Five things to do before you start your generator after a storm

‘Tis the season of storms – and power outages!

If you own a portable generator, here are five important things to do before you get your generator running:

1. Review the owner’s manual.

Verify the model’s specifications for capacity to avoid overloading the unit.

2. Inspect it and tune up as needed.

  • For maximize efficiency, always have a clean air filter in place. Clean every 25 hours and replace every 100 hours or every three months – or as frequently as needed.
  • Change the oil. Like your lawn mower and vehicle engines, the oil should be golden or amber in color. It darkens as it ages.
  • Clean or replace the spark arrestor.

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3. Add fresh fuel only when the generator is turned off and completely cooled.

4. Position the generator as far away from your home – and its doors, windows and vents – as possible.

Generators emit carbon monoxide, an odorless, transparent gas that is deadly to humans and pets. Proper ventilation is critical. A garage is not a suitable place for a generator.

5. Remember to use only heavy-duty extension cords designed for outdoor use.

Never connect your generator to your home’s electrical panel. This type of work should only be completed by an electrician.

If you run extension cords from your generator directly to home appliances, only use heavy-duty extension cords. Remember to take care not to overload your generator.

 

Generator broken?

RepairClinic has replacement parts for portable generators including spark plugs, air filters, gaskets and many others. Enter your generator’s model number to find replacement parts.

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Related info

In the market for a new generator? Check out Ryan Huntley’s tips for finding the right generator for you and your home.

How to prep your home before the storm hits to minimize damage

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