Before winter sets in, it’s important to make sure your generator is ready to keep you warm and cozy during those chilly months in case of a power outage. Since your generator has been enjoying a time out during these last few months, it might not be in perfect condition to use.
1. Owner’s manual - Have your owner’s manual ready so you are familiar with how your generator works and its safety instructions.
2. Place your generator in a safe place! If using a portable generator, decide where you should place it prior to use. Exhaust can be deadly! Ideally, you should place the generator at least 10 feet away from the house and nowhere near a vent, window or other opening. It should never be placed inside a garage, home or basement, crawl space or other enclosed area.
3. Clear a path - Making sure the path to the generator is cleared of snow and other debris will help avoid accidents.
4. Check your fuel - Fuel should be drained and replaced once a year or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Check your oil – Check the oil level before each start and keep an eye on the oil level when using your generator. Most generators will stop functioning when low on oil but this may not be the case with yours.
6. Maintenance Check - Every generator needs a boost from time to time. Giving it an occasional run in the off-season helps avoid residue build-up in the ports and helps keep the engine lubricated.
7. Plugs, oil and filters - It's important to ensure the generator is reliable and will not break down. The generator will start easier if the plugs are checked and replaced as needed. Old oil may not be as damaging as gasoline when kept sitting for awhile, but the oil reservoir may collect particulates. To ensure smooth functioning of the generator, it is advisable to change the oil and filters on a regular basis.