Preventative Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Standby Generator In Excellent Condition

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Even though your home is connected to the grid, you might need to rely on a standby generator at times. You never know when power outages and other emergencies will occur, so it’s important to keep a functional generator on your property. This unit will have the ability to keep your appliances, lights, and security system powered up during power outages and other events. However, you can’t simply store your backup generator in some remote location. You have to regularly check on this unit and maintain it. If you don’t practice diligent standby generator maintenance and keep it in good shape, it may not be able to offer the performance you need when using this appliance becomes essential. Keep reading to discover a few helpful standby generator maintenance tips for keeping your standby generator in excellent condition.

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Preventative Maintenance Schedules for Generators

Homeowners should understand the basics of maintaining whole-house generators through various monthly and weekly tasks. Diligence in these areas can extend a generator’s service life and keep it reliable during times of crisis.

Qualified technicians should handle all advanced maintenance tasks. Their services should be scheduled twice annually so that the tasks below can be performed at the proper times.

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1. Weekly Maintenance for Standby Generators

  • Place your standby generator in AUTO mode. Run your generator to check for errors.
  • Make sure that the unit is using the right type of fuel. Look for leaks around the generator. Verify that the circuit breaker is securely closed.

2. Monthly Maintenance Tasks for Your Generator

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  • Clear the perimeter of the unit of all trash and debris.
  • Verify that there aren’t any animals nesting inside the generator.
  • Keep the unit’s oil levels near full for superior performance.
  • Find out how much coolant there is in the unit’s overflow tank.
  • Make sure that the battery is free of corrosion and working properly.
  • Look for terminal corrosion and loose wires.
  • Check for damage to the gas pipes.
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3. Biannual Maintenance Tasks for Whole-House Generators

  • Licensed technicians should perform a full diagnostic on the battery.
  • Professionals should check the coolant heater, drive belts, enclosure, induction pipes, and exhaust.
  • The AC wiring should be examined along with the fuel system, electrical system, coolant lines, and lubrication.

4. Annual Maintenance Tasks for Whole-House Generators

  • The oil filter, fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs, and generator oil should be replaced.
  • Check the alternator for moisture, dirt, and direct heat.
  • Take a look at the unit’s transfer switch and perform load bank testing.
  • The cooling system should be flushed as needed, and the crankcase breather should be cleaned.
  • Fuel in diesel generators should be tested and reconditioned. Excess water should be extracted from the tank.


Tips for Maintaining Standby Generators

1. Think about the Environment

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Proper standby generator maintenance includes a lengthy list of tasks that vary significantly in ideal frequency and over complexity. Before attempting to complete any recommended maintenance tasks, you have to account for several factors that affect your generator’s condition. The environment is the very first of these factors, and this refers to where your generator has been placed. For instance, did you put yours outdoors where it is exposed to the natural elements? Does your generator have sufficient sun protection, and is it protected from debris, rain, and wind? What is the local climate like? Is it arid and dusty? Do you live in a windy and excessively cold region? The harsher the local environment is, the more important it becomes to stay on top of regular generator maintenance.

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2. Consider the Workload of Your Whole-House Generator

Another important thing to consider is the number of times that your generator was called into use during the past year, as well as the length of its use. Some locations rarely have power outages, while others have them multiple times each year due to storms or other recurring problems. An outage might last for several minutes, or it can span for several days depending upon the nature of the event that has caused it. Units that are forced to run often and for long stretches of time will wear down their components at a more rapid rate. Thus, they require more maintenance and attention than units that are rarely used.

3. Account for the Weather

Local weather has a significant impact on whole-house generators. Some areas have frequent storms that include strong, infrastructure-damaging winds. Trees and telephone poles can get blown down, and these things may damage or bring down nearby electrical wires. Be cognizant of the months when events like these happen most often. Schedule professional maintenance services ahead of time so that there are no worries when you enter into storm season. This is also true for residents of northern areas where weather and outside temperatures are often unpredictable. Take care of all important maintenance tasks about one month ahead of harsh winter weather.


4. Check Your Generator’s History

If you just purchased a home that already has a standby generator installed, then you definitely want to find out more about this unit’s history. Speak with the home’s previous owner, and if you can, ask them about the unit’s overall condition and age. Find out if they have signed maintenance records. Ask about the last professional service that the generator received. Ideally, your generator will have a solid maintenance history and be completely operational. If it doesn’t or if it isn’t performing as it should, have a professional come by to inspect the unit and bring it up to speed.

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5. Have a Professional Handle All Advanced Generator Maintenance Tasks

Although homeowners can capably handle many standby generator maintenance tasks, there are quite a few that are always best handled by professionals. Advanced maintenance tasks are both time-consuming and complex. They require the training and expertise of professionals who know how to do them correctly. Professional technicians are able to identify developing problems right away, whereas these same issues can easily be overlooked by homeowners. Professionals can thoroughly test and inspect standby generators. They can also take care of many technical tasks and bring special tools for completing them quickly. Many bring along a number of common spare parts for expediting replacements. They clean these units thoroughly. For these and other reasons, generators often perform like new when their work is done.

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Technicians can also help with the operational safety of your generator so that everyone in your home stays safe. Problems can occur with no warning at all. If something appears to be wrong with your unit, you should call for help right away. You should also contact professionals if the efficiency of your generator steeply declines. They’ll find out why this has occurred and made the necessary corrections. Finally, you can also sign up for an ongoing preventative maintenance agreement to cut your maintenance costs and get regular service visits.



Modern consumers are highly dependent upon machines, and machinery needs the power to perform. Homes are filled with gadgets and appliances for chores, entertainment, work, security, comfort, and more. When a power outage occurs, every one of these things will come to a stop unless there’s a backup power supply in place. Prudent homeowners are able to maintain normalcy with standby generators. However, standby generators must be properly maintained, and homeowners must hire professionals to help them get ready and stay ready for power emergencies.

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te logoTownsend Energy is a leading provider of generator installation services throughout New England. Not only do we offer backup generator installation, but also maintenance, replacement, and repair services. We only employ top-quality service contractors who are well-trained in the most modern methods of HVAC and generator techniques. Therefore, call or contact Townsend Energy online today for more information on a whole-house generator installation today. We offer free, in-home estimates. Click the link to view our service area.

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