There’s no appliance in your home that goes from “barely remembered” to “absolutely crucial” as quickly as a whole-house generator does. These generators, also known as standby generators, are installed outside of the home and connected to a fuel source.
Of course, a generator can only help you if it’s working. We can’t imagine anything as frustrating as installing a generator just for the purpose of running it through a disaster and then having it fail to start on the day of said disaster. To make sure it’s ready, we highly urge you to have your routine maintenance performed.
Maintenance is Part of Preventive Care
When the power goes out, your generator is ready to switch on and carry your home’s electrical needs through the duration of the power outage. Whether that’s just 24 hours or 10 days, a working generator will make all the difference for your comfort and quality of life.
On top of getting regularly scheduled maintenance, we recommend powering on your generator every three to four months. Then, allow it to run for 15 to 30 minutes to make sure everything is running smoothly. If during that time you notice any of the following problems, then you’ll want to call in for some Stony Point, NY electrical services.
Just like a car, your standby generator needs a battery to get it up and running. Once the machine is running, there’s no problem. But if that battery sits for too long, it can eventually lose its charge and fail to start at all. This is fairly common with generators since they’re typically forgotten and taken for granted until the day that we need them the very most.
Routine maintenance checks will ensure that your battery is checked and tested at the appropriate times. You can also start up the system every few months just to make sure that it still has a charge.
To prevent your generator from overheating, it needs to carry a set amount of coolant. Coolant also contains chemicals that prevent rust and corrosion from forming inside the engine. But, as the system ages, the coolant hoses can fall into disrepair, thus creating leaks. Problems with the coolant system will typically prevent the generator from starting at all—which, of course, is the last thing you want happening on the day that disaster strikes.
If your generator isn’t starting and the issue isn’t obvious after a quick look, then it might be something harder to spot. Typically, that means something like a worn component or loose part.
Just like any machine, the electrical elements on a generator can wear out over time. Buttons, wires, and switches can stop functioning simply due to age or from manufacturer defects. You may notice frayed wires, loose connections, or buttons that get stuck. It might also be the case that you don’t notice any damage, but the generator continually trips the circuit breaker.