Yet another generator oil question

Messages
9
Location
Salt Lake City
So just got lucky and managed to finally get the Westinghouse iGen4500 Dual Fuel generator I've been wanting..
(A week after the wind storm that knocked out power for 23 hours :rolleyes:)

Have read through numerous thread here, and basically looking for confirmation of what I think I understand.
We live in Salt Lake City, and plan to use the generator for both emergency backup and for camping.
(Note: our house already has a 6 circuit manual transfer switch panel with a 30amp input plug and a rating of 3750watts continuous)

So we could be running this generator at home in temps from 0 to 100+
Camping further south in the summer and we might be in the 120s.

The generator is air cooled and the owner's manual calls for 10W-30 from 32F-80F, 5W30 below 32F and 15W-40 above 80F.
I've seen temps across that range in a single week!
I'd really like to be able to just run one viscosity year round. But if necessary, I can swap between winter/summer since the OCI is 50hrs or 6 months anyway.

Reading through the threads here, I'm leaning toward the Rotella T6.
Could I just use a 5W-40 year round?
Or if I should switch between winter/summer what should those be? 5W-30 / 15W-40

Additionally, would it be worthwhile to try to only run it on propane? If so, does that include the break in?
And lastly, speaking of break-in. The manual has only the following
- change the oil after the first 20hrs
- don't exceed 50% max load during the first 5 hrs and to vary the load during those first 5 hrs.
Any additional tips?

Thank you!
 
Messages
4,536
Location
Ca.
5w40 t6 would be fine year round. I run 0w40 in all my gensets water and air cooled.

If you have a lawn sausage a propane kit might be nice for extended runs- its got 20% less energy density than gas so power is a bit down.

If you can find one a magnetic dipstick is nice and will pull some crud from the oil.

UD
 
Messages
5,047
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
There are people here on BITOG who are more proficient in the chemistry of oil than I am, but I have been visiting BITOG for a few years now, and from what I know, you are correct in thinking that a 5W-40 will cover the spread of the lowest to highest temperatures your new generator will see.

That said, if you know you are going to be using it in hot weather for a long enough time to use up the entire useful time on an oil change when you put the oil in, then 15W-40 would be a better choice for hot weather. When there is less spread between the first number and the second number then the oil will have fewer viscosity improvers and a thicker base stock, and the molecules of the oil will be less likely to shear and break down.

Also, if you know that an oil will be used in extreme cold for the entire time of the oil change, then the 5W-30 would be a better choice because it will flow slightly better when cold and be slightly easier to start. But the 5W-40 should be almost as easy to start in cold conditions as 5W-30
 
Messages
5,047
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
PS, if it were mine and I knew the temperature had a good chance of being above 100 F sometime during the run of an air cooled generator, I would put Mobil 15W-50 in it, even if it is a grade higher than what the manual calls for.

There is a member here on BITOG named CUJET and he lives in Florida and has had great success with Mobil 15W-50 in hot weather with air cooled small engines.
 
Messages
35,631
Location
NY
I'm running 5W40 in mine. Considering it can run for several hours at a time @ 3,600 rpm, I think the 5W40 Mobil 1TDT I'm using in mine is up to the task.
 

4WD

Messages
16,678
Location
Texas
I'm running 5W40 in mine. Considering it can run for several hours at a time @ 3,600 rpm, I think the 5W40 Mobil 1TDT I'm using in mine is up to the task.
Good choice … not easy duty there … I have Delvac 1 5w40 in some gens …
My new one was just treated to Redline 10w30 ester/PAO …
(tend to leave it 2 years)
 
Messages
199
Location
MI
Personally, if I knew I was going camping where it is 120F, I would use the 15W-50. You will be using the air conditioner all the time and working that generator full time. It's hard enough to get away from work and vacation days are priceless. A few dollars in oil is cheap insurance for peace of mind and a happy vacation. Then, you can change it back to 5W-40 before winter.

For break in, I would change oil after 30 mins. This will get the initial break in glitter out of the engine. Then change again after 5 hrs to get the rest. I'm a little OCD, so I'd keep changing every 5-10hrs after that until it drains clean.

I have magnetic dipsticks on my generators. They do capture a lot of metal 'dust'. I wipe it clean whenever I check the oil. A lot of the glitter created during break-in is non-ferrous (aluminum, or other metals) which do not stick to a magnet. Therefore, oil changes are the only way to remove it.
 

charles_slc

Thread starter
Messages
9
Location
Salt Lake City
5w40 t6 would be fine year round. I run 0w40 in all my gensets water and air cooled.

If you have a lawn sausage a propane kit might be nice for extended runs- its got 20% less energy density than gas so power is a bit down.

