A generator is supposed to be there for you when you have an emergency power outage. So, if you don't want your power backup to fail, it's a good idea to make sure that your generator is in tip top running condition. You can do this easily by routinely running it and checking it for the following signs that repairs might be needed:
1. Your Generator Has Trouble Starting
Nothing is more frustrating than when your generator refuses to start. There are multiple reasons why this might happen.
- Is there gas in the tank? May seem like a simple solution, but sometimes the solution is the easiest.
- Check the oil level in the crankcase. Add oil if the level is low. Keep in mind that attempting to run the generator on an uneven surface might cause the low-oil sensor to trigger despite there being enough oil.
- Check the choke and make sure it is closed.
- Check out the fuel valve and carburetor. Sometimes sediment can cause clogging when fuel has set for too long.
- The spark plug may need to be cleaned or replaced. Check your owner's manual for tips on cleaning or gapping.
- The battery may be dead.
- Be sure that nothing is plugged into the generator while trying to start it.
- If your air filter is dirty, it may prohibit the flow of oxygen and could prevent your generator from starting.
2. It Has Low Power Flow
Have you checked your power flow? If your generator is not providing as much power as it is supposed to, you could have a problem with the master phase selector switch master breaker, or control panel. Do not try to repair yourself.
If you think that low power is an issue, call a professional to schedule an appointment for repair.
3. Its Electrical Components Show Signs of Wear
Most wear of electrical components may be observed visually. They include but are not limited to:
- Frayed wiring, bare wires
- Worn, cracked, or missing control knobs
- Loose connectors
These issues may be signs of wear, neglect, or storage issues. Electrical damage can be dangerous and if not taken care of, could result in expensive repair or replacement.
4. There May Be an Internal or External Leak
It is usually easy to spot leakage or the signs of one. Look for puddles of rainbow colored fluid with a film on top. This is either oil or coolant.
If your generator is leaking fuel, you might also notice the smell of gas. Move it to a well ventilated area and check the hoses and fuel lines for signs of cracking, tearing or punctures. Fluid loss could also be caused by a faulty storage pan.
It's hazardous to operate a generator that is leaking, so you will want to find the cause of it right away.
5. Check for Damage to the Body
Again, this could easily be a result of long storage storage. Either something fell on it, ran over it, or pushed up against it.
Usually, exterior body damage is not an issue, but check hoses, wires, and fuel lines for rubbing or tearing.
6. Low-Charged Battery
Just like a car, generator batteries can grow weak when it isn't used very often. Check the voltage on a regular basis using a voltmeter. Look for corrosion around the cables and clean with a wire brush if needed. Be sure if you are putting the battery on a charger, it is for the proper voltage.
Conventional batteries can have electrolyte added when needed. If you have a maintenance free battery, you won't be able to access any of the cells. And if your battery is over three years old, it might be time for a replacement
Safety should always be a concern when operating a generator. Many signs that your generator need repair, could result in additional damage or accidents. OSHA recommends safe procedures in generator operation, storage, and maintenance.
Regardless if your generator is powering your job-site or your home, you expect it to be available when you need it. By inspecting it carefully and operating it safely, you can keep it maintained and often avoid expensive repairs. If you still have questions, contact us and a member of our team will be glad to help!