You’re the kind of person who understands the importance of preparedness. You’ve seen a hurricane or five, and you know that you have your food and water supply, your medications, your evacuation plan, and your first aid kit. Your pets are microchipped. Your tires are full. Your important computer files are backed up. And your standby generator is ready to go.
At least, you think it is. It is. For sure. Isn’t it?
How do you know? If your generator has been sitting untouched in a storage room for the last year, you don’t, and while a standby generator can save your lifestyle or even your life in the event of an extended power outage, not just any generator will do: you need a generator that works.
If you aren’t sure whether your generator falls into that category, your carefully-laid plan could be for nothing. When the local grid fails, this knowledge is literally power.
A monthly moment of grease and quiet.
Like a car or any other complex machine, generators require regular maintenance. What would give you peace of mind if you were to find an older, rarely-used car in a relative’s garage? Before driving it, you’d have it checked out, or at least test the obvious: Does it start? Do the brakes work? Does the engine sound okay? Are the tires full, or at least full enough to get to the nearest filling station? Is there gas in the tank? Does it need an oil change?
Similarly, it’s important to check on your generator before the power dies and you need it. But since you never know when that will be, keeping on a schedule is key. Is it clean? Is it leaking? Have any critters taken up residence inside? (Yes, this is absolutely something to check for.) Does it have fuel, oil, and coolant?
Ready to be finished with the “quiet” part of all of this? Good. Then check: Does it start? Does it run?
Most people have the ability to check on their generator at this basic level, but being systematic about it is key. Having a checklist on hand to remind you of what to look for (and how often) absolutely helps. Your owner’s manual includes one that is specific to the exact generator you own. (Lost track of your manual? No problem. You can locate it in PDF form online with a quick Google search, or get in touch with us and we can help you find one.)
Learning peace by piece.
Twice a year or so, you’ll want to do a more thorough check of your generator, looking more specifically at individual parts. Things like batteries, drive belts, and cooling lines all need to be inspected. Filters and spark plugs need to be changed on an annual basis.
Even if your generator is rarely used, parts still need to be replaced over time. Even just knowing what the individual pieces and parts are and what they should look, feel, and sound like can go a long way towards making you feel more confident that your generator will do its job in an emergency.
Some people are nodding their heads right now, saying “Yeah, yeah, got it, no problem.” Others who are not the DIY type are starting to panic just a bit. Again, the steps to the most basic tasks are there in your manual. But for anything out of your comfort zone and for an annual tuneup, it’s best to have the work done by a professional. And for that, Southwest Florida Electric is here for you.
Don’t let important maintenance tasks get down to the wire.
The worst moment to realize you need a new part for your generator is the same moment a storm hits. Why wait in worry? A regularly maintained generator doesn’t just power your home or business, it also empowers you to develop a sense of calm, knowing that you’re ready for anything, whatever the weather may bring.