Author Topic: Anyone know anything about generators? It won't autostart!  (Read 1260 times)


  • Bristles
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Anyone know anything about generators? It won't autostart!
« on: August 17, 2017, 12:02:14 PM »
Hi fellow mustachimaniacs!

We recently moved into a new place which comes equipped with a fancy generator.  We are having a little problem though in that the generator doesn't kick on when the power goes out. I know very little about generators but am trying to troubleshoot this issue myself, because it's the mustachian way!  I have done testing and narrowed the issue down a bit, but was hoping that someone who is more experienced and educated than myself in this area might be able to shed some further light on this for me. Here's the low down:

- We have utility power, a transfer switch (ASCO Series 165), and a generator (Kohler 8.5RES or 12RES)
- When the utility power was on the lights on the transfer switch indicated utility power as it should
- When the utility power went out the transfer switch had NO lights on and the generator did not start automatically
- The generator control was/is set to AUTO, and I was able to start the generator by using the ON button on the generator unit itself
- Now that the utility power is back on the transfer switch is flashing an error code #2 - "Generator failed to start"
- I haven't been able to successfully start the generator from the transfer switch. The only way I've been able to start it is at the unit. Once I've started it though it doesn't provide power to the house (I'm assuming because the transfer switch hasn't switched to pull power from the generator)

I'm not entirely sure whether the issue is with the transfer switch or the generator. Does anyone have any suggestions, or ways to further narrow down the problem?  I don't have a voltage tester kit but could purchase one if needed.

Another thing to note is that the house was sitting on the market from August of last year until April when we bought it, and so I'm not sure whether the owner may have disconnected the generator in some way over the winter so it didn't autostart to protect it? We're in Minnesota and the winters are pretty harsh.

Thanks in advance for any wisdom you can depart!


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 536
  • Location: Bay Area, California
Re: Anyone know anything about generators? It won't autostart!
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 12:00:50 PM »
I don't have an answer for you but you might have better luck in DIY.


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