How to care for Your Backup Generator: Electric Generator Maintenance Tips

How to care for Your Backup Generator: Electric Generator Maintenance Tips

Winter is here, and with it, brings snowstorms and power outages. Generators are great devices to have on hand to keep your home or business running smoothly during those times. Generators can last for years and years, but they do require some maintenance to be sure they are ready for when you need them.

  • Read the manual and keep it with your generator. Even if you have used generators previously, each brand and type of portable generator is different, having its own features, warnings and maintenance schedule steps.
  • Familiar yourself with your generator while the power is on, instead of waiting until you are in an emergency situation and you have to start scrambling to figure out how it works.
  • Stick to the maintenance schedule, like a car, the generator requires regular oil changes, new spark plugs, and air filters.
  • Typically oil changes should be completed after 50 hours of use, for portable generators.
  • If you experience a prolonged power outage, you should change the oil every other day.
  • Keep extra maintenance supplies on hand.
  • Track all of your completed maintenance on a blank page in your manual.
  • Don’t run your generator when it is low on fuel or until it runs dry, as most generators can get damaged if used when they completely out of fuel draining the coils and shorten the lifespan of the unit.
  • Avoid using stale gas; fuel can go bad in just weeks. To keep gasoline fresh, add a fuel stabilizer to the stored fuel.
  • At the end of the storm season (and/or after each use, if the generator is used infrequently) drain any remaining fuel before storing the generator.
  • Never operate a generator indoors.
  • Shelter your generator from inclement weather; invest in a cover or an enclosure.
  • To keep a charge in the battery, run your generator for about 30 minutes or so, every 3 months so that it will start up when you need it.
  • DO NOT plug the generator into a standard outlet with a male-to-male power cord. This is an illegal and dangerous way to try to provide power to the entire home. IT can damage the generator beyond repair, and worse yet, cause a fire.

Need help in deciding the best generator for your home or business?

Call us, GC Electric, your local, professional, licensed electricians; we can guide you in determining the right one. We offer generator maintenance plans as well.

Having a standby generator is considered a real asset for those selling their home or business, particularly in areas often affected by outages.

Read our previous blog “What’s the difference between portable generators and standby generators?

GC Electric offers complete installation of properly sized natural gas and liquefied petroleum (LP) gas lines to keep your generator running. We also provide LP tank installation, so you can own your tank! If you live in an area where natural gas or LP gas is not readily available, we can supply you with diesel-powered standby and portable generators, as well!

We wish you happy and safe holiday season and healthy New Year!

GC Electric Company
610-797-3500
Serving the greater Lehigh Valley, PA Area
Residential & Commercial Re-wiring * Electrical Upgrades
* Surge Protection * Backup Generators * Cable Wiring
* 24/7 Emergency Service

By |2018-01-23T17:51:47+00:00December 22nd, 2017|