Generator Maintenance Tips for the Hurricane Season
Hurricane season is at its peak as of September 10th, meaning that though it has been a slow season, there is the potential for Florida to see a handful of storms roll its way. The last decade has been absent of the presence of a single hurricane, but Hermine has set in motion the beginning to an active season.
For many homeowners in South Florida, 2005 was most likely the last time your generator has seen any action. Do you remember the last time you even saw your generator? It’s probably covered in cobwebs and dust at this point, and will serve you very little purpose once the power goes out next as it is in dire need of some TLC.
Here are a couple of quick tips to follow to get your generator up to speed with the 2016 Hurricane Season:
Check the Oil Level
Oil is a key component to keeping your generator running smoothly. If it’s been over a decade since you last checked the oil, you should definitely change it out and replace the filter. Also, be sure to grab some extra to keep stored away because once you have to use the generator, you will need to keep an eye on its oil level because you run the risk of destroying the engine if it runs out while it’s active.
Run the Fuel Dry
Whether you have recently used the generator, or it’s been years, you never want to keep any extra fuel inside. It will only be good for about a month in there, and if you’re thinking of putting it back in the garage for storage, think twice about leaving the fuel inside. It’s best practice to run the fuel dry. You’ll want to do this to prevent any gunk or build up in the engine. Over time, the fuel will get gummy, and can cause destruction to the engine if not cleaned out after each use.
Use a Fuel Additive
If you plan on periodically using the generator for longer than a month’s time, it is highly recommended to use a fuel additive. This will allow for your fuel’s shelf life to increase to almost a full year. This is also useful in preventing the gumming up of the fuel if you leave it idle in your generator. Fuel Stabilizer will be your best friend to get you through the rest of this hurricane season.
Run it Periodically
If it’s been a while since you last used your generator, perform a test run of the engine to ensure that everything will run smoothly next time you need it. Long term engine storage can be detrimental to the health of a generator, and if you’re one of the many South Floridians who hasn’t touched their generator since 2005, you’ll want to do this simple task. A quick note, make sure you perform the test run long enough for the engine to reach its normal temperature. If you shut it down while it’s still cool, moisture will build up inside. Let it run till it’s hot so it can burn off the excess moisture. You’ll want to do this test run every 90 days to keep your generator running at its peak.
For some, these maintenance tips can be a bit overwhelming. Delta Tech Electric would be happy to come to your property and give your generator a proper diagnostic test run to ensure when you need your generator most, it will be ready for you. Give us a call at (305) 588-9622, and we will schedule an electrician to come out for a service call. If anything seems to operate poorly, we will make sure to service the generator so it will be safe to use at your home after your power goes out. Take a look at our home electrical repair services page to see if there are any other electrical services you require to be taken care of before a storm rolls through the South Florida area. Stay safe and good luck this season on behalf of the Delta Tech Electric Team!