I installed the new voltage regulator for the generator upon arrival over a month ago, and ran it briefly to verify the repair. Since then, it has lived next to the house, undisturbed and protected from the elements by my old lawn mower cover.
According to the manual, it should have gotten an oil change after the first five hours. I missed that. Being in the middle of an extended power outage with a barely functional generator can be distracting. Today, I finally got around to that oil change. The drain plug is only a couple inches forward of the rear wheel, so I had to remove the wheel in order to get a pan in place. Aside from that, it was painless. I refilled it with the recommended 5W30 fully synthetic option that can be used all year.
After the oil change, I hooked it up and ran it for about an hour. I left all circuits active, just to see what would happen. Early in the the run, something bogged it down a fair amount, presumably the hot water heater. Near the end of the hour, the heat pump kicked on and ran for several minutes. I fully expected that to pop the breaker, since it alone uses a good percentage of the rated output, but there was no effect except for the obvious additional load on the engine.
On the down side, the higher the load, the dirtier the power seems to be. The new voltage regulator seems to be working well, since both legs were very close to 120VAC and 60Hz according to my multi-meter. However, the battery backups that I have on my PCs, which insist on a clean input, switched to battery while the water heater and furnace were on. Aside from that, and having to reset the time on the stove because I didn’t switch the breakers quickly enough, the test was successful.
Now to get the rest of my preps and backups in place.