If there’s any time of the year you want to know that you can depend on your generator, it’s during the winter. Remember though, that like with cars, generators need more maintenance when it’s cold out so that they can run how they should. If you do the following, you can feel secure knowing that your generator will be ready to go when you need it.
Your generator’s engine needs oil the same as your car does, and without enough oil, it won’t run smoothly and could even get damaged. Regularly check the oil level in your generator’s engine, especially when expecting a storm in the near future. The manufacturer’s manual will tell you the type of oil you need. Keep some extra oil on hand so that you can refill the engine whenever you may need to.
Since your generator can go for long periods without use, it’s important to take measures that ensure your gas isn’t going bad. Gas can effectively “expire,” due to evaporation, oxidation, and condensation that happens as it mixes with the air over time. This bad gas will not burn as efficiently or powerfully, and it can harm your engine’s components. To fight against gas going bad, you can mix in a fuel stabilizer so that it keeps for longer. If you have gas in the generator already, you can mix it in there. Also, remember to mix fuel stabilizer into any gas you have in storage.
To make the process of starting your generator simpler in a pinch, get familiar with how it works. There’s a good chance you’ll have to start it up in the dark, or only with the help of a flashlight. To take away any risk of damaging your generator or being unable to start it, practice running it a few times until you have the muscle memory down. Remember to run it momentarily every now and then to keep it lubricated and keep yourself in practice.
Again, like with a car’s engine, there are a lot of parts that can fail if they’re ignored for too long. To be positive that you can trust your generator, remember to look out for parts that need replacing before you have to depend on the generator to work for you. Things like fuel filters, air filters, spark plugs, and carburetors are important to maintain or replace if they are not working how they should.
This is the most important step in the interest of your safety, and of others. You can connect your generator by cable to a manual transfer switch, which when flipped allows you to isolate your home’s electrical system away from the larger neighborhood grid and connect it only to your generator. This protects your home, your generator, and power line workers from danger. If your home’s electrical system is connected to the grid and the generator at the same time, a couple of bad things could happen. One, you could shock workers who are repairing the electrical grid. And two, if the grid’s power is restored while your generator is still running, you will likely overload the generator and you could also overload your home’s electrical system—leaving you with no power from either source plus an expensive repair.
It’s a comforting thought to know you have a generator ready when you hear that a big storm is coming on. However, without the proper maintenance of your generator, you could be in as bad of shape as if you didn’t have one at all. Let the expert electricians at Lakepointe Electric help you keep your generator in perfect working order so that you can depend on it no matter what. Also, if you’re looking to buy a new generator or replace an old one, we have a wide range available to fit all needs and budgets.