View Full Version : Generators

Mr. Ham
09-03-2014, 12:35 PM
I have a 5000 watt Honda Generator.
The manual says to change the oil every 40 hours.
The problem is - most years, it does not run 40 hours.
Being outside 100% of the time, I feel that with time, moisture builds up inside of the crankcase.
In 10 years of ownership - it only has about 65 hours on the clock.
Yesterday - after we had a near miss tornado, I changed the oil, almost one quart came out and I used it one hour - to let the refrigerator and deep freeze catch up after being without electric for 6 hours.

Being both a small engine mechanic and an automotive mechanic, I wish that it had a spin on oil filter, but other then that, I feel that it is a quality piece of machinery. The low oil shutoff is a good idea, but not enough.

I shut off the fuel and let it run until it ran out of fuel in the line and carb.

How many others - maintains their generator on a regular schedule and not just when the manual calls for maintenance?

09-04-2014, 09:13 AM
I would think annual oil changes are indicated at the minimum.

Which reminds me I plan on changing my Genny's oil and filter soon.

09-04-2014, 09:13 AM
I believe I have the same unit but it has no hour meter it also has no filter. Most of the small engine stuff I own gets a work out including my zero turn that has a filter it's a 50 hour change. They get changed in the spring oil is cheap a 25 HP twin cylinder engine is not. I have a log splitter that takes a real beating it also gets changed once a year it never ceases to amaze me that it just runs and runs wide open for hours on end. Little gas engines being carburated are not really fuel efficent and end up with a lot of fuel in the oil they are not like a modern car engine.That being said I do run the generator once a month for a while with a light load but really see no need to change the oil every year it gets warm enough to get rid of any moisture that may accumulate. I have hear people say it makes an engine feel better well I don't believe an engine feels any thing but the owner does.

Mr. Ham
09-04-2014, 08:54 PM
N3LYT -- I agree with you that the oil doesn't know if it is still in the jug or in the engine crankcase - as long as it doesn't get any water in it - it doesn't have to be changed yearly or even started monthly.
The owners manual says to start the engine and let it warm up for 5 - 10 minutes to let everything stabilize before putting a load on the generator.
I was reading consumer reports and they said that the Rigid model sold in Home Depot was the best model of all.. It had a better design generator, a better handle for pushing, a better engine with a filter and still was cheaper then the Generac and Honda model of about the same size.

09-05-2014, 08:46 AM
Yeah the bigger ones use a Subaru (Robin) small engine with the spin on filter. If one uses a generator for commercial use it would be a big + but over the life time of a generator at some ones house the hours are very little. I used to care for a 2,200 HP Cat generator it made over 2000 amps at 480 volts when I retired it had around a 1000 hours on it. It was put in service in 94 and ran once a week for a 1/2 hour. In the 15 years I worked there it ran maybe 9 times making emergency power however when it was needed is was really needed it powered a county jail!

09-06-2014, 10:05 AM
Just changed the oil in my generator. Saw a disturbance in the gulf and thought "better look into this..." Oil in crankcase was not black, but like it was stated, oil is cheap.

As soon as I do not maintain my equipment, I will be in need of it and it will not work. My grandfather instilled in me the importance of regular maintenance. If it's maintained it will be ready when you need it.