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 > generator maintenance?

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coolmom42

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 11/16/20 05:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Other than maintenance as listed in the owner's manual, is there anything that's helpful to keep a generator working well?

This is an Onan 4000 W generator with 220 hours on it, in a 2014 motorhome. So obviously it's not been used a lot. The person I bought it from said he changed the oil at 215 hours. He knows nothing about the previous maintenance, except that the oil was changed at about 115 hours.

I'm thinking that with lack of use, there might be some varnish gunk in the carb, and a couple of cans of Seafoam in the tank would be a good idea.

Any other suggestions?


Single empty-nester in Middle TN, sometimes with a friend or grandchild on board

Lwiddis

Lone Pine, CA

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Posted: 11/16/20 05:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you trust what the immediate past owner “said?” If not, change the oil.


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PhilipB

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Posted: 11/16/20 06:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd change the oil, spark plug and air filter. It it runs smooth I wouldn't worry about varnish. Add fuel treatment if concerned.


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RoyF

Fayetteville Arkansas

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Posted: 11/16/20 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Honda dealer said that ethanol-free gasoline (if you can find it) produces less varnish. I run mine once a month during the off-season to help clear the carb and to keep the RV battery at full charge.

bobndot

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Posted: 11/16/20 07:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look for that non eth gasoline at stations near a marina, its popular for boaters.
Stabilize the fuel tank in the rv and run the genny to get that treated gasoline thru the genny's carb. I use a couple bottles of Sea Foam or StarTron. I have never had a bad gasoline issue using either one of them.

I exercise my generator for 30 mins every month or sooner bc I use my rv for day trips. Its probably best to have the rv on somewhat level ground when you run it.
Once a year around 150 hrs I change the oil with a syn oil. There is also a fuel filter that needs to be replaced every 450-500 hrs. along with the spark plug. A dirty filter will cause hard starting.

A good habit to get into , when you turn off a generator its best to shut off any heavy load on it. That will extend the life of the voltage regulator.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 11/16/20 07:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Honda doesn’t say that....

“Honda equipment is designed for good performance and efficient operation using gasoline containing from 0 to 10% ethanol.”

https://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/fuel-recommendations

Tom/Barb

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Posted: 11/16/20 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've done the oil change about 3 times in 20 years, we only have 45 hours on it..

I run it twice a year..

YEAH I KNOW -- my bad. [emoticon]

but it still runs.


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Gjac

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Posted: 11/17/20 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I remove the fuel line going to the main tank and insert it into a gallon can of gas mixed with a 1/2 bottle of seafoam or Berryman's B-12 when ever the genset starts to run a little rough the higher concentration of additive cleans the carburetor well. It also shows how many gals per hr I use under load. Once every 4 years or so I also put some Seafoam in the crank case before an oil change. I was surprised at the carbon buildup that I found in the bottom of the drain pan. My genset is 23 years old with 350 hrs on it, so I have to look for ways to use it.

opnspaces

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Posted: 11/17/20 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you don't trust or believe the previous owner change the oil. Then start it up and see if it runs smooth. If smooth I would leave it alone and go camping.


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coolmom42

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 11/17/20 06:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:

If you don't trust or believe the previous owner change the oil. Then start it up and see if it runs smooth. If smooth I would leave it alone and go camping.


It's all good now, but I am the 3rd owner, with unknown treatment by the first owner. Second owner definitely changed the oil.


It starts and runs just fine now. I will probably run some Seafoam through the gas anyway, that's a good preventive of many issues, IMHO.

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