Picture this… it’s family night at your house night… normally you go to the movies but because the weather is extremely bad, you decide to stay home, pop some popcorn and play Wii with your wife and kids. Right around 7:39pm, the power goes out. Not to worry though, because you have a portable generator to handle such situations. You race downstairs, grab your unit, take outside, make the proper connections and then attempt to start up your generation, BUT you get absolutely nothing?
You say to yourself, “This is not supposed to happen! And it’s not. However, it does happen. The bad news is, it happens when you least expect and when you need back up power the most. And, if you don’t routinely inspect your portable generator, this could happen to you. The good news is; this ugly chain of events is preventable.
Will Your Generator Start When You Need It?
If you are like most people, your portable generator collects dust until you need it. And when you need it, YOU REALLY NEED IT! At that point, you don’t have the time to be performing generator maintenance or repair work to get your unit to run. Generally speaking, under those circumstances most people won’t be in a position due to the lack of lighting or parts to repair their generator to make it operable. Plainly put, a malfunction can compound an already stressful situation.
If you rely on a portable generator to power your home or equipment in a power outage or other emergency, you know very well that dependability and reliability are critical. It matters not what you are attempting to power, if your generator fails to start or run properly, it’s just like you don’t have one.
To avoid this pressure cooker, do what smart generator owners do; routinely inspect your portable generator. Never wait for an emergency to see if your unit will operate as designed.
Routine Inspections Please!
In your inspection, take note of any rusted parts and change them immediately. It at all possible, use only (OEM) Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. Some of the aftermarket parts don’t meet the specifications set by the manufacturer.
Take a close look at the bolts; loose bolts should be tightened to manufacturer’s specs. If your wire harness is damaged or frayed, replace it right away to prevent injury. If your generator casing is cracked or broken, now is the time to change it. Don’t forget to check your fuel filter, oil level and the condition of your gas. Most people don’t realize this key point, but having clean gas on hand is vital in the event of an emergency.
The final thing you should do is routinely perform dry runs. That means power up your power generator and connect a load to it, to insure that it is operating properly. At least once a month should be sufficient. This way, in the event of an emergency, you are versed on how to start your unit and quickly make the necessary connections.