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Author Topic: Generator maintenance question.  (Read 1633 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Generator maintenance question.
« on: May 17, 2019, 03:43:49 pm »

I own 2000w and 3000w Yamaha inverter gennies since the end of 2017 as some of you may know and I take great care to maintain and look after them. However, I have a question about changing the oil.
When I got them, I ran them a couple of times and then did the first oil changes at around a month as per manuals. The oil looked OK but I did the change anyway.
I then purchased magnetic dip sticks for all of them and ran them for the 2018 season a few times with the magnetic dip sticks installed. My research told me this was a good idea as any metal deposits will be prevented from floating around the engine.
However, I find that they work so well that the oil never seems to deteriorate.......

Recently I figured it seemed time to change the oil again - not too many hours but it had been quite a while since that first oil change and I wanted to get them ready for the warm season. So just yesterday I went to do an oil change on all 3, got my new oil, oil disposal containers, oil sump vacuum machine etc at the ready but when I checked the oil, other than the little black deposits stuck to the magnetic dip sticks (proving they did their job), the oil in the reservoirs was golden in color and looked brand new. I felt a bit weird changing what looked like it didn't need changing so I stopped. The oil was also still at the full line so it seems they haven't been using any oil either.
I thought I'd ask here to see if it would still be worthwhile changing the oil anyway or have the magnetic dipsticks made enough difference for me to be able to go out much longer between oil changes?

BTW - they all start 1st or second pull and have been 100% reliable. Each time I run them, I close off the fuel switch first and let them run till the fuel in the carb is exhausted. I also run them for a few minutes every month regardless of whether they are needed or not.


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Will Knight

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 04:20:23 pm »

Debbie, those Yammies can run a full season without any need for a change even if you ran them weekly. I own a Yamaha cruiser, purchased new in 2005 with 12k miles and change oil annually. It still looks like new and Ive never had 1 issue with it from day 1.

Based on your usage, 1x / year is more than good enough - maybe overkill. To keep it in top shape, just be sure to run it for a few minutes every couple of months during the winter season.




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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 04:23:10 pm »

Hi Debbie,
Glad you're back.

Oil can wear out too. 
The molecules can get sheared by high loads and breakdown can occur from high heat.
One of the purposes of a high detergent oil is to keep the sludge and wear particles from settling.
The oil filter then removes this stuff.
The magnet helps with any steel bits.
I don't think a generator puts a whole lot of load on the engine to wear out the oil.
Plus, since you're running it regularly you shouldn't get condensation by-products accumulating.
That said, the manufacturer's recommendations have some basis in reality.
If you look at the actual number of hours it's been running, I suspect the oil is fine.
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 04:25:57 pm »

In my experience, If I can read the markings on the dip-stick through the oil, the oil doesn't need to be changed.

For the oil, sounds like you are using full synthetic, which doesn't tarnish and can take a lot more use than non-synthetic oils.  The last oil change I did in my car was at the end of October 2018 (with me putting about 1000 miles a month on it).  The oil still looks good, but I will be changing it in the next month.

I have synthetic in my generator and pressure washer; both look great.
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Ed Hall

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 05:40:37 pm »

I do annual oil changes in my genny. It comes out looking almost new. I still do it because the price of the oil is nothing compared to the price of the genny having a problem during a show.


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Steven Cohen

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 06:07:55 pm »

Debbie,

I have a 3000w Yamaha inverter generator. I change the oil every 75 hours or so. I use oil specifically made for small, air cooled engines. I also only use non-ethanol fuel and have had zero fuel issues. Lastly, when I run the generator every month or so to "exercise it," I connect a 1800w space heater to it to provide a load.

Steve


 
I own 2000w and 3000w Yamaha inverter gennies since the end of 2017 as some of you may know and I take great care to maintain and look after them. However, I have a question about changing the oil.
When I got them, I ran them a couple of times and then did the first oil changes at around a month as per manuals. The oil looked OK but I did the change anyway.
I then purchased magnetic dip sticks for all of them and ran them for the 2018 season a few times with the magnetic dip sticks installed. My research told me this was a good idea as any metal deposits will be prevented from floating around the engine.
However, I find that they work so well that the oil never seems to deteriorate.......

