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How Often to Perform Generator Maintenance?

Generator Maintenance

Generators are vital machines that provide backup power during an emergency, such as after a power outage after a storm. As a result, regular maintenance is important for keeping your generator in good condition so that they provide dependable power in times where you need to rely on it.

In this article, the experts at Suburban Enterprises will discuss the recommended number of times you’ll need to perform maintenance on your generator. Specifically, we’ll go over the items that need to be checked, the benefits of maintenance, and when to hire professional electricians to perform generator maintenance.

Read More: When Should I Hire a Commercial Electrician to Inspect My Business?

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How Often Should Generator Maintenance Be Performed?

The frequency of generator maintenance will depend on various factors – for example, the type of generator, its amount of usage, and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

However, as a general guideline, we recommend having your generator serviced at least once a year or after every 100 to 200 hours of use. Certain features of your generator, however, may require monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual maintenance. Always be sure to consult the user manual, or your local electrician’s expertise for the best-performing generator.

In addition, please note that it’s crucial to keep a log of your generator usage and maintenance schedule. This is to make sure that your generator is serviced on time. Proper maintenance will extend the life of your generator and ensure that it runs smoothly when you need to rely on it!

What Items Should Be Checked During a Generator Maintenance Checkup?

Let’s talk about some of the common items that need to be inspected in your generator:

Engine Speed

First, you should check that the engine speed is running at the recommended RPM (revolutions per minute). For example, if your generator’s engine speed is too high or too low, it can cause damage to the engine or alternator.

We highly recommend that you look over your generator’s manufacturing recommendations to ensure your system is running at the proper engine speed.

Fluid & Oil Levels

The fluid and oil levels need to be checked regularly, and any low levels should be topped up. Low fluid levels can cause the generator to overheat, and low oil levels can cause the engine to seize.

During this step, you should also double check that there aren’t any fluid leaks.

Oil Filter & Air Filters

The oil filter and air filters should be replaced as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, reduce engine performance, and cause damage to the engine.

To ensure that your filters are up-to-date, you may have to schedule a bi-annual or annual maintenance with a certified technician.

Belts, Hoses, Lines, & Connectors

Also, when performing a generator maintenance checkup, you should review the condition of all belts, hoses, lines, connectors, and accessories. Be sure to assess for wear and tear, damage, corrosion, or improper connections.

If you are not familiar with how to replace any worn/damaged parts, or what to look for, you should contact a reputable electrician to assist to prevent further damage from occurring. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t DIY electrical work if you’re not comfortable with it.

Control Panel & Engine

You should also inspect the control panel and engine for any signs of damage, loose connections, or wear and tear. Any damaged or worn parts should be repaired or replaced immediately by a certified technician.

If you have any questions about your generator’s control panel and engine, please give our team a call right away and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Cooling System

The cooling system should be checked for leaks, proper coolant levels, and any damage to the radiator, hoses, and water pump. Your certified technicians can flush the line of the cooling system as needed.

Any problems with your cooling system should be addressed immediately to prevent the engine from overheating.

Battery Cables & Connections

Next, your generator’s battery cables and connections should be checked for corrosion, loose connections, and any damage. Any issues with the generator’s cables or connections should be repaired or replaced to ensure that the generator starts promptly when needed.

In addition, you should change your generator’s batteries every 24 to 36 months to ensure your generator runs when you need it to!

Exhaust System

Lastly, the exhaust system of your generator should be assessed for any signs of leaking, damage, or corrosion. To prevent potential carbon monoxide poisoning, you need to address any issues with your exhaust system ASAP.

In summary, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and check the items mentioned above to extend the life of your generator for as long as possible.

Read More: Frequently Asked Electrical Wiring Questions

Benefits of Generator Maintenance

Regularly checking your generator means that you’ll benefit from:

  1. Increased Efficiency: Regular maintenance ensures that your generator runs efficiently for when you need it during an emergency.
  2. Longer Lifespan: Maintenance conducted by a professional electrician will extend the life of your generator by preventing breakdowns and identifying potential problems before they become major issues.
  3. Reduced Repair Costs: Preventative generator maintenance also helps to reduce the need for expensive repairs or replacements, saving you money in the long run. More here about our electrical repair contractors.

When to Hire Professional Electricians for Generator Maintenance

While many of the simpler tasks can be performed by the owner, it’s highly recommended to get a professional electrician involved for more complicated tasks for annual generator maintenance checkups.

Here are some situations when you should consider hiring a professional electrician:

  1. Lack of Technical Knowledge: If you do not have the technical knowledge or experience to perform maintenance tasks, it is best to hire a professional electrician.
  2. Large Generators: These larger devices are complex machines that require specialized knowledge and equipment to maintain. A professional electrician has the expertise to perform maintenance tasks on large generators safely.
  3. Warranty: If your generator is under warranty, it is recommended to hire a professional electrician to perform maintenance tasks to avoid voiding the warranty.
  4. Safety: Generator maintenance can be dangerous, and it is recommended to hire a professional electrician to perform maintenance tasks safely.

Related: 5 Benefits of Hiring a Reputable Electrical Contractor

Why Hire Suburban Electric?

If you need a generator maintenance service performed on your system, you should contact local electric professionals who have years of experience to perform the work for you.

At Suburban Electric, we have been serving residential, commercial, industrial, and manufacturing clients throughout Appleton and the surrounding Fox Cities since 1960. We have the experience to work with all kinds of generator makes and models. Our company is divided into four divisions: Suburban Electric, Automation, Technology, and Fabrication.

Generator maintenance is our specialty, but we also perform other types of electrical services. These include machine installations, EPM assessments, repairs, surge protection, emergency services, and general service and support. We can also perform any necessary electrical maintenance or replacements to help you winterize your business. Contact us today for a generator maintenance service! As always, our electricians are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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