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Old 08-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
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Westerbeke Generator Stops???

My boat is equipted with a Westerbeke Generator, Model #WMD-12, 12.5KVA. It has run fine since I've owned the boat. Last week I went to take the boat out and started the generator first, as I always do. I held down the preheat switch for a few seconds and while holding it down, I pressed the start switch. She started right up. When I released the preheat switch, it immediately stopped. I followed the same process and again, she started right up, ran smooth but as soon as I released the preheat switch, she stopped. I did not want to hold the preheat switch too long but each time the motor started up and ran fine.

Any suggestions as to where I should start looking? I thought about the shutoff switch, but I believe that shuts off the fuel. This seams as it could be electrical. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Knot-Enuff View Post
My boat is equipted with a Westerbeke Generator, Model #WMD-12, 12.5KVA. It has run fine since I've owned the boat. Last week I went to take the boat out and started the generator first, as I always do. I held down the preheat switch for a few seconds and while holding it down, I pressed the start switch. She started right up. When I released the preheat switch, it immediately stopped. I followed the same process and again, she started right up, ran smooth but as soon as I released the preheat switch, she stopped. I did not want to hold the preheat switch too long but each time the motor started up and ran fine.

Any suggestions as to where I should start looking? I thought about the shutoff switch, but I believe that shuts off the fuel. This seams as it could be electrical. Thanks for any suggestions.
The preheat switch when starting by passes the safety circuits, perhaps one of those switches is bad or has a bad connection. Good luck
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:19 PM   #3
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On our WB12.5, it is necessary to continue holding down the start button (not the preheat) for a few seconds after the engine fires. You might try this.
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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Check the Oilpressswitch , take one bridge on this switch for proof.
You have change the Oil now?
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
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Usually the preheat button is also the low oil pressure shutdown override.

Was the oil pressure up to 20 or so when letting go? If not... hold longer...if it's up I would look at removing a wire from the low oil pressue sensor or where one of those wires goes to the fuel cutoff.

Westerbeake has a pretty good troubleshooting section online if I remember. Take a look there if you don't have a manual handy.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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On my Westerbeke the prehead must be held down for 3 or 4 seconds after the start, as it bypasses the low oil pressure shutdown.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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My schematic shows that the pre-heat relay provides power to the fuel lift pump and fuel solenoid during starting. Once the oil pressure is up to par it provides power to the lift pump and fuel solenoid allowing the engine to run with the pre-heat released.

Your description seems to indicate that the oil pressure switch is not doing its job.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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My schematic shows that the pre-heat relay provides power to the fuel lift pump and fuel solenoid during starting. Once the oil pressure is up to par it provides power to the lift pump and fuel solenoid allowing the engine to run with the pre-heat released.

Your description seems to indicate that the oil pressure switch is not doing its job.
Your right, perhaps the elektric contact from Relais and oil pressure switch are wrong.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:50 PM   #9
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On my 8kw Westerbeke there are three safety switches. Oil pressure, water temperature and exhaust elbow temperature. If anyone of these has failed you would have the condition you describe. As others have explained the preheat switch overrides these safety switches.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:01 PM   #10
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On my 8kw Westerbeke there are three safety switches. Oil pressure, water temperature and exhaust elbow temperature. If anyone of these has failed you would have the condition you describe. As others have explained the preheat switch overrides these safety switches.
Mine too. I usually hold down pre-heat a few seconds longer than start and I check to see that the oil pressure has come up.

Last week, I did have a condition in which the Gen would start, but run for only a minute or so, with no power, before it died. Replacing the racor solved that problem.

Good luck

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Old 08-20-2013, 05:10 PM   #11
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Normaly stops the gen when the oilpressure are down or the water temp are high. Proof this two swiches with bridge ore cut the bridge. I dont no in this moment are two contacts are normaly open or closed and open when the temp are high or the Oilpressure down.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:22 PM   #12
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I have one WB 15 KW and two WB 8 KW an Board. Last year i had the same problem, now i refresh my memory. The probleme are one from the little relais in the startbox are bad. I dont no whitch relais, chance both and i think thats is the Problem.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:40 PM   #13
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Had a similar situation crop up with our NextGen 3500kW when we started it up for the first time earlier this season. As soon as I let go the start switch, it stopped running. Turned out to be a sticky starter solenoid. I manually played with it, pushing it in and out, and it has started fine every time since.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:00 PM   #14
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On my 5k northern lights genny, with westerbeak engine, I had the same problem. I removed the grey (?) wire and it ran fine. Traced it to a faulty exhaust temperature sensor.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:02 AM   #15
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Actually if water temperature or exhaust elbow temperature sensors were the problem the generator would not start, because the pre-heat does not bypass them. Knot-Enoughs problem is probably with the oil pressure switch.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:41 PM   #16
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Obthomas: my symptoms were exactly as the op's. it would only stay running with the override switch held up. When I replaced the temp switch, problem solved.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:28 AM   #17
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Does anyone know how to test the three safety switches on a Westerbeke. Can you bypass them by jumping them?

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Old 08-23-2013, 07:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Does anyone know how to test the three safety switches on a Westerbeke. Can you bypass them by jumping them?

Marty
Oil pressure ....I think yes after looking at the wiring diagrams but the others may be resistance and just cant jump them...but I'm not sure as the manuals I looked at had no info on them.

Best to find the specs on the sensors or call.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:36 AM   #19
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The temperature switches provide grounds to the stop relay. To test the temperature switches simply disconnect them one at a time and see if the generator starts and runs.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:50 AM   #20
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Thanks to all. I will be at the boat this weekend and start checking. I appreciate all of the direction, great group on this site!
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