What is the GEN battery solenoid for

Discussion in 'Electronics Q&A' started by Mark Searay, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. Mark Searay

    Mark Searay New Member

    21
    Nov 10, 2019
    Sydney Australia
    Searay Sundancer 375
    Mercruiser 6.5L x 2
    I have searched everywhere and can’t get an answer.
    I know the port and starboard solenoids need to be on when engine on or need 12v however when do you use or turn on the GEN one ?
    I did try turn on when generator was running but killed the generator and had to restart it.

    appreciate assistance
     
  2. superwa

    superwa Active Member

    224
    Jul 27, 2013
    Rhode Island
    2001 Sea Ray Sundancer 380
    Mercruiser horizon 8.1S
    It’s supposed to be on before you start the generator. You should not be able to start the generator without it, unless it has been bypassed somehow or you are starting it manually. If you turn the solenoid on and off while the gen is running you may have damaged the solenoid.
     
    Mark Searay likes this.
  3. Mark Searay

    Mark Searay New Member

    21
    Nov 10, 2019
    Sydney Australia
    Searay Sundancer 375
    Mercruiser 6.5L x 2
    thanks
    Yeah it did start without this being on.
    I’ll try it again with it on prior.

    1. what does it actual do and used for?
    2. Should I leave the solenoids for the port and starboard batteries on as well when Generator is running ?
    I do leave these two on when motor is on.
    3. should the gen solenoid be on when motor is running or just generator

    thanks heaps
     
  4. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    626
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    Hi Mark and Welcome - Basically the respective battery switch (solenoid) powers its respective engine or Genny. If your genny is starting without the battery switch turned on, there is a issue. Could be the previous owner (PO) wired it differently for whatever reason. Different owners have different philosophies in regards to leaving on and turning off. Definitely need to be on when the motors or genny is being used. Also need to be on if you are not running any motor, but still need power for other things such as water pump, radios, lights, etc. When not at the boat, can be left on or off - depends on your preference. Our boat is in our back yard on a lift and we keep all the battery switches on as we are on and off the boat frequently. Not sure what others do, especially those who keep their boat at a marina and only visit it on weekends, etc. Hope this helps.
     
    Mark Searay likes this.
  5. Chris-380

    Chris-380 Active Member

    446
    Jan 20, 2019
    Pontoon Beach IL
    380 Sundancer 2000
    454 Horizon w/V drives
    I typically leave all three of
    Mine on all season, then Turn off for the winter. No particular reason, except, that’s what the others on my dock at the marina do
     
    Mark Searay likes this.
  6. Mark Searay

    Mark Searay New Member

    21
    Nov 10, 2019
    Sydney Australia
    Searay Sundancer 375
    Mercruiser 6.5L x 2
    Thanks everyone for your responses - greatly appreciated
    This forum is awesome.
    So in short, I need to turn on ALL solenoids when GEN or Engine is on.
    Gen shouldnt start without (however does, I might need to look into)
    Have to test it started with it turned ON too :)

    I know this is off topic and may be a silly question but does the Gen pull fuel from the boat or is filled separate ?
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  7. Chris-380

    Chris-380 Active Member

    446
    Jan 20, 2019
    Pontoon Beach IL
    380 Sundancer 2000
    454 Horizon w/V drives
    My gen pulls from the starboard tank only.

     
  8. boatmailster

    boatmailster Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2007
    NY
    none to share
    none to share
    Gen solenoid should turn on power to generator only - when wired correctly. You only need this on when you use generator, other times you keep it off. Stb, port battery solenoids you need to keep on when you run engines. One of them is also house battery. When you docked and on shore power is ok to keep only house battery solenoid on - if wired correctly.
     
    b_arrington likes this.
  9. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    Generators draw fuel from a tank shared with the engine. If you have more than one tank it will draw from only one. Usually they are set up so the generator fuel pickup is higher than the engine pickup, so the gen can’t run your tank dry and strand you.

    As for the gen solenoid, it’s there to energize / deenergize the starting circuit to the gen. Turn it in when you want to start the gen, and off after you shut it down. On my boat the gen does not have a separate staring battery - it’s shared with one of the other battery banks. The switch for the gen provides power to the gen system for starting. If off, no juice to the gen or gen panel. I leave it off unless I want to start the gen.
     

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