Portable generators are great ways to keep your house up and running during a power outage or off the grid. However, starting when needed can be difficult if you use your generator sparingly.
This post will answer the question, How often should I start my portable generator, and discover the benefits of regular generator maintenance.
So, How Often Should I Start My Portable Generator?
Several factors determine how often you need to run a generator, including climate, the age of your device, and the number of times it’s been used. Starting your generator at least every two or three months is best.
If you live in a particularly humid or humid climate, start your generator more often to avoid moisture build-up. In addition, it may be necessary to start the engine more often if your generator is old or has not been used for a long time.
General Guidelines to Help You Determine How Often To Start Your Generator
Manufacturer’s Recommendations: Start by consulting the owner’s manual or contacting the manufacturer for specific guidance.
Manufacturers typically provide guidelines on maintenance schedules, including how often the generator should be started and run.
Regular Exercise: It is generally recommended to run your portable generator for a short period every month or two, even if you don’t have an immediate need for it.
This regular exercise helps ensure that the engine stays lubricated, prevents fuel-related issues, and keeps the generator in good working condition.
Storage Conditions: If your generator is stored in a location with high humidity or fluctuating temperatures, it may be beneficial to start it more frequently.
Starting the generator periodically can help prevent moisture buildup, corrosion, and damage caused by long periods of inactivity.
Intended Usage: Consider your planned use for the generator. If you anticipate using it for emergency backup power, it is essential to start and run the generator periodically to verify that it’s functioning properly and ready for use when needed.
Fuel Stabilization: If you store fuel in the generator’s tank, it’s important to use fuel stabilizers to prevent the fuel from degrading and causing starting issues.
Check the fuel stabilizer instructions for information on how long it remains effective and adjust your starting frequency accordingly. remember to follow proper safety procedures when starting and running your generator.
Make sure it is installed in a space with good ventilation and away from things that could catch fire, and start and run the generator according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Why is It Important To Start Your Generator Regularly?
Before we get started on how many times to run your generator, let us look at why it’s necessary to start each time you do.
Motorized portable generators require fuel, oil, and air to function properly. over time, these parts can fail and become clogged, making it more difficult to start the generator.
By starting the generator regularly, you can ensure that the engine is always lubricated and that all components work properly.
It’s not just making it easier to start the generator when needed; it’s prolonging the generator’s life.
Tips For Starting Your Generator
Now that we’ve established how often you should launch your generator let’s discuss some tips for a successful launch. Before starting, you must ensure that the generator is well-ventilated and has no debris or fire hazards nearby.
You should also check the fuel and oil levels to ensure both are suitable. Once you’ve completed these checks, you can start bootstrapping your generator by following these steps:
- Turn off all electrical loads connected to the generator.
- Turn the fuel valve to the “On” position.
- Move the choke lever to the “Choke” position.
- Turn the motor switch to the “On” position.
- Pull the starter cord until the engine starts.
- After the engine starts, move the lever to the “Run” position.
Important to note that the manufacturer’s instructions must be followed when a generator has an electric starter.
Related: Do Portable Generators Have Circuit Breakers?
Portable Generator Maintenance Tips
Regular starting of your generator set is just one part of a comprehensive maintenance plan. Here are some other tips to keep your generator running smoothly:
Change Oil Often
Like any engine, your generator needs clean oil to run properly. You should change your generator oil every 50 hours or at least once a year.
Keep The Air Filter Clean
Dirty air filters can reduce generator performance and make starting more difficult. Check your air filter regularly and clean or replace it as needed.
Check Spark Plugs
Worn or clogged spark plugs can also make it difficult to start your generator. Check your spark plug regularly and replace it if worn or damaged. Store your generator properly. It is important to store your generator correctly when you do not use it. It means emptying the fuel tank and carburetor in a dry, well-ventilated area where it can be stored.
Related: Why Your Generator Keeps Shutting Off?
Conclusion: How Often Should I Start My Portable Generator?
In short, starting your portable generator is essential to running smoothly and ensuring it’s ready when needed.
The frequency at Which the generator should start depends on various factors, but as a general rule, it should be started every three months.
Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular generator model.
Furthermore, it will help extend your generator’s life and ensure optimum performance when you are well acquainted with proper maintenance, including oil changes, air filter clean up, or replacement of spark plugs.
FAQs: About Generator Starting Frequency
1. Long Should I Run the Generator When Starting Up?
When starting up, you need to run the generator for at least 10-15 minutes. It allows the engine to warm up and helps prevent moisture build-up.
2. Can I Leave The Generator Running Overnight?
Generally, leaving your generator running overnight is not advisable. Generators should be used in well-ventilated areas and monitored for safety reasons. If you need power overnight, consider using a battery backup system or connecting your generator to an automatic power transfer switch.
3. What Fuel Should I Use For My Portable Generator?
Most portable generators run on gasoline. However, some dual-fuel models can run on gasoline or propane. Consult your generator manual to determine the correct fuel type.
4. Can I Start A Generator in My House?
No, starting or running a generator in your home is extremely dangerous due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Always avoid the door, windows, and vents while using your generator in a well-ventilated area.
5. Can I Connect My Portable Generator Directly To The Electrical Panel In My House?
Connecting a portable generator directly to your home’s electrical panel can be dangerous and unnecessary. Improper connections can reverse power to the utility line, endanger utility workers, and damage your generator or equipment. It is best to use a switch installed by a qualified electrician for safe and proper operation.