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Old 05-19-2015, 08:42 PM   #1
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Seneca Generator Auto-Starting on Shore Power

I've noticed that our Onan genny will auto-start whenever the overhead A/C units (either of them) are on - even when connected to shore power. This doesn't make sense to me, so I ran the shore power test and the controller correctly recognizes when power is connected.

I understand that the controller is programmed to start the generator whenever the battery voltage falls to a certain level or there is a call for cooling. But, I thought that the presence of shore power was supposed to prevent the auto start.

Anyone else notice this?
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:17 PM   #2
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What amp shore connection are you on?
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:23 PM   #3
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We have a 30amp connection at home (haven't upgraded it from the last camper yet), but this also happens at campgrounds with 50amp connections.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:34 PM   #4
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And I'm assuming that you have other 110 v appliances running on shore power ( microwave is on? )

Not familiar with power systems ( inverter system ) on your unit... Just taking a few stabs .... Circuit breaks are all on?
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:43 PM   #5
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Well, no other big draw items running. The fridge is on ac when this happens, but not much else. I first noticed it after hooking up at a campground. It was warm on the trip out, so I left the genny on auto while we traveled so it would start as needed to run the house ac. It was surprised to hear the generator start on its own about 30 minutes after we arrived and plugged in.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:46 PM   #6
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Check all your circuit breakers.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:58 AM   #7
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All good there, everything works. I'm wondering if something is wired incorrectly with the Onan Command controller. Am I correct in my assumption that this should not be happening?

I think I'll have the dealer check it out when I take it back in at the end of the season for some other minor stuff.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:54 AM   #8
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I have a 2014 37TS and I suspect our electrical systems are identical. Your issue has never happened to me, I suspect there may be an issue with your particular unit. We both have 50 amp transfer switches that shift the load entirely from generator or shore power, the load is never "shared" between power sources. The generator should also never start automatically unless you have selected the "Auto" mode on the generator control panel (Energy Command 30 panel). And every time you start the chassis engine the EC-30 should revert to the "Manual" mode to prevent automatic starting in situations not intended by you that could be hazardous, such as inside a garage.

I did install an EMS-HW50C surge protector on my unit, and if for some reason it will not let shore power connect because it senses a problem with that source AND my generator control is in the "Auto" mode, the generator would start when there is a cooling request or low coach batteries. But I would have to put the EC-30 into "Auto", it never defaults to that mode.

Good luck, let everyone know what you find out in case others have similar issues.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:12 AM   #9
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As an electronics tech, I would suggest that the CG's power grid is weak. Or your power connection is faulty. Your controller is perceiving a noticeable voltage dip when the A/C cycles in as "shore power disconnected".


So, in my opinion, your controller is a bit too sensitive to an external semi-problem. Have it checked when convenient. First, see what the actual voltage inside your RV is when the A/C is on with both the genset and inverter are manually switched off.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:29 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info, Robbbyr - one quick clarification, the generator does indeed only auto-start when I have 'auto' selected, and it does flip to manual when the engine is started. I noticed this because I will typically leave the generator in auto mode even while connected in case of a power outage. If we head out for a bit and leave the dogs in the RV, I want the A/C to continue to work. The problem seems to be with the control unit sensing that we're connected to shore power.
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