Both portable and whole-house standby generators require regular maintenance. Just like your car needs an oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles, most standby generators need one every 2 years or after 200 hours of use.

Power outages, whether due to bad weather, fires, or excessive demand for electricity, are a quick reminder of how dependent we are on electricity for daily operations. A backup generator is a tool designed to keep the effects of power loss to a minimum.

As with all mechanical items, be sure to check the owner’s manual and follow the procedures and service intervals for your specific model, including:
  • checking and changing the oil and filters
    generators require regular maintenance

    Generators Require Regular Maintenance

  • cleaning the spark arrestor screen
  • replacing the air filter
  • replacing the spark plug
  • checking the coolant levels and flush if needed.

In addition to performing the regular maintenance above, here are a few more tips to keep your generator running smoothly.

Portable Generator Tips

Portable generators are not designed to power your central heating or cooling system or other items that draw a substantial amount of power in your home. They will, however, run critical items, such as lights or a refrigerator.

  • Store the generator in a location where the equipment won’t be exposed to excessive dust, dirt, moisture, or corrosive vapors.
  • Clean it periodically with a damp cloth or soft bristle brush.
  • Don’t hose the generator down with water.
  • When storing the unit for more than 30 days, empty the fuel or add a fuel stabilizer to the tank and run it through the system.
  • If the generator has an electric start, keep the battery charged during long storage.
  • Run the generator for 10 minutes or so every two to three months.
  • Add Tufoil Engine Treatment to your oil at each oil change. Fortifying your oil will ensure easier starting, quieter operation, and efficient running.
  • Inspect and wipe down battery terminals, wiring, and exposed metal parts with HinderRUST to prevent corrosion.

Home Standby Generator Tips

Automatic standby generators are fueled by natural gas or propane and are hardwired into your home’s electrical system. They start automatically when the power goes out and cut off when the power comes back on.

  • A standby generator should run a brief self-test once a week to ensure that everything is working properly. Verify that the unit ran and has no alarms or warnings.
  • Ensure the generator is in “auto” mode, so it will automatically start up.
  • Make sure the unit is clean and free of debris, inside and outside the enclosure.
  • Keep the battery terminals clean and tight. Inspect and wipe down battery terminals, wiring, and exposed metal parts with HinderRUST S4.0 to prevent corrosion.
  • Some systems may need oil changes and air filter replacements on a regular schedule. Add Tufoil at every oil change to ensure less vibration, better efficiency, and smoother startup and running.
  • Have your unit serviced every six to twelve months by an authorized service dealer, and after periods of use.