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Old 01-12-2016, 10:15 AM   #29
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My gen is in the shop for leaking oil cooler lines. So I asked the service guy about that rule. He says yes, and its primarily about the electrical components, not so much about the engine. Said a lot of repairs on units would be unnecessary if the gen was "exercised"
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:20 AM   #30
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I am the OP. The reason I asked is because my coach is in indoor storage in CA.
Last time we had it out was the week before Thanks giving.

With the El Ninio rainy season, we may not be able to make another trip for several weeks.
So that is a two month interval without being run. If this happens several more times, then it means I am closer to a 60 day exercise cycle.

I just wanted to get a feel for how important this is, and if it was worth the trouble of getting it out of storage.

Sounds like a pretty gray area with the wide range of responses.
What was significant to me, was the guys that winterize.

I think it should be OK for me to go 2-3 months if needed.
We are fairly dry here…except when it rains, and indoor storage helps.

This has been a good dialog….

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:08 PM   #31
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This is something that will never be definitively decided. The manufacturer says to do it, so most want to follow the manufacturer's rules. Real life says it rare that these things have an issue, even after siting for months or even years.

You have to do what is comfortable for you.
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Old 01-13-2016, 01:02 PM   #32
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For those commenting on not having to run gas powered their generators regularly in past years, keep in mind 10% ethanol gas wasn't mandated nation wide until the implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It was well into 2006 before the act was fully implemented. Before this change there was far less danger of having fuel system problems due to stale gasoline.

Ethanol gas is far harder on smaller gasoline fuel systems than on automotive fuel systems. I have a couple dozen pieces of lawn and garden equipment that rely on gasoline engines for power. The engines range in size from .5 HP to 25 HP. With the advent of ethanol in the gas I was cleaning carburetors and replacing fuel lines on a regular basis. I would replace fuel lines on nearly every piece of equipment at least on an annual basis. I was buying fuel line by the 50' spool.

In 2010 Quick Trip in our area started selling NON-Ethanol Premium gas for ATV's Snowmobiles, outboard engines and other "recreational" uses. While the engines I have don't require premium fuel I switched to get away from the ethanol. Since the switch fuel related problems are non existent. I no longer have to disassemble carburetors or replace fuel lines on a weekly basis.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:29 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyMac View Post
From my Owners' Manual:
Generator Exercise
Ifuse of the generator is infrequent, “exercise” the generator once a month byoperating it at approximately half the maximum rated output for two hours. This“exercise” will help promote better starting, more reliable operation andlonger engine life. This procedure drives off moisture, lubricates the internalengine parts, replaces the old stale fuel with a fresh supply, and alsopromotes removing oxides from the electrical switches and contacts.
NOTE:
Avoid short run periods of the generator. Run thegenerator set under a load for a minimum of one-half hour.

+1

Good enough for me.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:42 PM   #34
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When I was working we started our Fire Station Generator (35k) Weekly and ran for 1/2 hour with load. So yes, They liked to be run. That's what they do.

I'm sorry. Can you please explain how running a generator weekly means it NEEDS to be run?
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:15 PM   #35
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Exactly my experience.

In fact I have a friend with a summer place on an island in the Great Lakes. The utility people wanted a small fortune to bring electricity to the island so he bought a used 4K Onan from a motorhome and installed it in a shed. It gets used a LOT during the summer, then run dry in October and left until the next April. Never had a problem yet. He's been doing this for 10+ years now.

The reason this may work is that very cold air has very low relative humidity......so no moisture is penetrating the electrical components
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:09 AM   #36
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The reason this may work is that very cold air has very low relative humidity......so no moisture is penetrating the electrical components

Possibly, but considering the genny sits on a 3/4 acre island I'd say it's in the most humid location in this area.

But then by the 'cold / dry' theory nobody who lives in a place with a cold winter needs to exercise their generator either.


The really curious thing to me about this '30 day rule' is that it only started a few years back, and even then it was only introduced by one company who were the only ones for several years. In fact even today not all manufacturers put this advisory in the instructions for ALL their products, just some of them.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:34 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
For those commenting on not having to run gas powered their generators regularly in past years, keep in mind 10% ethanol gas wasn't mandated nation wide until the implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It was well into 2006 before the act was fully implemented. Before this change there was far less danger of having fuel system problems due to stale gasoline.

