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Generator Servicing and Maintenance

Servicing your generator is an important thing to place on your to do list at your home or homestead. A generator is quite often thought of as being very useful tool during a power outage, and it is. The generator's usage is for far more than power outages only.

generator service


A generator can be easily transported to anyplace on your homestead or in your yard where power it is not easily accessible. Whether using a pole saw to prune limbs from trees, shaping bushes or using a drill and the many other things that can be accomplished with the usage of a generator.

In this YouTube video I explain and show you how to maintain your generator.

Maintaining your equipment is very important. The maintenance on a generator is no different than the maintenance on any other small engine. Whether it is a lawn mower, pressure washer or any other piece of equipment that uses a small engine.

Oil Change

The first thing we will do is change the oil. You  will need an oil drip pan, a wrench of suitable size to fit the drain plug of the small engine. A rag of some type and a funnel. Once these items have been assembled, slide the oil pan under the oil drain plug of the generator engine and loosen it. While the oil is draining out, check the drain plug and gasket for cracks or any other damage. Wipe away any build up or sludge that may appear on the drain plug or gasket and clean them thoroughly.

Once the oil has completely stop dripping from the engine, replace the plug. Tighten the drain plug fairly tight but do not over tighten or you will damage the seal. Checking the literature that came with your generator or small engine, find out what weight and type of motor oil the manufacturer suggests be placed in the engine. Also check the amount required and this this amount into the engine. Once you have refill the oil reservoir, place the oil dipstick back into its threaded receptacle. Turn it back out and check the oil level. If it's full, great! If it is not, add enough oil to bring the level up to the full mark on the dipstick.

Air Filter

Our next check is the air filter.

The air filter, located on the side of the carburetor opposite the engine, is important to be kept clean so the engine can operate properly. A dirty air filter will cause your engine to miss, flood and sometimes not operate at all if it is not maintained properly.

Find the air filter canister and remove its cover. Usually it is attached with one or more thumb screws. Once the cover has been removed, you should use compressed air to blow through the filter to remove dust and other particles. Blow from the engine side of the filter out to dislodge the dirt and dust. If you do not have an air compressor, you can simply strike the foam air filter on a hard surface to dislodge as much of the particulate matter as possible.

Before returning the filter to the canister, cover the carburetor opening with a clean shop rag and blow the air cleaner canister out, removing any dust, dirt or foreign matter. Once this has been accomplished, return the filter to the canister. Replace the cover and tighten the thumbscrews.

Spark Plug

The spark plug or plugs should be removed, cleaned and gauged after several hours of operation. If you notice an abnormal amount of fouling or if your spark plug is arcing any place other than the electrode it should be replaced. Check the ceramic on the plug. If it is cracked, it should be replaced.

Starting The Generator

It is hard on an engine to not be ran regularly. A generator is no different. Your generator should be started at least once a month and allowed to run for several minutes until it reaches operating temperature. If your generator is an electric start model, ie with a battery, it should be started at least once a month and the battery should be put on a charger once every two weeks to maintain its charge level and to extend the battery life. A generator should never be started under a load. Always turn off the breaker or remove any equipment that may be plugged into the generator prior to starting.

Closing Thoughts

The fuel in your generator is it's life blood. Always add fuel stabilizer to your fuel. Failing to do so will result in a clogged carburetor and involve removing the tank and rebuilding the carburetor. It costs less to add fuel stabilizer than it does to fix a clogged carburetor.

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