It's great to have an emergency generator at your disposal. There's a certain peace of mind that comes with being able to weather a storm and know your perishables will make it through unscathed. However, many people forget that your generator needs care between emergency situations. By knowing how to care for your generator between emergency situations you'll ensure your generator starts up in your moment of need.
Start It Up
You want to make sure your generator is functional during a power outage, right? Make sure to start your generator about every three months. Motors function best when they're used, and waiting to use your generator until the last moment may have you finding it doesn't work.
Fuel goes bad over time. It's hard to think of it like one of the perishables your generator is supposed to protect, but it is. If your generator isn't using fuel regularly, it's essentially slowly rotting in its system. If you use your generator sporadically, say more than a few times a year, you'll want to add a fuel stabilizer. However, if your generator is strictly emergency only, you'll want to drain fuel from the system after use.
Servicing The Spark Arrestor
The spark arrestor is a small thimble-shaped piece of mesh in your generator's muffler system. The primary job of the arrestor is to stop sparks from leaving the muffler. During operation, the arrestor should be cleaned once per day. During storage, the spark arrestor should be cleaned or replaced once per season.
Maintaining a spark arrestor is easy. First you take off the back cover and remove the muffler. In the exhaust opening will be the spark arrestor. Simply slip the arrestor out from the muffler and use a blow torch to sear off any build up. Next, wait for the arrestor to cool before popping it back into the muffler. Then you just close the back of the generator and you're good to go for another season.
Stocking Up And Staying Informed
Generators can require fair amounts of materials to stay in operation during an emergency. It always pays to keep a small stock of oil, stabilized fuel, and cords so that you're ready when an emergency strikes.
If you have any questions about what your specific model of generator needs to stay functioning in the off season, speak to your local generator store staff. They will be able to advise you of any servicing needs or supplies your generator will need to face an emergency head on.