Investing in a standby generator is one of the best decisions you can make for your home or business. Capable of lasting for up to 30,000 hours of service, the lifespan of a standby generator can easily be measured in decades–if you take care of it correctly. A regular maintenance schedule is crucial to ensuring that your standby generator is in top working shape when you need it most; after all, you don’t want to discover a fluid leak when your power is already out.
With that in mind, here’s what you should be doing on a weekly, monthly, semiannual and annual basis to safeguard the ongoing health of your standby generator.
- Start up your generator and make sure that it runs properly and doesn’t have any fluid leaks.
- Check your generator’s fluid levels at a time when the engine is cool; if you have been running your generator, shut it down and wait 10 minutes. This waiting period is key as it allows oil in the generator’s engine to flow back into the sump. Oil levels should be kept as close to full as you can without overfilling.
- Visually inspect the area around the generator to make sure that it is clean and that there’s no debris. If you have an enclosed unit, it is also important to check and see if any rodents or other small animals are trying to set up home within the unit.
- Make sure that the battery charger is working correctly.
Every Six Months
- Test the generator’s battery to ensure adequate power capabilities.
- Perform a thorough inspection of your generator’s enclosure. At the same time, take a closer look at the machine to make sure that there are no problems with the exhaust system, belts, hoses, lines or air filter.
- Check the thermal protection levels of the generator’s coolant.
- Change the generator’s engine oil as well as its air and fuel filters.
- Check all electrical connections and ensure that they are strong.
- Flush the generator’s cooling system.
- If your generator runs on diesel and the fuel in the storing tank has been standing stagnant for a while, you may wish to filter the fuel and check it for additive content.
Keep in mind that the more you use your standby generator, the more frequently it may need service. Following a period of major use such as after a significant power outage, it’s advisable to perform a more thorough inspection immediately. Extreme environmental conditions may also necessitate more frequent service. By taking steps to care for your standby generator, however, you can rest easy knowing that it will work when you need it most for years to come.