Running A/C 24hrs a day, how often should you service the generator?

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adam86

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Jun 22, 2022
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If I'm in an extremely hot environment and I'm running my generator 24 hours a day for air conditioning, that means I'd hit the 100hr recommended service mark in just 4 days. I'm curious what's the experience of others that put a lot of hours in a very short period of time - do you still need to be servicing the generator every 100 hours if it's in such a short period of time?
 

JudyJB

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I don't know about service intervals, but I would check the oil level once a day. I base this on the experience of having the oil cap come loose and all the oil spraying around, causing the motor to burn out. Rebuild cost was $2,800.
 
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Skookum

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I'd stick to the 100hr interval to be safe. You're running the generator in extreme (hot) conditions.
But I like the suggestion above - I'd move somewhere there's enough shore power to run your AC units. Running them off the genset is noisy and expensive.

I'd be keeping a real good eye on oil level AND coolant level throughout the day!!
 

LarsMac

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Yep. keep up with maintenance schedule. And, as JudyJB said, check oil daily.
It can suffer in the heat, too.
Those motors are pretty sturdy, but they need their clean oil and fresh air, and a little TLC.
 

Lou Schneider

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100 hours is equivalent to a car running 5000 miles at 50 MPH. Those air cooled generators are about as dirty running as a 1960s car. How long would you push the oil change intervals back then?
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Look at your maintenance schedule and follow it. And this is the kind of situation where I find a campground, but I am assuming you have no other options. Boondocking kind of sucks if you have to run the gennie hours and hours a day.
 

oldryder

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most important is making sure the oil level is maintained. Keeping it well ventilated so it runs cooler, maybe even adding a box fan to cool it, also extends the service interval if it is an air vs. liquid cooled unit. 100 hour service interval assumes a bunch of cold starts which is where the engine and the oil get the most wear. 100 hours continuous could be equated to all hiway miles on a car which extends the service life of the oil. For me, as long as it wasn't using oil, I would extend it to once a week, at least. (Manual may call for a higher temp oil for operating in high ambient temps. ) you might also consider a synthetic which also adds to the service life of the oil No doubt many will disagree but after a lifetime of working with all sizes of internal combustion engines I would be comfortable with extending the interval.
 

viceprice

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I use Valvoline full synthetic in all our small engines. At the time I last researched differences in oil, I believed Valvoline had the best additive package and therefore the best quality oil for small engines. It also makes staring the snowblower in sub zero weather much easier!
 

Mark_K5LXP

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My microquiet takes about a quart and a half of oil. Not sure what I'd be saving by extending the replacement interval. These engines have no filter so oil R&R is the only way to preserve engine integrity. Takes me 15 minutes start to finish.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Lou Schneider

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The air cooled VW beetles didn't have oil filters either and they required oil changes every 3000 miles. I changed mine every 2000 miles and got 200,000 miles before I had to rebuild the engine - the average engine life was around 100,000 miles.
 

Ray-IN

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My microquiet takes about a quart and a half of oil. Not sure what I'd be saving by extending the replacement interval. These engines have no filter so oil R&R is the only way to preserve engine integrity. Takes me 15 minutes start to finish.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
How can you state that without knowing the make and model of the genset? My Onan genset has an oil filter that gets replaced at every oil change.
 
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