Operating a generator daily offers some benefits in any setting. However, even the best-made, most highly rated generators will not last forever. While you can put off repairs with regular maintenance, eventually, it will be time to replace certain parts and components. When this happens, having a quality and reputable supplier to purchase from is essential.
While this is true, you should also take steps to ensure breakdowns don’t occur unexpectedly. Some tips to help you with ongoing generator maintenance can be found here.
Perform a Daily Check on Certain Generator Components
Before powering on your generator, there are a few things to check. Make sure to do this daily, which will help reduce the possibility of a breakdown or malfunction. Some of the things you should check include:
- Oil level
- Check for leaks
- Alternator and water pump belt
- Coolant level (check this at the pressure cap, not just at the overflow bottle)
If you notice any issues, wait to power the machine on. It is best to call for service in case there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Turn the AC Load Breaker Off
When starting your generator, make sure the AC load breaker or the switch is in the off position. Be sure to warm it up for a few minutes and then connect your load. When shutting down the generator for the day, be sure the switch or breaker is switched to off. Give the generator a few minutes to cool down, and then turn it off. By using this method, you can prevent costly failures of the generator diodes and automatic voltage regulators.
The Shore Power Breaker
Ensure the shore power breaker is turned off at the dock before you try to turn the generator on if you are starting it at the dock. If you have a shore power switch that has started to wear out, you may find that the generator momentarily or permanently connects to the shore power. This can have devastating effects.
Change the Oil and Filter
If you are not putting many hours on your generator, you should change the oil and filter two times per year. Make sure to change the fuel filter once per year and also replace the air filter each year. Some units will come with a washable air filter, so know what type you have so you know what steps to take. Only replace the filters if it looks like the foam has begun to deteriorate. If you use the generator for many hours, it is best to follow the handbook’s recommendations.
Preventing Issues with Your Generator
If you want to prevent issues with your generator, you have to ensure it is properly maintained. While this may seem like a daunting task, at first, the fact is, it will be well worth your time and effort in the end. When you keep your generator maintained, you don’t have to worry about it failing or malfunctioning when you need it most.