Expert Electric Blog

Portable Generator Maintenance Tips

At Expert Electric, we know that, in order to maximize the life of a portable generator and keep it running efficiently, it is important for an owner to perform regular maintenance on their portable generator. That is why our team of licensed electricians have put together some simple portable generator maintenance tips that will help ensure that your generator is ready to go at a moment’s notice.

1. Stock Up on Oil and Filters

Most new home standby generators need their first oil change after the first 25 to 30 hours of use. After the first oil change, you will need to make sure that you change out the old oil and refill it every 50 to 100 hours, or once every season. In order to be prepared for extended power outages after a major storm, you should make sure that you have a supply of oil, oil filters, and gas to last at least a few days.

2. Let the Generator Cool Down Before Refueling

Portable generator fuel tanks are located on the top of the engine in order to allow the gas to be gravity fed to the carburetor; however, if you are not careful, this setup can quickly turn into a disaster if you happen to spill gas when refueling a hot generator. It is important that you allow the generator to cool down before you attempt to pour the gas into the fuel tank, even if it means living without power for 15 minutes. Spilling is especially likely if you refill at night without a flashlight.

3. Drain Fuel When Not in Use

Properly storing your portable generator can help prevent gum deposits from forming in essential fuel system parts (carburetor, fuel hose, or tank) during storage, as well as prevent the separation and formation of acids in alcohol-based fuels (e.g. gasohol, ethanol, or methanol). Prior to storing the generator for 30 days or longer, you can follow these simple steps in order to avoid engine problems:

  1. Add a quality gasoline stabilizer to the fuel per the manufacturer’s specifications and run the unit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. After the engine cools down, remove all gasoline from the fuel tank through the use of a commercially available, non-conductive vacuum siphon.
  3. Start and run the engine until it stops from lack of fuel. This will ensure that there is no fuel left in the system.

4. Start Your Generator Every 30 Days

It is important to make sure that you run your portable generator at least once every 30 days in order to help keep key internal components lubricated and to help avoid maintenance-related issues.

If you would like to learn more portable generator maintenance tips, or if you are interested in one of our residential electrical services or commercial electrical services, please contact Expert Electric at 604-681-8338.