Keep Your Standby Generator Running Smoothly: Do a Maintenance Check

Posted On: May 05, 2014

Performing a maintenance check on your home’s standby or backup generator is crucial to making sure that it will work when it is needed. There are two main steps involved with maintenance to verify normal functionality. One deals with visual aspects of the generator, while the other involves actually running it to see that everything works correctly.

Visual Checks

A visual check of your generator can help prevent a small problem from turning into a much larger one once the generator kicks on. A few of the things to look at are:

  • Battery connections
  • Wiring
  • Fluid levels
  • Radiator

The battery connections and wiring can become loose and frayed over time, especially on older generators. Making sure everything looks like it’s secure and not corroded will help ensure the generator will turn on when it’s needed. Fluid levels in the generator need to be maintained to prevent or repair leaks. Keeping the radiator free of debris is important since it functions in much the same way that an air conditioner does. It needs to transfer heat away from the generator to avoid overheating.

Load Tests

Every month, the generator should be turned on to make sure it can power at least some of the systems it’s supposed to. The maintenance check should test the ventilation system, as well as any other vital components. An annual full load test should also be performed to make sure it functions as it was designed. This should be done around the same time you have other maintenance done, such as on your HVAC system.

Ernst Heating and Cooling has been serving the Metro-East area – including Bethalto, Alton, Troy and Edwardsville – for more than 60 years. We can help answer any of your home comfort questions.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, Collinsville, Maryville and Staunton, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about standby generators and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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