How to maintain your Generator to enjoy lasting durability.
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- 19 Aug, 2021
A generator is a great investment for your home – especially if you live in an area that experiences bad weather. Like other systems, your generator needs care in order to operate properly. Generator maintenance is an important part of owning a generator.
Home generators can keep you plugged in when your power lines are down. So if your power goes out, you are certain of another reliable source of energy that you can run to. With the average power outage lasting roughly 3.5 hours or more, it is key to be prepared in the case of a power outage.
If you have ever been without power you will appreciate having the best portable generator on hand to get the lights back on, the fridge working and the heating or cooling running! Not to mention keeping the power up to your electronic devices.
Generators keep you and your family/business protected. They ensure that you have adequate food supply and water during extended power outages. They afford you peace of mind by ensuring that your loved ones and things that are important to you are well protected during emergencies.
Like I said before, in an emergency a portable generator is your best option. All you need to do is wheel it out, gas it up and pull the starter cord. You now have your own mini electrical power plant! A portable generator delivers emergency power at a reasonable cost.
Purchasing a generator for your home is one investment that often goes overlooked until you realize you are out of electricity for an indefinite amount of time. Generators are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury these days. A generator can give you peace of mind during storms.
Not minding the power outage, you get to enjoy continued use of your household items. This is especially important if you lose power for several days. Once you lose power, you can turn on your generator and enjoy it for as long as you want. It can keep your home warm, keep your refrigerator running so your food doesn’t spoil, and gives you continual use of your light.
Why is Generator maintenance so important to us?
* One obvious importance of maintaining our generator is so we can always have a reliable source of backup power supply when "NEPA" fails. You most likely have a generator on your property to use in the event of an unexpected power outage. Since you rely on it during times of unexpected power loss, you want it to be working properly when you need it the most!
The last thing you need when you don’t have power is to realize that your generator isn’t working. Routine generator maintenance will guarantee that your system is ready to keep the lights on during an outage or emergency. If you keep on top of your generator maintenance, you can rely on your generator to run smoothly.
* Helps to increase Generator efficiency.
No one wants to buy an appliance that won't work well. We all would like to enjoy what we paid for, isn't that right? If you have to run your generator, you would want it to run efficiently as possible. Regular generator maintenance helps your generator to reach its highest efficient potential.
Like any system working in your home, you should want your generator to be working as efficiently as possible. Professional maintenance will help your system function at peak performance. This will help your system work for years to come.
* Helps to prolong the lifespan of your generator.
A generator can be a very large expense and one you don’t tend to make very often. By ensuring your generator is properly maintained, the lifespan of your generator will certainly increase. It will also run much smoother and longer than if you ignored maintenance tasks.
Timely maintenance would certainly help in minimizing the effects of wear so that you can get more usable years out of your generator system. With the right maintenance plan and optimal environmental conditions, a standby (diesel) generator can last for 20 years or more!
* Helps to prevent fuel problems.
Fueling issues are common among generators that aren’t properly maintained. Clogs, dead batteries, and algae buildup are all common power issues that can negatively affect your machine without professional maintenance.
* Helps to save cost in the long run.
When you have your generator professionally serviced, it saves you money in the long run. Putting off routine maintenance and ignoring issues may save you money short term. But when your generator breaks down and fails to work when you need it most, you will be looking at costly repairs that could have been easily avoided.
Without any real care for your generator you will be more inclined to have further problems down the line. And in some cases, you may even have to replace your whole generator unit, both of which come with a costly price.
These are just a few reasons as to why generator maintenance is vital. And as with any piece of equipment that provides power to other tools, the only time one seems to notice a generator is when it’s not working.
Generators get thrown around, beaten, and abused, yet they are always expected to work with one pull. Even though they are built for abuse, generators won’t last without some regular maintenance. A generator can last for decades but it needs proper maintenance.
Just like it's important to eat healthy and exercise, a generator also needs maintenance to prevent it from breaking down. The better the maintenance, the longer your generator will function without the need for extensive repairs, which can translate into serious cash from purchasing expensive parts or even replacing the whole unit.
It’s important to be prepared in the case of a power outage by having a portable generator. But simply purchasing one isn’t enough. With blackouts being both anticipated and unexpected, performing regular maintenance on your portable generator is also necessary.
When you want to use your portable generator, you want to help ensure it’s operating at full capacity, with no issues preventing power distribution. Here are some easy maintenance tips to keep your generator going for years to come.
Simple Maintenance Tips
* Regular Oil change.
