How to Perform Home Generator Maintenance

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One of the most valued pieces of equipment for most homeowners is their home electric generator. Whether permanently installed or portable, generators are there for you when you need them most, in times of power outages. Severe winter or summer storms can often down power lines, and that is when a home generator will be most handy to have. Follow these simple maintenance steps for home generator maintenance, and it will always ready and available whenever you need it.

Things You'll Need

  • 10W-30 oil
  • Oil filter
  • Air filter
  • Bucket
  • Radiator fluid
  • Check the oil at the start of the winter and summer seasons and replace both the oil, use an automotive grade 10W-30, and replace the the oil filter, available at hardware stores, once a year.

  • Replace the air filters on your home generator annually, just like with an automobile.

  • Inspect all of the belts for wear, cracks or dryness. Bad belts can cause your generator to perform less efficiently and ultimately overheat the motor. The belts on a generator should be replaced every couple of years to maintain optimum performance. Belts are available at hardware stores.

  • Drain the antifreeze from the radiator and replenish it, if applicable, with fresh liquid. If you allow the old fluid to stay inside the radiator, it can cause deterioration, which will negatively affect your generator's lifespan. Ideally, you should replace the fluid prior to the start of your area's severe storm season.

  • Keep the area around your home generator as clean as possible. Trim any weeds that may be growing up around it and try to keep it as dust-free as possible.

  • Check the owner's manual that came with your home electric generator and look for the manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule. This will indicate what should be done to the unit after so many hours of operation. For instance, after 200 hours of generator operation, some manufacturers suggest that you have all of the connections on your generator checked for stability.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always perform generator maintenance when the unit is not in operation. Turn off the transfer switch to prevent any accidental start-ups.

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