Like any other engine-powered machine, standby generators require regular maintenance. For example, just like your car needs an oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles, most standby generators need one every 2 years or after 200 hours of use.
As a generator owner, you'll want to keep a maintenance kit on hand to regularly service your generator. Here's what it should include.
An important rule of thumb, and one we can't stress enough, is to read your owner's manual. It contains model-specific information that will allow the best operation and performance from your generator.
You wouldn't drive your car for 10,000 miles without getting an oil change and the same goes for your standby generator.
To perform an oil change on your standby, empty the old oil and replace it with 2 quarts of new oil. You'll also need to replace your old, dirty oil filter.
If your generator runs for an extended time, after 48 hours allow it to cool down. It's a lot of heat for an air-cooled engine so you'll want to check the oil and change it if needed.
You can choose either regular or synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is designed for superior high- and low-temperature viscosity, meaning it will perform better for cold starts or while running in extreme heat.
After a year of use, your spark plugs can get pretty nasty. Take out the old spark plugs and compare them to the new ones. The difference is pretty dramatic.
Install the new spark plugs to keep your generator running in top form.
The final, and probably easiest step of maintenance, is replacing the air filter. If you've ever replaced the filter in your HVAC unit or car, you know how filthy they can get.
So take out the old air filter. Slap in the new one. And like that, your home standby generator will be ready for your next power outage.