Generators are part and parcel of most Nigerian homes and offices. They are one of the surest lifelines in the case of power outages – Whether it runs on Premium Motor Spirit or requires diesel, you can find it everywhere in the country. Some even rely solely on generators as a source of power for their homes, businesses and even offices because of the power situation in the country. So it is safe to say, the generator is one sustainable power source.
Generators are purchased in sizes based on one’s need, this is solely determined by the number of electrical appliances it will power. Though it is seen as a strong machine, continuous usage without maintenance isn’t healthy to the life of the generator.
Just like humans, generators break down too, so, it requires maintenance in form of servicing, regular feeding in form of PMS or diesel and battery charging for those that carry electrical batteries. Maintenance is a very important part of owning a generator, as not properly maintaining your generator could lead to faults like hard start and can cause inefficiency.
So, here are 5 basic generator maintenance tips to ensure that your back up power source stays reliable.
Fresh Oil Helps
As with any mechanical equipment, changing the oil is a major factor in maintaining reliability. Most new generators need their first oil change to be done just after 30 hours of use.
After the first oil change, future changes only need to be done after every 100 hours of use. Having generator oils stored in the home help in the event of unexpected extended outages.
Plugs and Filters
Without a way to breath and a way to ignite the gas in the cylinders of the engine, your generator will be useless. Change your spark plug and air filters every 200 hours.
Having a new spark plug and air filter ensure proper fuel-air mixture. This helps the engine to run more efficiently and extends the life-span of your generator.
Store It on an Empty Tank
Are you traveling, or not just needing the generator for some time? Be sure to drain the fuel tank if you plan on putting your generator away for longer than a month.
Start by adding quality gas stabilizer to the fuel in your tank, then run the generator for about 15 minutes. Let the engine cool down, then start and run the generator until it runs out of fuel and shuts down on its own. If there’s a lot of fuel in the tank, you can drain the fuel into a container, but make sure the tank stays empty.
Charge the Battery
Not all generators come with a battery, but those that feature electric start should be fully charged before storing. If you can, plug the battery into a trickle charger to keep it fresh and ready when you need it.
Train in the Off-season
While these storage tips make a world of difference, it’s always best to start your generator every 30 days (once a month) and allow it to run for a few minutes. Doing so will help keep components lubricated by circulating the oil throughout the engine.