Your standby generator is much like a car. It has an engine, commonly referred to as a motor, fluids, and a host of electrical connections that help it run smoothly. You wouldn’t skip regular maintenance on your vehicle — that’s like throwing one of your biggest investments in the trash can. By the same token, you shouldn’t skip your generator maintenance.
In Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and other Louisiana areas, we depend on our generators to get us through the tough hurricane seasons. This makes generator maintenance more important than most. Learn how you can keep your home generator system efficient with our tips.
You never know when the power is going to go out, so it’s best practice to do a quick general inspection of your generator on a monthly basis. This examination doesn’t have to be super involved; you can leave that to the professional technicians who are performing your semi-annual maintenance. Monthly upkeep ensures that your generator is in good working order and free of major damages. Here’s what you should check for:
- Is your generator clean? Make sure there’s no debris, like leaves or dirt, on or surrounding the generator. If you have an enclosed unit, keep an eye out for rodents trying to make your generator their permanent home.
- Do you see any damage? If you notice any corrosion to the electrical connections, battery, or the outside cover, make sure you schedule a professional generator repair immediately.
- What do the oil levels look like? The oil level should be close to full, but not overfilled.
- What do the coolant levels look like? Coolant is important to keep the motor from overheating. Make sure you have an adequate amount of coolant in the tank.
Pay special attention to the oil, air filter, and spark plugs. These three components are the key to a healthy generator system. The oil should be clear in color, as in not cloudy or muddy, and run smoothly. The air filter should be clean; if it’s not, take the time to dust the filter off. Don’t use water or other liquids while cleaning as this will ruin the filter. If you find that the filter is still dirty after attempting to clean it, you may be better off purchasing and installing a new filter instead. Finally, the spark plugs should be clean and not worn out.
Every six months, you should schedule a professional tune-up with a licensed electrician. During this service, you’ll get a thorough general inspection, testing of electrical components, and overall performance, as well as necessary repairs and replacements. If you’re a resident of Baton Rouge or New Orleans, LA, we recommend scheduling the first of your semi-annual inspections in early spring. This gives you enough time to get your backup generator system back to mint condition, so it can weather the upcoming hurricane season. Here’s what a semi-annual tune-up consists of:
- Cleaning the generator of debris
- Clean or replace air, engine, and oil filters
- Check the quality and quantity of all fluids
- Flush the cooling system
- Change spark plugs (if necessary)
- Inspect the battery
- Conduct load bank testing
- And more!
Are you preparing for the stormy months ahead? Contact Keefe’s today to schedule your generator service today.