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Air Cooled Stand-by Generator Maintenance Tips

Like any other equipment, your generator power system needs periodic maintenance to keep it in prime condition and ready to spring into action when the lights go out. During a power failure is not the time to find out your system has problems.

 

Planned Maintenance Programs are designed to be a consistent, scheduled service which will uncover, diagnose, and correct minor problems before they become costly. While regular planned maintenance is not a problem-free guarantee, it is your best investment in the safe and reliable long term operation of your generator power system.

A general maintenance guide should be available with any home stand-by generator, which will outline the proper techniques and maintenance intervals. Regular servicing is often required by the manufacturer in order to satisfy the requirements of the factory warranty. The service can be performed by anyone (doesn't necessarily need to be a certified technician). However, when repairs are required, factory warranties often require a certified technician for the repair.  

Exercise your generator. Many automatic stand-by generators have an automated schedule for exercising the motor. This can be set to run weekly, bi-weekly or at a very minimum, monthly. It usually only runs for 5 to 10 minutes during the exercise. In general, we recommend running your generator weekly.a

Air Cooled Standby Generator Maintenance Checklist

Use this guide as you work to maintain your air cooled standby generator(s).

Weekly Maintenance

  • Run the generator (typically no-load, exercise cycle).

  • Verify that the generator motor ran and has no alarms or warnings.

  • Ensure satisfactory fuel levels.

  • Ensure that the generator is set to “Auto” mode, for automatic startup.

  • Ensure that the circuit breaker is set to "ON" (closed position).

  • Check for fluid leaks.

Bi-Annual Maintenance (Certified technician recommended)

  • Check engine oil level.

  • Check the battery charger (If applicable).

  • Inspect the enclosure.

  • Check the battery

  • Check battery cables and connections.

  • Check for oil leaks and inspect lubrication system hoses and connectors.

  • Inspect fuel system hoses and connectors, also check for fuel leaks.

  • Inspect the exhaust system, muffler and exhaust pipe.

  • Inspect air intake to be free of obstructions

  • Inspect the DC electrical system, control panel and accessories.

  • Inspect the AC wiring and accessories.

Annual Maintenance (Certified technician recommended)

  • Check engine oil level.

  • Check the battery charger (If applicable).

  • Inspect the enclosure.

  • Check the battery electrolyte level and specific gravity.

  • Check battery cables and connections.

  • Check for oil leaks and inspect lubrication system hoses and connectors.

  • Inspect fuel system hoses and connectors, also check for fuel leaks.

  • Inspect the exhaust system, muffler and exhaust pipe.

  • Inspect air intake to be free of obstructions

  • Inspect the DC electrical system, control panel and accessories.

  • Inspect the AC wiring and accessories.

  • Change oil and filter.

  • Check / Change the air filter.

  • Check / Change spark plugs.

  • Perform load bank testing.

Remember, be safe. Be sure you've properly disconnected the power before engaging in any electrical project. Good luck!

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