Generators are lifesavers during power outages when you’re left in the dark and everything suddenly stops. They prevent your food from spoiling, keep medical devices working, and turn the lights back on. Follow these steps to ensure your generator works for you even through the worst storm this winter.
Make Sure the Generator Is in Good Condition
The first thing to do before the next winter storm unexpectedly hits is to make sure the generator is working properly. Check the generator for signs of wear and tear, i.e. leaks, signs of damage, frayed wires, missing parts, or parts that need to be repaired or replaced. Make sure you’re using the right fuel. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in this, and make sure the generator has enough fuel. Also, review the instruction manual to be sure you know how to safely operate the generator as well as to acquaint yourself with any recommendations made by the manufacturer.
Make Sure It’s in the Right Place
Generators release carbon monoxide, and they can short circuit when they get wet, so it’s important to make sure yours is in a good location. Follow these guidelines:
- Place it outside, away from windows.
- Make sure the exhaust is facing away from the house.
- Make sure it’s in a place with good air flow so that it has adequate ventilation.
- Never place a generator under a roof near the house (even partially enclosed places can trap heat).
- Keep it in on a flat, dry surface.
- Make sure it’s protected from rain and snow.
- Make sure there is at least a foot of clearance space around the generator.
Practice Regular Maintenance During the Winter
Be sure to keep the generator clean and periodically check for damage. Keep the air intake and vents free of debris.
Change the Oil
You need to get an oil change every two years or every 2000 hours of use. Use lighter-weight oils because they’re thinner and work better in cold weather. Thick oils don’t flow as easily when it’s cold outside; therefore, they won’t keep the generator fully lubricated.
Periodically Test the Generator
Run the generator once a week for roughly a half an hour to make sure it’s working right and that it gets fully lubricated. Look for leaks, weird smells, and strange noises.
If Necessary, Repair or Replace Your Generator
If you need generator repair or replacement, schedule an appointment today with our licensed electricians at Chamberlain Electric in Jonesboro, AR. We’ll keep your generator working through the winter.