Ethanol gas is far harder on smaller gasoline fuel systems than on automotive fuel systems. I have a couple dozen pieces of lawn and garden equipment that rely on gasoline engines for power. The engines range in size from .5 HP to 25 HP. With the advent of ethanol in the gas I was cleaning carburetors and replacing fuel lines on a regular basis. I would replace fuel lines on nearly every piece of equipment at least on an annual basis. I was buying fuel line by the 50' spool.

In 2010 Quick Trip in our area started selling NON-Ethanol Premium gas for ATV's Snowmobiles, outboard engines and other "recreational" uses. While the engines I have don't require premium fuel I switched to get away from the ethanol. Since the switch fuel related problems are non existent. I no longer have to disassemble carburetors or replace fuel lines on a weekly basis.
I have been running non-ethanol fuel in every small engine we have plus two PWCs and a boat. They start and run better than when using the ethanol.

Back to running the generator. Our previous MH's (gas) generator quit while still under warranty. The Onan service tech got a look at how few hours it had and said "you have to run this more often". The problem was moisture in the control board. I was surprised at that since it appeared to be a sealed board but sure wasn't going to argue with free warranty service. We did run it once a month or so until we sold it and run the diesel gen on our MH about the same. Sure can't hurt. I never worried about being exactly a month though. Just started ours yesterday and it was the first time since around Thanksgiving. Ran like a charm.

I don't know what "half load" would be so we just run the a/c or electric heat while exercising it. Now if only my doctor would tell me to exercise once a month.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:53 AM   #38
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A year and a half ago, I picked up a 1999 MH with 6 hours on the original generator.

I put 500 trouble free hours on it since.

It will now be stored for up to a year with no running.

I did pull the gas line and run it dry.
Wish me luck.
Same story here. Our '97 7k Quiet Diesel had 50 hours on it when we bought it in 2011. Now has 500 but a lot of that was due to a power failure at the sticks and bricks. No issues.

I'm careful about the annual oil changes, but our coach isn't started unless I plan on taking it on the road.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:10 AM   #39
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I don't know about motor home generators, but on the portable generator I have you are supposed to run it to maintain the magnetization of the permanent magnet in the stator.

I think it is just like changing your oil. You either do it our you don't and the frequency is less important.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:29 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD4Mark View Post

Back to running the generator. Our previous MH's (gas) generator quit while still under warranty. The Onan service tech got a look at how few hours it had and said "you have to run this more often". The problem was moisture in the control board. I was surprised at that since it appeared to be a sealed board but sure wasn't going to argue with free warranty service.

I don't know what "half load" would be so we just run the a/c or electric heat while exercising it. Now if only my doctor would tell me to exercise once a month.

Not sure i can believe this. I am sure your control board was bad, but not likely a moisture(humidity) problems. You have too many other electronic control boards in your RV that don't get affected.

I also heard the one about the magnets.
In an alternator, the stator is a coil of wire that gets a voltage applied to create the spinning magnetic field. In a generator, it is a permanent magnet.
i dont see how spinning that magnet can remagnetize it.
The same would hold true for an electric motor since it has magnets.....and you never hear about running your motors every month. By the way, they also have commutator contacts.

Maybe it is just too easy to say it broke because you let it sit too long without using it

Dan
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:38 AM   #41
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I've had two experiences with my gas powered Onan which reinforce the 30 day rule.

I used to run it every three months. A few years ago I lost the rotor. $1000 later it ran again. Tech said I needed to run it more.

Then last summer I let it sit for about two months. When it started and I loaded it the inverter decided it was no good and went back on battery (it went under frequency). Had to run it at 5A load for an hour, then it worked fine. Assume there was some kind of fuel issue that worked itself out.

Since then, I have religiously run it once per month at at least half load for an hour and have had no issues.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:00 AM   #42
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Mine is parked indoors all winter. I have the exhaust from the generator piped to the outside through a four foot pipe while it sits. I run it once a month when it's above freezing for a half hour. I have a couple of electric heaters I plug in and run the heat pump for a load while it's running.

Ethanol gas is the biggest scam. It ruins small engines. Unfortunately the gen runs off the main tank so it costs too much to constantly run premium/no Ethanol gas year round. I try to run the gas tank down in the fall and fill it the last time before it sits with premium/no Ethanol gas so its stored over the winter without the Ethanol.
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