Owning a generator provides peace of mind that your home’s lights stay on, the refrigerator keeps running and essentials like the sump pump are fully operational when a power outage occurs. To ensure that your generator works reliably and efficiently, it’s vital to keep it well maintained. Here’s what routine generator maintenance should include:
Checking and Replacing the Oil and Filter
Oil is necessary to lubricant key components of your backup generator motor, but it breaks down over time, so the oil and its filter need to be replaced periodically. Generators typically need an initial oil change after the first 8–30 hours of run time, and then regular oil changes after every 100–200 hours of use, or at least once a year. The scheduling varies by manufacturer, so be sure to follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual.
Changing the Spark Plugs
Like any other combustion motor, your generator has spark plugs that must be changed out every so often. You should follow your manufacturer’s guidelines, but as a general rule, spark plugs need replacement after 100 hours of run time.
Replacing the Air Filter
If the filter is dirty, your generator motor won’t have adequate airflow to stay running, so you need to replace it according to your owner’s manual schedule. Typically, replacing the air filter is recommended after every 25 hours of run time, or once a year.
Performing a Periodic Visual Checkup
Once every couple of months, give your generator a general visual inspection. Tidy up any debris around the unit, look for oil and fluid leaks, check that there’s coolant visible in the overflow tank, and the battery is clean and free from corrosion.
Scheduling Yearly Professional Maintenance
You can have a pro tackle all of the above tasks, as well as perform a detailed annual inspection and more in-depth maintenance, such as flushing the coolant, checking the control panel, wiring and all connections and clamps, and inspecting and/or testing the battery and its cables and charger, alternator and transfer switch.
To schedule generator maintenance at your Portland home, contact us today at Roth Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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