Portable Generator Maintenance Tips

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Your generator, just like any other machine, requires proper maintenance and care for it to function correctly when it’s called into action. Below you will find helpful ways to keep your generator in top condition and prepare it for use. A good portable generator could cost thousands of dollars, which makes maintaining it properly an essential matter. Here are a few tips on how you can go about it and maintain your generator.

  • Proper Storage

When not in use, store your generator in a cool an d dry place away from falling hazards. The area you choose to store your generator should be free of moisture and any form of water. Ensure that the generator is covered up to keep away dirt, dust, mud, and grime.

  • Get it Serviced

Servicing your generator regularly is very important. Portable generators are efficient machines that can run for long periods without breaking down. However, if you are to make the most of your generator and use it for a very long time, then you should have it serviced regularly. Try to take it to the nearest repair shop for service and checkup. The service attendants will be able to notice any deficiencies and initiate the necessary remedial measures.

In a year, you should service your generator every four months. Keep a record book of these services for timely assistance and repairs.

  • Old Fuel is Bad News for the Generator

Stale fuel is not good for your machine. It causes startup problems to your generator, and if the issue is not rectified immediately, it could result in a generator breakdown. Most manufacturers would recommend adding a fuel stabilizer into the tank before storage. But there is no guarantee that this method would eliminate the generator startup problems. We would recommend draining old fuel and storing your generator on an empty tank, and then using fresh fuel to run your generator after a long period of inactivity.

  • Routine Generator Exercises

If you don’t intend to use your generator for a while, then you should make an effort to exercise it regularly. Regular exercises keep the generator parts lubricated, prevent the oxidation of the electrical contacts, and uses up any unused fuel before it gets stale. Also, it prevents any startup problems for the generator since the motor is always active.

Exercise your engine at least once every month for almost one hour. Make sure that the generator is loaded up to a third of its power capacity. That way, it will always be ready for any power outage or vacation that shows up.

  • Lubrication Services

Use a dipstick to check the level of engine oil in the generator at regular intervals. You should make sure that the level of oil is as close to the full mark as possible. When adding or replacing the oil, use the manufacturer’s recommended brand.

The oil and its filter have to be changed at certain intervals. Stick to the pre-determined intervals for the best operation. As you drain the oil and replace the filter, do so in an environmentally conscious manner to avoid damage or liability.

  • Replace the Spark Plug

Depending on the manufacturer and how frequently you use the generator, the spark plug will require replacement at least once a year. To use the generator safely, the spark plug may also require replacement if it’s cracked or worn. If there is dirt, you can clean the spark plug with a special cleaner and a wire brush.

  • Clean the Batteries

Generators that feature an electric start have a battery for starting the engine. Always make sure that the batteries are clean. If you notice any dirt pile up, wipe it off using a damp cloth. If there is corrosion at the terminals, remove the cables and clean the terminals with a baking soda solution. As you do this, you should be careful to ensure that the solution does not enter the battery cells. Then rinse with a damp cloth, replace the connections, and lightly apply petroleum jelly on the terminals to coat them.

It would be best if you regularly charge the battery. If the battery dies, the generator will not startup using the electric start button. You can plug it into a trickle charger to keep it ready for your next use.

Portable Generator Maintenance Summary in 7 Steps

generator maintenance guide

Below you will find top portable generator maintenance tips to keep your machine in top condition.

  1. When not in use, store your generator in a cool and dry place, away from falling hazards and moisture. Cover it up to keep away dust, dirt, mud, and grime.
  2. Drain the stale fuel before storing your generator. Stale fuel can cause startup problems to your generator, which may result in a generator breakdown.
  3. Exercise your engine at least once every month for an hour when you do not actively use it. This will keep the generator’s parts lubricated, prevent the oxidation of electrical contacts, and prevent any startup problems.
  4. Check the engine oil in the generator at regular intervals to ensure the oil is fresh. Keep the oil level as close to the full mark as possible. When adding or replacing the oil, use the manufacturer’s recommended brand.
  5. The oil and its filter have to be changed at pre-determined intervals. As you drain the oil and replace the filter, do so in an environmentally conscious manner to avoid damage or liability.
  6. Replace the spark plug at least once every year.
  7. If you notice any dirt pile up on the battery, wipe it off using a damp cloth. If there is corrosion at the terminals, remove the cables and clean the terminals with water and baking soda solution. Make sure the solution does not enter into the battery cells. Rinse with a damp cloth, replace the connections, and apply a light petroleum jelly coat on the terminals. Additionally, try to keep the battery fresh and charged.

With these simple generator maintenance tips and suggestions, you should have no trouble with your unit. If you run into any problems, check the most asked questions about generators for troubleshooting.