Westerbeke generator runs but no power- Causes and how to fix

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Without doubt, Westerbeke generators are one of the most reliable generators in the marine industry up to date. However, there are certain situations where the generator is running but still doesn’t provide power to the plugged in appliances.

Marine generators are one of the most essential equipment in medium- sized boats and even luxury yachts as they are usually the main source of power. For sure, there are a number of companies such as Kohler which produce marine generators but they still don’t stand a chance against Westerbeke generators. This is because Westerbeke provide their customers with diesel generators that operate efficiently throughout. In addition to this, Westerbeke generators are even used by large maritime companies which clearly shows you the kind of quality that comes with their generators.

The main reason that your Westerbeke generator runs but doesn’t produce any power is because it has lost its residual magnetism. This can also be caused by running the generator for a long time without any electric load. For sure, it can get really frustrating when your generator is running but doesn’t produce power for the plugged in electrical appliances in your boat. However, the good news is that you can easily fix this problem through the electric method or the 12V battery Generator method.

Causes of the Westerbeke running but no power

When it has lost its residual magnetism

Without doubt, residual magnetism is key in Westerbeke generators as they basically operate on electrical conductors that are in constant motion within a magnetic field. Well, your generator doesn’t really come with physical magnets. Whenever your generator is running, it produces a certain amount of voltage that is converted to direct current which in the end creates a magnetic field. Once this occurs, the direct current is directed to a coil which converts it to an electromagnet. Now, that little magnetism that is always left behind from the last time your generator was powered up is known as residual magnetism.

This residual magnetism usually helps the generator to produce a small amount of power for all the electrical appliances plugged into it. As the generator continues to run it will create a stronger electromagnet and produce more power for the electrical appliances in your boat. Unfortunately, if your Westerbeke generator lacks that residual magnetism during start-up it won’t be able to power the plugged in appliances even when it is running.

It is also important to note that your Westerbeke generator can also lose its residual magnetism when it hasn’t been switched on for some time. Therefore, you should always ensure that you switch on your generator once in a while even when you don’t use it often.

Running the generator for long time without any electric load

Westerbeke generators are diesel generators that require constant electric load from electrical appliances. This is because it helps them to retain their residual magnetism which helps them to power up appliances especially on start up. In addition to this, running your generator on constant electric load will also enable it to create a solid magnetic field throughout its operation. Therefore, if you run your generator without any electric load it will fail to retain its residual magnetism. This will hinder the generator from producing power even when it is running.

You should also ensure that you switch off the generator before you unplug the load connected to it. This basically helps the generator to retain the magnetism that is created in the electromagnet. Therefore, you should also keep an eye on the fuel levels every time the generator is running so that it doesn’t run out of fuel and go off by itself.

Cause
Preventive measures
When it has lost its residual magnetism
You should ensure that you run your generator once in a while so that it doesn’t lose its residual magnetism.
Running the generator for a long time without any electrical load
You should ensure that you always run your generator on electric load.

How to fix your Westerbeke generator

12 Volt battery Generator method

First of all, I’d like to advise you that it’s best you call a professional to fix your generator in the event that you encounter this problem. However, you could do this by yourself if you have vast experience in dealing with these Westerbeke generators. You are required to unplug the wires that connect the generator brushes in the voltage regulator. They are two wires, one is white and the other is red therefore you should be very careful not to unplug the wrong wires.

You should then link the white wire to the ground battery terminal of your Westerbeke generator, connect a light bulb and switch on the generator. After you have done this, you should link the red wire to the terminals of a 12 Volts battery for about 4 seconds and then unplug the wire. Once you have done this, you should replace the plug and your generator will be able to produce power again when you switch it on.

Electric Drill method

This is also another reliable method to fix your Westerbeke generator when it runs but doesn’t produce any power. You should connect an electrical drill into the generator receptacle and move it in a forward position as you turn the drill chuck in the opposite direction. It is also important to note that you should do this simultaneously in order for you to excite the magnetic field in the generator. After you have done this, your Westerbeke generator will be able to produce power once it starts running again.

Conclusion

Westerbeke generators are well- known for their efficiency and reliability. However, there are times you will switch on your generator and it still won’t provide power to the electrical appliances in your boat. In the event that this happens, you can easily fix this problem by using the two methods which include the electric drill method or the 12 Volt battery Generator method.

FAQs

What should I do if I use the electric drill method or 12V battery Generator method but the generator still doesn’t produce power?

You should check the condition of your Automatic Voltage regulator as it may be faulty, then replace it with a new one.

Can I be able to fix my Westerbeke generator on the go?

Yes you can, so long as you have the necessary equipment.