If you can find one a magnetic dipstick is nice and will pull some crud from the oil.

UD

Actually saw the magnetic dipstick mentioned in another thread...it will be delivered on Saturday. :)

And since it's dual fuel, no kit needed.
 

charles_slc

Thread starter
Messages
9
Location
Salt Lake City
Good choice … not easy duty there … I have Delvac 1 5w40 in some gens …
My new one was just treated to Redline 10w30 ester/PAO …
(tend to leave it 2 years)

You leave the oil in the generator for a couple years? I'm assuming that's only if it remains unused? How about maintenance starts?
 
Messages
199
Location
MI
You leave the oil in the generator for a couple years? I'm assuming that's only if it remains unused? How about maintenance starts?
I see all the time on BITOG and other RV forums that people say they will start their new generator every month and run it for 30 minutes. I thought that was a good idea, too. I tried to exercise my generator monthly. It quickly became bi-monthly. Then quarterly. Then in the spring, and again to winterize. It all just got to be too much to mess with. I have better things to do with my time.

Now, I start the little Honda EU2000i a month before camping season (if we are going somewhere without power) to make sure everything is OK and to give me time to fix it if something is wrong. Then in the fall, I'll change oil, run it dry, drain the carb and store it away. My other generator is also changed, run dry and stored.

I put Stabil 360 Marine and 1oz of TCW-3 marine 2-cycle oil in the 5 gallon gas can when I fill it at the station. This is used in all my small engines year round. When I run them dry for storage, the TCW-3 oil leaves a rust/corrosion preventative film on the internal parts. Ever since I started this, I haven't had a problem waking my engines up from a long slumber.

My last power outage in August, both generators started and ran flawlessly. Neither had been run since the previous fall. We used one at our house. The little EU2000i was loaned out to friend. Power was only out about 6 hours. The next weekend, I drained the gas and ran them dry. I left the oil in since it only had a few hours on it. I'll probably change it next year after they get used again.
 

charles_slc

Thread starter
Messages
9
Location
Salt Lake City
I put Stabil 360 Marine and 1oz of TCW-3 marine 2-cycle oil in the 5 gallon gas can when I fill it at the station. This is used in all my small engines year round. When I run them dry for storage, the TCW-3 oil leaves a rust/corrosion preventative film on the internal parts. Ever since I started this, I haven't had a problem waking my engines up from a long slumber.

I saw you mention this on other threads...

If I ever used gas in my generator, I intend to use ethanol free. Does the Stabil do anything for E0?
I use the ethanol free in my Honda mower. I've never bothered to run it dry for storage, and every year it starts right up.
Even when I lived in Ohio, and didn't use E0...it always started right up.

Does everybody really run their generators dry?
 

4WD

Messages
16,678
Location
Texas
You leave the oil in the generator for a couple years? I'm assuming that's only if it remains unused? How about maintenance starts?
Yeah, they don’t run that much … we tend to drop power in hours, not days …
I probably crank them quarterly … The new gen will stay on propane so I don’t have carburetor issues.
 
Messages
4,536
Location
Ca.
It's true that when the point spread is narrower there tends to be less shear.
Im ok trading off a little shear for the 0W grade. (my UOA's have shown very little if any shear on my diesel gensets)

Small gensets dont run a pressurized oiling system and depend on splash to get oil where its needed I'll trade off whatever the shear might be for it being a little easier to splash or start when cold.

UD
 
Messages
199
Location
MI
I saw you mention this on other threads...

If I ever used gas in my generator, I intend to use ethanol free. Does the Stabil do anything for E0?
I use the ethanol free in my Honda mower. I've never bothered to run it dry for storage, and every year it starts right up.
Even when I lived in Ohio, and didn't use E0...it always started right up.

Does everybody really run their generators dry?

There are many aspects of gas other than ethanol that fuel stabilizers address. Gasoline can oxidize or evaporate off and leave a varnish behind. Ethanol is bad because it attracts water and that water can cause corrosion. These are two different issues. So yes, Stabil can help E0 fuel from oxidizing.

The closest E0 gas to me is 30miles away. I'm not driving that far for it. I use regular 87 E10 pump gas from the corner gas station.

My lawnmower - I turn off the fuel valve and run it dry before winter. If I don't run it dry, it starts but runs rough in the spring and needs a little Seafoam to clean it up.
 
Messages
1,001
Location
Pennsylvania
Personally I start and run my generators for a couple of minutes every month. Every 3-4 months I like to run them under load. They both have 5w-40 T6 in the sump now, but I also like M1 10w-30 HM for OPE applications. I am fortunate to have a nearby source of Ethanol free 89 octane fuel, so this is all my OPE sees.
 
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