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A standby generator can be a real-life saver in an emergency situation and you want to keep it running for as long as possible. Well maintained, a whole house generator can last for more than thirty years. Some maintenance can be performed at home by a home owner, but for other maintenance issues you’ll probably want to call a professional generator repair technician out to check over everything and perform more difficult maintenance tasks.
No matter whether you choose to hire a generator repair person to handle your maintenance or if you try to do some of it at home, the first step in owning any kind of generator is to read the manual and make sure you understand how it runs and what the manufacturer recommended maintenance is and how often the manufacturer recommends maintenance should be performed.
There are some basic factors that determine how often a generator will need service and you’ll want to bear these in mind in order to avoid a costly generator repair. The environment you have the generator in is one of the most influential factors in how often you’ll need to service your generator – generators kept outside the home are likely to need more frequent maintenance in order to avoid generator repairs than those kept sheltered. In Florence, SC the weather can pack a punch. An uncovered generator may need generator repair if it is hit by debris during high winds and storms.
The second most common factor that can affect maintenance is how many hours it runs every year. You should always run your generator for 30 minutes every single week. This makes sure it’s ready to go if there is a power outage. However, if you live in a place with difficult and dangerous weather, like Florence, SC, then your generator will get many more hours of usage and this will increase how often you have to perform maintenance in order to avoid generator repair.
The easiest way to think of repair and maintenance is to consider repair and maintenance on your car. Chances are you’re going to do a visual inspection of your car, you’re going to check the oil level, check your coolant levels and make sure that it has adequate fuel. A generator owner is going to do these same basic checks to ensure that their generator is in good shape.
When performing a visual inspection, you want to make sure you check all the wires and their connections. Make sure that nothing has come loose or is beginning to rust. Check pipes for damage and gas leaks and make sure that the area around the generator is clean and free of debris, especially if outside and uncovered. Keeping an eye on all these things will help prevent a costly generator repair.
Keeping an eye on oil and coolant is also important and while you probably don’t want to perform an oil change yourself at home, you can certainly add oil and coolant to your generator yourself. Also, be sure you keep fuel on-hand and keep your generator topped off! You don’t want to find out that your generator is low on oil and out of fuel when you need it to keep you warm in the winter.
A generator professional in Florence, SC can be called in to perform maintenance that you may not want to perform yourself. These maintenance tasks can usually be performed on a yearly basis in order to avoid a generator repair, but you should talk with your repair person to see if they suggest having them done more frequently. A generator technician will probably change your oil and your oil filter, replace the air and fuel filters, replace old spark plugs and perform a more in-depth inspection to check for damage and other generator repair issues that could cause your generator to stop working.
If you live in an area where there is an off-season and your generator goes into storage then you can discuss with your repair technician how often you should perform these same maintenance tasks. For example, you may be able to switch from weekly running to monthly, and some technicians will suggest that you store your generator without fuel so that the gasoline doesn’t thicken up and gum up your engine. If you chose to do this then make sure you add a gas stabilizer to the fuel, run the unit, then let it cool before running it again until the gas runs out.
Most importantly, remember to shut off your generator before performing maintenance tasks like adding oil and fuel! If you’re not comfortable performing a maintenance task then don’t be afraid or ashamed to call a professional generator technician to come out and service your generator. It’s always better to have a professional do the work you’re unsure about, and you can even ask them to demonstrate how to perform smaller maintenance tasks you can perform at home so you know how to do them in the future.
Be sure that if you live in the Florence, SC area, where you know you will need your generator during certain times of year, that you have maintenance performed by Mister Sparky before the challenging weather season begins. This ensures that any damage is caught before your generator is needed and that it goes back into storage in good condition and is unlikely to need an emergency repair the next time around. If you know that you’re going to need it for long periods of time you should definitely consider investing in a generator garage so that it is protected from the elements and also from any damage from debris.