When storm-induced power outages last weeks, not days, you rely on your generator more than ever.
However, running your portable generator around the clock puts a tremendous toll on the machine.
It's important you perform maintenance on the generator before you run it into the ground.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure your generator lives long and prospers.
If you're like most folks, you probably didn't pore over every detail included in your generator owner's manual. We get it; it's more important to get your lights back on than it is to figure out maintenance intervals.
However, generators with air cooled engines (20kW and less) burn through oil quickly and if you're running the unit for an extended period, you're going to need to add more. If you're running the generator daily, we recommend topping off the oil when you refuel. Just make sure you let the unit cool down before you add gas or oil.
A lot of folks think they bought a bunk generator when it seizes up after a few days of running. This is usually the result of low or no oil. Most generators are equipped with low oil shutdowns, which prevent you from burning up the engine. So if yours stops working, check the oil.
You don't need to do a full blown oil change every time you're refueling - topping it off should suffice. However, you should do a full oil change after 100 hours of use.
Portable generator engines are not liquid-cooled like the engine in a car. They're air-cooled. Accordingly, they need an oil change much more often. So roughly every 100 hours, drain the old oil, replace the oil filter, fill the generator with clean oil, and replace the old spark plugs and air filter.