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How Often Should You Service a Home Generator?

January 8, 2021

Like all machines and tools, regular maintenance has to be done to be sure that your home generator is working correctly. So just how often should you have your home generator serviced? At Northside Power we recommend that you have it serviced once a year. Your owner’s manual will have a maintenance schedule inside of it to keep you on track and on top of your services.

You should always keep your maintenance kit handy in case a quick maintenance routine needs to be done. See our regular maintenance tips here. 

If you were talking about your car, you would know to change the oil every 3000 miles and rotate your tires and check your fluids. A home generator is no different! While you should always refer to your owner’s manual for your specific make and model, we have come up with a few tips on how to service your generator.

Check Your Oil

It is no secret that if you ran your car way over the 3000 – 5000 mile limit without changing your oil, it would not only break down, it would probably completely stop running. Your generator works the exact same way. Your oil needs to be changed in your generator at least once a year before the cooler months hit. This is when you need to replace the oil filter as well. We suggest doing this before you turn your generator on for the winter, but if you have already been running it and remember that you need to change your oil, turn your generator off. It needs to cool down before changing your oil. 

We can change your oil for you or you can follow these simple steps.

  1. Be sure that your generator is on a flat surface.
  2. Place your oil container under the oil compartment on your generator
  3. Turn on your generator and let it stall for a few minutes
  4. Drain your oil from the compartment into your oil container while the generator is still warm
  5. Fill your generator with new oil
  6. Place all caps back on your generator fuel compartments
  7. Turn your generator on so that oil can flow to the carburetor

Go ahead and make sure to drain all of your fluids while you are changing your oil.

  1. Be sure to have a container to catch the fuel and a siphon
  2. Remove your fuel cap and allow it to breathe
  3. Switch over your fuel valve switch
  4. Turn off gas valve
  5. Disconnect your line that is not connected to the gas tank
  6. Place valve into the container you are using to drain your fuel
  7. Turn on your valve
  8. Allow fuel to completely drain
  9. Reconnect your fuel line
  10. Place your container under your carburetor and allow the little bit of fuel to drain out
  11. Reconnect your carburetor

While you are checking your oil and fluids, remove your old dirty air filter and replace it with a new one. If it is so dirty that you cannot see through it, it is time for a new filter.

Change Your Spark Plugs

Once a year your spark plugs will need to be replaced as well. Or whenever you begin to see any form of corrosion on them. They can get incredibly dirty and keep your generator from working correctly. This is as simple as unscrewing the old spark plug and replacing it with a new one. Make sure it is properly lubricated.

Safety Precautions 

While doing your yearly maintenance on your home generator is typically pretty easy, we want to make sure that you are as safe as possible. To be 100% certain things are done correctly and safely, you can always set up a regular maintenance routine with us. But if you are set on doing things yourself, be sure to follow our safety suggestions.

  1. Always allow your generator to cool down before doing maintenance on it. Make sure that the mainline circuit breaker and utility disconnect are turned off. 
  2. Remove the fuse on your home generator for additional security.
  3. Restart your generator after you have serviced it.
  4. Clean up any oil that may have spilled on your home generator.
  5. Always keep your generator away from kids and animals whenever you are performing maintenance. 
  6. Periodically test your generator to make sure everything is running properly.

If you do not keep up with proper maintenance, your home generator warranty may not remain valid. You want to be sure that you keep up with it in case something serious happens that does fall within your warranty. 

As always, Northside Power is here to help you keep your generator running properly. Our 24/7 hotline is available at all times in case of an emergency. Give us a call at 501-315-7213 if you find yourself needing emergency assistance.