5 Standby Home Generator Maintenance Tips
When the power goes out in your home there is nothing more inconvenient and potentially dangerous to you and your family as you try to manage life in the dark.
Your electricity operates every major essential component of your house, that includes the lights, the heat or air conditioning, and your appliances, including the refrigerator. When that goes down, all of the food inside will spoil. So not only you are forced to fumble around for candles and flashlights, but you’re losing money in wasted food.
These are just some of the reasons why it makes a lot of sense to purchase a standby generator for your home, particularly if it’s also where you operate your business. After all, a loss of power for some small businesses can mean a significant loss of revenue and that could put all your hard work at risk.
Think about the members of your family who rely heavily upon working electricity to power life-giving medical equipment and cold storage for medications. When you have a reliable standby generator, these things are no longer a problem and can be entirely avoided should something occur.
But in order to ensure that your generator is always ready to meet the challenges of inclement weather, high winds, and fragile municipal electrical grids, you want to be sure you take the necessary precautions towards implementing smart home generator maintenance routines. When you take proper care of your generator, your generator can do the same back.
With so many options on the market to choose from, be it portable generators or interlock kits, it’s critical that you take the proper steps to keep your generator running smoothly at all times.
Think of your generator like it were your motor vehicle. You take certain precautions for ensuring that it runs at peak performance at all times. It has an engine so you need to perform routine maintenance on that engine in much the same fashion as your car. This is about more than generator safety, it’s about maintaining safe home at all times in case the power goes out.
Follow these five helpful maintenance tips and your generator will be ready to take on anything that comes to bear on your home.
1. Read the Owner’s Manual
Most of us buy a product without reading the owner’s manual for whatever reason. But when it comes to taking good care of your generator, it pays to read yours. That’s because the owner’s manual has valuable information for the proper operation and maintenance of the unit.
Not all generators are designed and built the same way, so the maintenance routines may differ from make and model. If you don’t read the manual you can’t take the proper steps for maintaining your generator properly.
So, before you do anything else with your generator, read through the owner’s manual and familiarize yourself with every aspect of the unit from top to bottom.
2. Change the Oil
Your generator is powered by an engine that should be serviced just the like the one that powers your car. So you need to take particular care in monitoring the intervals with which you change the oil in that engine.
But unlike your motor vehicle, you don’t need to change the oil as frequently as every three months. With standby generators, it’s necessary every two years or every 200 hours of operation, whichever comes first.
Changing the oil is very easy to do, you just drain the old oil from the engine and pour in the new replacement oil. Your owner’s manual should tell you how much you need to add but, for most generators, it’s about two quarts.
3. The Air Filter
This is also a critical component of good generator upkeep. It should also be done on a regular basis dependent upon how often you use the unit.
Replacing your air filter is vital because it ensures proper clean air flow for good performance. Just slip out the old filter, slide in the new one, and you’re good to go.
4. Replace the Spark Plugs
Every generator needs fresh spark plugs to work correctly. So pop them out once a year and take a look at them. If they are displaying evidence of substantial wear and tear it might be time to trash them and install new ones.
5 Remove the Fuel
Generators shouldn’t sit idle for extended periods of time with gasoline kept inside of them. It can result in gunk deposits and clogging the fuel system of the unit. To avoid these things from happening, take the gasoline out of the generator if you don’t anticipate using it for more than 30 days.
But do keep a full can of gasoline around the home so you can fill the generator when your home loses power and it’s time to rely on it once again.