You know a generator is a heavy investment that you buy to use for years, and without proper maintenance, this will only be your dream to use it for so long. By reading this post you are able to how often to run a generator.
While maintaining the generator, one of the crucial questions comes to mind: How Long Should I Run My Generator For Maintenance? and How often should I start my generator?
For keeping your generator in service, it is important to perform a monthly check and see whether the generator is still running as expected or not.
It is enough to run a generator one in a weak, but you can drill down this article for further detail!
How Long Should I Run My Generator For Maintenance?
Generator maintenance is as important as buying the best generator. If you put all of your efforts into finding a top-notch best-in-class generator that is the right fit for your needs and equipped with all the high-tech equipment and latest technologies then you would surely be more than satisfied with the optimum performance of your generator. But what about your ideal generator performance slowly declining and moving towards an irritating one? Well, this is a horrible yet very common scenario where top in a class generator ends up giving a very mediocre performance with either a dirty power supply or an unsteady power flow.
The major reason for the decline in performance is the ignored maintenance schedules. Generators like all other machinery and tools need to be regularly monitored for maintenance. If an owner skips over the generator maintenance schedules, the trivial problems and issues end up piling up and you will eventually have to go for the complete overhaul to restore the generator’s functioning.
So, what could be a better and wise choice? Should you either follow your maintenance schedule or go for the complete reset once the generator ends up malfunctioning? Well, obviously the former one sounds more logical and feasible ad, therefore, you need to be aware of the maintenance schedule of a generator to get it thoroughly tuned.
The most typical approach is to not let your generator rest free for months particularly during winter seasons when power outages become less frequent. So, the maintenance schedule demands you to run your generator with the full load once every month as the minimal requirement for keeping your generator in good condition.
Running the generator for a few minutes once a week is all it needs to remain fresh and top-class.
The suggested time to run the generator for maintenance at full capacity is about 15 to 20 minutes maximum.
If you cannot make up time for your generator maintenance then you ought to run it at least once every month for 20 minutes. For maintenance schedules every week you can run it for 10 minutes. The minimum requirements for generator maintenance are to run it at operating temperature (do not overheat it), add maximum load, and follow the safety requirements on the user’s manual for maintenance. One additional consideration for generator maintenance is to use the gas or oil stabilizer) depending on your fuel type in the tank).
You should add the stabilizer, let the engine rest for cooling it down, and then start the engine again to run it for 15 to 20 minutes. By doing so, the lubricating oil will heat up and circulate in the engine comfortably. If the engine oil is not circulated for months or years, it will clog the machinery and the engine may not even start functioning when you later try to start it after years. Maintenance methods and running time may vary on different kinds of generators.
Standby Generator Maintenance: Why It Is An Important Task?
Your home standby generator requires maintenance and service at least once a month. Standby generators run using a more extensive fuel source.
If people think leaving a standby generator idle until the next power outage is a great idea, it is good to understand that they are wrong.
Due to these fossil fuels, for example, gasoline and diesel, the chances are higher of the degradation of fuels or contamination.
The fuel is stored in bigger tanks or containers that are built underground. If the fuel stays idle for so long, this is harmful to the generator engine.
In the case of natural gas, such as propane-empowered generators, maintenance once a month is necessary due to fuel volatility.
Proper maintenance is also vital to increase the generator’s life by at least 20 to 30 years. It will also keep the home safe, and you will get power in severe weather conditions.
Many companies that make standby generators hire certified and qualified technicians experienced in installing and servicing generators. So you can also take help from them.
Portable Generator Maintenance: This Is Necessary Too:
Another type of generator is a portable generator, a mini version of a standby generator.
The functions are almost the same for both, but the main difference is that you can take your portable generator from one location to another.
The other major differences are that you cannot run the portable generator independently after facing uncertain power loss.
The standby generator is installed outside or backside of the house and runs automatically when a power outage occurs.
Standby generators are connected to the existing gas pipelines of houses, and you have to pour fuel into the portable generators.
It means you have to store extra gas if the fuel runs out. Portables need gasoline for operation. Hence, they need little maintenance.
Running it once a month will be fine if you have a portable generator. It is better to run a thorough inspection.
Look for any leakage, check coolant and oil levels, and ensure that the battery is in good form. One more important task is an oil change.
Your portable generators require a change of oil after every 100 hours of running. Intake filters and spark plugs need to be changed after 200 hours of usage.
Gas And Propane Hybrid Portable Generators:
Propane generators and Dual gasoline generators are the mixtures of two generators. You can comfortably run the generator by pouring either propane or gasoline.
Check for fuel sources, air filters, coolant or water levels, and fuel lines during maintenance.
Now start the generator and run for at least 30 minutes so that it uses both fuels and keep an eye on the temperature gauge. After finishing this, drain the diesel or gasoline from the fuel tank, and close the tank’s valve.
Don’t Forget To Check The Coolant And Oil levels:
At least once a month, you have to thoroughly check the engine’s oil level and coolant level. It is very necessary because both these fuels are vital for the functioning of generators.
The biggest reason behind stopping the generator from functioning is the low oil and coolant level.
Many generator manufacturers add a low-oil shutdown feature to keep the engine safe from damage. Low coolant also heats the engine and causes malfunctioning.
Checking oil and coolant levels is not a difficult task; look at the catch tank inside the engine and look for the level. If you notice a low level, add some extra coolant.
If any dust is present inside the engine or other parts, try to clean it, and if any part needs replacement, try to replace it.
Remember not to check the oil just after running the engine; you have to wait 10 minutes after shutting it off.
Some Other Generator Maintenance Tasks:
Depending on the place you live, do additional maintenance tasks for a generator to ensure it is always in the top position and ready to use. Any generator requires a lot of air to function fully.
If your generator is installed in an area with substantial growth, always clear the excessive leaves, vines, and other substances.
If you live in snowy areas, then in winter, try to clean the snow. Cleaning is suggested after a storm especially.
If you don’t care for climate, always go for a visual inspection of your backup generator after a power outage.
Refill the coolant and oil—Double-check the exhaust system and air intake, battery and charger, wires, and power socket.
Lastly, check that the battery is not suffering from corrosion and can start when an unlucky power outage happens.
Preventative Generator Maintenance Plan Sounds Good:
To provide you generate the necessary care, it is always better to design a preventative generator maintenance plan.
Dealers and manufacturers of generators develop a maintenance schedule for almost every generator they are dealing with. It is your decision whether to follow it or not.
But for determining how to follow the designed maintenance plan into your schedule, start by setting a time for running the generator every week. Whether on Sunday afternoon or in the morning, always make it a routine.
A visual inspection is important, but exercising the generator on load equally matters to ensure it runs properly.
Every week you have to look into the exhaust systems and air intake. If you have noticed anything uncertain, immediately call a third-party technician or dealer to learn if there are serious issues.
Hopefully, your confusion about how long to run a generator for maintenance is over, and you can successfully go through its maintenance process!
Can You Run A Generator Overnight?
Running a generator overnight is possible but needs certain precautions and safety measures. The basic safety measure for running a generator overnight is to have carbon monoxide detection alarms built into your generator. Using these alarms, you would be able to know about the harmful level of carbon monoxide in the air. In this way, you can be saved from carbon monoxide poisoning that could be lethal otherwise. Another safety tip is to not let the generator run for more than 12 to 18 continuous hours.
For complete guidelines, watch the full video.
Renewablecop is is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more