Tips for Keeping Your Generator Running Smoothly
Many homeowners and businesses have purchased portable and standby generators over the past few months. Many have never owned one before, and while these powerful tools can help protect against outages and power disruptions, it’s vital to maintain them properly. Strict adherence to manufacturer guidelines on everything from fuel maintenance to running time is essential. To that end, the following are some crucial tips to remember regarding your new generator system.
- Keep it Clean. Always cover it when it is not in use, and make sure to clean dust and debris regularly and remove spilled fluids from the generator.
- Empty the Tank. Don’t store fuel in the generator’s fuel tank. Rather, store it in an OSHA approved container. Storing fuel in the tank can result in gum deposits within the generator that can clog fuel lines and other components.
- Keep Extra Fuel & Oil Filters Handy. It’s a good idea to keep an extra filter or two around. As part of your fuel maintenance regimen, this will help ensure the generator operates when you need to use it.
- Don’t Overload the Generator. Watch your wattage rating carefully. Make sure that you don’t connect too many devices to the generator. While most generators will trip the circuit breaker or shut off when they’re overloaded, some can continue running and will overheat. This can quickly result in a costly fire.
- Don’t Store Too Much Fuel. It is highly unlikely that you will ever need hundreds of gallons of fuel sitting in a tank out back. Store only enough fuel to get you through the most common power outages or disruptions in your area. In most cases, a couple of days supply is more than sufficient.
- Buy the Good Fuel. Cheap fuel requires lots of fuel maintenance. Spend a few pennies more and purchase good quality fuel for your generator. It will run better and help protect the components from the damage bad fuel can cause.
- Dispose of Bad Fuel. As diesel fuel ages, it will be exposed to oxygen, water, dirt, and other contaminants. The asphaltene content will also become unstable and deposit at the bottom of the tank. This sludge can gum up your fuel system quickly. Diesel starts to degrade rapidly at about six months, and by one year its usefulness is considerably diminished.
- Check Your Oil. Always check your oil every 100 hours of operational use. Similarly, run your new generator for at least 20 hours and then perform an oil change before storing it. This will help break-in the system.
- Check the Plugs. Check your spark plugs every 100 hours or so. Make sure they’re not covered in oil or debris and remove any residue or carbon buildup with a wire brush.
Do you have questions about your new portable or standby generator? Call the EGSA certified specialist technicians of Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324. It is our pleasure to help you keep your system operational and to offer you more information about our maintenance and repair services.