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If you have a backup generator in case the power goes out, then you’ll want to make sure that you keep it in the best condition. Neglecting to care for your generator could leave you in a situation where you have no backup energy solution. Even if you have a solar generator, it’s important to make sure that it runs properly so that you are never caught without access to an important power source. Preventative maintenance on your generator will help to make sure that it runs smoothly in case of an emergency and so that it lasts for many years to come. Dirty, grime, and other residue can get into your backup generator and cause operating issues. The best way to make sure that your generator is working properly is to schedule periodic maintenance throughout the year so that you know it will work even during the most dramatic conditions.

There is no one size fits all model for taking care of your generator. For example, if you frequently run your generator then you’ll want to service it more frequently. A generator that is commonly being used may have minor issues due to stress on the machine. For people who rarely use their generator, you might set up a periodic schedule every couple of months just to make sure that everything is working properly.

You’ll find that there are small differences in the maintenance plan for fuel-operated generators and solar-powered generators. Fuel operated generators have a complex fuel system, which typically uses diesel fuel. This system requires ongoing maintenance to make sure that there is an adequate fuel level and that the fuel/water separators are measured appropriately. Make sure to add fuel during your regular service checks and store back-up fuel in case of an emergency. For solar generators, make sure that the batteries are charged and that the solar panels are clear of debris and damages.

If you are passionate about making sure that your generator is operating well, then we’ve put together this helpful checklist that you can use for your inspection. Checking these basic features will prevent you from getting caught in an unexpected situation without the help of your generator.

  • Regularly clean the exterior of your generator to make sure that it is free from dust, grime, and other debris.
  • Measure the oil level when the machine is turned off. It’s best practice to keep the oil close to the fuel mark as possible, so that the generator will run most effectively.
  • Measure and fill the coolant so that the generator can effectively cool down while running.
  • Visually examine the exterior of your machine, including the surface and wires for rust or other damage caused by rodents.

Preventative maintenance is one of the most important habits that you should use if you plan on using your generator in case of an emergency. In general, it’s also great to make sure that each piece of your generator is functioning properly. For example, it’s important to get a more thorough inspection of your generator that takes into account the components of the machine, from spark plugs to drive belts. You can either do this yourself or hire a professional to make sure that all the pieces are fitting together into a well-functioning machine.