ATS won't transfer to generator but transfers back to utility - 0057440 20kwNG

Automatic/Manual transfer switch repair, wiring & troubleshooting questions
bjones
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Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:47 am

Chris, this is yet another can't get a transfer over to generator during a service failure.

Like the other ones utility power interrupted, generator starts up normal, but the ATS never makes the switchover. A manual switch does as expected and the house moves over to generator power. When service is restored the automatic switch back occurs and the generator shuts down just as expected.

Checked and I do have 12v on 194 both on the generator side and the ATS and the gen side control panel is relatively new (18months) and "seems" to function fine. I removed it completely to reset it jik, no change.

Only thing that makes this an odd one is while troubleshooting I found out my voltage is way over at 283v or so split even at 141 at 142 per leg, that ones not worth starting a new thread on, you've answered it before.... new voltage regulator

What I'm wondering is if it points to what might have been damaged in the ATS itself or is something in the logic path between the gen controller and ATS somewhere that it knows not to transfer that high generator voltage over purposely as a protection even on the older style units ?

Is there any thing else to troubleshoot or does it point to a bad ATS relay ?

Generator model 0057440 s/n 5304864
ATS RTSY200A3 s/n 9250216

Thanks Robert
Chris
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Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:07 pm

You'll want to check for 12V between the 194 and 23 wires during the transfer. It may be that the 23 wire isn't grounding to tell the switch to move to standby.

You can test by just jumping the 23 wire to ground with the utility off and the gen running, the switch should transfer.

It could also be a bad coil, bad relay, bad limit switch, etc...
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bjones
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Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:38 pm

Thanks Chris, that was an quick and easy test - jumped 23 to ground and instantly switched right over.

Anything else to check for on the generator side, looks like the switch is good other than not getting the signal to switch ?
Chris
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Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:38 pm

Sounds like 1 of 2 things... Either the controller is bad or the wiring to the transfer switch has a problem...
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bjones
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:59 am

Chris did some more troubleshooting and am getting further away. Noticed in the other thread on the topic that someone had 1.9 volts on xfer 23, checked and that's what I had that started all this. Killed service side power and got out to the generator in time to watch it count down then come up and sure enough it took that 1.9v to ground. Checked the ATS position no movement. tried just grounding 23 on the gen side - no effect, then grounded 23 in the ATS, switched as expected.

Here's where the confusion really sets in, I show 13.24 in the ATS on both the bottom block (entrance) and top block posts for both 23 and 194. Lead me to maybe a bad wire ? so disconnected the xfer 23 entrance wire from the bottom block, changed it on the gen side to the 194 for +12 downstream and measured them both back at the ATS. The loose xfer leg now reads 12v (less than the 13.24 that its attached to) and 194 in the ATS still shows the normal 13.24.... so the xfer leg wire appears to be good but I should probably replace the terminal since it's losing something along the way.

Now the weird part... reattached everything back to where it normally goes and now I've got 10v on the xfer leg back to the generator side, check it 1/2 hour later its down to 7v, another hour it's down to 5v... then down to 3.6, it's as though voltage is bleeding off over time. Checked it again this AM after overnight and viola, 1.95v on 23 at the generator side just like I started with.

What can be in the ATS that could cause this behavior ? Something in the relay burned up causing a short...

Thanks for your help, somehow I was able to get myself completely lost on how a wire just loses voltage over time lol - Robert
Chris
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:47 pm

Hey Robert,


This sounds like possibly a wiring issue where a wire has rubbed through or is broken somewhere between the generator and switch... Just so I can get the facts straight, if you ground the 23 wire in the switch, the switch moved? If so, that means you very likely don't have any issues with the switch, but rather the 23 wire. It means that 12V is getting to the switch via 194 and grounding the 23 just completes the circuit to tell the transfer relay to move the other direction to standby mode.

How far is the run of wire, what gauge wire, and have you removed the 23 wire on both ends and tested for resistance to ground?
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bjones
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:37 pm

Everything's correct in your first question, yes grounding 23 within the ATS gets a switch move, grounding it at the generator side does not. Somehow it loses voltage (over time) from 12v to 1.9 back from the ATS 23 back to the generator side.

The 4 wires Gen to ATS are all copper strand 12ga max of 200 ft running underground in hard pvc conduit from ground level at the generator (then flex into the side) all the way into inside basement then over to the ATS. There's a 18"-2ft loop on both sides for the set so they aren't stressed at the ends and all 4 were pulled together through from the gen side to the penetration point in the basement.

What do I set my multimeter to to look for resistance to ground as in is any acceptable, or just set it to continuity (I think it's 200ohms on mine) and see if it has that ?

Thanks
Chris
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:11 pm

During your test, the wire should be removed and capped off at both ends with tape or something to make sure it's not touching anything metal. Set your meter to it's lowest ohm setting (if it's not auto-ranging) and see what you get. You should have NO resistance to ground on that wire at all. OL should be displayed. Work your way up to the highest resolution setting and you should STILL get OL. If not, there's a problem somewhere. You could also find someone with a megger to do a test on it to make sure, but I think you're going to find that water has rotted the insulation away or a sharp spot in the conduit rubbed through. DC voltage is so low that it doesn't take much to kill it at the other end...
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bjones
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Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:22 pm

So Chris, I've confirmed that the wire is bad somewhere along the path. Is it possible to re-purpose 1 of the remaining 3 that are good ? I'm wondering if I can take one of the two N1 N2 wires on the generator side leaving only 1 energized headed down to the switch and then jumpering it across both N1and N2 terminals on the ATS side so that both of those N1/N2 see 120v on the ATS side even though it's only coming off just 1 of the N's on the generator side?

Other than that idea it looks like I'll be pulling new wires between the gen and ATS - thanks for your help Robert
Chris
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Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:14 pm

No, that will not work. The N1/N2 combined makes 240V. If you just use the same line twice, you still have 120V. Unfortunately, pulling new wire is about the only option... :sad:
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