Generac standby generator has oil in the air filter.

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  #1  
Old 06-06-14, 08:47 PM
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Generac standby generator has oil in the air filter.

My parents generator has been working correctly, its almost 5 yrs. old. The electricity went out, generator started. Mom said it didn't sound right, then a cloud of blue smoke was coming out. She turned it off, let it cool down, the air filter had oil in it, also excess oil under the air filter which was suctioned out. Any suggestions as to what caused the oil in the filter. It is a Generac 20kw. I don't have the model # with me, but could get it. Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-06-14, 10:22 PM
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Is the oil overfull? Does the oil smell like gas? If so, your carb needle is leaking.
 
  #3  
Old 06-07-14, 03:50 AM
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Does the engine have something like a PCV valve and / or hose to suck up and burn the oil vapors ? That is the only path I can think of , to allow oil to fet into the air cleaner & carb ?

As to why , the other suggestions sounf plausable to me .

God bless
Wyr
 
  #4  
Old 06-07-14, 04:57 AM
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As Cheese suggested, I've only encountered this when the generator was overfilled.
 
  #5  
Old 06-07-14, 10:54 AM
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Mom said she didn't smell gas, it is a permanent natural gas generator. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm just visiting them in Louisiana.
 
  #6  
Old 06-07-14, 12:03 PM
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Model # 0057440 s/n 5471504 Air cooled generator.
 
  #7  
Old 06-07-14, 07:47 PM
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What about the level?
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  #8  
Old 06-07-14, 11:08 PM
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I've never worked on Generac's standby generators, but on my Lp3250 when I had it there was always a little oil coming out of the valves through the propane mixer and into the air filter. I believe this is done on purpose because natural gas has no lubrication unlike gasoline. I don't know if it's right or not, but it's by 2 cents.
 
  #9  
Old 06-13-14, 05:30 PM
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Oil level was ok and replaced the air filter. How do u reset the computer to Ready to Run?
Thanks for all the help !!
 

Last edited by emily1111; 06-13-14 at 06:14 PM.
  #10  
Old 12-25-14, 06:39 PM
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emily1111, did that resolve the issue - suctioned out the oil, replaced the air filter?
I have a Generac Guardian Plus 0043903 (SN 4087323) - it is a 15kW LP air-cooled on-demand generator. Similar story to the Emily1111 one. I had low oil a few times and the weekly test run did not occur. I topped it up and no problems. then we had an 8 hour outage and it was running for the first 7 of those, it shut off, just before the power returned. result was similar too, oil in the air filter, all over the floor below the generator. could this be a bad PCV valve?
any suggestions how to troubleshoot?
 
  #11  
Old 12-26-14, 05:45 AM
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Why did you have a low oil condition several times?

What was the oil level at the start of the 7 hour run? What was the oil level when the generator shut down?
 
  #12  
Old 12-26-14, 11:23 AM
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We have had the house for about a year and the oil level remained full for that time. then a few weeks before the outage i noticed the weekly exercise did not run. I checked it and the low oil level light was on and sure enough it was about a quart low, however there were no signs of oil leak visible (on floor, in air filter compartment, etc.). A assumed this was due to some gradual oil consumption, and I topped it up and planned to do an oil/filter change. So prior to the outage it was full. When it shut down, it had leaked on the floor and got into the air filter chamber, and the level was down at minimum.
I am trying to identify possible paths that the oil could have taken to get into the air filter and what could have caused that to happen, or any advice of how to troubleshoot. Ref: p. 54/70 of the manual <http://soa.generac.com/manuals/0043903/0F3982>. Name:  20141226_111127.jpg
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  #13  
Old 12-26-14, 05:38 PM
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So, the oil level had been good and stable. During that time I assume the generator was going through it's regular exercise runnings until something happened. Then the oil was a quart low without visible leaking. Then the oil was really low with oil in the air filter assembly and on the ground.

I would remove the spark plugs and look at the tips. You can search online for what spark plugs should look like and what they look like when something is wrong. I'm wondering if one or both of yours are black and oily or carboned? What I'm wondering is if you might have a blown head gasket or two.

You can also remove the oil dipstick while the engine is running. Some smoke coming from the dipstick is normal but if you're surprised that it's "blowing" it can be a potential sign of head gasket trouble.
 
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Old 12-26-14, 06:37 PM
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I would also suspect a head gasket. Check the plugs to see which is carboned badly or if both are. A leakdown test would confirm/deny.
 
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Old 12-30-14, 09:01 PM
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I ran a compression test and both cylinders held 180 PSI - i left the gauge on there and they did not drop in pressure for a few minutes. The plugs did not look oil fouled i will add a photo, but they both looked in pretty good shape. I am replacing them, but have to completely disassemble the enclosure to get the plug on the back side back in. I will replace the air filter, and oil/oil filter and see if the mystery goes away. Any idea how i can check for blockage in the PCV system? I thought that a blockage there might cause an oil backup.
 
  #16  
Old 12-31-14, 01:45 AM
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Does the engine have the PCV valve and piping located where you can get to it to remove / inspect / clean ? I would replace the PCV valve , if for no other reason than preventive maintenance & peace of mind .

A PCV system normally used engine vacuum to pull / draw " fumes / smoke / air " from the engine crank case to be burned by the engine .

Best I remember , there is piping to supply fresh , filtered air ( after it has passed through the air filter ) into the crank case . To replace the air being sucked out by the PCV valve part of the system .

This may be the path the oil is taking to get into the air cleaner ? If the PCV valve is stopped up , I think pressure will build up in the crank case and possibly " blow " oil back up the piping , into the air cleaner . This could include both " fumes " & " smoke " , and oil .

Try to locate both halves of the system to clean / inspect .

I would make 100% sure it is full of new oil , but not over full . Did I ask about an oil filter ? I would go ahead and replace it while you are working on the engine . And may be the fuel filter . As preventive maintenance .

Any parts you replace that turn out to be OK , bag them up , air / dust tight and save them for spare parts .

Check the rest of the fuel system to make sure everything is clean and has no water in it .

Best of luck . :-)

Happy new year and God bless
Wyr
 
  #17  
Old 12-31-14, 06:00 AM
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Note the Cheese said a leakdown test and you replied saying you did a compression test. They are similar but different. Here is a page that describes the two in more detail. Compression testers have a check valve so they record the highest pressure attained. You've probably got a little button somewhere on the tester to release/reset the pressure. It will tell you the engine's ability to develop compression but doesn't tell you how much or where the compression leaks out, and every cylinder does leak to some degree.
 
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