How long until first oil change on new generator?

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Feb 27, 2018
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We recently got a new Westinghouse 12500 watt generator to run our power tools and welders in the garage because we can't hardly do anything without tripping the breakers (can't even run the air compressor and our fridge at the same time because somehow those are on the same breaker), but we also got it have as a backup in case power goes out.

The manual, as long as I'm understanding it correctly, states that you don't have to do the first oil change until it has 25 hours on it, and I thought that was a super long time.

As far as I knew, and the way I've always done it, for small engines the rule is generally do the first oil change at 5 hours, then every 50 hours thereafter.

Obviously, besides the risk of being wasteful, I know there's really nothing wrong with changing it TOO much, but wouldn't using the same oil that'll likely contain a good amount of break-in metals for 25 hours be kinda risky?

I know that's what the manual says...but I'm skeptical. What do you guys think?
 

cwilliamsws6

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All the small OPE engines I've ever had were very sparkly at their first change. I don't go much more than an hour, then another one at 5, 25, 50 and then normal schedule (usually 50 hours) after that.

Probably adding an hour's life on the end of the engine, but I feel better about myself.
Right that's why I was skeptical of them saying not to do the first change until 25 hours.

I remember our Honda lawnmower when we first got it, I changed the oil after mowing the lawn maybe 3 times and it looked like glitter coming out.
 
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Athens, GA
In the end, it probably doesn't make a lot of difference I reckon, but until someone buys two engines and does a test on them.

Hrm, someone call Project Farm. LOL
 
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Lake Havasu City, Arizona
I have 2 of those same Westinghouse models. (9,500 / 12,500). I changed out both of mine at just 3 hours when they were new. The oil I used, (Mobil 1, 10W-30), came out very dark with that silvery sheen to it.

I replaced it with Mobil 1, 15W-50, which is all I use now. I live in a hot desert climate. If you live where it's cooler, you may want to stick with a 10W-40. But I wouldn't go 25 hours. Remember these things only have an oil capacity of slightly more than 1 quart. And they are splash oiled, and have no filtration system on them. They also have no idle down. They run at a ever constant 3,600 RPM regardless of load.

Plus, they are very easy to perform an oil change on. It only takes a few minutes.

obk60HW.jpg
 
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MI
When I did the break-in on my generator and lawnmower, I changed after 1 hour and the oil had a lot of glitter in it. I changed every 5 hours after that until the glitter went away. You should be able to easily tell when the glitter starts going away, and you can lengthen the oil change intervals.

I think it took two or three oil changes until the oils appeared clean. Now, the mower gets an oil change every one or two years and the generator the same (unless we use it a lot).
 

hrv

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Sep 14, 2021
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867
We recently got a new Westinghouse 12500 watt generator to run our power tools and welders in the garage because we can't hardly do anything without tripping the breakers (can't even run the air compressor and our fridge at the same time because somehow those are on the same breaker), but we also got it have as a backup in case power goes out.

The manual, as long as I'm understanding it correctly, states that you don't have to do the first oil change until it has 25 hours on it, and I thought that was a super long time.

As far as I knew, and the way I've always done it, for small engines the rule is generally do the first oil change at 5 hours, then every 50 hours thereafter.

Obviously, besides the risk of being wasteful, I know there's really nothing wrong with changing it TOO much, but wouldn't using the same oil that'll likely contain a good amount of break-in metals for 25 hours be kinda risky?

I know that's what the manual says...but I'm skeptical. What do you guys think?
Why would you be skeptical of the owners manual that came with the generator????
 
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Oct 23, 2017
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VA
I would go buy a gallon jug of Rotella 15-40, put a quarter load on it for 30 minutes, change the oil, put a half load on it for an hour, let it cool overnight and repeat the half load cycle, then change it again and run normal change intervals after that.
 
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Why would you be skeptical of the owners manual that came with the generator????
Usually there is no oil filter and the oil comes out looking like glitter.

IMO the owners manual specifies the minimum maintenance you can get away with.. not the optimal schedule.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
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Iowa
not sure what oil and plugs those Westinghouse gennys use...but on my Chonda I dropped the factory fill (and ditched Torch plug) before I even ran it. It called for 5W-30 so I ran straight 30W in it for 3 1 hour runs, changing it after each. Then 2 more 1 hour runs on synthetic. Cheap insurance for a (hopefully) longer life.
Not sure if yours comes with an hour meter..mine didn't, so I added a tach/hour meter to keep track of hours on oil and to adjust the rpm. RPM was off from the factory recommended 3600.
 
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I changed my Predator's oil at 6 hours, it had some visible sparkles in the oil. Ditto for my Craftsman leaf blower I bought two years ago. If your new generator has a Torch plug in it, I'll echo the others' recommendations to change it.
 

cwilliamsws6

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Usually there is no oil filter and the oil comes out looking like glitter.

IMO the owners manual specifies the minimum maintenance you can get away with.. not the optimal schedule.
Yeah the manual calls it a maintenance "schedule" but not doing the first oil change until 25 hours ... Eeehhhh
 
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Feb 15, 2003
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Jupiter, Florida
My suggestion is to change the oil after a hour to a few hours use. It is anybody's guess whether the engine was cleanly built, or produces any wear metals upon initial startup. The oil will still look clean, but you'll be draining out (if any) sand, Chinese sawdust, machining swarf, wear particulates and so on. It's also a great opportunity to put in a quality oil. Then I'd go the 25 hours.
 
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