Prepping Your Home Generator for Cooler Weather

January 2, 2021

Even if you are a big fan of the cold winter months, it is no secret that nobody wants to get out in the wet and cold to work on equipment. It is also known that the majority of the population does not want to be without heat during those cold and wet days either. Make your life simple by not waiting until the coldest time of the year to realize that your generator does not work properly. With all appliances, tools, or equipment, some servicing needs to be done to ensure that your generator is in proper condition and prepared for the harsh elements that winter can bring.

Now is the time to make sure that maintenance and servicing is done properly before you and your family wind up without a generator to keep you warm. Think of it as investing in the future of your generator. Regular maintenance will keep your generator running properly for years to come.

We, at Northside Power have gathered some of the best tips to prep your home generator for cooler weather.

Dive into Fuel

If you are like most home generator owners, you covered up your generator at the end of las twitter and have not touched it or even given it a second thought since then. Well now is the time to remove that cover and start checking the fuel, and all fluids. The fuel in your generator needs to be drained at least once a year. It may sound like a waste, but after sitting without being used the fuel can become sticky and will not run properly whenever it comes time for your generator to kick on. This is an important step in preparing your home generator. You do not want to use old fuel; this could lead to calling Northside Power for a replacement generator.  

If you are not sure how to drain the fuel from your generator, we can come out and do it for you. Or you can follow these simple steps (Be sure to check your generator manual for specific instructions for your make and model).

  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

Now that all of your fuel has been drained, it is time to take care of your oil. This ideally needs to be done after every 3 uses. This is just as important, if not more than, doing your annual fuel removal. Again, we can drain your oil for you as well or you can follow our step by step guide.

  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

Moving Parts

Generators are made up of a few major components. And each part has its own set of moving parts. Whenever you know that each part has been serviced and prepped correctly, you can rest easy knowing that your generator will work whenever it comes down to needing your heat to be running. We’ve gathered an easy checklist for you to go through to make sure your generator will work the way it is supposed to.

Carburetor

Your generator’s carburetor is very important. This is what helps your fuel transfer to the combustion chamber. It supplies the fuel for combustion. Unfortunately, it is also notorious for getting backed up with debris and old unused fuel. You want to make sure this is drained and cleaned out properly. 

Air Filter

Your air filter plays a specific role in keeping your generator running properly as well. Always refer to your user manual, or contact your technicians at Northside Power, but these need to be occasionally replaced and cleaned out so that debris does not get into your generator’s motor.

Fuel Filter

Your fuel filter is in place to ensure that your generator is not harmed by contaminants. Always refer to your owner’s manual to see how often this part needs to be replaced. 

Spark Plugs

Your generator’s spark plugs play two major roles. “To remove heat from the combustion chamber. Spark plugs cannot create heat, they can only remove heat. The temperature of the end of the plug’s firing end must be kept low enough to prevent pre-ignition, but high enough to prevent fouling. And also to ignite the air/fuel mixture.”  Spark plugs do need to be removed and replaced at times. Make sure your pistons are lubricated by removing the spark plug, pouring 0.5 ounces of engine oil into the cylinders, and replacing your spark plug.

These are simple and easy things you can do to make sure your generator is maintained properly before the cooler months leave you in the cold. 

Take The Extra Step

There are a few extra things you can do to make sure your generator is working properly all winter long. In Arkansas, the weather could change one day to the next but with these simple steps, you will be ready for whatever is thrown at you. 

Transfer Switch

Be sure to have your generator plugged into a transfer switch to protect the eclectic workings throughout your home. Transfer switches will only allow your generator to run whenever it needs to be. They are much safer than running it through an extension cord, which you should never do.

Test Your Generator

Like any piece of equipment, your generator will work better whenever it is used more often than not. Turn on your generator once a week to make sure all fluids can run through the generator properly and keep the parts lubricated. If you have a weekly checklist, this is a simple chore to add to ensure the lifetime of your generator.

Call Northside Power

Keep our on-call number 501-315-7213 on your refrigerator so if in an emergency, if your generator is not working, we can come out any time of day, any day of the week, and be sure your generator is running properly. 

If this sounds like a lot of work to keep your generator working properly, do not worry, we can do all of these things for you on a regular maintenance routine. Or you can add them to your weekly, monthly, and yearly to-do lists.