Winter Tips for your Automatic or Portable Generator
Power outages can happen at any time of year. They can be widespread or localized. You’ve made the investment in ensuring you have power during an outage with an automatic standby generator.
As an authorized Generac dealer and service provider here a few tips will keep your generator in good working order for the winter. A monthly check of these items goes a long way in preventative care.
Perform a visual inspection
Inspect the unit visually, looking for anything that’s out of place. Check the interior and exhaust for any debris that can interfere with the unit’s operation. Brush, leaves or mulch should be cleaned up.
Make a Path to Easily Access Your Standby Generator
Shovel or snow blow a path to your standby generator and keep it clear! in order to easily access and quickly troubleshoot during the winter. This also makes it easier for your local generator technician to perform any repairs, maintenance, or emergency service!
Check the oil
A standby generator is, essentially, a fuel-powered engine, similar to a car. Just like with a car, the oil needs to be checked. In most cases, generators take 2 quarts of oil. Natural or synthetic oil can typically be used, but synthetics tend to perform better in temperature extremes. Have SAE 5W-30 motor oil SAE 5W-30 motor oil on hand as this helps your standby generator start more easily during the winter months .
Check the Fuel (LP)
Check your propane tank(s) and make sure you’ve got fuel. Contact your fuel provider for percentages and when you might need a delivery should you experience an extended outage.
Portable generators require maintenance as well; some helpful hints:
Think About Fuel. If you have your generator in storage and do not plan to use it within 30 days, stabilize the gas with fuel stabilizer. Add the stabilizer according to package directions and then run your generator for a few minutes to circulate the solution through the carburetor. This is also a good time to rotate your fuel supply. Pour the gas from your stored fuel into the car and then fill up the gas cans with fresh fuel, again adding fuel stabilizer for storage. Start up an run the unit outside.
Check Your Generators Oil. Make sure your Portable Generator has enough oil to keep it running smoothly. Many generators shut down automatically to protect the engine if the level gets too low. To keep yours protected and ready-to-go for a winter storm or home emergency, check the oil level by referencing the dipstick and filling to the full marker. Keep a few quarts of oil on hand in case of emergencies. Refer to your engine manual for exact specifications.
Know How, Where and With What. Keep a flashlight handy so that you will be able to find your way to your generator and learn to start, adjust and shut off your generator to make sure you are familiar with how you will operate it when there is a power outage. Running your generator occasionally will not only help you learn to use it, but will also keep the engine well-lubricated.
Also be sure to think about where you will place the generator when you do need to use it. Do not run a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, basements, sheds or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide (CO) can quickly build up in these spaces and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off. Place the unit outside and far from doors, windows, vents and other openings that could allow CO to come indoors or be drawn into potentially occupied spaces. Direct the engine exhaust away from potentially occupied spaces.
Should you experience an outage or generator emergency Lucci Electric is on call 24/7 to help.
Check out this helpful video/link