A home generator offers a backup power source in case of an outage. If you do not have outages frequently, it is easy to forget about it until you need it, only to then discover it does not work. You can avoid needing an electrical contractor in Alexandria, VA by maintaining your generator and helping it stay reliable for those times when you need it. Here are five maintenance tips for home generators:
- Check oil level: Even when the generator is not being used, it can still leak oil. Schedule one day a month to check the oil level. There is usually a dipstick or window to allow you to see whether there is enough. If the oil is low, top it off. Check the user’s manual to ensure you use the right type, and use a funnel to make the process as mess-free as possible.
- Keep supplies: The generator can be essential equipment for longer-term power shortages. This is especially true if you have a business with sensitive equipment or high-need clients. If you work from home and need your computer running, the generator also protects that and helps you stay productive. To get the maximum benefit from a generator, you need to be prepared for contingencies. Keep a supply cabinet with extra oil, filters and air filters in case you face a longer-term power outage. If you use a part, replace it as soon as possible. The point is to keep this supply cabinet full during the best of times so you are not scrambling during an emergency.
- Maintain your landscaping: Home generators are normally kept outside. This leaves them vulnerable to the elements and natural debris. Keep the area around the generator clean and remove leaves and branches. If you can, keep it covered during inclement weather or build a protective box around it. Just be sure the box has enough doors so you and any service personnel can continue to maintain the generator.
- Use the self-test: New generators have a “self-test” feature. If that is the case for yours, run that self-test once a month, and if anything goes awry, call an electrician. Generators without a self-test need a different approach. If your generator does not have this feature, run it once a month for 15 minutes. This will clean fuel lines and lubricate the parts. To make it easy, do this test on the same day you set aside for checking the oil level.
- Schedule tune-ups: The purpose of a generator is to avoid emergencies and keep everything running even when the power grid acts up. That is why it is important to ensure the generator works before it is literally put to the test. Besides these maintenance tasks, also plan to have an electrician tune up your generator once a year. This keeps it working and you will know it is there for you when you need it!