Importance of Maintaining Your Home Generator

Whether you have a portable or standby home generator, it’s important to maintain it, just like you would your own car. And this should be done BEFORE the big snow storm hits us. You know, the one that will dump over 2 feet of snow in our backyards in less than an hour. But who am I to tell you when you should perform maintenance? I only install them, right? WRONG….I use one as well for my own home, and know a thing or two about them. Just like you would for your own car, these things require maintenance to work as smoothly and efficiently as possible, so in the event a big power outage occurs, you can be prepared. I mean, isn’t that the reason you got a home generator in the first place? Wouldn’t it be a shame you wasted money on this thing for it to just sit, and not work when you needed it because you never went along with the up-keep after those “few” times of use? Okay, enough of my maintenance rant…let’s get to the important steps you need to take to do the actual “maintenance-ing”.

 

So, before a major predictable storm hits, let’s go over a few things that all home generator owners need to know so that their generator can actually work when the power goes out.

 

Portable Generator Maintenance Steps

Before Use:

  1. Read the Owner’s Manual – Every manufacturer is different, so before doing anything with your portable generator, make sure you read the owner’s manual.
  2. Visual Inspection – Always visually inspect your portable generator: Look for any oil spots around the generator to make sure there aren’t any leaks.
  3. Oil Change – The oil in your portable home generator needs to be changed: once after the first use, and then anywhere from 100-200 hours of use thereafter, depending on the generator manufacturer. ALWAYS READ THE MANUFACTURER’S MANUAL FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW FREQUENT TO CHANGE THE OIL AND HOW TO CHANGE IT.
  4. Replace Spark Plugs – Replace the spark plugs every 200 hours of use, or after one year of use.
  5. Replace Air Filter – Replace the air filter after every 200 hours of use, or after one year of use.
  6. Charge Battery – If your portable generator has an electric start, make sure the battery is fully charged before use.

After Use:

  1. Gasoline Stabilizer – To avoid engine problems during storage for 30 days or longer, use a gasoline stabilizer with the fuel per the manufacturer manual, and run for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Drain Fuel – Drain any remaining fuel that could be in the carburetor, hose, or tank. This will prevent any build-up from occurring when in storage, and will prevent damage of the fuel system of the engine. To ensure there is no fuel left in the generator, run the engine until it shuts off.

If you have a Generac portable generator, it is recommended you start up your portable generator once a month to lubricate the internal components. This could be the same for other manufacturers. Read the manual!

 

portable generator
Portable Generator

 

Standby Generator Maintenance Steps

Before Use:

  1. Read the Owner’s Manual – Every manufacturer is different, so before doing anything with your standby generator, make sure you read the owner’s manual.
  2. Visual Inspection – Always visually inspect your standby generator: Look for oil and coolant spots around the generator to make sure there aren’t any leaks. Also look inside the generator to make sure there aren’t any leaves or debris that could potentially clog any internal parts.
  3. Oil Change – The oil in your standby home generator needs to be changed every 200 hours of use. ALWAYS READ THE MANUFACTURER’S MANUAL FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW FREQUENT TO CHANGE THE OIL AND HOW TO CHANGE IT.
  4. Replace Spark Plugs – Replace the spark plugs every 200 hours of use, or after one year of use.
  5. Replace Air Filter – Replace the air filter after every 200 hours of use, or after one year of use.

If you have a Generac portable generator, it is recommended you start up your standby generator once a month to lubricate the internal components. This could be the same for other manufacturers. Read the manual!

 

home generator
Standby Generator

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