With hurricanes and heavy storms on the rise in recent months, you may be considering buying a portable generator. These relatively compact gems are impressively useful when you’re in a bind, and although they can’t take the place of a dedicated electrical line – they are an absolute lifesaver when you need one.
If you’ve recently invested in one, or you’re in the market to buy one, you are probably wondering how best to look after it – after all, apart from helping them last longer, taking care of one will make it safer to use.
Below are five ways to look after your new portable power generator:
- Keep It Clean
Generators can never get used indoors or in a poorly ventilated place. That means they tend to get a little dirty and need some TLC now and then to keep them looking and working like new.
For dust and debris on the exterior, use a cloth with a non-flammable degreaser and wipe it down. For tougher dirt spots, a soft-bristled toothbrush works wonders at getting rid of dust and fuel residue.
- Empty The Tank When Not In Use
Always empty the tank when it is not in use. That will stop the unit from getting clogged with old fuel residue. To do this, wait for the generator to cool down completely – and ensure it is switched off.
Access the carburetor bolt and open it with a tool. Allow the fuel to drain into a bucket by using a funnel. Do this away from any new windows because the smell will be quite strong.
- Have Spare Filters And Fuel
Although you should not keep fuel in your portable generator, it is advisable to have enough on standby should yAlways empty the tank when it is not in use. That will stop the unit from getting clogged with old fuel residue. To do this, wait for the generator to cool down completely – and ensure it is switched off.
Access the carburetor bolt and open it with a tool. Allow the fuel to drain into a bucket by using a funnelou need to use it. Power outages can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days, so plan your backup storage accordingly.
You should also have a supply of oil and replacement filters handy in case your unit requires some. Aim to have at least two weeks’ worth in storage – that way, if a storm does knock out the power, you won’t have to scramble into the queues to buy anything.
- Keep It Dry
Portable generators should be stored away from doors and windows and only operated in a clean and dry environment. If you read the instruction manual that comes with a generator, it explicitly advises the unit never to get run in the rain.
Ensure your unit is protected from dirt and moisture – which will keep it running reliably for years to come.
- Monitor The Performance
Portable generators are typically designed to run at most of their load level. That means you must monitor your unit’s performance and ensure that it runs comfortably at seventy percent of its load capability.
You can run them slightly higher or lower, but extended use at a lower or higher level is not recommended for more than half an hour to an hour at a time. By taking care of your unit and having it serviced when it needs one, you can ensure that it serves you well for at least five to seven years.