Is Your Generator Ready to Brave the Wicked Winter Weather?
More than 36.7 million people experienced power outages in 2017. That’s more than 10% of the U.S. population.
Losing power during mild weather is inconvenient—you’ll lose your internet connection and maybe a few groceries. But, losing power in cold weather can lead to frozen pipes and freezing indoor temperatures. That’s why you need a generator as a back-up energy source.
But what if your generator doesn’t work? What if you have no back-up?
The good news is, you can prevent generator problems with a little maintenance. Keep reading to learn how to check your generator and make sure it will work in the bitter cold.
Is the Fuel System Clean?
Generators need fresh gasoline to run, but unfortunately it doesn’t stay fresh for very long. Over time, gasoline can break down, gel, or separate, which can clog the system.
Luckily, the easiest way to keep the fuel system in working order is to run the generator for a few minutes each month. It keeps the fuel lines open. You can also add fuel stabilizer to the gasoline because it makes the gas last a few months longer.
During regular maintenance, it’s important to check the fuel filter and replace it if necessary. It filters the gas so no impurities get to the engine.
Is the Oil Fresh?
Just like you need to get regular oil changes for your vehicle, you also need to do it for your portable generator. Unlike cars, generators go by hours of use rather than months or mileage.
The guidelines for oil changes can range from 25 to 300 hours of use, so check the owner’s manual for your machine. It’s a good idea to check the oil level each time you run the motor or add gasoline.
Is the Air Filter Clean?
Airflow is a critical part of an internal combustion engine, so you need to check the air filter. If the air filter looks discolored or oily, those are signs you need to clean it or get a new one. Check your manual to learn how to do it.
This is also a good time to check the spark plug. The engine won’t start without it, so make sure to have a few backups.
Did You Read the Owner’s Manual for Your Generator?
While winterizing your generator is smart, the most important thing is to know how to use it. If you don’t use these units correctly, they can be dangerous. Between 2005 and 2017, there were 900 deaths and more than 15,000 hospitalizations from carbon monoxide created by portable generators.
After you study the manual, it’s also a good idea to make an emergency plan for how you’ll use it. Choose a dry place that’s at least 15 feet away from your house. Make sure the generator doesn’t point at any windows or vents.
Startup the generator at least every few months so you can remember how to use it. It’s also a good way to keep the fuel lines clear.
Know Who To Call for Furnace Repairs
Generators are a great short-term solution, but when your electricity is back on you could have furnace troubles. That’s why you need to know which furnace repair company you can trust.
If your boiler system furnace isn’t working after the electricity comes back on, contact us. At All A’s Plumbing and Heating, we offer weekday appointments and 24/7 plumbing emergency calls.