ReedN
I had installed a new Generac Guardian 22kW unit last month.  After reading through the manuals I had a few questions I was hoping I could get some help answering:

1) Firmware:  Searching on Google I saw 1.20 pop up, but when looking at my unit the numbering was totally different and contained the option to update it over my wifi.  Are the days of needing to have a dealer update your firmware officially over with the newer machines?

2) For all machine maintenance it states in the manual: "Set the main utility disconnect to OFF (OPEN)."
Does this refer to the main utility power coming to the ATS?  If that is the case they are asking me to shut-off power to my entire house in order to perform any maintenance to the Generac, correct?  Is there no way to perform maintenance to the generator without powering down my entire house?

3) For some maintenance items it requires that you disconnect the 7.5A fuse.  What specifically does this fuse protect / what does pulling the fuse power-down?  Why would you need to go to the trouble of pulling this fuse for "Shutting Generator Down While Under Load Or During a Utility Outage" vs. just setting the controller to OFF?

4) 25 hour oil change and valve clearance adjustment:  What if my generator only runs for maintenance 5 min / 2 weeks.  It could be years before I get to 25 hours for that initial oil change & valve adjustment.  Should I really wait 2 years (next time based oil change) before I change the oil or adjust the valves if I haven't made it to 25 hours yet?

4) Time vs. Runtime Maintenance:  The dealer/installer said to go by the run hours not the time, but the manual states whichever is sooner.  Was the dealer plain wrong?

Thanks for the help!
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78buckshot
ReedN, I am not WiFi savvy so I can't answer that question, our install crew sets them up and I have not had any experience on them. As far as maintenance, I normally don't turn off any breakers while performing maintenance, especially the house breaker. I turn the controller to OFF and shut the gas off as part of my testing, I seldom pull the control fuse. The last time I talked to Generac about engine oil I was told that the factory oil is non- synthetic to help with the break-in of engine parts and they like to see it run about 25 hours before it is changed. You are correct that it might take years to see 25 hours, in that time the oil will look like coffee with lots of cream from condensation in the oil. If you are able you can run the unit for some extended times to get some run time on it, loaded would be better, try to shoot for the 25 hours within a year. Valve lash has improved from the factory but I check and adjust all of my units each time I perform maintenance. I would not wait two years for the oil and valve lash. Oil and filter are cheap compared to engine damage from water in the oil. I have only a couple of units that run clean enough to extend the oil change but I recommend once a year. A good comparison is your vehicle, how much do you spend on maintenance and what are your expectations for it's life. The generator engine was designed to run 3000 hours, in our area that's about 30 years, treat it well to get the maximum life out of it. I hope I have covered your concerns, get back with anything I missed.
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ReedN
78buckshot wrote:
As far as maintenance, I normally don't turn off any breakers while performing maintenance, especially the house breaker. I turn the controller to OFF and shut the gas off as part of my testing, I seldom pull the control fuse.

If I understand correctly, the fuse removal to the controller would prevent the controller from trying to initiate the generator if the power failed and it was inadvertently left on AUTO during maintenance.  Turning the gas off would prevent the attempt to turn the generator on from being successful, but it would still turn it over a number of times using battery power.  Did I get that right?

78buckshot wrote:
The last time I talked to Generac about engine oil I was told that the factory oil is non- synthetic to help with the break-in of engine parts and they like to see it run about 25 hours before it is changed. You are correct that it might take years to see 25 hours, in that time the oil will look like coffee with lots of cream from condensation in the oil. If you are able you can run the unit for some extended times to get some run time on it, loaded would be better, try to shoot for the 25 hours within a year.

This is the same conclusion that I had reached as well, I'll need to artificially increase the run hours to reach the 25 hour mark in the first year. 

78buckshot wrote:
Valve lash has improved from the factory but I check and adjust all of my units each time I perform maintenance. I would not wait two years for the oil and valve lash.

I'm surprised you check the valve clearance each visit.  It seems like there is significant disassembly required and the replacement of a gasket that is consumed during the process.  You mentioned this is getting better over time.  Do you find you need to adjust the newer machines at all in practice?

Thanks for your response, it is very helpful.
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grsthegreat
The valve cover gasket rarely needs to be replaced, as long as your careful removing cover. The original oil is non synthetic, but if you install the oil warming kit when generator is new, your supposed to install synthetic oil. I called Generac support several times on this, and they agree that swapping to full synthetic on a zero hour generator wont hurt anything. Personally for all the units i install, i do a full oil and filter change 1 year from date of install. i also check valve lash at the same time. I include this with purchase price so as to verify it gets done. I rarely find a generator needing valve adjustment on the lower hour units (most are in the 10-12 hour range), but i also rarely need to adjust the higher hour units. I just checked a 2 year old air cooled 22kw  unit with 300 hours on it, and all valves were within tolerance.

i never pull any fuses. I also simply place unit in off position and shut off gas.

The units will update software on WiFi, so you don't need to insert USB dongle on these units. Must have strong WiFi signal though. With the newer Evolution controllers, removal of the 7.5 amp fuse does not do anything, and the unit could start with fuse removed. You may be asked to go thru initial setup .... sometime i have to and sometimes i dont require it. At this time its always good to reset clock and check date.

Another way i can easily check valve action is to run a compression test. Easier to do than valve lash adjustment. I record values on valve covers for customer. I can check the values year to year and determine if it needs valve adjustment.

EVERYTHING is determined by run time and or date. Oil filter changes 200 RUN HOURS OR 2 years, whichever occurs first. That message that says hours of protection xxxxx that appears on control panel without pushing any buttons means nothing.
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