Many people purchase generators for their homes or business and leave them to sit for long periods. The fact is that generators require maintenance. If you don't maintain your generator, it may just fail when you need it the most. The best way to maintain your generator involves the manufacturer's recommendations and a professional service.
Find and Adhere to the Manufacturer's Specifications
Routine maintenance starts with one simple step. You need to see what the manufacturer recommends. If you don't have the owner's or operator's manual, then check the manufacturer's website. Most manufacturers will have a "support" section on their sites, which can help you get started. But you can also try these things as well:
- Search the manufacturer's forum or FAQ
- Search by make, model, or serial number
- Call and ask the manufacturer's support line
The manufacturer will have a series of routine maintenance steps for you to follow. It's imperative you find some literature on your generator. In the meantime, you can still check for problems.
Give Your Generator a Visual Inspection
A visual inspection goes a long way. Just taking a look at your generator every couple of weeks can reveal a lot to you:
- Check for debris or blocked vents
- Check for leaking fluids
- Check for corroded lines and connections
- Check for loose lines and connections
- Look both outside and inside for these things
Just a visual inspection can tell you a lot. You can clean off your generator with a damp cloth or a soft brush. You can tighten fittings and brush off corrosion. Anything beyond that, you really do need your owner's manual.
Going Beyond the Basics
Beyond a basic visual inspection and light maintenance, there are the more technical steps you have to take to maintain your generator. You also need to know how often you should do these things. For example,
- Checking and changing the oil
- Replacing damaged or corroded parts
- Changing fuel and air filters
- Changing out coolant
- Checking the battery under load
- Replacing spark plugs
Some of these things you may be comfortable with, some you may hesitate to do yourself. Many of these maintenance steps are really a part of your annual routine, so you don't have to worry about them all the time. The problem with giving specific advice for these things is that they vary by manufacturer and device.
Where some would recommend swapping out a filter once a year, another may suggest doing it every six months. This goes back to the importance of knowing the manufacturer's guidelines.
A Word on Warranties
An important thing to note is whether you still have a warranty on your generator. Your warranty may cover a lot of preventive maintenance procedures. So make sure to take advantage of having a certified technician service your equipment.
Hire a Generator Service
If you can't find manufacturer's suggestions and you're not comfortable with messing around with the internal mechanisms of your generator, then you should hire a professional generator service. However, when choosing a generator service, you have to make sure they have technicians trained to work on your particular brand of generator.
Remember the note about these devices having variances. Because of that, you need not just a professional generator service, but a professional service that knows the ins and outs of your make and model. To learn more, contact a company like South Shore Generator Service Inc. with any questions or concerns you have.