shape. He installed the starter with the #13 on the proper lug, reconnected the all the wires that had to be disconnected in order to remove the starter and the generator started without a problem. You guys were spot on with your diagnosis of my problem and with the help of the manual you recommended I saved valuable time in having the problem fixed. Thanks very much. If anyone in the Reading area of Pa. needs a mechanic I have one to recommend. They work on residential as well as commercial generators. He also mentioned to me that they recommended to Generac, in one of the classes he attended, that they install a removable panned in order to access the rear of the generator.