Regardless of what you use your generator for, making sure that it's in the best possible condition when you need it requires regular maintenance and proper servicing between uses. In addition, making sure that you're performing basic maintenance during operation will ensure you get the longest possible life out of your generator, whether it's just for use powering tools and campsites, or if you rely on it for power during severe weather conditions.
Operational Maintenance Basics
Small engines generate a great deal of wear and tear during operation, which makes it critical for you to keep oil and filters on hand for regular oil changes while your generator is running. If your generator has already been broken in, you'll want to change the oil and filter after every 50 to 60 hours of operation. With this in mind, make sure you have enough oil and filters on hand to carry you through your expected duration of operation.
Make sure that you keep your generator fueled while in use too, as running out of gas can damage the generator coils, especially if yours is a lower cost portable model. However, shut down power an give the generator fifteen to twenty minutes to cool before refueling. This will help to avoid potential fire hazards associated with accidental fuel spills coming in contact with hot manifolds or engine components.
Most generators have a lot of downtime, but that doesn't mean you can just throw a tarp over it and forget about your generator until the next time you need it. Make sure you start by draining the fuel tank before storing it, as old fuel can contain sediment or can begin breaking down after a few months of inactivity. For better performance, add a fuel stabilizer when filling up for the next use.
Annual maintenance with a small engine specialist is just as important as having your car engine evaluated on a regular basis. In this case though, the heat and strain that a generator endures can have a much more significant impact on its smaller components. Make sure your portable generator gets a good once over each year, preferably before you expect to use it the most.
A good generator can last for decades if it's properly maintained and regularly serviced. The cost to repair problems that arise from bad maintenance practices is entirely avoidable, and can leave you in a terrible position during an emergency. For further assistance, contact a professional, such as one from Powell's Electric Service, Inc.