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Maintaining Your Standby Generator Before the Winter Storm Hits

If you’re a smart Mount Holly, NJ homeowner who’s made plans for an awesome holiday season at home, then you’ve probably also taken the precaution of installing a standby generator just in case there’s a power outage. After all, with the possibility of winter storms downing trees and knocking out power for hours or even days, you don’t want to put your holiday celebrations on hold. However, if you haven’t owned a standby generator before, it’s important to know how to maintain it so it’s always in good working order when you need it. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Don’t run your generator at the maximum capacity rating. A generator has two capacity ratings: a maximum (or starting) rating that indicates how much it can put out for a few seconds and a continuous rating that indicates how much it can put out over a prolonged period of time. The maximum rating isn’t meant to be used extensively; it’s only intended to be used when an appliance with a motor — your fridge, for example — starts up inside your home, as it will require additional power for a few moments. So, set the generator to continuous capacity, and you’ll be able to use it for years to come.
  • Visually inspect your generator before use. Check the appliance for signs of damage such as dents or corrosion. Also check all pipes, joints, and valves to make sure they’re intact.
  • Regularly perform oil and filter changes. Depending on the model of your Mount Holly, NJ generator, it will probably need an oil and filter change after about two to three days. Review the manufacturer’s manual for precise instructions on when and how to perform oil and filter changes, and make sure you have sufficient oil and filters to see you through a power outage.
  • Empty the fuel tank before refilling it. Before the fuel tank is empty, power down the generator and let it cool off. Use a hand pump to empty out all the old fuel, since old fuel is the main cause of generator starting issues. Then refill the tank with fresh fuel. Note that you should never, ever refill a fuel tank if the generator is still warm since that can be very dangerous.
  • Never let the fuel tank empty out while the generator is running. This can damage the appliance. When you restart it, it will run, but since the magnetic coils will be drained, the appliance won’t generate any power and you’ll have to have the coils reenergized.
  • Keep the generator clean and free of debris. Snow and ice, as well as leaves and other debris, can build upon and around the generator when it’s not in use. However, this will make it more difficult to maintain it; plus, it can impact how well it functions. So, clear away any snow, leaves, or other debris before it gets in the way of operating the appliance

If you need generator maintenance this winter in your Mount Holly, NJ home, call Raynor!