How To Get Your Backup Generator Ready For Winter

How To Get Your Backup Generator Ready For Winter

With winter just around the corner, your square D interlock kit or emergency generator should be ready to be called upon in the event your home is left without power. The winter months bring ice, snow, sleet, and sub-zero temperatures, all of which can have an impact on the operational capacity of your home’s electricity.

When the power goes out in those conditions, the last thing you want to worry about is wondering if your backup power is going to be there for you. The best plan of attack is get your generator ready now, before you need it. A well-maintained generator will be ready to keep you and your family warm and comfortable when things get rough out there.

In order to do that, you need to know which areas require your attention. Here are the most important steps to take in your preparations for the cold months coming up on the horizon:

Clear the Way

Make sure your backup generator has proper air flow. That means checking it to see if the unit has been covered by any junk, debris, or other assorted detritus that might be impairing its ability to do its job. The air flow vents of a generator are vital to its functionality and if those are plugged up or blocked for any reason, the unit will overheat and stall out.

Diagnose the Essentials

Any generator relies on certain components in order to function properly. You need to assess the condition of these items to ensure the unit is working correctly. The three main factors are the plugs, the filters, and oil. Each of these components has a very significant purpose for the operation of your genny and if any one of these isn’t up to snuff, your backup generator will not be ready for the winter.

Audit the Systems

Every backup generator has critical systems that must also be assessed for their condition so you can be sure they are working properly and your generator will start on command. These are some of the most crucial systems that are important to the operational efficiency of the unit.

Start with the coolant system, if there is no coolant getting into the generator you can be sure the unit will overheat as a result. Next, give your lubrication system a check. This ensures that all of your generator’s internal parts are well lubed and there’s no dry friction being generated between the important moving parts inside. If that occurs, you could find yourself with badly damaged components.

We mentioned air flow already, so you can be sure that if it’s being brought up again, it’s a critical concern for the proper operation of your backup generator. Generators can run on combustion or cooled air and you need to be sure that the air system in your unit is working right while it’s running.

Finally, you should check your fuel system. Take a good look to ensure that your fuel lines are in good working order and nothing is blocking the flow of gasoline into the engine of your generator. This is particularly important for diesel-powered generators. Simply put, if your generator isn’t getting the fuel it needs, the unit won’t run. Period.

Check your Levels

Checking many of your generator’s critical systems will mean you’re eyeballing the levels on all of your important fluids.Things like coolant and oil and fuel, of course. If you think you’re low or your generator needs a little topping off, go ahead and fill the receptacles as need be.

You don’t want to be caught off-guard when it’s freezing cold outside and your generator needs some oil. Give the catch tank a look when you’re checking your levels along with your generator’s fuel and drain water separators if your unit runs on diesel.

Stock Up

It doesn’t hurt to have all of the necessary backup generator supplies on hand should you need them in a pinch. Just because your unit has all of the fluids topped off and in full supply doesn’t mean you can’t have some extra on your shelves. It’s a fact of life that your generator will need a vital component at the very time you don’t have any sitting around. Stock up on your fluids now, before a huge snowstorm hits and knocks out your power.

Start it Up

You’ve done all of this preparatory work, now is the time to start the unit and let it run. This allows you to see if it’s operational and running properly and lets you check things like the alternator which is the component that turns your generator’s mechanical energy into electrical energy to power all of your appliances and electronic devices when nothing is working in the house.

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