An Electrician in Trumbull, CT Offers Tips for Standby Generator Maintenance

Some areas are more prone to power outages than others, and we’re not talking about little outages that last a couple minutes to a few hours before electricity is restored. It’s the outages that are caused by violent storms, bad weather and lightning strikes that are the worst. These natural elements can mean severe electrical outages, often leaving residents and business owners without power for days at a time. This is a major inconvenience, but if you are no stranger to power outages, then you are likely familiar with backup generators—and keeping them in good condition so they work when you need them to.

With that in mind, let’s check out some tips for regular and annual standby generator maintenance from an electrician in Trumbull, CT:

  • Perform visual checks: Keeping the unit and components clean can help to avoid issues with your backup generator. A simple wipe-down is a good way to remove light dirt and dust from grills, but you should also look for and clear away debris—like leaves, other plant parts and grass—from both the inside and outside of the generator. Clogs from debris buildup hinder proper operation, especially when exterior exhaust and intake vents are clogged.
  • Install in an ideal location: Smaller portable generators are best stored indoors, where there’s not much chance for moisture formation or temperature fluctuation. For built-in outdoor standby generators, make sure they’re installed away from water sources, protected from wet or humid weather conditions. Don’t keep them near sprinkler heads or rain gutter downspouts, as water is likely to reach the unit. For your generator to remain reliable, check all major components for rust and corrosion often, and get damage fixed immediately.
  • Replace spark plugs and the air filter: While it’s recommended that you pull the spark plugs after one year, air filter replacement depends on use and the environment where you live. Even with minimal use, spark plugs can get dirty, and may even corrode inside your standby generator. When you pull them to install a new set, you will notice them covered in a dark layer of corrosion. As for the air filter, it allows fresh air to pass through, but it can’t do this if it’s dirty and clogged. How often you change the filter depends on the surrounding air quality. Typically, filters should be changed anywhere from twice a year to once every two years.
  • Check and change the oil regularly: Since your standby generator is motorized, you will first need to check the oil level, then refill or change the oil as necessary. A good suggestion from the pros is to keep an extra bottle of oil on hand for times of extended power outages, because if the unit is lacking oil, it will shut down to preserve the engine.

While you should be performing regular maintenance on your home generator, there may be some important annual maintenance that requires the skills of a professional electrician in Trumbull, CT. When yearly standby generator service is needed, know you can call on the experts at New England Electrical Contracting, Inc. Contact us today with questions or concerns.