Powering your refrigerator and air conditioner is hard on your generator’s oil! If you are running that beast hard, you will need to change your oil frequently. Since you can expect to change the oil every 50 hours of use (only 25 hours for the first oil change), keep an ample supply of oil in your garage.
It is always a good idea to check the engine oil even before starting your generator, especially with brand new generators. Some generators may be shipped dry, some may have a small amount of oil that was used to perform a bench test on the unit, and some may have a full oil tank.
Newer, state-of-the-art models may require fewer oil changes because they burn cleaner than older models. But, if your generator operates in an environment with a lot of dust or contaminants that can mix with your oil, you may need to increase the number of times you change the oil.
Running any engine on a dry oil tank will cause it to seize up and you end up damaging the engine beyond repair. Checking and changing your oil should become a regular facet of your generator maintenance.
* Keep the insides of your generator clean.
A generator works from the rotor and stator, two parts located inside your generator, working together to create electricity. When in operation, it is typical for rotors and stators to collect dust, debris, and other contaminants. If you allow your generator to build up too much grime, your rotor and stator can won’t generate energy as efficiently as possible.
It is also likely you will burn the two parts out faster than average. To eliminate debris, you must clean the air filters in your generator. And, regardless of how often you use your generator, it is recommended to check the air filter for dust weekly.
If you live in a particularly dusty area increase the number of times you check your generator. These precautions will ensure you are generator is ready to use when you need it most.
* Replace dirty Air and Fuel filters.
Most experts will say that if an air filter looks dirty, ditch it for a new one. This is solid advice, as the thin mess of these filters can really wear down with time and use. If it rips or becomes damaged, this could mean really bad news for your generator if left neglected.
If you do decide to clean your generator’s air filter instead of replacing it, use caution to avoid tearing the filter. Wash in soapy water and dry gently with a clean cloth or allow 24 hours to air-dry completely before inserting back into your unit.
Much like generator fuel lines, air filters are relatively cheap. So if you were to ask me, i’d advise just replacing the thing to avoid future problems.
For the fuel filter, you will simply close the fuel valve, remove the clamps on either side of the filter and pull the old one off. Look through the filter to ensure you can see light shining through. If you cannot, it is time to replace it.
To replace your fuel filter, just do the reverse process, but make sure to keep the inside of the filter clean. If your filter has an arrow on it, point it in the direction of the fuel flow.
* Check your spark plugs.
A relatively common reason portable generators won’t start is because of a bad spark plug. Either the plug is dirty, compromising its connection, or it could be on its last leg and have trouble igniting. Either way, if the plug isn’t creating an arc of electricity, your generator could be struggling to power up.
Make sure your engine has fully cooled before removing your plug and inspecting it. If the plug looks fine on the outside, try swapping it out for a new one and see if that helps.
If it’s marred up, clean it with a wire brush and insert back into your generator with a torque wrench. When doing this yourself, be careful not to over-crank and strip the threads on your plug. This could compromise your connection or even break your porcelain insulator and cause damage to your engine.
Even if your generator isn’t experiencing problems and you are just giving it a routine checkup, it might be time to replace the plug. As a general rule of thumb, if your air filter is dirty enough to need cleaning or replacement, it’s time to replace that spark plug too.
* Use long heavy duty extension cords.
It’s no secret, generators are loud! To cut down on noise, most people position their portable generator further away from the house. But as an extension cord increases in length or decreases in gauge, the amount of voltage it can carry diminishes.
This could mean that your generator is working harder to transmit less power, and have extra unnecessary wear on your unit over time. If you place your generator at distance, make sure you use a heavy duty 12-gauge cord, no longer than 100 feet.
Note: One of the simplest preventive maintenance services you can do for your generator is to turn it on if the generator hasn't been used in a while. Running a generator with a load occasionally is a good idea. Running it once a month will prevent gas from producing a gum on the carburetor.
A quick generator wake-up call will save you valuable time when the storm hits. Before firing up your dusty portable generator, make sure it’s outside in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing in harmful fumes.
Just like any appliance in your home, maintaining your generator helps prevent it from breaking down or needing untimely repairs. The more attention you give your generator, the longer it will last, and the better it will function. In fact, did you know that a properly maintained generator lasts twice as long as one without annual routine maintenance?
Without generator maintenance, you risk your generator not turning on or not operating as it should. You rely on your generator, so letting it malfunction defeats the purpose of investing in one. With regular maintenance and testing, you can make sure your generator is ready to go in any situation.