Tips for Maintaining an Emergency Power Generator at Home

The potential need for a backup emergency power generator can be seen in the statistics: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, significant power outages have more than doubled over the past decade. Most of the nation’s power grid was installed in the 1950s and 1960s and has now exceeded its expected life span. As outages become more frequent, a backup emergency power generator can help eliminate the inevitable inconvenience and disruption. An emergency power generator is typically fueled by natural gas that’s already supplied to most residences, continuously monitor utility power and actuate automatically if an outage occurs, keeping critical household circuits — or even the entire house — powered up.

Don’t Be Kept in the Dark

Like any mechanical device, electrical generators require regular maintenance to ensure they’re prepared to carry the load if and when the need arises. Consult your generator’s manual for specific procedures. Here are some typical maintenance items that may require attention:

Every Week

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to activate the generator’s “Self Test” mode. Monitor the unit to make sure it starts normally and that there are no alarms or warning indicators.
  • After the “Self Test” mode completes and the generator shuts down, verify that the unit is in “Auto” mode so it properly activates automatically if a power outage occurs.
  • Visually inspect the unit for any evidence of leaking fluids, such as oil or antifreeze.

Every Month

  • Check for proper oil level in the generator’s motor.
  • Check the level of coolant in the motor.

Every Six Months

  • Inspect the surrounding area and make sure vegetation, weeds, tree limbs, or other obstructions are trimmed back to maintain an open area on all sides of the unit.
  • Inside the unit, visually inspect battery cables and connections.
  • Check again for signs of oil or coolant leakage.
  • Make sure natural gas supply lines are intact and that connections to the unit are secure.
  • Install a new air filter or clean the filter element if it is the nondisposable variety.

Stay powered up in uncertain times with a backup emergency power generator. Ask Paitson Bros., now in our 99th year in Terre Haute, for more information.

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