I became intimately familiar with my Generac RS5500 generator last week. You see, where I live which is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a significant storm swept through the area knocking down trees over a significant area. (Don't miss my youTube video below!)
As a result of this storm, we lost power for about 5.5 days. As it turned out, it was the 4th largest NH power outage in its history so maybe 5.5 days without power wasn’t really that bad.
Fortunately I had a Generac RS5500 generator in my shed just waiting to be utilized. I bought it when I moved up to these parts because it is fairly remote and trees can come down causing power outages. And there are certainly a lot of trees around here…
The goal of this article is to display a youTube video displaying me performing a generator oil change as well as to list the steps needed to change the oil on the Generac RS5500. The Generac Owner’s Manual specifically states to change the oil after using it for the first 30 hours and subsequent to that timeframe you should perform a generator oil change every 100 hours.
The generator oil change that I depict below in the youTube video is my first with this generator which means it was after the 1st 30 hours. Actually for me, it was a lot longer than 30 hours of use because I needed to use it for a number of days to continue having power in my home. Ideally I should have stopped the generator after running it for 30 hours, perform the oil change, and then continue to run it during the power outage.
But for one thing I didn’t have the quarts of oil without going out to buy them and, more importantly, I had 2 elderly people (my in-laws) living with us during this time because they also lost power at their home which is about a mile away.
I couldn’t afford to shut down my generator for that long a time to perform a generator oil change so I just let it go. I did check the oil level every time I added gas though which is recommended. One nice feature of the Generac RS5500 is that it has a low oil shutoff sensor so the generator will shut down if the oil level gets too low.
Check out my youTube video below of me performing a generator oil change on my Generac RS5500 generator.
Generator Oil Change Step-by-Step
- Raise the generator up onto blocks, pavers, jack stands, etc.
- Identify the location of the orange dipstick and the drain plug.
- Place a container or oil pan for the oil to drain into directly underneath the drain plug.
- Remove the drain plug (1/2” nut) with an 1/2” open end wrench, 1/2” socket, etc.
- Allow the oil to drain completely into the oil pan or container of choice.
- Re-insert the drain plug and tighten snugly.
- Add 1 quart of oil (I use Synthetic SAE 5W-30 in the video) using an appropriate funnel.
- Remove the funnel and insert the dipstick.
- Take the generator off of the blocks, start it, let it cool, and check the dispstick.
- At this point it should need a bit more oil to get it up to High (H).
- Add a bit more oil to get to its capacity of 1.06 quarts. Check the dipstick and ensure it is very close to High (H).
- If it needs more oil just add a little to get it close to H. Once it is there, you are done!
I hope that this article, including the youTube video, was helpful to you. Don't forget to refer to your Generac RS5500 user manual if you have any specific questions about your generator. And also don't forget to dispose of your used oil properly according to EPA standards. If you are unclear where you can dispose of your used oil you can contact a local automobile mechanic or recycling center.