Recently I figured it seemed time to change the oil again - not too many hours but it had been quite a while since that first oil change and I wanted to get them ready for the warm season. So just yesterday I went to do an oil change on all 3, got my new oil, oil disposal containers, oil sump vacuum machine etc at the ready but when I checked the oil, other than the little black deposits stuck to the magnetic dip sticks (proving they did their job), the oil in the reservoirs was golden in color and looked brand new. I felt a bit weird changing what looked like it didn't need changing so I stopped. The oil was also still at the full line so it seems they haven't been using any oil either.
I thought I'd ask here to see if it would still be worthwhile changing the oil anyway or have the magnetic dipsticks made enough difference for me to be able to go out much longer between oil changes?

BTW - they all start 1st or second pull and have been 100% reliable. Each time I run them, I close off the fuel switch first and let them run till the fuel in the carb is exhausted. I also run them for a few minutes every month regardless of whether they are needed or not.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 10:31:52 am »

Thanks guys .... it sounds like I'm doing OK. I'll keep my eye on them and give them a few more shows before I do an oil change again.
I might not get as much use out of them this season as we don't have ANY shows booked right now requiring them but I doubt we will get through the rest of the year without the odd power outage at our home where I live so they'll get some use at a least that way.

BTW:
The oil is not synthetic as I was under the impression the first oil change should be conventional so that is what I did. Another reason why I am pleasantly surprised how well the oil has lasted.

I have been running them every month summer and winter but not necessarily adding a load - I can start to do that too.

One last thing.... as I am running them regularly, is it as essential to run the carb dry each time? I'll keep doing that just to make sure but wondered if it mattered as much with regular use. I know some of the inverter gennies don't even have a separate fuel shut off so I would think the regular monthly running would be even more necessary for those. I chose these generators in part because of that feature.
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Steven Cohen

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 12:10:26 pm »

Debbie,

I have read the same as you as to using conventional oil for the break in part of the generator and then switch to synthetic if desired. I am sticking with conventional oil designed for small air cooled engines for now as I have a few quarts on hand and this generator is only for emergency use. 

There are several reasons to run a generator every few months with a load. First is to keep the field windings magnetized. The second reason is to keep stale fuel out of the fuel lines and carburetor jets. Like you I turn off the fuel supply and let the carburetor run dry, but by running the generator every few months ensures that any old fuel that remains is never left in the fuel system very long. This is important to me as I store my generator in a hot garage in South Florida. I store spare 90 octane non-ethanol fuel in an air tight Eagle gas can treated with Stabil fuel stabilizer and rotate the fuel every year. You can find non-ethanol fuel at boat marinas and on the pure-gas.org website.

 Steve

   
Thanks guys .... it sounds like I'm doing OK. I'll keep my eye on them and give them a few more shows before I do an oil change again.
I might not get as much use out of them this season as we don't have ANY shows booked right now requiring them but I doubt we will get through the rest of the year without the odd power outage at our home where I live so they'll get some use at a least that way.

BTW:
The oil is not synthetic as I was under the impression the first oil change should be conventional so that is what I did. Another reason why I am pleasantly surprised how well the oil has lasted.

I have been running them every month summer and winter but not necessarily adding a load - I can start to do that too.

One last thing.... as I am running them regularly, is it as essential to run the carb dry each time? I'll keep doing that just to make sure but wondered if it mattered as much with regular use. I know some of the inverter gennies don't even have a separate fuel shut off so I would think the regular monthly running would be even more necessary for those. I chose these generators in part because of that feature.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 02:10:55 pm by Steven Cohen »
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Brandon Scopel

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2019, 02:53:54 pm »

Oops, I haven't done the oil since I got my 2200i in half a year but I have not used it for more than 30 minutes yet and I have to take it to a honda dealer to get the recall done :-X
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Glen Hansen

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 12:52:41 am »

 You may never have a rough idling motor. But if you do you can remember the videos you watched on how to clean your carbs jets, passages and get the particles that collected in the bottom of the float bowl out.  That is one facet of Generator maintenance.
just taking off and cleaning the carb bowl would be a first good step forward in case you ever had to go deeper into the jets etc.
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2019, 07:26:23 pm »

This was an interesting thread to read, as I'd never heard of magnetic dip sticks but agree that it sounds like a good idea. Or at least it can't hurt and must make you feel like you're doing something positive for that gizmo that has to work when needed.

