Does a Generator Need Maintenance?

As infrastructure wears on, the need for standby generators is increasing. Power outages are becoming quite frequent due to storms and other issues that cause parts of the grid to go down. This has created an increased demand for standby generators throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

The systems can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000, depending on the size of the machine, the type, the brand, and even the type of fuel it takes because of the type of engine it has. Because it is an investment, you want to ensure that it is maintained properly so it continues working for as long as it is meant to. This ensures you get your money’s worth.

How often should a standby generator receive maintenance?

The first round of maintenance should be done after the machine has run 50 hours or a year has passed, whichever occurs first. It is a good idea to have your generator maintained once per year. If the generator is over 5 years old, then the maintenance should be performed every six months. If you have experienced a power outage that has lasted more than a couple hours, the oil level will need to be checked.

What maintenance services should be performed?

The maintenance service that should be performed by your standby generator maintenance professionals include:

  • The oil will need to be changed at certain times.
  • The spark plugs, air filter, and oil filter will need to be changed. If there are any oil leaks, they need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
  • The battery charging system’s health should be checked during a maintenance session.
  • Hoses, intakes, and exhaust must be inspected and cleared. If this does not occur, eventual failure will occur. Units can shut down if their temperature gets too high or there is poor electrical output.
  • The RPM of the engine must be adjusted.
  • The electrical output of the generator needs to be adjusted once per year.

Who should service a standby generator?

An authorized service technician should be the one to service the unit. Anyone unauthorized to maintain the unit risks injury or damage to your home or generator. Technicians have the knowledge and tools to ensure maintenance is done correctly.

Some advice: it is very important to not attempt to service your generator on your own for the fact that it has to be maintained carefully and correctly. A simple error or over-adjustment can cause a very dangerous issue. When you pay for professional maintenance, you know that all adjustments will be correct and that everyone involved will be safe. Never substitute professional maintenance with inexperienced maintenance. If you have to widen the length of time between professional service, that is a much better alternative.