The long, cold winter is drawing to a close, and that means summer storm season can’t be too far away. There’s one thing you can say about New Jersey – it offers lots of opportunities to experience weather in all its crazy glory. It also offers plenty of chances for the power to go out. In fact, thanks to a recent spate of especially fierce storms, home generator use has been on the upswing in the state. If you’re one of the homeowners who believes in the power of being prepared, now is the time to dust off that generator and make sure it’s ready for storm season and all it brings.
Caring for your generator now means you’ll have time to identify parts that are becoming worn or nearing the end of their life cycle so they can be replaced before they wear out completely. After all, few things are as disheartening as turning to your generator during an outage, only to find it won’t start. Proactive maintenance helps you find problems and nip them in the bud, before they escalate into major problems. Here’s what you need to do:
- First, grab your owner’s manual and read it over. Your manual contains important information about your generator’s specific type and model, like the best type of oil to use, the size filter you need and other brand- and model-specific data. Can’t find your manual? Look online. Many companies offer copies you can download or browse through right on their website. If that fails, give us a call. We work with many brands of generators, and we can help you determine what you need.
- Perform a visual inspection. Inspect gaskets, hoses and other parts for signs of wear and make note of parts that need to be replaced.
- Change the oil and spark plugs. Drain the old oil and replace the oil filter before adding new oil. Use the type of oil recommended for your generator.
- Add a new air filter, again, using the filter that’s recommended for your brand and model.
- Check the battery and clean the terminals.
- Check the exhaust outlet to make sure it’s not obstructed. Enterprising insects may decide to overwinter in your exhaust, so give it a good visual inspection before using it for the first time after it’s been stored.
- Wipe down the unit, making sure to remove dust and debris.
- Run the generator to make sure it’s operating the way it should. Take note of any unusual sounds that could indicate a problem. And be sure to follow proper operating procedures during your test run; don’t make the potentially fatal mistake of thinking you can do this pre-season run in an enclosed garage or shed. Take the time to wheel it outside so there’s plenty of ventilation. Let it run for at least 20 minutes, and make sure it’s providing power.
Preventive maintenance is an important step to ensure you have power when you need it. If you’re not sure how to tune-up or maintain your generator, give us a call at 732-536-0444. We’re happy to help!