I got a Honda EU7000is last year and have changed the oil once so far; why not add a mag dipstick to the rig?

Looking for them  online for my generator has turned up nothing.

Yesterday I spent some time at a local Honda generator/motorcycle store and talked with them about it. They generously spent quite a bit of time with me looking for such a thing, and they could find nothing whatsoever. One of the guys suggested another product that is a magnetic gizmo that goes in with the oil filter.

When I was learning about my generator I couldn't find that it HAD an oil filter and said so. They were surprised, but looking further into it they agreed that it doesn't have one, and that maybe that's why Honda recommends frequent oil changes.

One of the guys said he had a personal 2200 Honda genny and that he religiously changes the oil every FIVE YEARS no matter how much he uses it. Doesn't keep track of the hours. He's had it nearly 15 years and has changed it twice, and it's coming up to be time.

They were also the impression that the magnetic dip stick replaces the oil pan drain screw (so in my case it would measure 12mm x 15mm), but "dip stick" implies to me that it's something you can look at to determine current oil level without draining the oil.

Which is it?

Thanks for the thread.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2019, 11:38:48 pm »

Magnetic drain plugs are fairly common.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2019, 11:42:23 pm »

This was an interesting thread to read, as I'd never heard of magnetic dip sticks but agree that it sounds like a good idea. Or at least it can't hurt and must make you feel like you're doing something positive for that gizmo that has to work when needed.

I got a Honda EU7000is last year and have changed the oil once so far; why not add a mag dipstick to the rig?

Looking for them  online for my generator has turned up nothing.

Yesterday I spent some time at a local Honda generator/motorcycle store and talked with them about it. They generously spent quite a bit of time with me looking for such a thing, and they could find nothing whatsoever. One of the guys suggested another product that is a magnetic gizmo that goes in with the oil filter.

When I was learning about my generator I couldn't find that it HAD an oil filter and said so. They were surprised, but looking further into it they agreed that it doesn't have one, and that maybe that's why Honda recommends frequent oil changes.

One of the guys said he had a personal 2200 Honda genny and that he religiously changes the oil every FIVE YEARS no matter how much he uses it. Doesn't keep track of the hours. He's had it nearly 15 years and has changed it twice, and it's coming up to be time.

They were also the impression that the magnetic dip stick replaces the oil pan drain screw (so in my case it would measure 12mm x 15mm), but "dip stick" implies to me that it's something you can look at to determine current oil level without draining the oil.

Which is it?

Thanks for the thread.

Mine is a dip stick that screws into where you would normally add the oil and does allow for checking of the oil level - like this....
https://www.ebay.com/itm/YAMAHA-EF3000ISEB-INVERTER-GENERATOR-MAGNETIC-OIL-LEVEL-DIPSTICK-NEW-ITEM/122644365799?hash=item1c8e2c81e7:g:Bt8AAOSwz2tZjjpi
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2019, 03:09:13 am »

Mine is a dip stick that screws into where you would normally add the oil and does allow for checking of the oil level - like this....
https://www.ebay.com/itm/YAMAHA-EF3000ISEB-INVERTER-GENERATOR-MAGNETIC-OIL-LEVEL-DIPSTICK-NEW-ITEM/122644365799?hash=item1c8e2c81e7:g:Bt8AAOSwz2tZjjpi

Great, thanks! That same seller has one for my generator, and that seems to be the only source in America. Which seems odd if they are a common item.

Regardless, it's ordered.

Thanks again!
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2019, 05:28:39 pm »

The advantage of magnetic drain plugs over dipsticks, is the metal bits (technical term) tend to sink, so are more likely to come under the attraction from the drain plug, which is at the lowest point.
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Re: Generator maintenance question.
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2019, 05:28:39 pm »


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