Notices
The Boating Forum

5kw Westerbeke gene locking up

Old 01-14-2013, 05:04 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Default 5kw Westerbeke gene locking up

I have a 5kw Westerbeke generator that seems to have locked up. Here’s how the event happened. First off, the generator has about 13 hours on it and was installed in a 2007 Larson 274 Cabrio. When we bought in April last of 2012 it had 10 hours on it. I like to run the gene for a few minute under load just to keep things in working order so it’s just not sitting all the time not being used. I here if you have you should run them and they pretty much take care of themselves with the exception of some general maintenance. This past Saturday I ran it for about 20 minute and everything was fine. The next morning I wanted to run it again because I had found some water in the bilge and assumed it had come from the Gene. The reason I think it came from the bilge is because was dry when I open the hatch to make sure the generator disconnect switch was turn on before I started it. Anyway, I cheated the raw water intake with water from the garden hose and started the gene; it ran for about 15 seconds and cut off. I tried to restart and it seemed to lock up….the sound was horrible to say the least!!! I also noticed a tiny bit of water coming from where the breather filter screen is on the side of the gene, not sure why I’d have water coming from there. Anyway the gene won’t start now. I’m hoping it’s just a water/fuel issue at this point. A new 5kw Westerbeke gene looks like about $6k to $7k and you’d have to remove half the engine to get it out.

OIL is good and clean not milky so I don’t suspect any OIL/water issues. Anti-freeze level is good too so I don’t suspect any overheating issues either. 13 hours isn't anything in the grand scheme of things for this gene. I’m hoping is something simple but I’m preparing for the worst?

Does anyone out there have any thoughts???

Thanks,
Ken
karmistead is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 05:43 AM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: 1984 35 Bertram NJ
Posts: 5,914
Default

My bet is you hydro locked it. Hopefully you did not bend or break a rod, piston, crankshaft.
Here is what might of happened. Water pumps supply water at a rate the exhaust system can handle. You may have even turned the water on before you even started the engine. If the feed rate was to high you pushed water back into and through the exhaust valves and into the cylinders. Additionally the. Normal water lift mufflers that are used on generator installations can fill with water, either by continued cranking of a non-starting or like what you did. Trying to feed it with a hose instead of letting the raw water pump control the flow.
Never no not ever feed a high pressure hose into a raw water feed system.
CB Haws is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 06:15 AM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location:
Posts: 1,154
Default

Take the spark plugs out and turn engine over until they quit spraying water. then squirt some oil into each cylinder. Turn over again a few times, Replace plugs and start gen. Do not feed it water from hose...
lbud is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 06:21 AM
  #4  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Default

Thanks for responding, I think you nailed it though, I did have the water on before I started it. So my damage is self-inflicted. So how do I get the water out of the cylinders? How do I get water out of the muffler? Also, how would I ever flush my gene out of the water? What’s the hydro??
karmistead is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 06:42 AM
  #5  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Default

Understood, but how am I ever able to flush the generator then. Is it not a good idea to flush them?
karmistead is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 06:49 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: GTC, Abaco Bahamas/western NC
Posts: 1,342
Default

I am going along with CBHaws. If it is gas pull the plugs and crank it with the starter, water should blow out the plug holes. If diesel pull the glo plugs. after cranking it pour about an ounce of oil in each cylinder and recrank. Put a rag over the holes to stop from kmaking an oily mess. Add a bit more oil and replace the plugs. should start right up. Let it run Under a FULL LOAD and get good and hot. hour or so. should be self fixing.
Tingum is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 06:54 AM
  #7  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Default

You know though, from time to time, I would notice some small amount of water in the bilge. And now that I think about it, it’s always been after running the gene. And that’s why I wanted to run it Saturday to I could see where it was coming from. Hopefully my mechanic will be able to get this going for me. I know now to let the raw water pump control the flow and not force with garden hose.

Last edited by karmistead; 01-14-2013 at 07:45 AM.
karmistead is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 09:43 AM
  #8  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 113
Default

I have the same generator as you do and flush mine with a garden hose when the boat is on the trailer. I use a device that looks like a toilet plunger with a female hose connector on it. It has an adjustable handle on it so you can wedge it between your raw water intake on the bottom of the boat and the ground to make a tight seal.

Then I have someone turn on the garden hose to about 50% while I start the genny from inside the boat. I always make sure they are there to turn off the water right as I shut down the genny. Done this 10+ times so far without issue.
bh525 is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 09:49 AM
  #9  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: 1984 35 Bertram NJ
Posts: 5,914
Default

Gas or diesel? If gas you may not have bent stuff. Diesel well we just have to wait and see.
The bottom of the muffler should have a drain plug. Just remove that to drain the muffler. In fat you can leave it out while you are running it for flushing purposes.

For flushing: hook up the garden hose to your intake lose very loosely. If you build up pressure it should leak easily. Start the engine and immediately turn the water on. While running make sure the raw water is using the flow setting. If the connection is loose excess water will spill out. It should not spray out at high velocity.
Good luck.
CB Haws is offline  
Old 01-14-2013, 12:57 PM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Default

Thanks everyone, my mechanic is looking at it. I'll update you as soon as I know something.
karmistead is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread