15W-40 Oil in a generator?

Timbo750

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Sep 1, 2021
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Is it a two or four pole generator? Two pole generators run at 3600 rpm vs four pole at 1800 rpm?
Something to consider, then follow manufacturers recommendation.
Not sure if it's two or four pole, but the data on the attached plate says RPM is 3600.
 

Timbo750

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Sep 1, 2021
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If the power goes off the oil will be warm. I am sure the heater is thermostatically controlled so it won't run during the warm times and T\the heating costs are part of the costs of " doing business."
Correct, it has a thermostat. I think it turns on when the temp falls below 80 degrees. That seems way to high for me, so I unplug it most of the year. Basically run the heater from November to March. It draws 500 watts.
 
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Sep 18, 2011
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Chicago
Missed that,
never heard of a generator with a block heater.
. Seems like it would waste a ton of electricity.. to run a block heater 24/7
and of course if the power is out you cant wait for it to heat up and you have no electricity to power an "engine warmer"
Ahhhh well I don’t think you’ve seen too many stand by back up generators.
Any liquid cooled back up generator i’ve seen has a jacket water heater, basically a small
Globe looking heater with water lines attached to it to keep the engine at 125*F, it’s function actually circulates water inside the engine block and radiator.

Large diesel back up generators may have 2 or more jacket water heaters, some with multiple heater elements and circulation pumps.
 
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Connecticut
We have an 8kw Briggs & Stratton standby generator with a 500cc single cylinder Briggs engine. Our house was built in 1934. If the generator fails to start in the winter we’re at risk for frozen pipes. A nightmare in this house.

In the winter I run 5W30 or 0W40 full syn. All I care about is the generator starting. The less strain on the battery the better.

In the summer I run 5W40 or 10W40 full syn. After the tornado last summer we lost power for 42 hours with air temps in the high 80’s to low 90’s. The oil temp measured on the filter ran 245 - 250 during the day. I had to add oil twice during the 42 hours with 5W30 in the sump. Hence the change to a 40 weight.

I test the generator under load on the first of every month and before every significant storm.
 
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Conway, sc
We have an 8kw Briggs & Stratton standby generator with a 500cc single cylinder Briggs engine. Our house was built in 1934. If the generator fails to start in the winter we’re at risk for frozen pipes. A nightmare in this house.

In the winter I run 5W30 or 0W40 full syn. All I care about is the generator starting. The less strain on the battery the better.

In the summer I run 5W40 or 10W40 full syn. After the tornado last summer we lost power for 42 hours with air temps in the high 80’s to low 90’s. The oil temp measured on the filter ran 245 - 250 during the day. I had to add oil twice during the 42 hours with 5W30 in the sump. Hence the change to a 40 weight.

I test the generator under load on the first of every month and before every significant storm.
Wouldn’t a 0 or 5w40 cover you year-round?
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
589
Location
Conway, sc
We have an 8kw Briggs & Stratton standby generator with a 500cc single cylinder Briggs engine. Our house was built in 1934. If the generator fails to start in the winter we’re at risk for frozen pipes. A nightmare in this house.
In the winter I run 5W30 or 0W40 full syn. All I care about is the generator starting. The less strain on the battery the better.

In the summer I run 5W40 or 10W40 full syn. After the tornado last summer we lost power for 42 hours with air temps in the high 80’s to low 90’s. The oil temp measured on the filter ran 245 - 250 during the day. I had to add oil twice during the 42 hours with 5W30 in the sump. Hence the change to a 40 weight.

I test the generator under load on the first of every month and before every significant storm.
My friend in upstate NY similar weather and temps to Connecticut has a Briggs generac.. has a v-twin with spin on filter he runs full synthetic 5w30 year round never an issue.
 
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
872
Location
Connecticut
We have an 8kw Briggs & Stratton standby generator with a 500cc single cylinder Briggs engine. Our house was built in 1934. If the generator fails to start in the winter we’re at risk for frozen pipes. A nightmare in this house.

My friend in upstate NY similar weather and temps to Connecticut has a Briggs generac.. has a v-twin with spin on filter he runs full synthetic 5w30 year round never an issue.
As I mentioned during the 42 hour run after the tornado I had to add 5w30 each day. That’s why I’m now running a 40 weight..
 
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Sep 18, 2011
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Location
Chicago
I’ve run 0W40 T6 in my Generac 17kW (air cooled), also ran 0W40 T6 in my ecotec 2.2, analysis came back with great results. That oil is becoming hard to find since AAP stopped selling it.
 
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May 22, 2012
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Connecticut
I’ve run 0W40 T6 in my Generac 17kW (air cooled), also ran 0W40 T6 in my ecotec 2.2, analysis came back with great results. That oil is becoming hard to find since AAP stopped selling it.
You might consider Petro-Canada Duron via a distributor. I used Petro-Canada in an 07 Volvo V70 for over 150k with excellent results. The price from the distributor was quite reasonable - $3/quart if I remember correctly. Just a thought.
 
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Broke in the 2yr old Predator 65Kw air cooled gen with a 72 hr, non-stop but for re-fuels, run. Spec was 10w30. So I used STP dino. I drained it carefully, looking for flash. None seen, oil is pretty dark sitting in a clear jug but still has plenty of viscosity when rubbed between my fingers
 
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May 12, 2017
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California
I have a generator that is liquid cooled and is run by a small 4 cylinder engine. It runs off of natural gas. I'm looking to change the oil and the recommended oil is 15W40. I'd like to switch over to a synthetic oil. Any 15W40 I find is labeled as being for a diesel engine. Not sure what forum to post this in but figured this one with the hope that the best understanding of synthetic 15W-40 would be here. I'm wondering what you would do.

1. I can just go ahead and use the 15W40 synthetic that is labeled for diesel engines.

2. I could go with a 10W40 synthetic (plenty of brands with a synthetic option in that weight).

3. I could just continue to use 15W40 conventional oil.

I've always understood that oil thickens up with temp and that the synthetic oil does this quicker/better than conventional oil. So I'm thinking 10W40 in synthetic should be no problem. However, I'm inclined to stick with the manufacturer recommendation but I'm not sure if the "diesel" designation actually means anything.

FWIW, the generator has an engine warmer so it will never be super cold even in the winter. Though I do live in Michigan and it's not uncommon to have a very cold stretch in winter.
The only reason The oil is rated for diesel only is the ZDDP is higher and that seems to have lost favor with catalytic converters, which never mattered before. But yes , I would run Rotella T6 15w40 and not look back.
 
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Broke in the 2yr old Predator 65Kw air cooled gen with a 72 hr, non-stop but for re-fuels, run. Spec was 10w30. So I used STP dino. I drained it carefully, looking for flash. None seen, oil is pretty dark sitting in a clear jug but still has plenty of viscosity when rubbed between my fingers
65 KW! Could power the whole neighborhood with that one (I know you mean 6.5 KW)! I use T5 10W30 synthetic blend HDEO in the comparable Predator on my log splitter, starts easily in winter (which is when it usually sees the most usage), pretty much no consumption at all. To the OP, I would stick with natural gas rated oil on that generator, there are multiple 15W40 ones available, since you have a block heater.
 
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Daytona Beach
What is interesting is I have 2 wheel lines to water the about 4 acres of "field " The engines that move the lines are Honda lawn mower type engines. When the starting temps are 70* f or above the are easy to pull and seem to start the second the pull start rope is moved . I moved them yesterday and the Temperature was 48* and was surprisingly harder to pull and took two pulls to start. I have moved the lines at below freezing temps to move the lines to the center of the field and the engines were really hard to pull to start and took many pulls . This was with 5W-40 Rotella T6. That is oil I have left over from the tractor oil changed. The oil change will be M1 0w-40 Euro oil The lines usually move about 60 feet per move so the oil never really gets past warm. Here is a link with pictures of a wheel line if interested.
These run on natural gas? If not, maybe you are blaming the oil for an issue with summer gasoline (low RVP).
At any rate, oil WILL thicken up as temperatures fall, no way to avoid it.
 
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