How to Maintain Your Power Generator When Not in Use

Blog | October 23rd, 2018

The last thing that should happen to a power generator when it starts is a disappointing click. No brief rumble, then a stall, no fuel-starved coughing or maintenance issues, nothing at all should stop this essential piece of equipment from roaring to life. Left inactive for long periods, though, machines tend to fall into disrepair. Prevent that prospect, become proactive, and introduce a generator maintenance plan of action.

Power Generators Light Up Emergency Situations

Maybe the power generating gear is being used for a camping trip. Alternatively, a remote job requires a few power tools, and there’s no mains electricity nearby. Cut off from grid electricity, there’s no way to light up that campsite or get the job done on time. For the next scenario, think about a real emergency. A blackout has extinguished all the lights. Due to a storm or some other disaster, there’s no power, no lights, no radio contact, and even the towers that connect mobile phones have gone dark. Ultimately, electric generators provide emergency power. For as long as the equipment has fuel, there’s light and communications available. That kind of asset, especially during an emergency, could save lives.

Maintaining the Equipment

Having illustrated some common applications, plus the risk factors that develop when emergencies take place, let’s make sure the generator doesn’t fail at the worst possible moment. Kept out of service, perhaps because there are no emergencies on the horizon and no remote power tool jobs to energize, the generator should be run every few weeks. Start the equipment every 30-days, and let it run for 10-to-15 minutes. Clean the spark plug, replace it as the manual advises, and also check the air filter for obstructive dirt build-up. Thankfully, portable power generators are designed so that commonly stressed components can be replaced easily. Finally, we’re on the final straight, so take the maintenance checks up a notch. Is the battery fully charged? Is the fuel tank full and mixed with an additive, as advised by the manual? What about the lubricant level? Keep those fluids clean and at the recommended level.

Like car maintenance, there’s always more to be done before we can call it a day. Battery terminals collect muck and grainy deposits. Clean those terminals before applying an oxidization barrier. Petroleum gels are good for this purpose. Then, when the latest test run and maintenance check are done, do remember to store the power generator in a safe, secure, and dry place. Oiled, with a can of fuel nearby, the electrical genny should start as soon as the pull-cord or electronic ignition is engaged.

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