Now you’ve bought a generator, it’s probably best to make sure it is ready to use when you need it the most.
Simple maintenance and basic checks will save you time and money and reduce the risk of having an inefficient generator.
Clean, Fresh Oil
To maintain a reliable and healthy engine, it is important that the oil is changed according to the schedule that will be laid out in the owner's manual.
New generators will require their first oil change after just a few hours use, then at regular intervals specified by the manufacturer.
It would also be advisable to have spare oil and oil filters to hand.
Spark Plug & Air Filter
If the engine can’t breathe or ignite the fuel properly then the generator will be difficult to start and very inefficient.
Again, the manufacturer will have specified service intervals for both but depending on how hard you work your generator or if it’s in a particularly dusty or dirty environment, it may be advisable to check more frequently.
If the spark plug looks okay then clean the electrode with a soft wire brush and check the plug gap is all it should be. If the plug shows any sign of wear or damage then replace it.
The same goes for the air filter - a simple clean is usually all that is required either by blowing dust and debris out if it’s a gauze filter or a clean and re-oil if a foam style filter.
Note that it’s always better to replace the air filter at the correct service interval rather than clean it.
Fuel can go off in a petrol generator in a very short period of time which would make trying to start and run the generator very difficult.
If the generator is to be stored for more than 30 days, it is advisable to drain all the fuel from the fuel tank and carburettor then run it until it’s empty to clear all the fuel lines.
Always use clean, fresh fuel whenever you need to refill the tank
Charge the Battery
If the generator has a battery, make sure it is fully charged before storing.
A better solution is to invest in a trickle charger to keep the battery topped up and ready when you need it.
Store the battery in a cool, dry place to keep it in good condition and clean the terminals to ensure you always get a good contact.
Run the Generator
As an alternative to storage, it better to start your electric generator every 30 days and allow it to run for a few minutes.
This helps keep the components lubricated by circulating oil throughout the engine.
Check and Inspect
A simple visual check will help you spot any leaks or damage allowing you to replace or repair beforehand.
A quick clean and lubrication of any moving parts will also help keep your generator ready for when you need it.