Standby generators can come in handy during the winter time if you lose power for any period of time. However, in order for your standby generator to help you out during a winter power outage, your generator needs to be in good condition and well maintained. Here are four steps you should take this weekend to ensure that your standby generator will be ready when and if a winter power outage occurs.
#1 Change The Oil
If you have not used your generator in multiple months, you are going to want to change the oil in your generator. Over time, the oil that is just sitting in your generator will break down. You want to make sure that fresh oil is running through your generator so that when you use it, all the parts will be properly lubricated. Doing this will also help to ensure that your generator doesn't fail when you need it most.
Put a spill pan under the oil valve and open it up. Allow all the oil that is inside of your generator to drain out. Then, add new synthetic oil into your generator. Synthetic oil tends to work better in the extreme cold temperatures that are present during the winter time over natural oil.
When you change the oil, make sure that you also change the oil filter as well. It is best to change the oil when your generator has been dormant for a while; don't try to change the oil when your generator is still hot.
#2 Check The Condition Of The Spark Plugs
Next, you need to check the condition of all of the spark plugs in your generator. Look out for spark plugs that are corroded with rust or that are covered in dark soot. Spark plugs in generators have a short life, and you should prepare to change them out at least once a year. Change out any damaged and old spark plugs before you use your generator. Your generator's manual should tell you what type of spark plugs you need to purchase.
#3 Replace The Air Filter
Just like the spark plugs, it is a good idea to change out the air filter on your generator on a yearly basis. Your generator pulls in and uses air in order to operate; when the air filter is working properly and feeding your generator clean air, your generator's entire system will be able to work better.
#4 Run Your Generator
After you have changed the oil, spark plugs, and air filter, turn on your generator and allow it to run for ten to fifteen minutes. Doing this will allow the new oil that you put in your generator to circulate through the system and lubricate everything. This will also allow you to make sure that the spark plugs and air filter were installed properly. Finally, running your generator will allow you to make sure that there are not any other underlying issues with your generator that you need to fix before you really need it.