It’s the eleventh hour. The cone of uncertainty is no longer uncertain. The weatherman verifies the hurricane will be bearing down on your community in just a matter of hours. You gather up all your extension cords. You get your generator out of the garage and give it a pull-start just to make sure it works… nothing. You try again… nothing. You try again… nothing.
When the next hurricane or tropical storms hits southwest Florida, don’t be stuck with a broken generator! Proper generator maintenance is essential if you don’t want to avoid such a troubling situation. Use these 4 tips to maintain your generator:
1. Never Leave Old Fuel in the Generator
Chances are you only use your generator a couple times every year. In the interim, don’t make the mistake of leaving gasoline in the generator’s fuel tank. Although the exact amount of time it takes for gas to go stale is still up for debate, don’t take the risk of clogging your generator engine. To prevent stale fuel, either add a fuel stabilizer to the gas in the tank, or empty the remaining gas after each usage. Fill the tank with fresh gasoline once the storm hits.
2. Run your Generator Every Few Months
Just like humans, generators need to get a little exercise every once in awhile. Electrical experts agree, running your generator every few months will keep the electric starter’s battery fresh and charged. Since you won’t need to scramble around finding a way to charge your battery, a charged battery will save you valuable time when the storm hits. Before giving your generator some exercise, make sure it’s outside in a well-ventilated area.
3. Use a Long & Heavy Duty Cord
It’s no secret, generators are loud! To cut down on noise, most people put the generator further away from the house… but not so far that the neighbors complain! If you put your generator away from the home, make sure you use a heavy duty 12-gauge cord no longer than 100 feet. This is necessary because as an extension cord increases in length or decreases in gauge, the amount of voltage it can carry diminishes. Consult an electrical professional to find the right cords to power your appliances.
4. Keep Extra Oil and Filters
Powering your refrigerator and stove is hard on your generator’s oil! When the storm hits, you’ll need to change your oil and filters frequently. Since you can expect to change the oil every 50 hours (only 25 hours for the first oil change), keep an ample supply of oil and filters in your garage. With a sufficient supply, you’ll never have to worry about being in the dark.
Maybe it’s Time for Standby?
Maybe it’s time to ditch the oil, the filters, the maintenance, and the toxic fumes for a standby generator. More homeowners are using standby generators because they can provide hassle-free power to major appliances and air conditioning when you lose power. Contact a professional today to learn more about this great solution.