7 Home Generator Maintenance Tips

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

You invested in a generator to have for emergency situations. When the weather gets rough or the power flickers, you have peace of mind knowing that your home generator will kick on at the exact moment you need it to. 

Except, what if it doesn’t? 

Home generators are reliable, but that doesn’t mean you can have one installed and then forget about it. Routine maintenance will help you feel confident that it will be there for you every single time without fail. 

Here are 7 home generator maintenance tips to help you get started. 

1. Create a Log of Your Generator Maintenance

One of the first - and most important - steps you can take when it comes to home generator maintenance is to begin keeping a log of everything you do. It should contain information on every test run, oil change, fuel addition, hours run, air filter change, and so forth. Much like you would keep a record of your car’s maintenance. 

You can get a physical notebook to log this information. Or, if you have a smartphone, you can download a note-taking app. Create a system that works for you. Then, either write a note on the calendar or set reminders on your phone to perform weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance. 

2. Run Your Generator Weekly

If you are like most people who have a home generator, it is used as a backup. This means that you are not likely going to use it every week - or even every month. But since you expect it to be working when you need it, consider running your generator once each week for 15 to 30 minutes. As you do, listen for any noises that don’t sound normal. If running properly, it should sound like a smooth purr. Any squealing, banging, or rattling should be cause for alarm. 

During these weekly runs, you should also look for smoke, make sure the unit doesn’t get too hot, and confirm that there are no leaks. 

While you wait, take the time to clear any debris away from the unit so that it can run without any interruption. 

3. Check the Fuel Level

You always want to make sure your generator has enough fuel to run for a great length of time -- as well as any fluids like coolant and oil so that it runs properly. Make it a point to check these two things at least once or twice each month. Or, you can always make it part of your routine when you run your generator each week. 

If your generator has been sitting without testing or use for quite a while, you may want to consider draining and replacing the fuel. 

4. Change Your Generator’s Oil

The oil in your home generator needs to be changed every 100 hours of use. You should be keeping a log of your maintenance and hours used so you know when this needs to be done. Though if you have not used your generator in a year or two, a fresh batch of oil is likely to be a very welcome addition. 

5. Replace Plugs and Air Filter

Your generator’s plugs and air filter need to be included in your routine maintenance. After 200 hours of use, each of these items will need to be replaced. 

6. Perform Annual Maintenance

There are certain things that need to be done each year to keep your home generator in great shape. It is easy to push these things aside, but if you want the reliability you expect from your generator then it needs to be done. Below you will find a list of the things that should be addressed annually: 

  • Change the oil
  • Flush out - and replace - the coolant
  • Make sure the air supply system is clean and replace the filter
  • Replace spark plugs
  • Examine and clean the power supply system

Running the generator for a couple of hours is a good idea, too, just to make sure everything is running well. Be sure to look for leaks and smoke, as well as listen for any sounds of trouble. 

7. Call in the Professionals

Performing routine home generator maintenance is so important. But if it is something you can’t get to or aren’t comfortable handling, contact a professional electrician. Having someone who knows how to handle the maintenance correctly and safely can bring some comfort. 

Or, if you prefer to do your own maintenance but encounter any trouble, such as smoke or leaks, that could be another hint that it is time to contact an electrician. Don’t risk trying to fix it yourself.

Let Marines Services Co. Handle Your Home Generator Maintenance

There are so many advantages of hiring an electrician for home generator maintenance. At Marines Services Co. you will get unparalleled workmanship, clear communication, and knowledgeable advance from a licensed and insured electrician. 

If you are ready to schedule your electrical work, contact Marines Services Co. at 703-672-7551 for an estimate.