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Old 08-03-2012, 09:37 AM
rgswaim rgswaim is offline
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Default Generator maintenance?



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Other than changing the oil and gas, what do I need to do?
Old 08-03-2012, 09:53 AM
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Depends, if it is an overhead valve, you will sooner or later adjust the valves, change plugs,clean air filter, and a general overall wipe down and check to see nothing has rattled lose. JT
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:54 AM
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about every 6 weeks you need to run them for 15-30 minutes. make sure you put Stabil in the fuel. Also dont just shut off the generator. turn off the fuel and let it run dry. I have done this for over 10 years without a problem.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philotmcgiffen View Post
about every 6 weeks you need to run them for 15-30 minutes. make sure you put Stabil in the fuel. Also dont just shut off the generator. turn off the fuel and let it run dry. I have done this for over 10 years without a problem.
I agree with everything you said. I use SeaFoam instead of Stabil. (Ford vs Chevy (before GMC became Government Motors)).
Old 08-03-2012, 10:50 AM
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You want to exercise it by running once a month for about 20-30minutes. You start it unloaded, let warm for about 5 minutes. Than load it with a space heater or something that has a reasonable draw against the size of your generator (25-50%). Remove the load and allow the generator to cool for about 5 minutes before shut down.

I disagree about running the carb empty*. I think this allows the gunk to dry inside and mess things up. If you are storing for a longer period without running, put in a gas stabilizer. For real long periods follow the manufacturers recommendations.

Always check for old and cracking fuel lines, keep the generator out of the weather and protected against the (#*&%^) insects. Darn spiders and wasps can really screw things up.

* If it works for you and you are happy doing this than I would not fight you over it. Just my way of doing things that has worked for me.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:21 AM
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I clean or replace the air filter and plug, change the oil....and run them at least (1) time a Month for 20 minutes or so.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:23 PM
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I keep plenty of extra oil, air filters, spark plugs, and belts (rottotiller) for all my stuff.
5 K generator, 1.8 K generator, Garden tractor, wood splitter, tiller, and chain saw.
Old 08-03-2012, 08:38 PM
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As others have said, letting it sit is the worst thing you can do. Gotta fire it up every month or so and let it run for a bit (20 minutes is enough, IMO).
Old 08-03-2012, 09:14 PM
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There's nothing I can say that hasn't been addressed. I will re-iterate, because it is the leasing cause of small engine [and gasoline stove] early failure.

If you are not running your genny regularly. When you have serviced it make sure you run it until it is hot with a moderate load. There is no real time limit, you can small a operating engine, it will start to smell 'sweet'... though 20-30 mins should be more than enough.
Old 08-04-2012, 08:15 AM
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The engine end has been well covered. On the generator end it should be stored in such a way to keep the generator dry and clean and so things like dirt daubers can't build nests in it. Over time the coating on the windings will crack and if it is wet and dirty when you energize the field/generator it can burn up part or all of the generator. I work on oil and gas platforms in the gulf and we run natural gas and diesel generators for all our power needs. I have seen several wet generators smoked. I keep my own in a clean dry storage room.
I run mine periodically under no load and then add load too it gradually. Running it with no load for a while allows the cooling fan on the end of it to blow any dust or debris out of the windings.
Old 08-04-2012, 09:22 AM
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Do yourself a favor and use the correct oil for air cooled engines. Your typical motor oil you use in your Honda Civic is not what you want. I'd recommend a good motorcycle oil, Briggs & Stratton or Kendall oil.
Old 08-04-2012, 10:55 AM
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For oil changes do I need some specific oil or can I use the same synthetic oil I use in my car? I use Mobil 1, 5W-30.
Old 08-04-2012, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgswaim View Post
For oil changes do I need some specific oil or can I use the same synthetic oil I use in my car? I use Mobil 1, 5W-30.
Check the manual. I'm guessing it will be 30w oil like a lawn mower. Auto oil don't have the zinc that air cooled motors desire. I'd use Briggs & Stratton oil you can pick up at Lowes or Home Depot.
Old 08-04-2012, 04:53 PM
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Really? Because every generator I've seen that didn't have the carburetor run dry ends up fowling the spark plug...
Old 08-04-2012, 05:06 PM
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i have a wheelhouse(generac) 5500/8500 surge....i bought it 7 years ago and ran it for an hour then put full synthetic in it.....i start it every 6 months and run it with a slight load on it and i swear by seafoam...that **** rocks......i pulled it out today and it started on first pull.......it ran 3 days straight for "irene" without a hiccup....mine is in shed with 130 ft of underground feeder (50 amp) going to basement with auto transfer switch......in my eyes, a decent basic set-up......my whole house gets juiced, just have to tell the wife what she can run and when.....
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