When your power goes out and you’re worried about your sump pump running, your HVAC running, and losing all of the food in your fridge, the last thing on your mind is when the last time you started your backup generator! All mechanical devices work best when they are used. Your backup home generator is no exception to this rule. While it is not in your best interest to always run the generator, running it every so often is great to ensure it maintains top level performance for when you need it the most!
Why should I start my generator for maintenance?
The most important thing to keep in mind for the longevity of your backup generator is maintenance. However, maintenance does not just simply mean ensuring the air filter and oil are changed every year. There are other steps to ensure your generator will be fully operational if/when it is needed!
Starting your generator on a regular schedule (somewhere between once a week and once a month) ensures that your generator will start when it is needed. This gives you peace of mind knowing that your generator is in good operating order! However, there are also a number of other benefits to starting your generator regularly.
Scheduled generator operation can help to lubricate and protect the internal components of the engine! As the generator sits idle, the very important oil begins to settle, drawing this protective element away from important engine parts. When the oil is drawn away from these components this can cause unnecessary wear upon startup and operation. It is likely that this will not cause premature failure the first time a “dry” start happens, repetition of this can cause catastrophic problems!
Generators are usually stored outside of your home. This is very convenient to conserve space inside your home, reduce unwanted noise, and protect you from dangerous exhaust fumes. However, this means your important backup plan is exposed to all the elements! While generators are designed for this exposure, it is still not optimal for their long-term life. Regular operation of your generator can help to dry and reduce moisture that accumulates inside the generator over time.
Regular operation can help to cycle through the gas that is stored in the tank! While you should always use a fuel stabilizer in your generator unless you are expecting your power to blackout regularly! Regardless of utilizing a fuel stabilizer, it is still beneficial to run through the old stale gasoline on a regular basis. This guarantees that you have fresh gasoline, and your generator is ready for whatever comes its way!
Finally, exercising your generator gives you a chance to listen for any unwanted vibrations or issues. In doing so, you can get a head start on any sort of repairs that need to be done! There is no worse time to need generator repairs than when you need it the most!
What do I do when I exercise my generator?
Now that you know why you need to exercise your generator, what does this actually consist of? We will take you through the best practices for how this is done, when it should be done, and how this process can be completed in a more convenient way!
When you start your backup generator you need to ensure that you select a day where you can dedicate a small portion of time to focus on only this task! You need to be able to listen and look at your generator to make sure there are no strange noises or vibrations. You should also ensure that you select a day between Sunday through Thursday. This is because if any issues do arise, you can have the repair service completed the next day as a regular service day instead of being charged extra for a Saturday or Sunday service! If there are strange unwanted noises, give your friends at Saturn a call! We are equipped to handle any and all issues you may have with your generator!
Should you run a load on your generator when exercising it? There are benefits to exercising your generator with load and benefits to running it with no load. The best conclusion would be to exercise with a load every so often. You should decide on a regular schedule that is not as often as your no-load exercise. Exercising under load produces more heat which can help to get rid of unwanted moisture easier and helps to spread out the engine oil throughout components a little bit better!
Can exercise be done automatically?
Generac makes this process easier! Most Generac standby generators are programmed to allow a user to select an automatic exercise schedule. This can help automate the process to make your life a bit easier! However, this does not mean you can be absent from your generator exercise. You should still be around to listen to the sounds it makes and ensure that everything is performing as expected!